Imagine getting to know a destination at a handle-bar level, exploring the nooks and crannies along the way, stopping at places you wouldn’t have stopped in a car- all of that while experiencing the tremendous adrenaline that comes along with being active.
Wouldn’t that be great?
Well, electric bikes- commonly known as e bikes- effectively kick it up a notch. Since their re-emergence about 20 years ago, electric bikes have progressively gained massive popularity and now, they’re lighter, more attractive, and more powerful than ever.
On that point, however, one big question among e bike shoppers is “how much does an electric bike cost?” Well, we can’t just give you a number- to dissect this- we really have to kind of explore electric bikes and what goes into them.
Nonetheless, what we can say quickly off the bat is that electric bikes can range in costs from as low as $600 to as high as $10,000. But still, that’s a really big range and can be confusing to the buyer.
So, if you’re in a hurry and hard-pressed for time, here is a quick summary.
The cost of an electric bike can vary widely from as low as $600 to over $10,000.
Generally, though, not many quality e bikes fall under the $1000 price range, with most mainstream models costing between $1500 and $4000.
The battery and electric motor featured by an e bike add significant cost to the entire item, which is the main reason why electric bikes tend to have such a higher price.
Similar to regular bikes, you will normally get what you pay for, as more premium electric bikes contain more expensive components and overall better warranty.
It is really cheap to charge an electric bike battery. In fact, we’ll be talking about a few cents per charge.
How Much Do Electric Bikes Cost?
Well, we know you’re curious, so in this section, we’ll provide you with a rundown of what these costs look like, detailing the major factors that go into determining the actual cost of buying and running an e bike.
First, the actual cost of an electric bike will most likely depend on the type of riding you’re looking forward to, what sort of convenience you’re interested in and the quality of the ride you want to achieve.
The cost of an electric bike can range anywhere from $600 to $10000. However, as previously mentioned, you will hardly come across quality e bikes for under $1000, as most mainstream models cost between $1500 to $4000.
Major components such as the electric motor and battery always add substantial costs to the bike, and this is the primary reason the price tends to vary so much.
Meanwhile, just like traditional bikes, you will simply get what you pay for. Premium electric bikes are usually equipped with top-of-the-line components and a better warranty.
Expensive components and engineering can get the cost of an electric bike even past $10,000. In fact, one of the most expensive purpose built ebikes you will come across is the Optibike Carbon Fiber R15C, which comes in at around $13,900.
It’s a beast of an ebike designed for the very demanding E-Mountain riders, with sufficient power and battery storage and a top speed of 35 mph.
On the other side of the spectrum, lower-cost electric bikes fall under $1000. What you will be getting here is a lower-quality model and components with no extra features.
Such a tradeoff of cost savings versus quality could be realized in the use of off-brand batteries, minimal durability components, and little to no warranty.
Now that you have an overview of how much does an electric bike costs, let’s get closer to the various major components that play a key role in determining the overall price of an e bike.
These include the electric motor, battery, drive terrain, and bicycle components and materials:
The motor power and operation capabilities offered by an electric bicycle mean a lot when it comes to the overall cost of the bike. Usually, the better the motor, the greater the performance capabilities, and thus the more expensive the electric bike is.
Despite sharing the same e bike technology, the motors you’ll see on modern electric bicycles come in two basic variants: mid-drive motors (which are positioned at the center of the bike’s frame) and hub motors (which are located at the front or rear hub).
Higher-rated motors commonly found on expensive e bikes generate more torque than those with lower ratings. That means you can expect a snappier, more responsive, more adaptable motorized riding experience.
However, it’s important to note that amount of power ratings you need on your motor depends largely on the type of ride you’re looking forward to and the terrain on which you’ll be ridding.
For example, if you reside in a place with a lot of steep hills and harsher conditions, and you want something to get you through without necessarily having to pedal, then you’ll be wise to invest in a more powerful motor.
Still, the power output isn’t the only detail worth consideration. For instance, a mid-drive and a hub-driven model can both be rated as 750 watts but in a real sense, they provide very different capabilities to get you up a steep hill.
This is because a mid-drive motor may, let’s say, have a mechanical advantage or overall greater electric bike technology and thus generate higher torque in comparison to a hub motor. So always keep an eye on torque in addition to watts.
Riding range, represented by the battery capacity in watt hours is yet another key factor that affects e bikes’ prices. While older second-hand e bikes may have varied chemistries, the majority of the electric bikes today are packed with lightweight, rechargeable lithium batteries,
In any way, the main aspect that differentiates one battery from another is how much distance it can endure before requiring a recharge.
Some manufacturers design their models in a way that allows users to boost the riding experience by adding more batteries or having a replacement battery pack. For example, you can increase the 750-watt hours- which is the maximum limit in most countries- by tossing in more batteries.
These are normally attached externally, and of course, such upgrades and customizations will elevate the price further.
Note that the actual distance you will get out of a single battery charge depends on several different variables. These include the weight of the bike itself, rider’s weight, steepness, presence/absence of a headwind, motor-generated power, and human power applied.
For instance, if you pedal for most of the ride and maintain low-level motor power assistance, you’ll get more miles out of your battery charge than you would if you utilized the motor as the sole source of power throughout the entire ride.
Likewise, a person whose ride to the grocery store is entirely on flat ground will enjoy more distance out of the battery than a person who has to cruise up several steep hills to get to the store.
Electric Bike Components
The presence of all other non-motorized and non-electrical bicycle components employed on an e bike is another crucial factor that dictates electric bike cost.
Fundamentally speaking, most electric bikes are made of components that are lightweight, efficient, yet strong and durable to deliver more sustainable performance than cheaper, lower-quality parts.
Premium derailleurs, for instance, shift quicker and smoother and are often more lightweight, sturdier, and cheaper options. Similarly, higher-end suspension forks are generally stronger, more rugged, and respond to changes in terrain more smoothly than cheaper options.
The point here is to get an electric bicycle made with quality components and technology that correspond to the type of riding you want to achieve. This is how you ensure your bike is reliable, efficient, and fun, in addition to limiting maintenance costs.
Much like a conventional bicycle, e bikes configuration is comprised of derailleurs and mechanical gears.
If you upgrade to a mid-drive configuration, you’ll possibly create room in the rear wheel, which will bring about more refined transmission, less maintenance, and fewer chances of components being damaged.
On the flip side, however, these benefits come at a premium and can easily add hundreds of dollars to the bike cost.
Last but not least, the actual material employed in the making of the frame also affects the overall price of the bike. Electric bikes’ frames made out of low quality, less durable materials will generally be cheaper compared to higher quality frames, developed from stronger, robust metal alloys.
Electric bicycles with strong, reliable, and lightweight frames are generally comfortable and responsive and deliver sustainable riding performance. Of course, this will also affect the price range but considering overall construction, investing in a high-quality model becomes an easy recommendation.
Cost of Charging Electric Bike Batteries
The average cost to charge an e bike is 7 cents, which might add up to an average of $29.38 per year. How frequently you’ll need to recharge your battery depends on several factors but they all tend to come down to the electric bike system and the use of pedal-assist applied.
The time it takes to charge your electric bike will however depend on the type of the battery as well as the type of charger you’re using. Smaller amp charges usually take longer to charge. Similarly, larger batteries are likely to take longer to charge than smaller ones.
Understanding the Right Price for Your E bike
Well, it seems like there’s a bike out there for any occasion. Some feature really small wheels- probably for easy to pick up and storage- while others are almost like mopeds or motorcycles, boasting over 100-mile range capability, incredible max speed, and even regenerative brake adjustment.
Coming down to price, the top end goes with mountain bikes. So if you’re planning for a serious off-road ride, then you should opt for a premium electric mountain bike. The assistance on lengthy climbs will boost your riding and enable you to cruise further and for longer than before.
However, if you’re planning to ride the bike mostly on the road, then an electric road bike or hybrid might be an excellent option for you. You simply don’t need a mountain for that purpose. But if you’re looking to take a ride in snow or such or rugged conditions, you will most likely need a flat-tire model.
But still, not everyone’s interested in going head to head with coarse off road bends or mountain trails. In fact, you can cut your daily commute costs and improve your overall health with a folding electric bike. It is a money-saving investment and an increasingly popular choice.
Folding electric bicycles are generally associated with a shorter range but their compact design and the convenience of being able to easily pick up and load in a train or a car boot makes them an ideal choice for most people.
The Bottom Line
Riding an electric bike is similar to riding a traditional bike; except that it features a few extra components that necessitate charging. In terms of price, the most common e bike models in the market today range from $600 to over $8000. This is the most rational price range as to how much does an electric bike cost.
But as we have seen, there’s far more to the cost of an electric bike than the sticker price. Upgrades, maintenance, charging, and security measures are just some cost factors you should keep in mind before heading to your local bike shop.
If you’re looking for an electric bicycle for the purpose of commuting, you will most likely save more than a little by purging season tickets for the fun of power-assisted pedal power. Meanwhile, if you’re considering an ebike for regular use, spending a little more can be a nice move.