While the $7,500 U.S. Federal Tax Credit for those purchasing an electric vehicle has been in place now for longer than we’d care to remember, a $2,500 Federal Tax Credit for those opting to buy their electric vehicle with two or three wheels came to a quiet end at the end of 2013, much to the frustration of electric motorcycle manufacturers and zero emission motorcycle enthusiasts.
But in a surprise move on Friday last week, that tax credit made its way back onto the books as part of a last-minute tax extension bill approved by Congress ahead of the Christmas break. Signed into Law on Friday evening by the President, it means that anyone buying an electric motorcycle or tricycle with a top speed of more than 45 mph and a battery capacity greater than 4 kilowatt-hours can now look forward to writing 10 percent of their purchase costs (up to a maximum of $2,500) off their Federal Tax bill.
And as Californian motorcycle manufacturer Zero Motorcycles was keen to point out over the weekend, the new bill is retroactive for any qualifying electric motorcycle or electric tricycle purchases made in 2015, giving at least some customers an unexpected tax break they may not have been expecting.
Zero Motorcycles, which worked with Plug In America and a coalition of other electric motorcycle manufacturers, was able to successfully lobby Congress to take action and reinstate the expired tax credits. The successful outcome not only means that those who prefer their vehicles with two wheels can now benefit from financial assistance to offset the traditionally higher-price of an electric motorcycle when compared to a gasoline one but also ensures that motorcycles and trikes can help reduce tailpipe emissions across the U.S.
“Tax credits for electric motorcycles are not only an effective way to create jobs, they are also an investment in clean energy technology. We think that America can and should lead the world in electric motorcycle technology,” said Richard Walker, CEO of Zero Motorcycles. “The electric motorcycle industry is rapidly responding to our country’s need for affordable and environmentally responsible transportation. We’re naturally excited to combine our passion for motorcycles with something that benefits everyone.”
As Zero notes, its 2016 Zero R, Zero SR, Zero DS, Zero DSR, Zero FX and Zero FXS road-legal electric motorcycles all qualify for the newly reinstated tax credit. Those who purchased a qualifying 2015 or 2016 model-year Zero Motorcycle at any point during 2015 can use the tax credit when submitting their end-of-year taxes to the Federal Government. Most other electric motorcycles on sale today will also qualify for the credit, providing their battery packs are larger than 4 kWh and their top speed is more than 45 mph.
While the majority of plug-in owners will be happier with an electric car than an electric motorcycle, it’s worth remembering that those who live in busy, crowded cities — where parking and charging can sometimes be tough to find — may find an electric motorcycle is the only practical zero emission commuting option. Aside from being able to cut through traffic in states where filtering is legal, some electric motorcycles — like the Zero FX and FXS — come with removable battery packs, making it possible to charge your motorcycle’s battery pack within your home while your motorcycle is parked outside on the street.
Many electric motorcycles are single-speed twist-and-go operation too, making them ideal for first-time riders.
Are you interested in an electric motorcycle? Will the reinstatement of the $2,500 Federal Tax Credit encourage you to try two wheels for the first time? Or are you stuck with a car for good?
Let us know in the Comments below.
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