Ed: This article has been updated with a comment from Zero Motorcycles.
Anyone else tired of hearing about the Fiscal Cliff yet? We are, and we were hoping to avoid having to write about it on this blog, but alas, motorcycle world has been drawn into the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 w The Act casts a wide net over many tax issues, including the extension of an existing tax credit for electric motorcycles.
Added to the Act by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the amendment allows the purchasers of electric two- and three-wheelers to claim a tax credit worth the lesser of 10% of the cost of the vehicle or $2,500. The amendment applies to street-legal vehicles capable of achieving speeds of 45 mph or higher. The amendment also reduces the requirements for the capacity of the vehicle’s power pack to 2.5 kWh from the previous level of 4 kWh.
The amendment was supported by Republican Congressman Greg Walden and Democrat U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, both representing Oregon. The state is home to a number of electric vehicle producers including Brammo, so it’s no wonder the act drew bi-partisan support. Wyden says the electric motorcycle industry is expected to generate nearly 2,000 jobs in the next 18 months and 16,000 jobs over the next five years.
“The electric motorcycle industry is poised to create tens of thousands of U.S. jobs over the next five years, led by companies like Oregon’s Brammo,” says Wyden. “This amendment helps promote the development of a promising U.S. industry and support the transition to a low-carbon American economy.”
The original tax credit for electric motorcycles was introduced as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The amendment applies to electric motorcycles acquired from Dec. 31, 2011 to Jan. 31, 2014. ABCNews estimate legislation will result in $4 million in tax credits for electric motorcycles owners, a large sum of money but miniscule compared to the overall U.S. budget. A similar tax credit worth up to $7,500 for electric cars was not included in the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 and will remain unchanged.
“This bi-partisan work and cooperation results in jobs and support for companies like Brammo,” says Craig Bramscher , Chief executive of Brammo. “We are excited for what this means for electric vehicles and the electric motorcycle industry, which will make these ‘vehicles of the future’ more accessible to all consumers.”
It’s not just Oregon businesses that benefit however. Motorcycles from Zero is Santa Cruz, Calif., also qualify for the tax credit.
“Tax credits for electric motorcycles are not only an effective way to create jobs, but they are also an investment in clean energy technology. We think that America can and should lead the world in cutting-edge clean technology,” says Jay Friedland, vice president of strategy and sustainability for Zero Motorcycles. “The electric motorcycle industry is rapidly responding to our country’s need for affordable and environmentally responsible transportation. We’re pretty excited to combine our passion for motorcycles with something that benefits everyone.”
[Source: Sen. Wyden, Brammo, ABCNews]