Think beyond the upfront purchase price, maintenance and the charging costs should be on your budget plan too.
Getting from point A to point B is an everyday necessity, but it’s up to us how we do this. If you’re tired of being stuck in traffic jams for hours or are looking for a more affordable alternative to spending $$$ on gas, you’re bound to come across e-bikes. E-bikes are outselling cars 2:1. 500,00 e-bikes were sold in the US in 2021, and the trend is expected to rise.
But, the main question new cyclists have is how much is an electric bike? High-end e-bikes cost around $5,000 (and can go up to $80,000). Mid-range, quality options are about $2,000, and you can find cheap e-bike options for as little as $600.
But, with e-bike technology, you very much get what you pay for, which is why I don’t recommend going for the cheapest ones. You need to consider charging, operating, maintenance cost, and more. Here are all the answers you need on e-bike prices, including the maintenance.
Electric bike price varies depending on the type of e-bike.
Generally, electric bikes are much more expensive than their non-electric counterparts. E-bikes are getting increasingly popular every year, which is leading to a higher volume of manufactured e-bikes. This should lead to lower prices.
As for now, the price of e-bikes depends on the type of electric bike.
Standard e-bikes are used for general riding activities and cost from $1,000 to $4,000. You get good quality with standard e-bikes, which includes solid batteries, motors, and overall engineering.
With this range of e-bikes, you get all the basic features but no bells and whistles.
Folding e-bikes are portable e-bikes. These can be used for both travel and leisure. It’s easy to fold them, keep them in your vehicle, and ride on the go. Because they are foldable, they don’t take up much space, which means they are also easy to store.
Foldable e-bikes cost around $1,500 to $4,500. These bikes are more expensive than standard ones because they have folding mechanisms.
Folding bikes usually have quality motors, good batteries, and engineering. If you’re tight on space or want an easily portable bike, this is the best option.
Cargo bikes' price range goes from $1,500 to $8,000. These e-bikes have extra features compared to standard and foldable ones.
As the name says, cargo bikes are used for carrying a lot of things. Many businesses opt for cargo e-bikes, and they aren’t usually used for leisure biking. They are durable and strong to withstand a heavy load. Their price is higher than standard and folding e-bikes because of the stronger construction and the ability to carry many items.
Off-road and mountain bikes are best for adventurers and cyclists who want to travel in off-road environments. These bikes are especially made for challenging, rough terrains, such as mountain trails.
The price of mountain e-bikes goes from $6,000 to $14,000. These bikes are made of heavy-duty electric parts, so they are considerably heavy. They make it easy to travel on uneven terrains without losing speed or power. Mountain bikes have additional components such as front and/or rear shocks, high-end derailleurs, hydraulic disc brakes, and others.
Overall, off-road and mountain bike is the most powerful out of the types of bikes I mentioned, which also accounts for the high price.
The most expensive e-bike is BlackTrail BT-01 at a price of a whopping $80,000. It’s constructed of carbon fiber, lightweight aerospace aluminum, magnesium, and titanium. This superbike reaches a speed of 65 mph, and the battery can last for 120 km on a single charge.
All of these are the e-bike qualities that drive up the price. High-end e-bikes are high-performing. They are heavy or lightweight based on intended use, have top-of-the line-motors and have long-lasting batteries that can last long distances or withstand demanding mountain terrains.
Some expensive e-bikes are custom-made, so the frame or other parts aren’t reused from other models. This means custom design, development, and testing, all of which drive up the price.
These are some of the most highly regarded and most expensive e-bike manufacturers:
These are all the parts that drive up the price of e-bikes:
Battery — Lithium-ion batteries are more expensive, light, and small. A larger battery capacity means you have longer riding time between charges. High-end batteries have at least 650 Wh. The higher the number of watts, the greater the battery capacity
Motor — A powerful motor provides better acceleration, hauling, and climbing. The motor power determines how strong the pedal assist is. The same rule applies with batteries: the higher the watts, the stronger the motor. High-end motors have upwards of 750W.
Charging time — E-bikes take two to eight hours to fully charge the battery, and most have a 20 to 40 miles range on one charge. The shorter the charging time, the higher the price.
Design — Expensive e-bikes have integrated electrical components, such as the battery, motor, and wiring.
Cheap e-bikes have fewer features, lower speed, quality construction, and design compared to expensive ones.
Cheap e-bikes have low pedaling power and light surface, their motors aren’t as powerful, and the batteries don’t last very long. Of course, this is a generalization and isn’t true for every cheap e-bike. There are some affordable models that provide good performance without breaking the bank.
These are the most affordable e-bike manufacturers:
Pro tip: A used electric bike is a great option if you’re on a budget and want a decent e-bike. Make sure to thoroughly check the bike’s condition and take it for a test ride if possible. If the budget is tight, you can also get a conversion kit and turn your regular bike into an e-bike.
These are the parts that make e-bikes affordable:
Battery — Cheap e-bikes usually have lead-acid batteries, which are heavier compared to more expensive lithium-ion. Cheap bikes also have a smaller range, usually around 250 Wh, which means lower riding time between charges.
Motor — Cheap e-bikes usually have a power of around 250W, which is significantly less compared to the 750W that higher-priced models have. Low motor power results in low pedal assist.
Charging time — Cheap e-bikes need more time to reach full charge. This can last around 8 hours. Plus, the charge lasts for fewer miles than on more expensive bikes.
Design — Cheap e-bikes have cheaper systems or mix-and-match components. These aren’t as dependable as expensive bikes, which usually have all-same brand parts. Also, the design isn’t as attractive as on expensive bikes. For example, they have an externally mounted battery and a hub motor which cost less to design than an integrated battery and a motor built into the frame.
It costs little to charge an e-bike battery, even a high-capacity battery. E-bikes have built-in batteries, and the cost of charging it can start from $1 or more, depending on how much charge your battery needs.
A battery that runs 20 to 40 miles usually costs $0,06 per charge (for full charge). This is much less compared to gas.
The cost of charging the battery depends on the battery size, weight, and charging time.
To calculate the battery charging cost, find your battery voltage and amp-hour bike rating. Use these to get the watt-hours. For example, a 40V 10Ah battery has 400 watt-hours. You should also check the electricity prices. These vary from state to state, but the average cost per kWh in the U.S. is currently 16.09 cents per kilowatt-hour.
0.40 kWh x 16.09 = 0.06436
This means you’ll pay under $0.07 to charge a 36-volt 10Ah battery.
Cost per Full Charge*
*Considering average electricity cost to be 16.09 cents per kilowatt-hour.
You should calculate the maintenance cost into the total cost of electric bikes. E-bikes tend to wear out the same as traditional bikes. However, e-bikes have far more components, such as the motor, the battery, the motherboard, and others. All of these need maintenance or replacement from time to time.
The e-bike parts that need servicing are:
You should do battery and motor diagnostics every year so as not to miss an existing issue.
Here’s the cost of the maintenance and service:
Upwards of $100
Flat tire fix
New tire tubes
Up to $20
Around $30 per tire
From $400 to over $1,000
How long your battery will live is measured in charge cycles. This is the number of times the battery can be charged up to $100. I mentioned Lithium-ion batteries are higher quality and more expensive. They can last for at least 1000 charge cycles. If you use your bike daily, this battery will last three years. The battery won’t stop working after 1000 charge cycles, but you’ll have a lower bike performance, and the battery will hold less charge.
A decent Li-ion battery costs upwards of $500. Luckily, you get the first battery for free when buying your e-bike, so you’ll have this expense once every three years.
How much you should pay for an e-bike is entirely up to you. Choose a realistic budget and pick the best e-bike in your price range.
Overall, you can get a decent bike for $2,000 to $3,000. If you’re a cycling pro, consider higher-end models priced at $8,000 upwards.
Finally, don’t forget the maintenance and charging costs. Check out the table and info I listed above to calculate how much your bike will cost you.