National Geographic – December 21, 2021
So far, the U.S. government has handed out $10 billion in subsidies to purchase electric vehicles using tax credits.
The EV's tinier, dramatically greener cousin, the e-bike, hasn’t gotten squat—although there’s a chance that Americans might get e-bike rebates if the Senate approves the Build Back Better Act, already passed by the House.
Before we go there, why an e-bike? Doesn’t that just help you chug up a hill? Proponents say sales have jumped in recent years because of improvements in pricing, power, and lithium-ion battery technology. About that battery: It’s 1/90th the size of its EV cousin, a much more efficient use of cobalt and other rare earths, and much quicker to charge.
E-bikes begin at about $500 and can go up 10 times or so higher. The House-passed bill would give a credit of 30 percent for up to $3,000 spent on a new e-bike, excluding bikes that cost more than $4,000. The goal is to put more fannies in e-bike seats, Bloomberg’s Ira Boudway explains.
Back in September, a Nat Geo story proclaimed the future was electric. Writer Craig Welch was referring to EVs, but the new year may prove interesting for its spunky two-wheeled cousin, too.