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USA: Senate committee approves tax credit for EV bikes, motorcycles

Washington- The Senate Finance Committee approved a $2,500 tax credit for electric bikes and motorcycles — a move that could help spur the EV bike industry.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, introduced the amendment to reinstate the tax break that was approved in 2009 as part of the $800 billion stimulus package, but expired on Jan. 1.

The tax break was necessary with “thousands of jobs on the line” and will only cost $15 million over two years, Wyden said.

The bill would end an existing EV tax credit for golf carts that can’t be taken on public highways. “There’s no reason to have a credit for a golf cart,” Wyden said.

The EV bikes would be eligible for a 10 percent federal tax credit up to a maximum of $2,500.

“This is about good paying American jobs,” Wyden said. “These jobs are going to go somewhere. … Are they going to be red white and blue jobs or are they going to be developed by our competitors?”

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, questioned the provision and noted that the country faces huge debt and tax issues. If the committee can’t end this tax break, “how can we deal with the bigger issues?”

“Hatch added: “Do we really want to portray ourselves as members of the Finance Committee to drive over the fiscal cliff riding on the back of an electric motorcycle”?”

Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., said the measure was about supporting U.S. manufacturing and boosting the EV market. “This is one of the real opportunities,” Bingaman said.

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