Fiscal cliff deal extends electric motorcycle tax credit

Publish Date: 
Jan 3, 2013

THE JAN. 1 CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET DEAL that averted the "fiscal cliff" also extended federal income tax credits for buyers of electric motorcycles capable of traveling at least 45 mph.

Buyers of such vehicles, with two or three wheels, are eligible for a tax credit of up to 10 percent of the purchase price, reported Bloomberg.

According to the news company, Oregon lawmakers rewrote the tax credit to benefit home-state motorcycle manufacturer Brammo. Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, claimed the credit would help the U.S. electric-motorcycle industry create 16,000 jobs over five years.

One change to the credit: It no longer includes neighborhood electric vehicles. “A whole bunch of golf carts got paid for with the tax credit,” Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher told Bloomberg. “I don’t think that was the intention. They were trying to clear that up for real transportation.”

Bramscher added that his company, partly owned by Polaris, sells thousands of motorcycles a year and may see sales grow 20 percent to 30 percent.

California-based Zero Motorcycles has announced that it worked with Plug-In America and a coalition of other electric motorcycle companies to extend the tax credit. “Zero dealers, customers and fans weighed in as well, sending letters to Congress in support of the extension,” the company said.

According to Zero, the legislation extends the EV infrastructure tax credit from the beginning of 2012 until the end of 2013. The credit for two- and three-wheeled plug-in bikes covers 10 percent of the purchase price, up to $2,500, and applies only to vehicles with a 4 kilowatt-hour or larger battery pack that can go over 45 mph. These tax credits are retroactive and also apply to electric motorcycles or EV chargers purchased in 2012.

Posted by Arlo Redwine