An electric bike offers a cheap and convenient means of transportation. But as it runs on electric battery and that needs charging, you might have asked yourself this question several times: How much does it cost to charge an electric bike? Well, to get the right answer to that, you have to account for other factors. It is important to consider the replacement cost of electric bike batteries since they won’t last forever.
My goal in this article is to break down all the numbers for you. With a cost of 5 cents per charge and $21.17 per year for electricity, the US is near the lower end of the scale. The cost is not as low as China or India, where it costs just 3 cents a charge, which equates to barely $13.03 per year to keep an electric bike charged, all year.
However, a lot of other variables needed to be taken into account while estimating the cost. It varies depending on battery capacity, voltage, and the local electricity rate. Voltage and capacity of batteries with higher voltages are more expensive to charge.
Are Electric Bike Batteries Expensive?
If you are considering buying a new battery for an electric bicycle or need to replace an old electric bike battery in an existing bicycle, knowing the cost of a new battery is of utmost relevance. How much do they cost? Let’s look at the details.
A new high-quality electric bike battery can cost anywhere between $500 and $900+, depending on the brand and capacity. A 400-700wh battery would fit this description. For example, the following 350 watt electric bike would cost you around $800, of which a hefty portion goes directly to the battery.
Compared to high-quality off-brand batteries, name-brand battery packs are significantly more expensive per Wh.
How Much Does It Cost to Charge an Electric Bike?
You’ll need three pieces of information to know how much does it cost to charge an electric bike. There’s a method to calculate the charging cost of your battery manually as well:
- The battery voltage
- The amp hour of the battery
- Your local electrical rates
Your battery should have a voltage and amp hour rating. For whatever reason, if it’s not listed, try looking it up online, in the manual, or with the manufacturer.
You can easily find your local electrical rates by checking online. In case you are having trouble finding it, you can contact your local power company or check your electric bill.
Now, to calculate cost per charge:
- For watt-hours (Wh), multiply voltage (V) by ampere-hours (Ah).
For example, 48V x 8.8Ah = 422.4Wh.
- In order to calculate Kilowatt Hours, divide the Wh (from step 1) by 1000.
As an example, 422.4 watts divided by 1000 equals 0.4224 watts
- Calculate your local electric rate per KWh by multiplying the KWh (from step 2)
For example, 0.4224 KWh x $0.1284 (2019 USA average) equals 0.05423616 or approximately 5.4 cents.
How Much Electricity Does It Take to Charge an Electric Bike?
In general, the battery usually requires 500-800 watt-hours (equivalent to 0.4 – 0.8 kilowatt-hours) to get charged, depending on its capacity. Based on a $0.10/kWh rate (in the US), a charge that lasts 20-80 miles will cost you 5-8 cents.
How to Reduce Electric Bike Battery Cost?
Grab a more efficient battery, if applicable. For instance, consider switching to a lead-acid to a lithium-ion battery if this is relevant. Don’t look for a new battery, and dispose of the old, just to get a few more miles from 1 charge. It would be more expensive overall to do this, and it would also have a negative impact on the environment. You probably realize how discarded batteries affect the environment if you own an electric bike.
If you are not particularly eco-conscious, and you are reading this to save money at all costs, then why not make use of someone else’s electricity? You can bring your battery to work and get it charged there. Let your boss know that it does not cost more than 5 cents to get your job done.
How would you go about implementing regenerative breaking into your electric bike setup? Even though reduced electricity consumption may result in short-term savings, they will not be enough to support your children through college or provide a good return on investment. However, it could decrease your overall charging costs by a little. According to several sources, regenerative braking can increase the range of your electric bike by 5-10%. This translates into a cost-savings opportunity for electricity.
Take fewer showers! Listen to me out before you dismiss my explanation as flimsy. A bicycle, powered by electricity, requires less effort than one by gas Therefore, you’ll likely sweat less. Take note of this tip, especially since electric bikes are inexpensive and showers are incredibly energy-intensive. Showers typically consume 8-10 kWh, which is 21 to 27 times more energy than the battery in our example. Therefore, a 3-minute shower could cost more than a full electric bike charge.
You can get better deals by shopping around. Switching electricity providers is one of the quickest ways to reduce your bills. A higher rate per unit (kWh) will reduce the overall cost of charging your battery.
Charge at off-peak hours, depending on your plan. During peak times, energy providers usually offer discounts to encourage customers to use less energy during off-peak hours (approx. 9 pm to 7 am). Now would be a good time to charge your battery.
Finally, of course, it goes without saying, resort to renewable energy to charge your battery when feasible. More and more households are taking advantage of the long-term environmental and electricity savings that come with renewable energy devices. You will have peace of mind knowing that you’re minimizing your carbon footprint, even if the savings aren’t substantial on a single battery charge for an electric bike.
As you have perused through this write-up, I hope you are no more scratching your head wondering how much does it cost to charge an electric bike. I believe you have a clear idea that an electric bike is one of the cheapest modes of transportation. You should also consider things like tires and inner tubes as costs. If you use your electric bike at the lowest power level, you can greatly extend your range and even ride your electric bike without a battery.
No matter where you are in the world, there is no doubt that charging an electric bike is extremely inexpensive when compared to other modes of powered travel. For the price of one tank of gas, you could keep your electric bike charged and moving for a year or more.