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Old 10-17-09, 10:10 AM   #1
Fairmont
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Are there tax credits for electric bikes, etc?

Obama's 2009 stimulus plan gives tax credits (which are better than deductions because they are like cash) for electric vehicles, hybrids, etc.

I'm wondering if, essentially, we can get electric bikes for free or little cost using the program. It's a mess of internet menus, so maybe someone smarter than me can figure it out.

Anyone hear anything about this?
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Old 10-17-09, 12:32 PM   #2
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Hate to disappoint you, but the tax credit is minimal and won't begin to pay the full cost. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), creates a tax credit for low-speed or two- or three-wheel electric vehicles, such as motor scooters, purchased after Feb. 17, 2009, and before Jan. 1, 2012. The amount of the credit is 10 percent of the cost of the vehicle, up to a maximum credit of $2,500. To qualify, a vehicle must be either a low-speed vehicle that is propelled to a significant extent by a rechargeable battery with a capacity of at least 4 kilowatt hours or be a two- or three-wheeled vehicle that is propelled to a significant extent by a rechargeable battery with a capacity of at least 2.5 kilowatt hours.

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Old 10-18-09, 04:50 AM   #3
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Since I don't understand the kilowatt hours thing, I'm assuming that my Ezip doesn't qualify?

It does irritate me that these agendas don't target energy efficiency on a really basic level.
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Old 10-18-09, 01:01 PM   #4
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formerly RE,

I don't know why they used kilowatt hours rather than watt hours for this portion of the legislation. This is a high bar for an e-bike to meet. A watt hour is one thousandth of a kilowatt hour. According to ebikes.ca, to determine the watt hours in your battery, you multiply voltage by amp hours. Using that formula, the stock Currie battery has 240 watt hours. Definitely below the threshold in the legislation, but then even a powerful 48V 30AH wouldn't qualify because at 1440 watt hours it's not up to 2.5 kilowatt hours, which is 2500 watt hours.

So, yes this is a piece of legislation with a feel-good title that when you look at the details isn't really what it seems to be. It might help those companies that produce large 3-4 wheeled EVs that can house mega battery banks to sell products, but most 2-wheeled EVs may not qualify for the credit because they have more weight and engineering limitations on the size of their battery banks. (It would be interesting to know if that German beast, the Erokit, would qualify. I'm not sure what sized battery banks its got.) But then, I suspect the staff and lobbyists who worked together to draft this legislation never really intended to include e-bikes (or even electric scooters) so they used the slight of hand all too familiar to those working legislative issues--they created an unrealistic bar that no one can reach.
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