The US needs to do better for bicycles

The US needs to do better for bicycles

If you have read none of my electric bike reviews here on WIRED (which is almost universal) it should not surprise you to find that my life changed for the better, seven months ago, when I bought I own my own electric cargo bike.

My kids go to school half a mile from our house in Portland, Oregon. Even in the worst of weather, I accelerate during construction on my GSD Tern, slowly passing cars looking for parking, grabbing my kids at the door, and me back home in 10 minutes. The convenience and exercise have helped me maintain my confidence in a time when not many others seemed to work for me.

I am not alone. Industry experts estimate that by 2022, about half a million Americans will buy ebikes, surpassing electric car sales by two to one. At this year’s CES, exhibitors like Totem and Giant showcased new bikes, while others like Bosch, Tern, and Carla Cargo showcased new ebike innovations such as integrated software and heavy-duty electric carriers that businesses can small to use for delivery.

That makes it more reassuring that the Build Back Better Act - recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and currently awaiting action in the U.S. Senate - places such specific restrictions on tax credits for electric bicycles. If you want to get a tax credit for your electric bike, you can get a 30 percent credit over five years for up to $ 3,000 on a new bike, which is a total credit of $ 900. This tax credit only applies to bicycles costing $ 4,000 or less. In fact, many e - bikes - especially those built for carrying children and groceries - are far more expensive than that. It also leaves an invalid person with a modified total income greater than $ 75,000, or $ 150,000 for couples filing together.

These terms are completely different from the big discounts for electric cars, which offer a tax credit of just $ 7,500 for a plug-in car, plus up to $ 500 if the vehicle's battery is made in the United States and an additional $ 4,500 credit if any. the vehicle is manufactured by union labor. These discounts apply to vans and sports utility vehicles up to $ 80,000. Sedans costing up to $ 55,000 are eligible.

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It is good that the bill has come this far. However, a $ 900 tax credit for an ebike is a problem compared to the thousands of dollars you can get from the government to buy an electric car. As a cyclist, this feels exhausting and short-sighted. To correct the climate crisis, we must oppose our car slavery rather than feed it. We, ebikes, and the bicycle industry as a whole, need to provide the only whole - hearted support we give to cars.

Safe Route

Under the provisions of the proposed legislation, my own electric bike would not be eligible for a tax rebate. My Tern GSD S00 retails for $ 6,499. I got lucky and was able to find a used demo bike for cheaper, but the price was still above the $ 4,000 bill eligibility level.

However, I was willing to pay that much for a bike that meets my special needs and helps ensure the safety of my children. As a small woman, it is important for me to have a small bike that I can lift and move easily. Tern bikes are tight enough to control. Tern ebikes are also powered by Bosch motors, and Bosch systems are among the few UL-certified electric bike trains for safety and fire hazards. In addition, Tern bikes undergo EFBE testing for stress and fatigue. Most ebikes do not have these safety certificates below the $ 4,000 mark, but for me, they are essential. They make sure that my pedals do not break or fall off when I go 20 mph, and that my bike does not stand on me or start a fire in my garage .

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