ATO rules e-bikes a tax-deductible expense - like a novated car lease

Did I miss this at the time (looks like it was made almost a year ago)? Earlier today I found out the ATO has made a ruling classifying e-bikes (and only e-bikes) as having the same tax-deduction status as a novated lease car. 

Some other info here. IANATA but the inference is you can lease an e-bike and its running costs from pre-tax income (but pay FBT on any personal use component).

Why e-bikes only I don't know, possibly as this was specifically what they were asked to rule on. But imagine if they ruling was widened to include all bicycles...

I haven't read the ruling in full, I won't get in to the debate as to whether e-bikes are "real" bikes or not (I don't care, I don't want or need one but if you do that's great and if it gets you out of a car and riding however someone else wants to classify your machine, then that's a good thing), but I think  we can all agree e-bikes aren't cars, so this new ruling on their novated lease-ability is interesting.

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Thinking how an anovated lease works they wind all the running cost into the capital costs for the lease (ie fuel, repairs etc). As there are no running cost then there is little to incorporate into the lease. Why is this important? Because they estimate the average running costs for an set distance and charge you that regardless of what distance you drive and as such, if you don't do that distance the extra charges can quickly eat up any of the cash benefits from the tax deductability. 

So if there is not issue on a minimum distance then you would not have to long trips to bring this to an level that would work. Now when it comes to FBT liability, my guess for many it is just wound into the contract which does reduce the appeal of such a financing tool. 


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