Electric Bike vs Gas Bike: The Battle of Pedal Powerhouses

Electric Bike vs Gas Bike: The Battle of Pedal Powerhouses

As the world moves towards eco-friendlier modes of transportation, the debate between electric bikes and gas bikes has become more prominent. Electric bikes, with their quiet and clean operation, provide a sustainable alternative to traditional gas bikes that emit pollutants and noise. On the other hand, gas bikes hold some advantages, such as longer range and established infrastructure, that make them a continued popular choice for many.

In this article, we will weigh the pros and cons of both the electric bicycles and gas bikes, delving into aspects such as environmental impact, convenience, and maintenance. With the information provided, you will be better equipped to make an informed decision on which type of bike best suits your needs and preferences.

So, are you ready to embark on a journey of discovery and find out which type of bike will reign supreme? Keep reading to find out.

Electric Bike vs Gas Bike

Electric Bike vs Gas Bike: Performance Comparison

When comparing electric bikes and gas bikes, it’s essential to examine their performance in terms of speed, power, acceleration, and handling. Let’s take a closer look at these aspects:

Speed and Power

Electric bikes can reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour (or 28 mph for class 3 models), while most regular bikes have top speeds of around 10 mph for beginners or 15 mph for intermediate riders.

This difference becomes evident when riding on flat terrain or tackling hills. However, gas bikes offer more consistent performance throughout the journey and have an easy-to-predict range based on the fuel level.

Acceleration and Handling

Electric bikes provide a smooth and silent ride, free of vibrations experienced when riding gas bikes. The instant torque available in electric bikes allows for quicker acceleration, making it easier to navigate through traffic or when needing to speed up quickly.

On the other hand, gas bikes might offer lighter weight due to fewer battery components, potentially resulting in more responsive handling.

PerformanceElectric BikeGas Bike
Speed20-28 mph20-60 mph
Range20-60 miles50-200 miles
NoiseQuietRelatively Loud

In summary, both electric and gas bikes have their own unique benefits in terms of performance. Electric bikes tend to offer better acceleration and a quieter, smoother ride experience than gas powered bikes, while gas bikes provide consistent power and an easier-to-predict range. Depending on your preferences and needs, either type of bike could be suitable for your riding style.

Environmental Impact


When it comes to emissions, electric bikes have a clear advantage over gas bikes. E-bikes generate significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions per mile compared to gas bikes. For instance, a study by the European Cyclists Federation found that e-bikes produce only 2.5 to 5 grams of carbon dioxide per mile, while electric cars emit 150 grams per mile.

Additionally, e-bikes require less food production per kilometre travelled, making them more environmentally friendly than conventional motorized bikes too.

Noise Pollution

Another factor to consider when comparing electric and gas bikes is noise and air pollution too. Electric bikes are much quieter than their petrol counterparts, as they have no internal combustion engine. This makes e-bikes a more pleasant choice for both riders and anyone nearby, reducing noise pollution in urban and residential areas.

Energy Efficiency

Electric bikes are more energy efficient than gas bikes due to the way they convert energy into motion. Electric motors can achieve up to 95% efficiency, meaning that the majority of the energy stored in the battery gets converted into propulsion.

In contrast to electric motorcycles, internal combustion engines in gas bikes typically have an efficiency of around 25-30%, wasting a significant portion of the fuel’s energy as heat.

However, it’s essential to consider the source of electricity used to charge electric bikes. If the electricity for electric bicycle comes from renewable sources, then e-bikes have a much lower environmental impact. On the other hand, if the electricity is generated from fossil fuels, the bike’s overall environmental benefit may be reduced.

In conclusion, electric bikes have several environmental advantages over gas bikes, such as lower emissions, less carbon footprint, reduced noise pollution, and higher energy efficiency. Choosing the right bike depends on your specific needs and priorities, but it is clear that e-bikes offer a more eco-friendly transportation option.

Vehicle TypeEstimated Carbon Dioxide Emissions (grams/mile)
Electric Bike7-12
Gas Bike136-192
Electric Car0-120
Hybrid Car60-120
ICE Car250-500
Electric HGV80-140
ICE HGV600-1000
Hybrid HGV300-600
Cost Analysis elec and gas bike comparison

Cost Analysis

In this section, we will break down the costs associated with electric bikes and gas bikes. We will examine the initial investment, maintenance and running cost, fuel expenses, and long-term costs associated with both types of bikes.

Initial Investment

When it comes to the initial investment of purchasing a bike, electric bikes tend to be more expensive than the gas powered, bikes. The cost of a new electric bike, complete with motor, battery, and charger, ranges from around £580 to £2,540, while a gas bike can range from £435 ($540) to £1,800 ($2238)

However, it is essential to consider that with e-bike technology, you generally get what you pay for, and more affordable options may not provide a high-quality experience.

Maintenance and Fuel Expenses

Maintenance costs for electric bikes are generally lower than those for gas bikes. This is because electric bikes have fewer moving parts than gas motorcycle, and do not require oil changes or tune-ups as gas bikes do.

Regarding fuel expenses, it costs about £0.04 ($0.05) to fully charge an electric bike, while filling up the gas tank of a gas bike costs around £2.47 ($3.07). This makes electric bikes more economical from a fuel standpoint than gas motorcycles.

Repair/MaintenanceElectric BikeGas Bike
Battery Replacement$200-$800N/A
Chain Replacement$10-$50$10-$20
Brake Pad Replacement$10-$30$10-$20
Tire Replacement$20-$50$20-$50
Motor Replacement$500-$1000$200-$500
Spark Plug ReplacementN/A$5-$15
Carburetor Cleaning/ReplacementN/A$50-$100

Long-term Costs

When considering long-term costs, it is essential to look at the longevity and replacement costs of batteries for electric bikes. A premium electric bike battery can cost between £362 ($450) and £580 ($721) to replace and can last up to 1,000+ charges. If we treat the battery cost as fuel and divide the cost by the number of charges, we get approximately £0.36 ($0.45) to £0.58 ($0.72) per charge.

Overall, based on these factors, the long-term costs of electric bikes can be lower than those of their gas counterparts. However, when deciding between an electric or gas bike, personal preferences and how you plan to use the bike should also be considered.

E-bike Battery TypeBattery Size (lbs.)Capacity (Ah)Lifespan (years)
Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4)5.5-9.36.1-143-5
Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC)5.5-9.37.5-142-4
Lithium Cobalt Oxide (LCO)5.5-9.37.5-142-3
Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (NCA)20-308-142-3
Lithium Titanate Oxide (LTO)28-323610+
CountryElectric Price (USD/kWh)Gas Price (USD/gallon)
gas or electric comparison

Legislation and Restrictions

In this section, we will discuss the regulations and restrictions concerning electric bikes and gas bikes. We will focus on the topics of Licensing and Registration, Road Legality, and Requirements.

Licensing and Registration

There are significant differences between regulations for electric bikes and gas bikes. For electric bikes, laws vary by state, and some states may require licensing and/or insurance. On the other hand, gas bikes are typically subject to more stringent regulations, often requiring licensing and registration similar to that of standard motorcycles. To understand specific laws in your area, we recommend looking into your state’s electric bike laws and local gas bike regulations.

Road Legality and Requirements

Electric bikes are categorised into Class 1, 2, or 3, depending on their capabilities and motor usage, which greatly impacts where these bikes can be legally ridden. Gas bikes, on the other hand, must adhere to strict road regulations, similar to motorcycles. These requirements include proper lighting, signalling equipment, and specific motor size limitations depending on the electric vehicle and class.

Helmet laws also vary by state, with some states mandating their use for electric bike riders, and others leaving it to the riders’ discretion. For gas bikes, helmet laws are generally stricter, often requiring helmets for all riders, regardless of the classification of the gas powered bike used.

Overall, when it comes to choosing between an electric bike and a gas bike, it is essential to consider the legislation and restrictions that apply to each type of bike. While electric bikes tend to be subject to more relaxed regulations than gas bikes, it is crucial to research your local laws and requirements to ensure a legal and enjoyable riding experience.


We often come across a lot of questions when it comes to deciding between electric bikes and gas bikes. In this FAQ section, we will address some of the common queries.

Are electric bikes more expensive than gas bikes?

Yes, electric bikes are generally more expensive than gas bikes. The average new electric bike costs about $1,500 USD, while the average new gas-powered bike costs $550 USD

How do electric bikes work?

Electric bikes do not have a throttle. Instead, the motor delivers power based on how hard you are pedalling and the chosen assistance level. The battery powers the motor, providing pedal assistance or even powering the motorized bike itself without pedalling, depending on the model.

What is the range difference between electric bikes and gas bikes?

Gas bikes typically have a much higher range than electric bikes. An average gas bike can travel between 80-100 miles on one tank, while an electric bike can go up to 25-30 miles on a single recharge.

How do electric bikes and gas bikes differ in appearance?

The main difference between an electric bike and a regular gas bike is the presence of an added battery pack, electric motor,, and in some models, a display screen. Apart from these additions, they look fairly similar.

final thoughts ebike or gas based

Final Thoughts!

In our exploration of electric bikes and gas bikes, it’s evident that each has its own set of advantages and downsides. Electric bikes shine in their quiet and clean operation, making them a more eco-friendly choice. However, their limited range can be an issue for some riders, with the average distance being around 25-30 miles on a single charge.

On the other hand, gas bikes boast greater fuel efficiency, allowing riders to cover 80-100 miles on a single tank of gas. This makes them more suitable for longer commutes. Nevertheless, the noise and emissions from gas bikes may not appeal to all, and they require the motor to be running throughout the ride.

In sum, choosing between an electric bike and a gas bike largely depends on your personal needs and preferences. Consider factors such as range, environmental impact, and maintenance when making your decision. Ultimately, both options can offer a unique and enjoyable cycling experience.

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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.

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