Exploring Public Opinion on the Updated Proposal of the E-BIKE Act
- 7 in 10 major city residents support the E-BIKE Act.
- Nearly half of major city residents are extremely likely to start using an e-bike if the tax credit passes.
- Residents who feel the $1,500 tax credit should be higher would consider switching to an e-bike if the credit doubled to $3,000.
- 60% of cyclists would relocate to a city that supports e-bike tax incentives.
Credit for Your Commute
The saying goes that you never forget how to ride a bike, and if that’s true, you could soon get paid to get back behind the handlebars. U.S. lawmakers have recently proposed the Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment (E-BIKE) Act that would cover 30% of the cost of a new electric bike, with a maximum credit of $1,500. If passed, the bill could incentivize Americans to trade in their car keys for bike helmets. To gauge the potential impact of this legislation, we surveyed 1,000 residents in major U.S. cities about e-bikes and their thoughts on the proposed tax credit bill.
Resident Reactions to the New Bill
Reintroduced after failing to pass in 2021, the E-BIKE Act has cycled back into debate. Let’s take a look at public sentiment toward this legislation.
While first attempts at a federal e-bike tax credit faltered, the success of city-run e-bike rebate programs might have helped the E-BIKE Act gain more interest and supporters. We found that searches for an e-bike tax credit increased by 3,800% over the past year. More people were also wondering if the e-bike tax credit had passed (+319%) and if there was a form to fill out for it (+240%).
In addition, 70% of major city residents said they support the e-bike tax credit, even though only 20% were aware of the newest version of the legislation. Cities with the most support for the e-bike tax credit included:
- Washington, D.C.
- Los Angeles, CA
- Atlanta, GA
- Chicago, IL
- New York, NY
If the bill passes, 81% of major city residents felt it would incentivize more people to switch to e-bikes. For those not ready to commit to e-bike ownership, over 60% of residents said they would participate in a public e-bike sharing program to take advantage of the credit.
For or Against an E-Bike Payday
Even with overwhelming public support, skepticism is causing bumps in the road for the E-BIKE Act’s success. What are supporters’ reasons for welcoming the tax credit, and what concerns have others telling bill supporters to hit the road?
Almost half of major city residents said they were extremely likely to switch to an e-bike if the E-BIKE Act passes. Supporters were encouraged by the environmental benefits of e-bikes (71%), the potential for traffic congestion reduction (68%), and increased access to alternative modes of transportation (63%). Additionally, many respondents agreed that e-bike riding is great exercise (60%) for people of all ages and fitness levels.
As for concerns, some residents worried about public safety (29%) and increased government costs (23%). Meanwhile, other residents felt the government could afford even more and wanted the credit doubled from a $1,500 maximum to a $3,000 maximum before switching to an e-bike.
Citywide Effects of the E-BIKE Act
If the E-BIKE Act gains enough support and traction to pass, the U.S. could see more e-bike riders. What do cyclists find important when choosing an e-bike, and what impact could increased e-bike usage have on American cities?
As Americans wait for the E-BIKE Act to pass, they’re busy researching their e-bike options. Respondents said e-bike affordability (69%) was the most important factor when purchasing an e-bike. E-bike battery life and range were also extremely important to would-be buyers, as were the cost and ease of maintenance.
Whichever e-bike riders decide to purchase, increased e-bike usage could go a long way in helping clear the roads and the air. Over 60% of those surveyed recognized the need for traffic congestion reduction, and nearly 50% felt the e-bike tax credit would help alleviate traffic in their city. In addition, over 70% of residents acknowledged the vital importance of reducing air pollution, and — with decreased CO2 emissions amid e-bike usage — more than 50% thought the E-BIKE Act tax credits would help improve their city’s air quality.
For those who already cycle regularly, tax incentives like the E-BIKE Act are a big factor when deciding where to live. Sixty percent of cyclists said they would relocate to a city that supports e-bike tax incentives. Cities that demonstrate an eagerness to embrace e-bikes could attract more residents, bringing an influx of talent and capital to their communities.
The Future of City Transportation
E-bikes offer so many advantages, making them an increasingly popular mode of transportation, especially in major cities. With the potential of e-bikes to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality, the proposed e-bike tax credit bill could improve city life for all residents, not just those who use it to purchase an e-bike. Whether or not the E-BIKE Act passes, one thing is certain: E-bikes are more than just a trend — they are the future.
We surveyed 1,000 Americans who self-identified as major city residents regarding their perceptions of the e-bike tax credit bill known as the E-BIKE Act. The mean age of respondents was 37 years old. Among them, 50% were male, 48% were female, and 2% were non-binary. Respondents comprised the following generational breakdown: 14% Gen Z, 19% Gen X, 60% millennials, and 7% baby boomers. Search volume data for the past year was pulled from Keyword Tool.
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