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Zero Motorcycles ‘Cash For Carbon’ Program Incentive

Zero Motorcycles has just reported that their highly successful ‘Cash For Carbon’ incentive program is back at participating dealerships – and the timing is impeccable.

The clever trade-in incentive began as a method for gas-powered motorcyclists to upgrade their rides for a more energy-efficient and low-carbon experience. Today, unprecedented times have created a wealth of new motorists waiting in line for an increasing shortage of motorcycles – and all this while gas prices soar and the hunt for more fuel-efficient commutes continues. 

new Zero SR/F

Mike Cunningham,  Vice President of Sales at Zero Motorcycles America, says the following:

“The current state of uncertainty over gas prices has spiked the appetite for electric motorcycles more than ever before…This trend has been intensifying the existing popularity of Powersports in general and makes now the perfect time to reintroduce the Cash for Carbon program,” 

Should a gal or gent decide to take advantage of this incentive program, Zero Motorcycles will increase the trade-in value of an old gas-powered motorcycle and put that amount towards a new 2020 or 2021 SR/F or SR/S at participating Zero Motorcycles dealers. In addition, clients taking advantage of this deal will also be granted an additional $1500 credit to stack atop the original value of the trade-in.

a lineup of zero motorcycles

According to a report from BusinessWire, the purchase of a new 2020 or 2021 SR/F or SR/S will also qualify under the 10% Federal Tax Credit, plus the payout-perk of any additional local tax incentives. 

All told, you’re looking at up to $4000 in incentives off of a Zero bike that already boasts a $10,000-$25,000 price tag. 

Would you participate in the ‘Cash For Carbon’ incentive program? If so, what bike would you trade in?

  1. I love my 2018 Zero S.

    For the limited riding I can do now (I’m getting old) no gas, virtually no maintenance it fits me well.

    I wanted to trade in for a 2021 Zero SRS, and found out my trade in value was only $5k. For a bike with 6k miles and paid $15k for new.

    So, I’m still riding the S.

    Is this typical trade in range?

    1. Hey Craig,
      I actually don’t know much about this topic either(news article in the works!), so I did some research for you – and also to sate my own curiosity.
      It turns out that this is a bit of a problem for the current electric motorcycle world – specifically because the electric industry is innovating faster than the community can keep up.
      I’d say that’s a crazy depreciation amount, apart from the fact that you said you bought new, which means we’re then factoring in the amount both the company and the potential dealer made off the sale.
      As well, we should probably also include the fact that gas-powered vehicles and two-wheelers have a similar steep depreciation rate for the first year of ownership…a 9% depreciation driven right off the lot, if you were in the business of purchasing a car new, with a 20% depreciation rate after the first year…and a steep 19-27% depreciation in that same year if the beastie in question were new and two-wheeled.
      That means at most (keep in mind these are rough averages I pulled off the web, nothing fancy), you lose 25% after the first year – and that’s not even with the wear and tear of the machine.
      I found another source that cited a motorcycle as losing 40% of the shiny showroom price if it’s less than four years old. This doesn’t factor in motorcycle types, it’s just an average, and obviously one that’s steep for real life, but let’s bite the bullet and see where it takes us.
      So you paid $15,000.
      The dealer makes around 5%, so that puts you down to around $700
      That means you’re automatically at $14,300
      drove it off the lot, take off 9%.
      Then you’re left with $13,650.
      Within the first year, you’ve lost 20% (I’m making slight allowances, so I’m taking this off the $13,650).
      By the end of the third year, your motorcycle has depreciated as much as 40% of the original price (again, taking this off the $13,650).
      Factoring all these amounts in, plus the fact that dealerships offer the bare minimum trade-in value for all vehicles in general (and the fact that electric motorcycles are new compared to fossil fuel, so you’re getting charged a ‘new’ tax, or rather, an amount that may not necessarily be a bang-for-buck bingo deal), I’d say that sounds about right.
      The dealer then offers you 5k for a $6,950 bike that he can then turn around and make a profit with a bit of elbow grease and spit ‘n shine.
      And if I hadn’t taken the percentages off the 13,650, it would have made an extra thousand or so for the dealer – a bit more, and one that shows the flux of the electric motorcycle industry as we hit the verge of a slew of new electric motorcycles to become available.
      Mind you, these are just averages – but I hope it helps.
      Cheers and have fun on the twisties for me,

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