Electric Bikes are getting more popular every year and right now the tech vs the cost is at a great point. Besides speed and battery life, the most common question is how much is an Electric Bike?
How Much Is An Electric Bike?
Electric Bikes can be had for as little as $300 or as much as $10,000 and up. However, the average price range for E-Bikes is from $1,200 to $3,000. Within that range, you can get a great selection for leisure, commuting, and mountain biking.
What Is The Cheapest Electric Bike?
You can buy an Electric Bike for as little as $300 online or at big box stores like Walmart and Target. While an E-Bike at that price might be very tempting we don’t ever suggest going this low.
At under $600-700 you’ll be getting literally the worst quality components available for every single part of the bike. Spending more really does pay off with a quality E-Bike lasting years and giving you many advantages over a standard pedal bike.
How Much To Spend On An Electric Bike?
We think the sweet spot for the best Electric Bike for the money is around $1500. It depends on what use you’ll need but it’s possible to get a great ride and good range at this price.
For around $1,000 to $1,500 you can get a great range of commuter or leisure options. For eMTBs and road bikes you’ll want to look at $2,000 to $3,000. As you spend more money you’ll increase the range, power, looks, and features.
Spending more really does make a difference with E-Bikes and paying more will pay off in the long term. Less weight and a more efficient motor lead to faster rides, less charging, and the peace of mind that comes with a safer, longer-lasting bike.
The Lockdown Effect
One timely thing to mention is that the demand for bikes – both electric and pedal – has never been higher. With the number of people wanting to get outside the house, there are literally waiting lists for popular models.
As a result, prices are up across the board from 5-20%. The lockdown not only affects buyers but manufacturers. Most E-Bike and normal bike parts are made in countries with large factories and cheaper workforces. China and Taiwan are mainly out of their lockdowns but they’re also recovering economically and wanting to claw back some of their losses.
On top of that, there are slowdowns and increased safety and shipping cost increases around the world. This also applies to other goods but the popularity of Electric Bikes isn’t looking to slow down in the next year or two.
Is An Electric Bike Worth It?
Electric Bikes offer great value for money in lots of different ways. As more people switch from their normal or perhaps pick it up for the first time we honestly think E-Bikes are going to change a lot of lives.
Here are some examples of when E-Bikes can really be worth the money: –
As a commuter, you can often end up saving money by buying an E-Bike. If you can replace the cost of a car, gas, maintenance, road tax, insurance, and more there are massive savings to be had.
Dodging traffic can save you time and it’s possible to entirely avoid traffic jams and late marks. Some people also find that the very gentle exercise allows them to at least bump up their weekly steps or in some cases save the cost of a gym membership.
If you are switching from a standard pushbike there are still a bunch of benefits. You can save time and make your commute shorter – time is the most valuable thing we have. Not being late, not having to shower at work, wearing your work clothes on the ride, and not worrying about hills are big improvements.
Downhill + Mountain Biking
If you value the time you get out on the trails, an E-Bike can help you massively. The time and effort taken getting back up to the top of a downhill track is the big issue here. With an E-bike, you might double your runs and still have energy on the drive home.
Having an E-Bike means getting out and about takes no effort. If you remember the first time you got a car and experienced the freedom – it’s very similar. This is especially so if you are a little older or have reduced mobility.
Being able to get to a friend, grab a coffee and a croissant, or get out for a ride at the park whenever you like is so liberating. The mental and physical health benefits that come with the reduced barrier of access to biking are huge.
Is It Worth Converting My Bike To An E-Bike?
You can get a decent E-Bike conversion kit for around $300 to $600. With a little work on your part (or from local bike techs) you can get the benefits of an Electric Bike at a knockdown rate.
E-Bike conversion kits are popular, with the Chinese company Bafang making great motors and batteries widely available. You might need to think about where you’ll mount the parts and how you’ll manage cables but conversion is definitely worth a look.
Why Do Electric Bikes Cost So Much?
Electric Bikes have a lot of specifically developed parts that are being refined year by year. As well as that there are a few upgrades to the normal components that are a must: –
Electric Bike motors are normally the single most expensive part of a new purchase. There are companies like Bafang that make a great range of cheap to expensive motors that can be bought by end-users or used on pre-built bikes.
The higher ends motors from the likes of Bosch and Shimano are designed with a lot of thought. Their power output and streamlined design mean they are often integrated into the frame of Electric Mountain Bikes and come with very clever software.
Controller & Software
The “brain” of an E-Bike makes a big difference to its speed and responsiveness. It can be as small as a sensor that picks up your pedal and adds power.
The better controllers use many sensors to give really good responsiveness, taking into account the angle, type of terrain, and battery usage, and can be finely adjusted. Built-in displays, or Bluetooth apps also add cost as they need to be programmed and updated.
The battery on an E-Bike makes up a good chunk – around one-fifth to a quarter – of the initial cost. A decent fast charger is normally bundled and adds a little extra.
Electric Bike battery technology is getting better and better thanks to the popularity of Li-ion technology. While we’re at a great price point right now, prices will continue to go down as capacity increases get better.
There are promising alternatives that may see future production – but right now Li-ion is the king. It balances longevity, power output, re-usability, and charge time well.
Purpose Built Frame
Some cheaper E-Bikes use the exact same frame as a standard bicycle and can be manufactured cheaply in bulk. Others are specifically designed for the battery, motor, wiring, and controller to be almost hidden within the frame.
Frames also need to be built to withstand more force because of the added weight of E-Bike parts. More expensive E-Bikes look almost exactly like a high-end bike because the tech is so well hidden.
Normal Bike Parts
Cheap bikes use cheap parts. Cheap gear shifters, derailleurs, and cranks don’t last as well and don’t transfer power as efficiently. The same goes for wheels, tires e.t.c.
A bike with better-designed and lighter-weight parts will make a massive difference in the quality of the ride and how long your E-Bike will last. For E-Bikes specifically, the chain needs to be of a higher standard to withstand more force put through it.
What Else Do I Need To Buy With An E-Bike?
You’ll probably need a helmet, high vis stuff, bike tire pump, a little bike, and tire repair kit or multi-tool, lights (if not included), plus U-lock, chain, or other security systems. All of this can be picked up for around $200 or less with the main costs being the helmet and lock.
Read our full guide to E-Bike Helmets
You might want to get a bike bag, pannier rack, or other cool attachments like a GPS system or phone mount.
Insurance for Electric Bikes is also well worth it because of the increased risk and cost of the bike being stolen. Accident and personal liability insurance can also be included.
How Much Does It Cost To Run An Electric Bike?
The main cost after buying an E-Bike is charging the battery. Depending on where you live and how much you ride this is generally fairly cheap. See the next question for the full answer…
Longer-term costs include general maintenance, as well as eventual battery replacement. Bike parts wear but you can do small checkups every few months to make sure you have good tire pressure, the chain is lubed, and brakes and parts are aligned.
Brake pads also need replacing, tires and inner tubes get punctures and need repairing or replacing too. Chains for E-Bikes deal with more torque and pressure so may need replacing more often with higher quality versions.
A reasonable yearly cost for E-Bike maintenance is around $60. This includes a bike technician doing a check-up and replacing a tire or fixing small issues. If you take good care of yourself you could do this all yourself with internet bought parts for way less.
Eventually, the maximum charge that the battery can take will drop. Depending on use and care you can expect two to four years from your battery before needing to replace it. Batteries range from $120 and up depending on the model though will get cheaper over time.
How Much Does It Cost To Charge An Electric Bike?
It costs around 8 to 15 cents to charge an average-sized E-Bike battery from empty to full. It’s literal pennies and you’ll generally charge the bike once or twice a week if you use it daily.
Charging to full generally takes from 3 to 8 hours but you probably won’t charge from empty to full very often. It’s also better for the battery to have smaller top-ups regularly with bigger charges every few months.
Will E-Bikes Get Cheaper?
In the very short term because of lockdowns – probably not. In the medium to long term, Electric Bikes are going to get much cheaper, more efficient, and lighter.
Read our full article on Will Electric Bikes Get Cheaper?
In 10-15 years we expect E-Bikes or electric-powered small personal transports like scooters to make up a huge portion of travel.
Is There An E-Bike Subsidy / Grant?
There are some subsidies in the form of tax or cash rebates, car replacement schemes, tax write-offs, and straight-up grants or loans for many E-Bikes. It depends on where you live but this can reduce the initial cost of buying an E-Bike quite substantially.