What is the operational cost of an ebike?

The long winter nights give us the possibility of thinking on important manners… :p The scientific question of today is: how much money could we save if we would change over to an ebike? 😉

Attention! We will do some maths here! If you are not interested on the details, jump to the end of the post! 🙂

We hear from every directions, that we will have tough time, an we need to prepare ourselves for more deeper financial crisis. The transportation is one of the biggest money burner, so let’s review, how much Euro we really spend with it!

Let’s assume, that we are travelling with our car to our workplace nearby. Let’s calculate what would be the earning if we would change over to ebike instead of our car!

The calculation of the car‘s cost is easy; we have the distance and the average consumption, so we can calculate the fuel cost. We have the taxes and the insurance too, I will use an average middle category car for this overview, but you can update the data with yours later on. And we have one more cost element, let’s call it amortization (hopefully we don’t have too much economist among our readers…). In that bucket we have all the “additional” costs, like the value decrease of the car (that is the lost of the price of our used car on the market), the maintenance costs, and so one, so all the costs which comes from the fact, that our car is getting older.

And we have our electric assisted bicycle, which we love as we can ride with 25 km/h without sweat in our city. Let’s assume that we have a bike already, we need to purchase an ebike kit to upgrade it. So we have the cost of that. And we have to charge the battery of the bicycle, it’s also easy to calculate. If we have a battery with 36V 10Ah and we charge it for 5 hours, than the energy consumption is 36V*10Ah*5=1800W or 1,8 kW. Let’s multiply it with the cost of one kW we pay for the utility company, and we have the cost of one battery charge. In our example this is 30 euro-cents. The range with one charge can be seen in the user manual, or from your own observations; this is between 50-100 km – depends on your bike.

We also need to calculate with the amortization cost here; we take the cost of the kit and divide by the number of years we will use it. As the ebike kits have not too much expandable parts, you can count with 5-10 years lifetime without any problem. We have to watch out the battery cost, as from the first usage of the battery chemical processes will start which will limit of the lifetime of the battery. The manufacturers guarantee the number charging  cycles or the number of years the battery used – from the two parameters the first, which will occur (like 500 charging cycles or 4 years). Based on our experience, if you ride more than 7000 km/year, you should count the charging cycle instead of the years. The battery cost should be split through the years.

Well, we have our data now. I put everything in a table. To have some fun, I added the cost of yearly public transportation ticket in Budapest too… (Click to magnify!)

May I help you in the result? The car transportation cost you 9-times, the public transportation 2,5-times more as with ebike. But we can see also: if you have the chance to ride for 6-7 months per year with ebike instead of sitting in your car, you already saved the cost of your ebike refurbishing kit investment! And after that you will save over 1000 Eur money every year!

And we didn’t mentioned the healthy and environmental aspects…

Of course I know, that this is all theory, but I still suggest you to try our calculator (you can adjust the green fields) with your data! Do you have an idea how to spend your savings already? 😉