Sen. Schatz Spearheads E-Bike Rebate Bill

Good news for electric bike riders: On Tuesday, Hawai’i senior Sen. Brian Schatz introduced legislation that would offer a tax credit of up to $1,500 for e-bikes.

Dubbed the Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment (E-BIKE) Act, the bill would create a consumer tax credit that:

  • Covers 30 percent of the cost of a class 1, 2, or 3 e-bike, up to a $1,500 credit;
  • Applies to new electric bicycles that cost less than $8,000, to include cargo e-bikes;
  • Permits the purchase of one e-bike for single filers, or two for joint filers;
  • Is fully refundable, allowing lower-income riders to claim the credit; and
  • Includes electric tricycles or “e-trike” which can be beneficial for people with disabilities.

Anyone who drives around Maui has noticed the proliferation of e-bikes as a cheaper, more environmentally friendly form of transportation.

A recent study from Portland State University found that if 15 percent of car trips were made by e-bike, carbon emissions would drop by 12 percent. Prices for e-bikes range from $800 to $8,000 depending on battery quality and size. The U.S. has a federal tax-credit for consumers who purchase an electric car, but there is no current federal credit for e-bikes.

Jacob Shafer