We’re not The Netherlands, are we?
In that small, flat country bicycles make a lot of sense. But in a nation the size of the United States, with both the Rockies and the Appalachians, we don’t use bicycles for everyday travel.
That’s not stopping two congressmen from pushing a subsidy for electric bicycles in an attempt to jump on the green craze.
The Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment (E-BIKE) Act would create a 30 percent tax credit of up to $1,500 for buying an electric bicycle priced below $8,000. The bill is being spearheaded by Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA).
Bikes are an environmentally friendly way of getting around, and they’re less taxing on riders than a traditional pedal bike thanks to an electric motor that either offers a boost or does all the heavy lifting, depending on the style of e-bike. That means people who might otherwise be reluctant to consider cycling as a viable means of transport may reconsider… especially if they can get a 30 percent discount on an e-bike.
Of course, that subsidy comes from somewhere, or rather, someone, who would be the American taxpayer. Given that most daily cycling for commuting happens in urban areas, this would be another instance of rural and suburban areas subsidizing cities.