A selection of bikes from Tam Bikes and Mad Dog & Englishmen. Courtesy images.

As is evident from a stroll on Miller Avenue or the Mill Valley-Sausalito multi-use path just about any time of day, the popularity of e-bikes has exploded in recent years, and looks to continue to surge for years to come. 

The data says it all: the pandemic bike boom boosted e-bike sales 145 percent from 2019 to 2020, according to the market research firm NPD Group, and industry experts, industry experts put the number of e-bikes Americans brought home in 2020 somewhere around half a million, while Deloitte projected that between 2020 and 2023, 130 million e-bikes would be sold worldwide. That would make e-bikes — not cars — to be the world’s best-selling electric vehicle, according to the New York Times.

And lucky for local e-bike lovers – and even those intrigued by what the fuss is all about – Mill Valley has two of the best e-bike shops in the Bay Area, if not statewide, with Tam Bikes and Mad Dogs & Englishmen, both on Miller Avenue.

And if the Democrats are able to finally pass the long-sought Build Back Better Act, the e-bike surge might lift off into the stratosphere. BBB is likely to include a $4.1 billion tax break for people who buy electric bicycles. Representative Jimmy Panetta, Democrat of California and another proponent of electric bike subsidies, told the NY Times that the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee drafted its section of the bill, provision by provision, and no one objected to the e-bike measure, which would cover 30 percent of the cost, up to $900, to, as he put it, “put butts on bikes.”

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