Originally published at: US Congress to consider tax break for e-bikes | Boing Boing
Originally published at: US Congress to consider tax break for e-bikes | Boing Boing
US Congress to consider tax break for e-bikes, and …
Can we get that with any renewable energy source? Asking for my solar sales folks out there.
Yes, but it will be required to have a permanent tether to the grid so that PG&E can resell the excess energy you produce while going downhill.
Does something like this exist already for non-e-bikes? Cuz, I’d like to someday purchase the kind of bicycle you gotta pedal all the time and I too would like a tax break for making a sustainable transportation choice.
It is a nice idea but biking isnt something that can be done in all weather at least in locales that are subject to lots of rain, cold and snow. NYC is trying to increase capacity to cyclists but capacity in many cases in the good season is showing limits (2nd Avenue in Manhattan, the bike-bridge crossings). Now in CA where I think one or both of the named sponsors of the bill are from do have better weather, the drivers in the state of California (in my opinion) are not very welcoming to cyclists outside of maybe San Francisco (to a degree). It would be similar to other large car culture locations where the laws, road design and even traffic signal system are designed around car priority so IF such a bill would pass and IF it does have a measurable increase in e-biking, without redesign and shared priority, many would-be new e-bike commuters will be turned off due to safety concerns and thoughtless infrastructure design.
I’m all for this, but my commuting on a non-electric bike is even more environmentally friendly. How about a tax break for any non-car commuting rather than e-bike purchase? Since its not the buying an e-bike that is environmentally helpful, its using it instead of a car.
Not really, though you do get a considerable discount by way of conventional bikes being inherently much cheaper.
Oulu, Finland (65° N, about the same latitude as Fairbanks Alaska), would like a word.
Whatever the excuse is (it’s too hilly, it’s too snowy, it’s too hot, the distances are too long) - the cited local condition is never the reason cycling isn’t working in a given city. The reason is always that the city is unwilling to build and maintain its infrastructure in a way that takes into account the local condition - including, as you point out, proper protection from automobile traffic.
It already exists, but it’s in the process of being phased out! I had 26% of my panel install cost covered with a tax credit (it should be extended a little while longer IMO… but prices have been dropping pretty quickly) The Solar Tax Credit Explained | EnergySage. Some states have additional credits, and my energy supplier also pays me for generation for 5 years (this is in addition to what I’m saving).
The federal incentives really do work for me, I also bought an electric car partially because of them… and I’d definitely consider an ebike with a 30% break.
Today’s temperature will hit a high of 24f. It was a good deal colder on my way in before sunrise. It was a lovely ride. If weather patterns hold Cleveland will again have more rain than Seattle. If you want to talk car culture, Cleveland had the first car crash and an established auto industry prior to Ford. Plenty of people here bike to work every single day. There is no where that it couldn’t be done. Amsterdam has rainier weather than many US cities, but managed to shift the culture, by deciding to do it.
This part is true, but also meaningless. The bike infrastructure is bad basically everywhere, until there is a political constituency to support changing that. That constituency won’t exist until something creates a larger number of cyclists. That can either happen through changing the infrastructure first, or through an outside shock that creates new cyclists, like a tax credit. Those cyclists then have a stake in the nature and quality of bike infrastructure. Beyond the academic literature on this, I’ve witnessed it in my own life. My suburb installed a bike lane along a commercial corridor, largely to make a grant application more appealing. The city council had no particular interest in bikes and drivers were actively hostile. The reworked roadway increased bike commuting, very visibly and those new commuters push for other small changes. The city installed a bunch of municipally owned bike racks (still not enough) and has involved the major bike advocacy group in every major road planning project after that. We’ve ended up with even more decent bike lanes, including some barrier protected lanes. That wouldn’t have happened without the initial nudge.
You could buy an bike with the smallest motor and a removable battery (where the weight is anyway) and leave the battery at home. Alternately you could just not use the “e” part of the eBike. My wife got a folding eBike for about $600 (it was a store return). Like most eBikes you can turn the pedal assist entirely off and just use it like a regular bike. In this case a very heavy bike. Oddly enough hers has a throttle that can run the “assist” without actual pedaling.
She bought it at the same time I bought a little electric folding scooter (for about the same price) which I used daily for commuting (scooter to the bus stop, scooter from the bus stop to the office) until the plague came and then I haven’t been commuting.
A coworker had an eBike and he just rode it the whole way in to work (about 30 miles), he just pedled as hard as he could and tended to avg over 30mph (the power assist drops off in the low 20s so he was doing a lot of the work himself). I’m just not up for that amount of biking in the rain, dark, or both.
For almost 2 years, I commuted by bicycle into Solon, Ohio over 10 miles each way and that started in December. The right gear and clothing is all that is needed. Studded snow tires are great for icy streets.
One cannot make use of e-bikes everywhere. On Hilton Head Island, SC, “electric bikes are not permitted inside of the Sea Pines Community”.
Tell that to the Dutch, who regularly commute by bike in inclement weather. Not my preference, but there is a difference between “can’t” and “don’t want to”.
Very well said. Weather is just one of the many excuses why a municipality won’t build proper cycling infrastructure…
Yea, I saw that youtube video too of that one town. I can agree, yes most US cities will not build or maintain the infrastructure for cycling to be able to have mass scale use as that city. But as far as the northeast is concerned, which is where my own insight is, the weather in the Northeast, specifically, the mid-atlantic coastal areas is bad for cyclists when the seasons are bad. Oulu and yes Fairbanks dont actually get a lot of snow because it is too cold to snow. When it does snow, it doesnt melt so there are some advantages to that. I bike in 20 degrees without a problem. But the northeast / NYC in this case got 18 inches of snow for example two weeks ago. That’s one day and that’s double the AVERAGE for the Oulu entire season! Oulu also doesnt have to worry about temperatures going above freezing so they can pack the snow down and it will stay that way. Here it will be 20 degrees for a week and more recently we get 37 degrees so it is cold enough to snow but not enough to stay frozen. So snow is moved around all over the place, melts into a slush pile, or melts and drips and refreezes into black ice. NYC actually does clear and salt the bike paths on the bridges but they cant control the melting / refreezing nor the people digging out sidewalks/cars and snow just goes everywhere. Some of it you can ride over if it is soft, othertimes, it is hard chunks of ice. It’s a mess. Again, I am not saying that NYC and the rest of the country cant do better but Oulu is not an example of how biking is possible in the winter. Oulu is an example of a place that is completely frozen for the entire winter and gets maybe a total of 10 inches for the entire season handles biking in the snow.
I bike in 20 degrees, no problem. This winter though, it has been impossible / dangerous because there is too much snow and freezing rain. We got almost 2 feet of snow and that took a while for everyone to clear out the bike lanes etc. NYC did a good job (in the more prime areas) of clearing out the bike lanes. The bigger problem though is the mass-scale biking. I am more afraid of other cyclists than I am of johnny-SUV on the road without a bike lane. Many new cyclists or weak cyclists in NYC have never driven a car so they honestly dont know how to do things like: Look a block ahead and prepare to make lane changes in advance. Some are really bad and though illegal, will txt on their phone or hold their starbucks while riding with one hand and listening to music. In the warm season, I actually specifically avoid using 2nd Avenue because there are way too many morons. I feel safer with street traffic on Broadway where the lane isnt separate from the traffic. I am hoping NYC continues to add more bike lanes like they have been (we are up to 330 miles of bike lanes) but in some instances there is just no more room left.
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