The Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) Act, commonly referred to as the “Cash for Clunkers” program, does not include motorcycles.
According to the final rule, “some vehicles — notably motorcycles — simply are not eligible under the CARS Act, either as trade-in vehicles or for purchase or lease, even though consumers have noted that transactions involving those vehicles might reduce fuel use and improve the environment.”
However, consumers are eligible to receive a voucher of up to $4,500 to offset the purchase or lease price of passenger automobiles that have a combined fuel economy value of at least 22 miles per gallon, category 1 trucks (non-passenger vehicles) that have a combined fuel economy value of at least 18 miles per gallon, and category 2 trucks (large pickup trucks and vans) that have a combined fuel economy value of at least 15 miles per gallon.
In comparison, motorcycles receive 40 to 50 miles per gallon or more, and scooters can travel more than 100 miles per gallon.
Lobbying for motorcycles, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) in June introduced legislation (S. 1248) to provide a $2,500 voucher to persons who trade in older, less fuel-efficient vehicles for a motorcycle.
“Motorcycles are inherently fuel efficient,” Sen. Casey said in announcing his legislation. “In addition to helping to spur economic recovery and protect manufacturing jobs in Pennsylvania and other parts of the country where motorcycles and motorcycle parts are manufactured and assembled, the inclusion of motorcycles in this Act will help America move away from its dependence on foreign sources of oil.”
Casey’s bill was read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance. Introduced bills and resolutions first go to committees that deliberate, investigate, and revise them before they go to general debate. Sadly, the majority of bills and resolutions never make it out of committee.
After 14 straight years of growth, sales of motorcycles in the United States declined eight percent in 2007, 10 percent in 2008, and dropped 30 percent in the first quarter of 2009, according to figures compiled by the Motorcycle Industry Council.
“We’re having the same problems that car dealers are having, and indeed we in the motorcycle industry are dealing in a green product that would accomplish some of the stated goals of the program,” MIC Senior Vice President of Government Relations Kathy van Kleeck told Dealernews. “We are encouraging senators and encouraging people to encourage their senators to co-sponsor and show a groundswell of support to Sen. Casey’s bill to include motorcycles.”
—Submitted by Guido Ebert