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$1500 Tax Credit for Bike Purchases

Old 02-16-21, 03:56 PM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
In that bill the congressman says that e-bikes are zero emission.
Classic mistake: forgot about the manufacturing and disposal.

It's there for any bike-like object, but it's quiet a bit worse with a motor and battery.

If it really, really gets used to offset vehicle miles, fine. But many are impulse purchases...
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Old 02-16-21, 04:29 PM
  #77  
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One issue I see is the lack of available e-bikes in the short run. Just before Covid-19 e-bikes were plentiful and many were offered at a discount. Today it is hard to find any bikes including e-bikes and a tax break on them will only drive up demand and make them harder to find. I agree with a tax break as long as it includes regular bikes as well as e-bikes. I am also in favor of using government programs to improve bicycling infrastructure.
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Old 02-17-21, 07:21 AM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Interesting, but unfortunately would only be for e-bike purchases. Nothing for the even-greener non-electrics?

https://www.bicycleretailer.com/indu...e#.YCP_X2hKjb0
No because it's not going to Bob two offices over out of his car, but an e-bike might.
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Old 02-25-21, 12:07 PM
  #79  
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Here's a much better way to get people on ebikes, if the goal is actually to reduce vehicle travel:

https://www.cpr.org/2021/02/10/how-c...limate-change/
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Old 02-08-22, 10:03 PM
  #80  
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If you've studied economics, you'll know the term "There are no free lunches." You may think that a $1500 tax credit is a good thing, but that credit must be made up for elsewhere, and what you think you are saving on the price of a bike you will end up paying in a different way. Tax credits are generally corporate welfare, which allow companies to sell uncompetitive products and derive their profits from the pockets of the taxpayers. Here in Japan electric and power assist bikes are popular, I have one myself, but Japan would never subsidize such things. If the product isn't engineered and marketed in a way that it can't generate sales and derive a profit on its own merit, it shouldn't be on the market.

The entire electric bike phenomenon is more marketing and hype than a viable transportation alternative. Electric bikes require much more energy to produce than a regular bicycle, energy which is produced mostly by burning fuel. Electric bikes need regular recharging, and that energy is produced mostly by burning fuel. The battery life on these bikes is not great (I know from experience), so they must be replaced over time, and the technology to recycle batteries is not advanced, most end up in landfills.

A normal bicycle is a much better option, it is easier and less energy intensive to produce, it is more beneficial to the health of those who ride it, it is easily recycled, and does not require regular recharging.
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Old 02-09-22, 12:38 AM
  #81  
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Iíd rather see it as a bike commuter credit for using any bikeóe or pedalóas alternative transportation.
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Old 02-09-22, 06:44 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
You're right - let's not do anything for anybody unless it takes care of everybody that thinks they're deserving.

You're burden shifting. If this is supposed to be targeted to encourage "green" commuting or transit, pointing out that there's several better alternatives for doing this is a legitimate argument.

My take on this is that it's a classic interest-group subsidy grab dressed up in dubious green clothing. This "incentive" will, if anything, likely improve the sales of ebikes at the expense of human-powered bikes. That means more environmental issues with battery disposal down the line.

I doubt this has any chance of getting through the Senate in this form, and the "if you're serious about the environment you'd give tax breaks to...." will be a major reason it will get bailed on.
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Old 02-09-22, 07:22 AM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by 50PlusCycling View Post
If you've studied economics, you'll know the term "There are no free lunches." You may think that a $1500 tax credit is a good thing, but that credit must be made up for elsewhere, and what you think you are saving on the price of a bike you will end up paying in a different way. Tax credits are generally corporate welfare, which allow companies to sell uncompetitive products and derive their profits from the pockets of the taxpayers.
I largely agree with your post. But I must point out that the private costs of operating motor vehicles are far below the social (=true) costs of their operation. This is due partly to very large public subsidies applied to road construction and maintenance (it's not all paid for with gas taxes) as well as significantly underpricing of gasoline here in the US. Viewed in that context, the subsidies for alternative transportation might actually restore some efficiency to people's decision-making.

Of course, it would be even better to simply eliminate all of the subsidies for motor vehicle travel, and apply more reasonable gas taxes to raise the price per gallon up to our best estimates of its true cost to the planet.
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Old 02-09-22, 08:14 AM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
You're burden shifting.
You're quoting a year-old post.
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Old 02-09-22, 08:15 AM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by Germany_chris View Post
No because it's not going to Bob two offices over out of his car, but an e-bike might.

This logic is really faulty. It assumes that the primary thing keeping Bob in his car and off the ebike is the cost of the ebike. That might be true of the off-the-ebike part, but it's highly unlikely that cost of the alternatives is the primary determinant of why Bob is in his car. Instead, I think it's far more likely that the guy at the next desk, let's call him Bill, will get off of the bus or off his human powered bike or stop walking to work than Bob will get out of his car if the cost of acquiring an ebike is subsidized, Bill has already decided that he can't or won't spend the money to commute by car, and Bob already got into his car when it was likely more expensive to acquire a car than any other alternative.

BTW, Bob could have been doing his commute by motorcycle at far less out of pocket cost than a car, if you think of the probable reasons he's not doing that, a lot of them will be similar to why he wouldn't switch to an ebike now.

This is an indirect subsidy to the ebike motor and battery makers. Subsidies are aimed at encouraging one type of purchase at the expense of making other purchases (or non-purchases) less competitive options. I think people who are making the net-good environmental arguments here need to take a harder look at what those other options actually are. Is it a good thing to discourage public transit use, walking and regular bicycling? Do we really want to increase the numbers of batteries that are going to need to be manufactured and disposed of at the expense of those alternatives?
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Old 02-09-22, 08:19 AM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
You're quoting a year-old post.

Ok, I'll change tense, you were burden shifting.

Seriously, I didn't notice the date--2021 is still not old enough t jump out at me, and I somehow missed this thread last year so didn't notice it had been bumped.
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Old 02-09-22, 08:59 AM
  #87  
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Since I didn't realize this was about a year old thread, I decided to post an update. The provision was reduced to a $900 credit, I believe it was means tested and it was included in the House version of the now-stalled Build Back Better bill.

Doubtful it's getting any further this Congress.
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Old 02-11-22, 01:24 PM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
You're burden shifting. If this is supposed to be targeted to encourage "green" commuting or transit, pointing out that there's several better alternatives for doing this is a legitimate argument.

My take on this is that it's a classic interest-group subsidy grab dressed up in dubious green clothing. This "incentive" will, if anything, likely improve the sales of ebikes at the expense of human-powered bikes. That means more environmental issues with battery disposal down the line.

I doubt this has any chance of getting through the Senate in this form, and the "if you're serious about the environment you'd give tax breaks to...." will be a major reason it will get bailed on.
^ This.
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Old 02-11-22, 01:29 PM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by 50PlusCycling View Post
If you've studied economics, you'll know the term "There are no free lunches." You may think that a $1500 tax credit is a good thing, but that credit must be made up for elsewhere, and what you think you are saving on the price of a bike you will end up paying in a different way. Tax credits are generally corporate welfare, which allow companies to sell uncompetitive products and derive their profits from the pockets of the taxpayers. Here in Japan electric and power assist bikes are popular, I have one myself, but Japan would never subsidize such things. If the product isn't engineered and marketed in a way that it can't generate sales and derive a profit on its own merit, it shouldn't be on the market.

The entire electric bike phenomenon is more marketing and hype than a viable transportation alternative. Electric bikes require much more energy to produce than a regular bicycle, energy which is produced mostly by burning fuel. Electric bikes need regular recharging, and that energy is produced mostly by burning fuel. The battery life on these bikes is not great (I know from experience), so they must be replaced over time, and the technology to recycle batteries is not advanced, most end up in landfills.

A normal bicycle is a much better option, it is easier and less energy intensive to produce, it is more beneficial to the health of those who ride it, it is easily recycled, and does not require regular recharging.
Since itís bumped.

I agree with your premise.

I heard a theory that Keynes actually thought the Gov should be funded by money printing and the actual purpose of taxes was firstly to slow inflation and secondly to influence behavior.

MMT seems closer to that than anything before.
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Old 02-11-22, 01:35 PM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by SkinGriz View Post
^ This.
Part of the infrastructure bill, starting Jan 1st 2022 you can claim 30% or $1500 (whichever is less) on an ebike purchase.
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Old 02-11-22, 01:38 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by billridesbikes View Post
Part of the infrastructure bill, starting Jan 1st 2022 you can claim 30% or $1500 (whichever is less) on an ebike purchase.

I don't think that was part of the infrastructure bill that passed. It was part of Build Back Better, which didn't pass.

I could be wrong--do you have a cite for that?
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Old 02-11-22, 02:34 PM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I don't think that was part of the infrastructure bill that passed. It was part of Build Back Better, which didn't pass.

I could be wrong--do you have a cite for that?
Opps, I think youíre right. The Infrastructure bill appears to only define what ebikes are. The now dead BBB had the ebike tax credit and bicycle commuter tax credit.
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Old 02-11-22, 02:45 PM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by billridesbikes View Post
Opps, I think you’re right. The Infrastructure bill appears to only define what ebikes are. The now dead BBB had the ebike tax credit and bicycle commuter tax credit.

The like is for being a good sport.
I had to google the commuter credit, so that's up to $20 tax free from your employer if they want to.

That makes a lot more policy sense as it incentivizes the commuter to actually commute on the bike rather than just buy the bike for whatever.

If it were up to me, I'd increase that amount and make it for all public transit, bike, ebike and pedestrian commuters. Makes sense--less parking needs to be provided by the employer. The ebike credit is just a subsidy to motor and battery makers.
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Old 02-11-22, 03:52 PM
  #94  
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some ďfoodĒ for thought for those who both advocate and are skeptical of bikes and eBikes as a means of transportation (setting aside recreational use)

approx calories burned to ride 20 miles, 0% electric assist: 800
calories in an ounce of beef: 70
ounces of beef to power a human on a 20 mile ride: 11

carbon footprint of 11 ounces of beef: approx 18 lb CO2e*

electricity required to cut the human demand in half: approx 140 watt hours.

carbon footprint of .14 kWh in the united states on ďaverageĒ : .12 lb CO2e

this is an extreme example; most people arenít eating a steak to offset the calories burned on a bike - but the point is clear. a human on a bicycle powered by beef has an enormously bigger carbon footprint of an electric bike per mile. the environmental impact of food is not as well understood as the impact of energy, but it needs to be addressed if one of the goals of getting on bikes is to reduce our carbon footprint as a society.

*i found wildly varying values for this and used the lowest one i found that appeared reputable - a prominent UK source was almost triple this


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Old 02-11-22, 04:45 PM
  #95  
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Originally Posted by SkinGriz View Post
^ This.
My point was to agree about another group of lobbyists and corporations behind them greenwashing laws into ESG and roping in do-gooders to help them out.

Once you see the pattern itís hard to unsee it. Over and over, both sides.
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Old 02-11-22, 07:13 PM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by mschwett View Post
some ďfoodĒ for thought for those who both advocate and are skeptical of bikes and eBikes as a means of transportation (setting aside recreational use)

approx calories burned to ride 20 miles, 0% electric assist: 800
calories in an ounce of beef: 70
ounces of beef to power a human on a 20 mile ride: 11

carbon footprint of 11 ounces of beef: approx 18 lb CO2e*

electricity required to cut the human demand in half: approx 140 watt hours.

carbon footprint of .14 kWh in the united states on ďaverageĒ : .12 lb CO2e

this is an extreme example; most people arenít eating a steak to offset the calories burned on a bike - but the point is clear. a human on a bicycle powered by beef has an enormously bigger carbon footprint of an electric bike per mile. the environmental impact of food is not as well understood as the impact of energy, but it needs to be addressed if one of the goals of getting on bikes is to reduce our carbon footprint as a society.

*i found wildly varying values for this and used the lowest one i found that appeared reputable - a prominent UK source was almost triple this



This is nonsense. First, on the ebike side, if you're going to count the production costs for food, then you need to count the production, distribution and storage costs for the electricity. Calculate in the energy costs of production of the battery and the engine, and probably want some accounting for the environmental costs of the rare earth mineral mining, and the disposal of the batteries.
On the human side, you really don't know whether people who stop pedaling are going to eat less. They may just put on weight, or they may just do some other aerobic activity for their exercise. People generally do some level of exercise, which is powered by food. Having that food-powered activity serve both the purpose of exercise and transportation may actually represent a net energy savings over riding your powered bike to the gym.
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Old 02-11-22, 08:03 PM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
This is nonsense. First, on the ebike side, if you're going to count the production costs for food, then you need to count the production, distribution and storage costs for the electricity. Calculate in the energy costs of production of the battery and the engine, and probably want some accounting for the environmental costs of the rare earth mineral mining, and the disposal of the batteries.
On the human side, you really don't know whether people who stop pedaling are going to eat less. They may just put on weight, or they may just do some other aerobic activity for their exercise. People generally do some level of exercise, which is powered by food. Having that food-powered activity serve both the purpose of exercise and transportation may actually represent a net energy savings over riding your powered bike to the gym.
did you read what i wrote? the carbon ĒcostĒ of producing and delivering the energy is exactly what i compared to the corresponding carbon ďcostĒ of the food.

i was speaking of operational carbon, which is of course totally different from embodied carbon. rather than saying something is nonsense, letís see the evidence which refutes the point, which is simply that depending on the food source, human energy may not have a lower carbon footprint than electrical energy.

the embodied carbon question is an important one and is entirely variable on how long the vehicle is kept for and a million other variables, but hereís a good estimate for the battery, which probably represents the majority of the difference between a bike and an eBike:

The cost of lithium batteries is around 73 kg CO2-equivalent/kWh
so, a typical 500Wh ebike battery is around 80lb of CO2e. if it lasts 10,000 miles thatís actually a very, very tiny amount per mile, even if you just chuck it in the landfill after, which i hope people arenít doing anymore.

as for gaining or losing weight, yes, of course, over time that happens. but nobody loses weight forever, which means that at some point energy in and energy out are approaching balance. more energy expended = more energy consumed. where that energy comes from matters.
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Old 02-11-22, 10:26 PM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by mschwett View Post
did you read what i wrote? the carbon ”cost” of producing and delivering the energy is exactly what i compared to the corresponding carbon “cost” of the food.

i was speaking of operational carbon, which is of course totally different from embodied carbon. rather than saying something is nonsense, let’s see the evidence which refutes the point, which is simply that depending on the food source, human energy may not have a lower carbon footprint than electrical energy.

the embodied carbon question is an important one and is entirely variable on how long the vehicle is kept for and a million other variables, but here’s a good estimate for the battery, which probably represents the majority of the difference between a bike and an eBike:



so, a typical 500Wh ebike battery is around 80lb of CO2e. if it lasts 10,000 miles that’s actually a very, very tiny amount per mile, even if you just chuck it in the landfill after, which i hope people aren’t doing anymore.

as for gaining or losing weight, yes, of course, over time that happens. but nobody loses weight forever, which means that at some point energy in and energy out are approaching balance. more energy expended = more energy consumed. where that energy comes from matters.

​​​​​​So, let's get this straight, because the main point I made about food consumption seems to have gone over your head, you're assuming that people will eat less if they pedal less. This is just likely wrong. Basically, you're asserting that the carbon footprint of humans is best limited by a completely sedentary lifestyle, when all you're really showing is that you get ridiculous numbers when you assume an all-beef diet and 10,000 mile bike batteries.

​​​​​​Look, all your chart shows is differences between the carbon footprint of servings of different kinds of foods. This has absolutely nothing to do with ebikes vs people-powered bikes and more to do with getting our protein from eggs instead of beef.

​​​​​​BTW, your figures don't add up even with the all beef diet. You forgot to add the half demand of calories back into the total co2e with the pedal assist. So if the 20 mile unassisted co2e is 18 pounds, the half reduced human demand is 9 pounds, add that to the 12 pounds co2e for the 140 watt hours assist (your figures, not mine), and you get 21 pounds co2e, a net gain of 3 pounds. In other words, the e-assist replaced 9 pounds of co2e caused by human effort with 12 pounds. Oops.

And people do tend to get heavier as they age, btw. Heavier people expend more energy just moving around. Like I said before, just because you're pedaling less does not mean you're likely eating less.

If you want to argue for reducing beef consumption, just do it. Don't make convoluted nonsense calculations about ebikes vs human-powered.

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Old 02-11-22, 11:12 PM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
​​​​​​So, let's get this straight, because the main point I made about food consumption seems to have gone over your head, you're assuming that people will eat less if they pedal less. This is just likely wrong. Basically, you're asserting that the carbon footprint of humans is best limited by a completely sedentary lifestyle, when all you're really showing is that you get ridiculous numbers when you assume an all-beef diet and 10,000 mile bike batteries.

​​​​​​Look, all your chart shows is differences between the carbon footprint of servings of different kinds of foods. This has absolutely nothing to do with ebikes vs people-powered bikes and more to do with getting our protein from eggs instead of beef.

​​​​​​BTW, your figures don't add up even with the all beef diet. You forgot to add the half demand of calories back into the total co2e with the pedal assist. So if the 20 mile unassisted co2e is 18 pounds, the half reduced human demand is 9 pounds, add that to the 12 pounds co2e for the 140 watt hours assist (your figures, not mine), and you get 21 pounds co2e, a net gain of 3 pounds. In other words, the e-assist replaced 9 pounds of co2e caused by human effort with 12 pounds. Oops.

And people do tend to get heavier as they age, btw. Heavier people expend more energy just moving around. Like I said before, just because you're pedaling less does not mean you're likely eating less.

If you want to argue for reducing beef consumption, just do it. Don't make convoluted nonsense calculations about ebikes vs human-powered.
dude, read it again. It’s not 12 pounds of carbon for the e-assist. It’s ZERO POINT TWELVE pounds. I didn’t add it back in because it’s meaninglessly small. that’s the point. The carbon footprint of the energy used by an eBike is trivial compared to meat, dairy, etc. obviously you don’t want to accept that, but the facts are out there. if you don’t give a **** about it, that’s fine, but facts are facts, even in 2022.

i also stated right up front that this is an extreme example - most people don’t simply eat an extra steak every day to make up for a thousand calories of bike commuting. my point is not to encourage a sedentary lifestyle (nice straw man, waiting for the ad hominem), or I would have simply said “burning excess calories is bad.” where the calories comes from matters.

Last edited by mschwett; 02-11-22 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 02-12-22, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by mschwett View Post
dude, read it again. Itís not 12 pounds of carbon for the e-assist. Itís ZERO POINT TWELVE pounds. I didnít add it back in because itís meaninglessly small. thatís the point. The carbon footprint of the energy used by an eBike is trivial compared to meat, dairy, etc. obviously you donít want to accept that, but the facts are out there. if you donít give a **** about it, thatís fine, but facts are facts, even in 2022.

i also stated right up front that this is an extreme example - most people donít simply eat an extra steak every day to make up for a thousand calories of bike commuting. my point is not to encourage a sedentary lifestyle (nice straw man, waiting for the ad hominem), or I would have simply said ďburning excess calories is bad.Ē where the calories comes from matters.

I'm going to plead not guilty for misreading your figure when you leave off the 0 in 0.12 and put the decimal point immediately after the colon. Good luck seeing that decimal point on a tablet or phone.

"Where the calories come from matters" is true for any calories human consume. It's true whether you're talking about calories for your basal metabolism, for putting on weight, and any calories you need to fuel any activity. There's nothing special about the bicycling example.

Also, this is a very weird measure if what you're doing is comparing the ecological impact of ebikes. You've picked a measure that no one has claimed as being its major pollutant.
I know you think this is nitpicky stuff, but there was a conference paper by some economists that went viral a few years ago that used the kind of invalid statistical reasoning you're doing here to "prove" that bicycle commuting had a worse environmental impact than the use of a small hybrid car. Once you start putting out bogus statistics like how much CO2 is put into the atmosphere by a beef-fueled bike, you really have no control over how those numbers are going to be used. I suggest you stop it if you actually gaf about the environment.
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