The Cost of Maintaining an Electric Bicycle
If you are reading this article, you probably already know what an ordinary or typical bicycle is or what it looks like, you just wish to know a little more about its electric variant and what it actually takes to own and manage one. Your case or concern could also be that you have heard about or have been seeing people around you riding the electric bike (e-bike) all around town and you are curious about the difference between these new inventions and a normal bike, a fueled motorcycle, or as a matter fact other means of transportation.
Do not worry too much, you are in the right place, here, we are going to shed some light on the basic things you need to know about an electric bike, such as the variants, the qualities available, the lifespan, the spare parts such as the pedals, crank arms, propelling chains, headlight, tires, and most importantly, the batteries and how long a charge can take to wear off depending on its quality.
Cost of Purchase
It is good you know that an electrically powered bicycle is much more expensive than an ordinary one; this is apparently due to the expense of the design, the wiring, the motor or mini engine, and again, the battery power. And just as it is with other human utilities, electric bikes have grades and qualities, we are saying this as it relates to the longevity of the battery and some other components that make up the machine.
In making a choice of the type of bicycle you want to buy, the purpose of purchasing the bike should first be ascertained. In other words, are you planning on using the bike for just recreation, travel to workplaces, or just for the beauty of owning one? You should also consider the duration of time you wish to use the bicycle for. These factors will help you to make the right choice. Make sure to also check our electric bike buyer’s guide!
Depending on its grade and quality, a 2016 Cruisers e-bike’s average cost is about $3,050 and could range from about $1,500 to $7,900, while a Mountain e-bike’s average cost is about $4,150, and could also range from $1,200 up to $9,000. You only enjoy as much as your money can buy right?
Longevity in our terms for the purpose of this project will be as it relates to the battery of an electric bicycle. Depending on the purpose for which you are purchasing this type of bike, the lifespan of the power you will need for your bike may vary. For example, for that person who needs his bike for business purposes, he will need a battery with a better and long lasting longevity since he will be using it for a long period of time. However, the case of a person who only needs it for recreational purposes, he may not need to go for a battery that will last as long as that of a person using it for business purposes. And someone who only wants to have it for the beauty of it, the lifespan of the battery wouldn’t require much concern to him or her.
Consequently, as you may have already started guessing, the cost of a battery with high capacity is relatively higher than that of a low one. Practically, a premium electric bike battery costs from $500 to $800 to replace. Also, due to the advantage we have in this age where technology has greatly improved, especially that of the lithium cell technologies, some batteries can last up to a period of 15 years.
For example, where a basic or ordinary battery that costs $200 will only last for a period not more than 3 years that of an advanced one that costs $400 can last up to 10 years if well managed. One will observe that an advanced one usually pays off in the long run, especially for a long time user. Also, branding can greatly determine the cost of spare parts. For example, Bosch eBike systems are well engineered and quality products where you can be sure that you will get great quality for the price tag, but the price tag will be high. a 500Wh Lithium battery pack by Bosch will cost you around $900.
Electric Bicycle Compared to the Normal Traditional Kinds
Electric Bikes are not so different from the ordinary ones, as they both offer almost the same forms of benefits such as the fact that they both do not have to be licensed or insured (depending on local regulation) they allow users to easily maneuver through tight traffic, generally save cost, and indirectly or directly exercise the body for fitness purposes.
However, some differences and possible advantages the electric bicycles have over the ordinary ones cannot be ignored. Some of these differenced obviously include the battery and the amount of energy a user needs to exact on the pedals in order to propel the bike forward. One major edge or advantage an electric bike has could be the ease or efficiency in climbing hills or running against the wind combined with better range compared to the ordinary ones. In other words, riding an electric bike on a rough path or a hilly road requires less stress.
Also, it has been observed that e-bikes allow users to cover much distance in fewer periods of time than the ordinary bike would. With an electric powered bike, you can extend your capabilities and go for longer trips or climb hard mountains, even if you are not a hardcore cyclist.
Note now that “every magic comes with a cost”, in other words, an electric bike is not without lapses or disadvantages. One of these is the cost of acquiring or owning one. An e-bike is usually way more expensive than the ordinary one. Although they may use the same kind of tires, headlights, brake pads, or have almost the same servicing modes, the major difference is the cost and maintenance of the battery, which may need to be replaced and of course recharged over and over.
So what is the cost of maintaining an electric bicycle? Let’s make a short calculation:
- Cost of the electric bike: Let’s consider we are not going to pick a high-end bike, the purchase will set you back around $3000
- Basic maintenance cost of a bike (annual): $40-$100 based on your location
- Cost of battery: A premium eBike battery lasts around 5-8 years and will cost you about $700. If we calculate with 5 years, that means a $140 annual cost. (which is covered for your first battery which comes with the bike.)
- Charging costs: Let’s see a 400Wh average battery: 400Wh = 0,4kWh. Average US price is 12C/kWh which means a full charge of the battery will cost you: 0,4*12= 4,8 cents. If we are assuming you are commuting every day with your bike and it requires a full charge, that equates to $17,52 annual cost. Which is pretty damn low.
- Also consider, that you don’t need to pay for car insurance and road taxes.
- (maintenance) $100 + (battery) $140 + (charging) $18 = $258
To make sure your bike is safe, also consider a high-security bike lock! Read our buying guide to find the best bike locks!
The initial costs are much higher for an electric bike, but as you can see, the annual maintenance cost is only higher because of the battery itself. If maintained correctly, a premium battery can easily last up to 7 years, which will push your annual costs down.
I hope you have found the article useful. The calculations are based on general costs, which can differ based on your location. However, owning an electric bike is affordable if you can take the higher initial costs.
If you have any questions or remarks, please let us know by commenting. Also, share it if you found it useful! 🙂