“Build Back Better” Act Will Give Electric Motorcyclists 30% Tax Break


A view of the Zero Motorcycles 2022 lineup

Over the weeks, I’ve noticed a trend among the good readers of wBW.

Y’all either love or hate electric motorcycles

And for those of you that love ‘em, there’s always a hefty MSRP to complain about. 

Not that we blame you – Yoinking out $21,999 for Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire One in a day and age where technology is advancing at the speed of light is ballsy, and we commend you.

A view of a racer leaning into the twisties while giving a big thumbs up

To that effect, we’re about to step into the legislature of the federal government of the United States – because if Jalopnik is right, Americans are about to get a huge tax break on their electric motorcycles, and at this point, any sort of credit would be peachy. 

The report states that the  “Build Back Better” act has been revised and edited for months by Congress, with relief only breaking this past Friday as a version of the bill was finally passed.

A view of the American Congress

The bill’s decree? As of Friday, November 19, a 30% tax credit for e-bikes and electric motorcycles will be considered, though the report states that the credit tops out at $1,500 for e-bikes and $7,500 for electric motorcycles. 

“The credits are fully refundable, meaning you don’t need to owe $7,500 in taxes to get $7,500 in returns, but they’re limited by income — the credit starts to phase out once you earn above $75,000 per year. Those two stipulations point to a credit specifically designed to make EVs accessible to lower-income people, an admirable endeavor for Congress to undertake.”

zero motorcycle being ridden for modelling purposes

Keep in mind – just because a bill is passed doesn’t mean that it has been approved. They still have a long haul through the Senate and the President’s desk before becoming law – but we can hope. 

We will keep our ear low to the ground for you on this story; in the meantime, drop a comment below – we read every single one and love to hear from you. 

Be sure to also brush up on new bikes to be featured at EICMA tomorrow, and as always – stay safe on the twisties.

8 Comments

  1. Central Scrutinizer
    November 22, 2021
    Reply

    Whether it’s smart to buy an electric bike has nothing to do with whether you “like” electric motorcycles or not.

    The needed technology simply doesn’t exist yet for electric motorcycles to replace gas powered bikes. The core issue is the energy density of batteries is a tiny fraction of the energy density of gasoline. And batteries are terribly heavy, which works particularly badly in the context of a motorcycle.

    Buying an electric motorcycle now is a means of making a statement for people who want to engage in virtue-signaling behavior. The smart money waits for the technology to mature such that it is truly useful before buying into it.

    • November 22, 2021
      Reply

      Hello Central Scrutinizer,

      While I wholeheartedly agree that certain EV clients purchase electric bikes for the clout (or because they have green to spend) – not to make the world a better place – it’s still neat to think that somebody thinks they’ve cracked the code on making hybrid energy more accessible to two-wheeled fossil fuel buds like myself.
      I actually think hybrid energy makes more sense (given our batteries are so heavy) than fully electric vehicles at this point in the game – though my current residence (a nippy zone 6a) may play very heavily into my decision here.

      Cheers,
      Amanda

      • lee capocchi
        November 23, 2021
        Reply

        Keep in mind the weight of batteries are offset by the reduction in the weight of the engine and transmission. Only the final driveline is there.
        For example. The Rivian has 4 electric motors – each one directly behind each wheel. Now compare the weight of the battery pack, which is completely waterproof and also acts as a bash plate, to the approx 1 ton weight of a large engine, transfer case, 2 diffs and the large axles.
        Turns out that if you ditch the entire driveline you save more than the weight of the batteries and electric motors.
        The fact they are better at accelerating and the most torque down low, makes electric vehicles a good choice for most situations. Including motorcycles!

    • November 23, 2021
      Reply

      TIL that buying an EV is “virtue signaling”.

  2. Christopher E Johnson
    November 23, 2021
    Reply

    EV motorcycles aren’t yet capable of meeting every rider’s needs, but if you fit into the right use case, they’re spot-on. The price still needs to come down to make them accessible for those riders, and the tax credit makes a huge difference.

  3. Mike
    November 23, 2021
    Reply

    Perfect for limited range riding, esp around town, not unlike e-autos; but until range is extended significantly, and/or re-charge times plummet drastically, they are limited in use vs traditional bikes. (To say nothing of the high cost…..will have to see whether tax credits actually come to pass)

  4. Jason Teer
    November 24, 2021
    Reply

    what’s needed is a standardised battery changing infrastructure so instead of a garage, you have batteries on charge and a changing machine. In a warehouse, you change your forklift truck battery when it needs it and carry on working. The government need to encourage worldwide manufacturers to integrate a changing system into their vehicles. There is a multitude of ways it could be done just needs cooperation between manufacturers.

  5. BisBiker
    November 24, 2021
    Reply

    That’s a plan. Raise my taxes so someone else can get a tax break. If electric bikes are so good they should be able to stand on their own two wheels.

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