How Much Does an Electric Bike Cost ?
After your detailed research, you decided to buy your electric bike but wondering how much does an electric bike cost? Or better at least how much. You don't want to overpay but don't want to buy a poorly build e-bike too.
An expensive electric bike doesn't automatically mean a good quality e-bike but a very cheap e-bike means that it is a low-quality electric bike.
COST OF BUYING AN ELECTRIC BIKE
I will cover the most important parts and how much they shall cost in an electric bike.
ELECTRIC BIKE MOTOR COST
We discussed it earlier about the differences motors of electric bikes. There are two main types of motors; mid-drive and hub motors. And hub motors can be grouped into two as direct drive motors and geared hub motors. Basically, the costs of motors are like this;
MID-DRIVE > GEARED HUB MOTOR > DIRECT DRIVE MOTOR
Mid drives are more complicated than hub motors where they use several internal gears to add extra torque and power to your e-bike. They have more complicated printed circuits, electronic semiconductors, mechanical structure. Also, they need special frames. That is why mid-drives will cost more.
Whether you need a mid-drive depends on you. If you need to commute for long distances or climb steep hills then you will need a mid-drive. But if you plan to ride a short distance on the fairly plane area then a hub motor will serve your needs.
Besides that don't be fooled with motor claimed values by electric bike companies. Unfortunately, it is a trend in recent years for companies to label their motors with unbelievable motor power and torque values. There are bikes with Chinese hub motors such as Bafang which claim to have 750w motor and 80 Nm torque. These values are unrealistic. Best way to check if the motor. whether it is a good motor, is to check some review sites who cover and compare motors.
ELECTRIC BIKE BATTERY COST
Your battery is going to be your single most expensive component in your e-bike. So you have to understand very well if you are getting a good quality battery.
What sets one battery apart from another one is how much range it can provide, how long you can use it and it's safety features.
Most expensive component of a battery pack is the cells used inside. Generally Panasonic, Samsung and LG are the popular good quality cell manufacturers. Electric bike batteries using such cells will cost more than the ones using Chinese Cells.
Also, each of these brands has a different line of products for different purposes. Samsung has a 29E series of cells which are produced specially for Electric vehicles which can have high discharge and 26F cells which are produced for e-cigarettes which can't have high discharge.
The difference among those two will be how long can you use it. If you ride fast or climb steep hills your e-bike will suck more juice from your battery. In such case 26F series' internal chemistry will change as they aren't produced for such purposes. And your battery lifecycle will be shortened.
An electric bike battery life cycle is measured in terms of full charges. If a battery costs $450 and gives you 600 full charge, when the life cycle is shortened by 30% it will cost you extra 135$.
CHECK CAREFULLY WHICH CELLS YOU HAVE IN YOUR BATTERY PACK.
Another important part is what kind of BMS (Battery Management System) does your battery use. There are BMS in the market which cost around $12 and also there are others which cost $60. We at Ariel Rider always use a high-end BMS as that is one component which affects life and range of your e-bike. To understand the role of BMS please read our recent article.
DRIVE TRAIN, GEAR AND BRAKE COST
Many of first-time e-bike buyers don't pay attention to drive train as much as they pay attention to the motor. But they play a big role in performance, range and cost of your e-bike.
Just to give you a basic reference an entry level 6 speed Shimano gear will cost somewhere around 35$ and a Shimano Internal Hub Gear will cost around $148 from the factory. Such cost difference, of course, is going to affect the performance and cost of your e-bike.
Internal Hub Gears also have lower maintenance costs. Everything is sealed inside the hub so they are less vulnerable and needs less maintenance. So owning an e-bike with internal gears is going to be cheaper to own.
Hydraulic Brakes are going to cost more than mechanical Brakes but also they have many advantages such as easier to operate, better brake performance and longer life cycle (As they have closed system). I strongly recommend all riders to look for an e-bike with hydraulic brakes. We stopped selling electric bikes with mechanical brakes for the last 2-3 years as we see a great value for our riders even this decision affect our margins. Hydraulic brakes cost around 2-3 times more than mechanical brakes.
WHERE DO YOU BUY?
This is the biggest cost you need to pay attention to. If you buy your electric bike from a store, expect to pay 40-50% more as the store profit margin. So you pay extra 800$ to the store when you buy your $1700 electric bike from a brick and mortar store compared to you buy it direct from online.
Sure there are advantages of buying directly from the store but also comes with disadvantages too. Name a few of them are;
- Higher Price Tag
- You need to have all repairs and maintenance in that shop at their claimed labour fee (most charge labour even under warranty). Otherwise, your warranty will be violated.
COST OF OWNING AN ELECTRIC BIKE
This is the part going to leave a smile on your face. After you buy an electric bike, other costs of owning one are very cheap. Almost close to none to be honest.
how much does it cost to charge an electric bike?
Most important cost of owning your battery is charging it. Especially if you have an efficient mid-drive motor like ours, your e-bike is going to cost less to ride. It costs 4-5 cents to charge your battery. And with a full charge, you can go around 60 - 80 miles.
how much does it cost to ship an electric bike ?
When you buy your Ariel Rider from us, it cost $0 to ship your e-bike in the continental USA. We cover all shipping costs.
how much does insurance on an electric bike cost?
I can hear that you are surprised to hear about needing insurance on your e-bike. Actually, it isn't compulsory but totally suggested to have insurance on your electric bike.
There are different coverage levels but a basic one will cost around $100. You can check markel insurance about it.
MAINTENANCE COST OF YOUR E-BIKE
Electric bike maintenance cost depends on your skills. If you are comfortable with tools and skills in electronics your maintenance will cost very little.
But don't worry even you ask your local bicycle mechanics to change your brake pads, it won't cost a lot compared to changing gears of your car.
Besides you need to do regular greasing on your chain which will cost you around 10 cents/year.
THINGS TO PAY ATTENTION BEFORE BUYING AN ELECTRIC BIKE. DON'T BE FOOLED!
1- 18650 Cell technology
Some electric bikes claim to have 18650 cell technology the same as the ones TESLA uses. This is a marketing technique and you need to be careful about it. 18650 isn't a battery technology, it is battery geometry code. 18 mm. diameter and 650 mm height is called 18650 battery.
2- Motor Power and Torque Values
Some motors have very rich motor watt power or torque values. As an e-bike manufacturer, we have the chance to try almost every single e-bike motor and can easily say that most of those values aren't true. Do your research and check whether the motor you buy really provide such values.
Is Watt power nominal or peak power output.