As part of a mammoth $1.1 trillion dollar spending package approved by Congress last week, a federal tax credit for electric motorcycles that expired at the end of 2013 has been reinstated. The new law authorizes a federal tax credit equal to 10% of the purchase price of a qualifying plug-in two- or three-wheel vehicle, provided it has a top speed of at least 45 mph and a 4 kWh battery or larger. The maximum credit is capped at $2,500. The credit will apply retroactively to all purchases of a qualifying vehicle since January 1, 2015, and to any new purchases until the end of 2016.
The provision was inserted into the law after a coalition spearheaded by Zero Motorcycles and Plug In America lobbied Congress to revive the expired credit as a means of helping create “green” jobs and promote zero-emissions vehicles in America. They were joined in their efforts by several other electric vehicle manufacturers and their customers.
According to a Zero Motorcycles press release quoted by Inside EVs, “Standing together with companies coast-to-coast, the coalition rallied Congress to take action and expand green jobs in this exciting and emerging industry. Zero Motorcycles dealers, customers and fans weighed in as well, urging Congress to support the extension of the plug-in tax credits.”
Zero CEO Richard Walker said, “Tax credits for electric motorcycles are not only an effective way to create jobs, they are also an investment in clean energy technology. We think that America can and should lead the world in electric motorcycle technology. The electric motorcycle industry is rapidly responding to our country’s need for affordable and environmentally responsible transportation. We’re naturally excited to combine our passion for motorcycles with something that benefits everyone.”
The tax credit should provide a welcome boost to the US electric motorcycle market. Companies like Zero Motorcycles are bringing more and more new models to market and riders are beginning to discover how much fun riding an electric bike can be.