Bike & E-Bike Legislation: Support these efforts to help more people get out of their cars

E-bikes are great, but while far cheaper than electric cars, the expense of an e-bike is still an obstacle, particularly for low and middle income people. If the government provides an aggressive program of e-bike loan programs and purchase subsidies, we can start taking a big bite out of our transportation carbon emissions rapidly. Act now to support the legislation listed below.

For the full story on why this legislation is important and effective, read E-Bike Programs: Why they are good policy.

It is good to have the data to back you up when talking to your policymakers. Check out the Studies that tell you just how efficient e-bikes are, how they lead to real reductions in car trips and how stores benefit when bikes take over car parking spots.

To get more people on e-bikes we need people to feel comfortable on the streets. In addition to incentive programs we cover national and state legislation here to support improving bicycling and walking infrastructure. But safe streets start in your community.  Find your local bike advocacy organization and get involved to support increased safety for all bicyclists and pedestrians. 

Remember, signing petitions is a good start, but personal contact is way more powerful. Write or call your legislator. One letter or call is worth a hundred signatures on a petition.

Get alerts for future opportunities to act.  Drop us a note in the contact form below and we'll notify you when we become aware of new opportunities to make a difference. Also sign up with the advocacy organizations listed below to be notified and join in to their efforts.

Are you an advocate or policy maker interested in designing programs or legislation to incentivize e-bikes? Check out the News for discussions of policy lessons and successes, the Incentives for examples of programs that are working and the Studies for stats on the impact and design of programs.

 

United States

H.R.1019 / S.2420 - Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment (E-BIKE) Act

This US bill creates a federal refundable 30% tax credit for e-bikes.

The detail: It would provide a 30% tax credit, up to $1,500 for purchase of an e-bike. It applies to any new electric bicycle (Class 1, 2 or 3) purchase that costs less than $8,000 (although the 30% deduction only works up to a $5,000 bike). It can be claimed once per individual every three years, or twice for a joint-return couple buying two electric bicycles. It is refundable, to allow low income people without taxable income to benefit.

The bill also mandates a report from the Internal Revenue Service after two years to understand the distribution of the credit by income tax bracket and adjust for equity in the future.

Progress: Introduced in Feb 2021 in the House by Cong. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA). 18 cosponsors. In the Ways & Means Committee.    Introduced in July 2021 in the Senate by Senators Brian Schatz (HI) and Ed Markey (MA). Seeking cosponsors and partners, especially in the Senate.

LATE BREAKING NEWS:  As of Sept 11, 2021, the credit has made it in to the Reconciliation Bill - Sec. 136407 of Build Back Better Act 5

Alas, it is only 15% (still capped at max bike price of $8,000) but it is something. Includes a phaseout starting at AGI of $75,000 ($150K for married filing jointly). Contact your Senators and Representative to support this amendment - and increasing it back up to 30%.

​Learn More

Congressperson Panetta press release

Congress.gov listings for H.R.1019 & S.2420  includes text and current cosponsors.

​League of American Bicyclists E-BIKE Act Factsheet (pdf)

CalBike E-Bike Act info page

War on Cars interview with Rep. Blumenauer & more links

Full text of House Ways & Means Subtitle F Infrastructure Financing & Community Development amendment adding this to the Reconciliation bill is here (pdf)

Support this bill

Contact your Senators and Congressperson asking them to support this amendment in the reconciliation bill and to push it back to the original 30% 

Sign this People for Bikes H.R.1019 petition to encourage your representative to co-sponsor the bill. If your representative is already co-sponsoring the bill, a thank you note will be sent instead.

Member of an interested organization?  Get your organization to write a letter of endorsement. Use this sample HR1019 endorsement letter (PDF) from a local bicycling advocacy organization.

H.R.384 / S.1892 - Bicycle Commuter Act

This US bill extends commuter benefits to employees who choose to bike to work, similar to parking or transit benefits.

The detail: The bicycle benefit was cut in the 2017 tax cuts package because it wasn't well used. The primary problems with the previous version were that it was too burdensome for employers - requiring them to collect and verify receipts - and not flexible enough for commuters - you could not combine the cycling benefit with transit or parking. This new version streamlines the employer role and provides the commuters with requisite flexibility.

Progress: Introduced in Feb 2021 in the House by Cong. Blumenauer (D-OR). 22 cosponsors, incl 2 Republicans. In the Ways & Means Committee.  Introduced in the Senate May 2021 by Sen. Brown (D-OH), with Wyden (D-OR) & Cardin (D-MD) cosponsoring. In the Finance Committee. Seeking cosponsors, especially in the Senate. 

LATE BREAKING NEWS: As of Sept 11, 2021, the benefit has made it in to the Reconciliation Bill - Sec. 135406 of Build Back Better Act 5

​Learn More

Congress.gov listings for H.R.384: & S.1892  includes text and current cosponsors.

​League of American Bicyclists Bicycle Commuter Act Factsheet (pdf)

Full text of House Ways & Means Subtitle F Infrastructure Financing & Community Development amendment adding this to the Reconciliation bill is here (pdf)

Support this bill

Contact your Senators and Congressperson asking them to support this amendment in the reconciliation bill

 

California

See also CalBike's Legislative Watch page for lots of up to date information on all bike related bills in the California legislature.

AB 117 - Air Quality Improvement Program: electric bicycles

SUCCESS! California has budgeted $10 million to fund an e-bike incentive program to help Californians purchase e-bikes for sustainable transportation.  Public workgroups to design the program start Monday, August 30. 

The detail: The California Assembly bill amends Section 44274(c) of the Health and Safety Code which defines the Air Quality Improvement Program and specifies the projects to be funded to include “(9) Incentives for purchasing electric bicycles, as defined in Section 312.5 of the Vehicle Code.” It seeks to insure equity in the use of the funds by prioritizing low-income households . It will cover cargo bikes, folding bikes, bikes for people with disabilities as well as standard commuter bikes and seeks to support local, small businesses and nonprofit community bike shops. 
​Progress: VICTORY! (and more work to do)  Introduced by Assembly Member Horvath in December 2020. It passed the Assembly Transportation Committee in April  2021, Appropriations in May and the full Assembly in June. Specifics on program goals (such as the low income focus) were stripped out in the Assembly. Currently in the Senate. Passed Transportation & Environmental Quality Committee

Governor Newsom signed the budget (SB 129) including $10M to the Air Resources Board for an Electric Bicycle Incentives Project

It still may be useful to get AB117 through Senate to give program more guidance, but the attention is now on the CA Air Resources Board (CARB) which is already holding workshops on design for a program to roll out by the end of 2022. Public workgroups started Monday, August 30. 

Learn More:

CARB Notices of upcoming Work Group Meetings for the Electric Bicycle Incentives Project 

California Legislation Information AB 117 listing for the full text, updates on progress, etc.

Assembly member Harvath's AB 117 factsheet (JPG via CalBike)

CalBike AB 117 info page & update on the grant program 

Support this program

Want to help shape this incentive program? Drop us a note in the contact form below to get involved 

AB 122 - Vehicles: required stops: bicycles

This California Assembly bill allows Safety Stops - also known as Idaho Stops - which permit cyclists to treat stop signs as yields. Aligns California law with Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Utah and Idaho.

 

The detail: Amends Section 22450 of the Vehicle Code to “except a bicycle or electric bicycle,” from the requirement to stop at the limit line for a stop sign. Adds “(c) A person riding a bicycle, including an electric bicycle, approaching a stop sign at the entrance to, or within, an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicles that have stopped at the entrance of the intersection, have entered the intersection, or that are approaching on the intersecting highway close enough to constitute an immediate hazard, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to those vehicles until reasonably safe to proceed.”

Progress: VICTORY! introduced by Assembly Member Tasha Boerner Horvath in December 2020, An amended version passed the  Assembly in April 2021 and the Senate in September 2021. Now just awaits the Governor's signature (which is expected). 

Learn More:

California legislation information AB 122 listing for the full text as originally submitted, updates on progress, etc

CalBike AB 122 info page explains the Safety Stop and how it improves safety. Their 4 minute video provides a clear graphic explanation of how the bicycle safety stop works and why it is safe and important.

Support this bill

Contact your Assemblyperson using CalBike's email tool or call their office directly. Ask them to include it in this upcoming budget.Drop us a note in the contact form below and we'll keep you informed of more opportunities to help as this bill goes to the Senate.

AB 1147 - Regional transportation plan: Active Transportation Program

This California Assembly bill provides block grants to local governments to design and construct complete bikeway networks that provide continuous connections to key destinations to develop the 15 minute city concept and bike highways.

​Progress: Introduced by Assembly Member Friedman in Feb 2021. It passed the full Assembly in May and is now in the Senate Transportation & Environmental Quality Committees

Learn More:

California legislation information AB1147 listing for the full text as originally submitted, updates on progress, etc

CalBike AB1147 info page explains 15-minute cities, bicycle highways and how this bill could transform transportation planning and development overcoming political and economic obstacles complete useful bikeways.

Support this bill

Sign CalBike's petition which includes a tool to send a short email to your state Senator. Drop us a note in the contact form below and we'll keep you informed of more opportunities to help as this bill goes to the Senate.

AB 550 - Vehicles: Speed Safety System Pilot Program (failed in 2021)

This California Assembly bill sets up a pilot program for select cities to install and test speed safety systems to automatically catch and ticket speeding drivers.

The detail: Speed safety systems are radar of laser systems that detect speeding cars and capture a picture of the license plate of the offending car. A 5 year pilot program is proposed to run in San Jose, Oakland, LA, San Francisco and two other yet to be determined cities. The pilot would run on high injury streets. It has a range of safeguards to insure that it is set up to alert drivers and discourage speeding, not to be a money making speed trap and to insure that low income people receive reduced fines and cannot lose their licenses.  

Progress: introduced by Assembly Members Chiu & Freidman in February 2021, An amended version passed the Transportation Committee in April 2021 but was killed by the chair in the Appropriations Committee for 2021. There will be another effort in 2022.

Learn More:

California legislation information AB 550 listing for the full text as originally submitted, updates on progress, etc

WalkSF AB550 info page & factsheet (pdf) explain the Safety Systems Pilot and actions to pass it.

Support this bill
Check with WalkSF for how to write your assembly person. They are also collecting stories of victims hit by speeding drivers.

Member of an interested organization?  Get your organization to endorse the legislation

 

Massachusetts

H.3262 - An Act relative to electric bicycle rebates

This Massachusetts House bill creates 40% rebates of up to $750 for purchase of an e-bike

The detail:  - Establishes rebates of up to $500 for new and used electric bicycle purchases (and up to $750 for low- and moderate-income consumers), not more than 40% of the retail price of the purchase. Directs the Dept of Energy Resources (DOER) to include electric bicycles in their electric vehicle rebate program. Directs an evaluation for whether the rebate takes place at point-of-sale through retailers.
Progress: Introduced by Representative Natalie Blais in February 2021.
 

H.3088 & S.1890 - An Act relative to commuter transit benefits

This Massachusetts Senate bill creates a pre-tax incentive for employers to offer commuting benefits specific to e-bikes, bike share, and bicycle purchase/repairs & parking.

The detail:  - Adds specific language to the current transit benefit program "for a bikeshare membership or for a bicycle including electric bikes, bicycle improvements, repair, and storage" and lowers the cost to write off commuter expenses from $150 to $50.
Progress: Introduced by Representative Tommy Vitolo and Senator John Keenan in February 2021.

H.3457 & S.2309 - An Act relative to electric bicycles

This Massachusetts House & Senate bill differentiates between e-bikes and mopeds for more appropriate regulation.

The detail:  - Defines electric bicycle and differentiates between low-speed and high-speed electric bicycles. Standardizes regulations for electric bicycles, with regulatory control remaining with jurisdictions, landowners, and departments (default would align electric bicycles similarly with regular bicycles, yet offroad trails will be up to individual jurisdictions). Implements additional regulations for Class 3 electric bicycles
Progress: Introduced by Representative  Dylan Fernandes and Steven Owens Senator Sal DiDomenico in February 2021.

Learn More:

Massachusetts State Legislature Bill Information - H.3262 (E-bike rebates), H.3088 & S.1890 (commuter benefits),  H.3457 & S.2309 (define e-bikes) for text and cosponsors.

Massachusetts Bike Coalition Legislative page, MBC Info Sheets: H.3262, H.3088 & S.1890, H.3457 & S.2309

Massachusetts Bike Coalition E-bike & FAQ

Support these bills
Contact your Massachusetts state legislators to support these bills and contact MassBike for next steps
 

Oklahoma

SB 435 - Income tax; providing credit for the purchase of certain E-bikes

This Oklahoma Senate bill creates a one time refundable, income tax credit of $200 for purchase of an e-bike

The detail:  The effective for tax year 2022 and subsequent tax years. years. Any unused credit may be refunded to
the taxpayer. No low-income provisions included.
Progress: Introduced by Senate Member Hicks in February 2021. Referred to the Committees on Finance and then Appropriations.

Learn More:

Oklahoma State Legislature Bill Information including history, cosponsors, amendments & updates on progress

This follows HB 1265 passed in 2019 to bring e-bike classification up to date with current technology and give e-bike riders all the rights of bicycle riders.    The Oklahoman, New law considered for e-bike enthusiasts

Support this bill

Contact your Oklahoma senator to support this bill.

 

Organizations advocating for or promoting wider use of e-bikes 

Want to help pass important legislation to support e-bikes and improved road safety for all bicyclists and pedestrians? Check out these organizations.  Let us know if you learn of other organizations that are doing e-bike advocacy.

National

  • League of American Bicyclists - This national nonprofit membership organization educates about cycling and advocates for safer roadways for all bikes as well as for e-bikes. They organize semi annual Lobby Days in Washington DC (and now virtually) to contact legislators to move important federal bicycle legislation.

  • People for Bikes - This US national industry organization advocates for safer mobility networks, improved recreational access for bikes, a favorable bike business environment and bikes as a solution to address social and mobility justice issues. Their work on e-bikes, includes education and advocating for consistent regulation and access for e-bikes across the US federal state and local governments and for incentive programs.

State

  • CalBike - This California state nonprofit advocates for safer roadways for all bikes as well as campaigning specifically for e-incentive programs for e-bikes

  • Bicycle Colorado This Colorado non-profit advocates for bicycling and provides links to local organizations throughout the state. 

  • MassBike - This Massachusetts state non profit advocates for safer roadways for all bikes as well as campaigning specifically for regulatory improvements to allow e-bikes to ride in more places

  • Bike-Walk Alliance of New Hampshire advocates for safer streets for bicycle riders and walkers and supports the Upper Valley E-Bike Initiative (UVEBI), a group of volunteers in the Upper Valley area of VT and NH working toward lowering transportation greenhouse gases by promoting electric bike commuting with employers, individuals, and other organizations.

  • New York and other states have statewide organizations that advocate for state funding for safer roads for bicyclists which are critical for e-bikes. Find if your state has an bicycle organization and support it. 

Local

  • Local bike clubs and advocacy organizations are all over the US and do the important work of helping local and regional governments design safer streets for bicyclists and pedestrians. One useful tool for find local organizations is the "CONNECT LOCALLY" search tool on the League of American Bicyclists Bike Friendly America page.