Remove the PST and Add Rebates for Electric Bikes

Currently in B.C. bicycles and transportation fares are exempt from PST charges, and clean energy vehicles are eligible for rebates up to $5,000. Purchases of new electric bicycles, and their electric parts, are charged PST, and are not eligible for rebates. Something doesn’t seem right here, does it? So please please sign the petition!

For a brief period of time, when B.C. was running the HST tax, electric bikes did, in fact, receive tax exemptions. It seems that in the transition back to the system we currently use, minor details such as taxes on assisted bikes slipped through the cracks.  

For small business owners however, this detail feels rather significant. "It's really quite a hassle." Says Paul Dragan of Reckless Bikes. "When repairing an electric bike, we have to charge PST on the electric parts like the battery and motor while there is no PST on the bike parts like wheels and brakes.". Creating two separate lines, and a once unnecessary step to small business’s financial records, is cumbersome and aggravating.

For individuals, the re-added tax could be a barrier to purchasing, or converting to, an e-bike. Electric bikes suitable for commuting typically cost $1500-$3000, making the suggested PST exemption worth about $105 - $210 for buyers, plus on-going PST charges on maintaining parts. Additionally, a rebate would provide financial incentives for individuals to incorporate active transportation into their daily lives.

Electric bikes are being studied by biking centres around the world. The Netherlands, and Norway have measured significant increases in bicycle trip length, and frequency due to use of electric bikes.  In 2013, a survey in the Netherlands reported that 5 percent of the total population, and 10 percent of the 60+ population owned an e-bike, and those with electric models ride twice as many kilometers compared to the 60+ cyclists with a regular bike. In 2014, they found that those with e-bikes rode 22% more kilometres per week, and the average commuting distance rose from 6.3 to 9.8 kilometres. Assisted bikes make up 21% of bicycles sales in the Netherlands.

Electric bicycles remove accessibility barriers by allowing riders to conquer hills, speeds, and distances that would otherwise be impossible for some people. These machines, that emit zero carbon, make active transportation a viable option for a broader population, opening it up to all ages and abilities, especially in combination with safe cycling infrastructure.

With B.C.’s aggressive climate targets for 2050, and municipal initiatives to increase active transportation, removing financial barriers to access electric bicycles is logical. Considering that it was not long ago that we actually didn’t pay taxes on these bikes, it is more of an error correction, than a radical request.

The British Columbia Cycling Coalition has submitted a formal request to remove the PST and add rebates, similar to those available for electric cars, as part of their Climate Leadership Action Plan recommendation.

Also included in the recommendations a billion dollars over ten years for bike paths and protected bike lanes as well as improved design standards that can safely accommodate electric bikes and enable longer distance commuting.

Take Action

Please sign the petition!

Photo: Essential Baby | eZee 


Help show lots of people support cycling and walking for everyone.

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A Billion for Bikes - Cycling for Everyone Petition

I call upon the Government of BC to enable everyone in BC to cycle & walk in safety as part of their daily lives by implementing an Active Transportation Strategy that includes:

  • Investing $1 billion over the next ten years to:
    • Upgrade cycling & walking facilities on provincial roads & bridges
    • Complete cycling & walking networks in communities across BC
    • Provide safe routes to school for children
    • Build trails & routes for cycling & walking tourism
  • Ensuring that paths & protected bike lanes can be safely shared by people using wheelchairs, skateboards & in-line skates
  • Enhancing cycling education for children & adults
  • Promoting cycling & walking
  • Encouraging electric bike use by eliminating the PST & providing rebates
317 needed to reach 4,000

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Support Our Cycling & Walking for Everyone Campaign

Your generous contribution will help us mobilize the support needed to convince the Provincial and Federal Governments to make bold investments in cycling & walking through:

  • Outreach to organizations and businesses 
  • Petitioning to show the government that a lot of people support better cycling
  • Meeting with politicians and staff
  • Press releases and op-eds

Please support our efforts by making an on-going contribution of $5, $10, $15 or $20 per month or a one-time donation.

Sign the Petition
  • German Cycle Super Highway to Take 50,000 Cars off the Roads

    It's a cycling dream: no red lights, no trucks, just a clear, smooth lane to zoom down with the wind in your face. Welcome to Germany's first bicycle Autobahn.

    Fans hail the smooth new velo routes as the answer to urban traffic jams and air pollution, and a way to safely get nine-to-fivers outdoors.

    As a glimpse of a greener urban transport future, Germany has just opened the first five-kilometre stretch of a bicycle highway that is set to span over 100 kilometres.

    It will connect 10 western cities including Duisburg, Bochum and Hamm and four universities. Almost two million people live within two kilometres of the route and will be able to use sections for their daily commutes, said Martin Toennes of regional development group RVR.

    Aided by booming demand for electric bikes, which take the sting out of uphill sections, the new track should take 50,000 cars off the roads every day, an RVR study predicts. 

    The new type of bike routes are around four metres wide, have overtaking lanes and usually cross roads via overpasses and underpasses. The paths are lit and cleared of snow in winter.

    Cycle Super Highways are also being proposed for Frankfurt, Munich and Nuremberg.

    Photo: Patrik Stollarz/AFP

    More at:

    We need Cycle Super Highways like this in BC. Help make them happen. Please sign the Cycling and Walking for Everyone petition and share it with your friends, family and co-workers.

  • Cycling could save cities $25 trillion

    A new study indicates that an increase cycling could save $25 trillion and reduce transportation-related CO2 emissions 10 percent by 2050.


    According to the study published by University of California (UCD), Davis, a combination of investments and public policies could bring the global average of bike and e-bike use up 14 percent by 2050 (of urban kilometers). Savings of around $25 trillion could be achieved by reducing the need for new car-related infrastructure and maintenance.

    “Cycling is a crucial means of transport for millions of people around the world,” said Brian Cookson, president of the UCI. “This report demonstrates that, if more governments followed good examples like the Netherlands or Denmark to make their cities better for cycling, we’d see huge benefits from lower carbon emissions, hugely reduced costs in transport infrastructure, and potentially safer, healthier places.”

    The $1 billion for cycling and walking over ten years that the BC Cycling Coalition is recommending could increase cycling mode share to around %12 by 2025, well on the way to the 2050 target of 23% in the study.

    More in the Executive Summary. Here is the BC Cycling Coalition Climate Leadership Plan Submission.

    Info graphics from The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy.

    Please sign the petition and share it with your friends, family and coworkers!

    We need your support to make this all happen. As the BCCC not a charity, we can’t issue tax receipts. However, that means we are not limited in the amount of money that we can and will devote for advocacy. Please donate to support the Billions for Bikes campaign.

Showing 19 reactions

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  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-09-25 16:21:58 -0700
    It’s the right thing to do and will encourage people to get out of their cars
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-09-18 02:54:26 -0700
    I just signed!
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-09-16 22:47:12 -0700
    E-bikes fill a need inthe alternative transportation sector. We vacation with our e-bikes on a regular basis and leave a gas engine vehicle at home.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-09-16 17:12:06 -0700
    We really need to get off the couch, outside and do something. This is really fun and makes sense to all.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-09-16 13:34:56 -0700
    The E-Bike is the way to urban commuting of the future. I’m riding one since 2011 and feel more energized then ever before.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-09-07 10:15:26 -0700
    We must transition from single occupancy vehicles, electric bicycles are one answer and the government should be encouraging the transition, removing pst is one way, rebates are also a good idea and are available for electric cars.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-08-20 00:38:46 -0700
    I just signed!
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-07-26 15:03:22 -0700
    electric bikes make biking more accessible to people with disabilities and let us fully participate in family and community life!
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-07-20 13:31:46 -0700
    I want bikes to be accessible to everyone. For some, they have long distances to commute and heavy loads to haul. Electric bikes give them this freedom to get where they need to go without relying on a car.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-05-30 20:22:36 -0700
    I just signed!
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-05-28 09:26:39 -0700
    I believe that bike riding is good for the environment and good for the health of the public. Making the purchase of a bicycle more affordable by reducing the tax is good for the public as well as individuals.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-05-16 15:41:07 -0700
    I have purchased an ebike so I can stop driving to and from work.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-05-12 01:46:08 -0700
    The Specialized Turbo Levo FSR Comp 6Fattie Electric Pedal Assist Mountain Bike Costs $7,499 Before Tax… After Tax $8,400… Please Make E-Bikes PST Exempt!
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-05-02 11:39:22 -0700
    When im making a difference by buying an electric bike, and not polluting our atmosphere. Why should I have to pay the pst.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-05-01 17:16:44 -0700
    We are an e bike shop and this tax is not fair
  • tagged this with ★★★★ 2015-11-14 00:03:39 -0800
  • tagged this with ★★ 2015-11-14 00:03:28 -0800
  • @wrychrd tweeted link to this page. 2015-11-11 12:16:30 -0800
    My Vision: Remove the PST and Add Rebates for Electric Bikes. Sign the petition!
  • published this page in My Vision 2015-11-11 12:14:49 -0800

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