Owning an electric bike is a different ballgame from owning a traditional bike, especially when it comes to cost. Electric bikes require a larger initial investment with additional charging and maintenance costs that traditional bikes don’t need.
But despite their higher price, electric bikes are the new favorite way for the public to commute, explore the outdoors, and get some great exercise. When buying an electric bike, it’s important to consider what kind of bike you’ll want so you can budget accordingly. Whether you need a lightweight e-bike for just an everyday commute or are looking for something high-powered with versatile use cases, there’s an electric bike out there for everyone!
The average cost of an electric bike is between $2,000 to $3000. However, prices range as low as $300 or as high as $8,000 or more. This all depends on the type of ride and the brand you’re purchasing from.
High-end electric bikes can even cost up to $10,000–these generally have unique or luxury features that increase the cost significantly. From a practical standpoint, the performance and utility of high-end ebikes will not differ greatly from more affordable alternatives. That said, some are willing to 4x the cost for a slew of bells, whistles, and gizmos. If a brand-new electric bike is not within your budget, you can also look into the used bike market for a good model that’ll serve you well.
There are also other ways to finance your electric bike purchase. For example, many employers offer commuter benefits that can be applied to electric bike purchases. Most ebike brands will offer some sort of financing option through a 3rd party like Affirm or PayPal at check-out. Make sure to conduct plenty of research and visit multiple stores to scout out the best possible deal.
Once you’ve got your hands on a good deal, you will need to account for additional costs that come with owning an electric bike, such as maintenance and charging.
Like traditional bicycles, electric bikes wear out over time and require upkeep. They have some different components than conventional bikes, such as motors, batteries, displays, and controllers, some of which require extra attention.
Here are some typical maintenance costs you will encounter:
- Brake adjustments, which cost between $20 and $30
- Patching a flat tire, which costs anywhere between $1 (if you have a patch kit) to $20 (with a mechanic) per fix
- A regular tune-up (at least once every six months or after 500 miles), which can cost between $75 to $100
Battery and Charging Costs
It is recommended to replace your battery every 700 to 1000 charges. Depending on the model and type of battery, this can cost you between $350 to $800. You also need to account for charging costs–for every 1,000 miles, charging can cost about $1.28 to $4.28.
How Far Can an Electric Bike Go on a Charge?
How far an electric bike can travel on a charge depends on many factors, such as the weight of the rider, the terrain, and the battery type and size.
Most electric bikes can typically travel between twenty to sixty miles on a single charge. Some high-end models, however, are designed to travel more than one hundred miles on a single charge. These bikes are ideal for commuters who travel long distances regularly but also come with a higher price tag.
Other Important Components for E-Bikes
Besides maintenance and charging, here are some important additional components you should invest in:
- A battery charger: A spare battery charger is great to keep at your office or locations you often commute to avoid battery anxiety on your return trip.
- A second battery: If your bike uses a removable battery, consider investing in a second battery, especially if you plan on cycling long distances.
- Protective gear: This includes certified helmets, mirrors, bells/horns, lights, and various weather-appropriate outerwear. In certain states, helmets are a legal requirement when riding e-bikes, but we recommend them anyway to minimize the risk of injury while traveling.
- A bike lock: Always invest in a heavy-duty bike lock to protect your bike if you plan on storing outside, even for a short time. Depending on the features, model, and strength, these can cost anywhere from $45 to $150.
Finding the Right E-Bike
When exploring different bike options, it’s important to determine what you need the bike for. If you’re planning on purchasing your bike for commuting, try not to get carried away by purchasing a high-end electric mountain bike with additional features you may not need.
Save that extra cost and invest it in maintaining your bike, instead, so that it can serve you long-term. If you want to ride your bike through snow, singletrack trails, or rugged terrain, the extra investment in a high-quality electric mountain bike will be worth it.
At the end of the day, there’s more to the cost of an electric bike than its price tag. Maintenance, security measures, and charging are all cost considerations you should understand before purchasing your first electric bike. It’s also a good idea to have a basic understanding of how e-bikes work before making your first electric bike purchase!