Wyden backs electric motorcycle tax credit

He includes language for it in package being debated in a Senate subcommittee

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden has included language to preserve and streamline the tax credit for purchasing new electric motorcycles as part of the tax extenders package being debated in the Senate Finance Committee.

Wyden, D-Ore., made the push with Ashland electric motorcycle maker Brammo in mind.

"Right now, companies like Brammo in Oregon are keeping the American electric vehicle industry on the cutting edge," Wyden said, in a statement released Thursday. "But without an extension of this tax credit for the purchase of electric motorcycles, we could be stifling this innovative new industry in its infancy. This amendment will combine existing tax credits into one credit covering all highway-ready vehicles. It will support red, white and blue jobs and a new American-led industry that has real promise to serve our growing transportation and environmental needs."

Brammo founder and Chief Executive Officer Craig Bramscher said such a tax credit would spur motorcycle riders to become early adopters of electric vehicle technology.

"With the extension of the tax credit, we are confident that the next wave of electric motorcycle owners will be encouraged to take to the road on zero-emission vehicles," Bramscher said in a statement.

"We're assembling these motorcycles right here in Oregon and will be expanding our workforce to make that possible."

Wyden's amendment combined existing tax credits for all electric vehicles to one credit that includes electric motorcycles.

It also eliminated low speed vehicles such as electric golf carts from being eligible for the consolidated tax credit. The renewed credit will provide up to a $2,500 tax credit to customers for the purchase of an electric motorcycle.

The industry is expected to create nearly 2,000 jobs during the next 18 months and more than 16,000 jobs over the next five years.

Brammo recently announced that it would be expanding its local workforce by up to 130 jobs as it plans to move into the building in Talent now occupied by Walmart.

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