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Electric motorcycle buyers could receive a $1,500 rebate under new Illinois legislation

Paul Teutul, Sr. of Orange County Choppers rides around Columbus Circle on the Siemens Smart Chopper at it's unveiling outside the Time Warner Center Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2009 in New York.  Built for Siemens by Teutul and his crew at Orange County Choppers in Newburgh, N.Y., the Siemens Smart Chopper is the first ever custom built electric powered motorcycle.  (Jason DeCrow/AP Images for Siemens)
Jason DeCrow/AP Images for Siemens
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FR103966 AP
Paul Teutul, Sr. of Orange County Choppers rides around Columbus Circle on the Siemens Smart Chopper at it's unveiling outside the Time Warner Center Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2009 in New York. Built for Siemens by Teutul and his crew at Orange County Choppers in Newburgh, N.Y., the Siemens Smart Chopper is the first ever custom built electric powered motorcycle. (Jason DeCrow/AP Images for Siemens)

A bill moving through the Illinois General Assembly will incentivize electric motorcycle purchases.

Senate Bill 2940 is a proposed addition to the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, a monumental clean energy bill signed into law by Governor JB Pritzker last year.

Josh Witkowski is state legislative coordinator for ABATE of Illinois, a motorcycle advocacy group. He said ABATE favors the legislation.

"When it comes to the future of transportation, you should include all road users all forms of transportation. If the goal is to expand access to electrified transportation, you should be including all vehicles," he said.

The current legislation specifically excluded incentives for electric motorcycles. Witkowski said this was done because motorcycles weren't considered a "primary mode of transportation," a claim he challenges.

SB 2940 would allow for rebates of up to $1,500 for buyers of electric motorcycles. That would make Illinois one of the leading states offering incentives for purchase of the vehicles.

Witkowski said lower-end electric motorcycles run from $12,000 to $14,000, while industry leaders tend to average more around $20,000 to $22,000.

"They're out there," he said. "They are getting more and more prevalent as the price is coming down on them and the range is going up. The big thing with an electric motorcycle is if you go with one of the higher end ones, your range is almost 200 miles. And they recharge at 90 minutes, because they use Level Two car charging."

Witkowski said ABATE of Illinois also wants to make sure adequate charging infrastructure exists for electric motorcycles.

"We're talking the future of transportation. Transportation in and of itself is sitting at the edge of the biggest shift it has seen in 150 years, and there's numerous people who will tell you that," he said. "And as part of ABATE of Illinois, our job is to make sure that motorcycles are included as part of that."

State Sen. Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) is a lead sponsor on the bipartisan legislation. It passed the Senate, and now moves to the Illinois House for consideration.

Copyright 2022 WCBU. To see more, visit WCBU.

Tim Shelley is the Assignment Editor and Digital Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.