If you’ve been considering getting yourself an electric motorcycle or three-wheeler, and you’re in the U.S., there’s a provision in the text of the Build Back Better Act that you should know about. The BBBA officially passed the House of Representatives on November 19, 2021. At the time of writing on November 30, the BBBA is currently under consideration in the U.S. Senate, but has not yet gone up for a vote there.
For those unfamiliar with the federal legislative process in the U.S., a bill must pass both the House and the Senate before it becomes a law. That means it could change in any number of ways prior to a Senate vote. This piece is written using the most up-to-date information we currently have, which could be superseded by new information in the future because we’re not fortune-tellers.
That said, the BBBA as currently written includes a tax credit toward the purchase of qualifying two- or three-wheeled electric vehicles, of 30 percent of the purchase price, up to a credit of $7,500. What kinds of bikes qualify for this credit, you may wonder? For a start, no dirt bikes qualify—only motorcycles made “for use on public streets, roads, and highways” make the grade. Additionally, qualifying vehicles must be capable of achieving speeds of at least 45 miles per hour, and be powered by a 2.5kWh or greater battery.
Unfortunately, that also means that low-speed electric motorbikes (and scooters) do not meet the criteria for this credit. For example, if you live in a city and only need a low-speed electric scooter for your regular commuting and errands, the BBBA as currently written won’t apply to your use case. Additionally, while a $7,500 tax credit sounds sweet, your electric motorbike purchase must cost at least $25,000 to hit that ceiling. Still, getting the electric bike you want and also getting some amount of money back in your pocket after purchase is definitely no bad thing.
Various criteria, such as a taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income, can also affect the available tax credit offered. If married taxpayers paying jointly make over $500,000 in a year, or $250,000 if filing as single taxpayers, the credit goes away completely.
Whether the BBBA will pass the Senate as currently written is a subject well outside the scope of this piece. How and whether it will affect riders going forward depends on whether the current text becomes law. We’ll keep you updated as and when we know more. The full text of the BBBA can be found in our Sources if you want to read it for yourself.