Is an Electric Bike Worth It or Not?

Ever since the global introduction of electric bikes, the quality and convenience of everyday travel for many people have completely transformed.

These electric bikes are much faster than regular bikes, and they also save a lot of transportation costs that people would otherwise have to spend on public buses, trains, or taxis.

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Moreover, an electric bike’s use of green technology reduces global emissions and the dependency on fossil fuels.

However, not everyone has the means to purchase and enjoy this futuristic form of transportation.

Is an Electric Bike Worth Its High Purchase Price?

An electric bike is a futuristic version of the regular bike that most of us have grown up riding.

Although the basic blueprint design of an electric bike resembles a regular bike’s, its mechanisms and technology are far more advanced.

Whether an electric bike is worth its high purchase price or not is a debate requiring discussion and consideration of many different elements and factors.

Some of such factors that could affect a consumer’s purchase decision are as follows:

  • How much range do most electric bikes offer?
  • Average top speed offered by most electric bikes in the market.
  • Availability and accessibility across the globe
  • Average market purchase price
  • Average costs of repairs and maintenance
  • Average cost of charging an electric bike
  • Use of environmentally friendly technology
  • Ease of rechargeability
  • Structural strength and expected lifespan
  • Lifespan of the electric bike’s electric battery
  • Electric battery sensitivity
  • The average weight of an electric bike
  • The kind of audience an electric bike can cater to and the benefits it can offer
  • Is riding an electric bike as good for the body as riding a regular bike is?
  • Can electric bikes replace the need for gas-powered cars?
  • How easily can an electric bike be transported?

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Before getting into the discussion of whether an electric bike is worth the hype, it is important to analyze its global success through industrial statistics.

Continue reading to learn in greater detail about whether electric bikes have been embraced by the global public.

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Are Electric Bikes Popular?

By looking at the electric bike industry’s sales and figures, it is safe to assume that the electric bike has been a global hit.

Global market analysts predict the size of the global electric bike industry to reach roughly 69.24 billion USD by the end of 2028.

 According to Forbes, electric bike sales are expected to increase from 3.7 million to 17 million year by year till 2030.

Moreover, due to the sales continuing to break records every year, hundreds of new brands and companies are entering the electric bike market to enjoy this promising industrial boom.

Many countries have heavily promoted the use of electric bikes to encourage people to shift to more eco-friendly modes of transport.

For instance, China alone was reported to have 180 million electric bikes on its streets in the year 2013.

Apart from many Asian countries, electric bikes have also greatly penetrated the European and American markets.

According to European market statistics, the popularity and abundance of electric bikes are growing every year in most European countries.

The European electric bike industry is expected to reach a value of 16.58 billion USD by the year 2026.

People are using electric bikes to get to school, and work, enjoy a leisurely ride, visit the doctor, run errands, and even travel to neighboring towns.

Moreover, with 550,000 electric bikes sold in 2021 in the USA, the North American electric bike market is expected to grow to 1.62 billion USD by 2027.

Hence, these market statistics prove that electric bikes are the future and that they certainly have the potential to replace the need for cars used by a single person.

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Factors Determining Whether Purchasing an Electric Bike is Worth the Purchase

How Much Range do Most Electric Bikes Offer?

The range of an electric bike is the term used to explain the distance an electric bike is expected to travel on a single charge.

Although the concept may seem simple, calculating an electric bike’s exact range will depend on many factors.

In general, most electric bikes offer a range of 22 to 50 miles in total, with some electric bikes even allowing a rider to cover 80 miles in one charge.

This ability to allow a rider to cover that much distance without getting too physically exhausted due to excessive pedaling makes an electric bike a wonderful purchase for people who have to commute regularly.

However, the range of an electric bike could vary significantly according to its:

Type of Battery

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There are three different kinds of batteries available in the market that can be used to provide electrical power to an electric bike. These three batteries differ on the basis of their cell chemistry.

The most common type of electric bike battery is the lithium-ion cell battery.

These batteries can store a greater amount of electric charge, offer great energy efficiency, and significantly higher ranges.

Moreover, these batteries are able to charge up more quickly and tend to retain their charging for long periods.

As a result, electric bikes powered by lithium-ion batteries usually have the highest ranges.

The other two types are the nickel-cobalt battery and the lead-acid battery. Nearly no electric bikes come with lead-acid batteries anymore. Some brands still manufacture nickel-cobalt e-bike batteries.

Why? Because these two battery types store lesser charge, offer less range, and have poorer energy efficiency compared to lithium-ion batteries.

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Battery Size

The capacity of a battery is the term used to describe a battery’s size. The higher the capacity of an electric bike’s battery, the more the electric charge it will be able to store.

As a result, it will offer a greater range.

How One Rides Their Electric Bike

If a rider depends heavily on an electric bike’s pedal assistance and does not manually pedal enough, their battery depletes quickly.

As a result, the electric bike battery’s range will drop, which means the rider will not be able to reach their destination on one charge.

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Average Top Speed Offered by Most Electric Bikes in the Market

Many people prefer traveling in cars or buses to reach their destination on time.

This is because cars and buses can go at much higher speeds when compared to walking or riding a regular bike.

However, if a person has to do most of their daily commuting within a city, taking a personal car increases road traffic and contributes to the release of harmful gases into the atmosphere.

Hence, an electric bike is an excellent choice as it allows significantly greater speed than walking or pedaling a regular bike while maintaining air quality.

An electric bike is able to travel at 15 to 30 miles per hour depending on the different pedal-assistance modes.

At the highest level of pedal-assistance, the rider barely has to do any pedaling and is able to easily travel at high speeds to get to their destination on time.

This quality makes an electric bike worth its price.

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Average Market Purchase Price

The major factor that holds back many consumers from shifting to the electric bike lifestyle is an electric bike’s high purchase price.

Most electric bikes cost three to four times more than regular bikes and can even be more expensive than small, used cars.

While most regular bikes will cost under 500 USD, the price of a simple electric bike could range between 1000 to 3000 USD, with many even crossing the 5000 USD price mark.

Hence, regardless of whether an electric bike is a fantastic mode of traveling, many people are simply unable to purchase an electric bike.

Instead, they are able to afford traveling via regular bikes or on public transportation. Hence, for such people, an electric bike is simply not worth it.

Average Costs of Repairs and Maintenance 

Apart from the one-time purchase price of an electric bike, electric bike owners also have to worry about the high repair and maintenance costs.

Unlike a regular bike, an electric bike’s mechanism and design are built around many electrical components.

These include an electric motor, motion sensors, an electric battery, an energy transmitter, regenerative brakes, an LCD display screen, and connective wiring.

Each of these electrical components contributes to an electric bike’s high purchase price and hence are expensive to repair, maintain, and replace.

As a result, many people tend to stick to their regular bikes because they simply do not agree with having to pay high amounts just to maintain a bike.

For such individuals, an electric bike is simply not worth it.

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Average Cost of Charging an Electric Bike

While a consumer can try to avoid excessive repair or replacement costs, they cannot avoid the recharging costs.

Since an electric bike runs on an electric battery, a consumer has no option but to pay to recharge one.

The cost of charging an electric bike will vary according to the per-unit price of electricity in different regions around the world.

The table below shows the cost of electricity in different countries.

Name of CountryPer Unit Price of Electricity (USD)

As shown in the table above, charging an electric bike in Germany would be significantly more costly than charging in China.

This information provides the reason behind China being the biggest user of electric bikes in the world.

Hence, for a Chinese consumer, an electric bike is certainly worth the purchase. However, this might not be the case for a consumer living in Germany. 

Use of Eco-friendly Technology

The greatest point that encourages people to shift to an electric bike from traditional gas-powered transportation sources is an electric bike’s use of green technology.

An electric bike does not depend on the burning of fossil fuels for energy. Instead, it is powered purely by electricity that can be produced by renewable sources, such as hydro, solar, wind, etc.

Apart from reducing the dependency on non-renewable fossil fuel energy sources, electric bikes have also contributed significantly to reducing the emission of GHG into the air. 

While an average gasoline-powered car and bike release 258 and 102 grams of Carbon dioxide per kilometer into the air, respectively, an electric bike only releases 22 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer.

Hence, for people who wish to reduce their carbon footprint and play their part in saving the environment, an electric bike is the best form of transportation for everyday traveling.

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The Lifespan of an Electric Bike’s Electric Battery

An electric bike’s electric battery is one of its most expensive and sensitive components. Without a properly functioning electric battery, an electric bike is nothing more than an expensive bicycle.

The average lifespan of an electric bike’s battery is about 10 to 15 years. Moreover, proper care and maintenance can increase the battery’s lifespan to 20 years.

However, doing so is easier said than done. An electric bike is a sensitive piece of equipment that loses its lifespan and range permanently due to certain practices.

For instance, riding at high accelerations, riding over rough terrains, riding while carrying excessive weight, riding with an overheated battery, fully depleting the battery before putting it on charging, etc., are some practices that reduce a battery’s range and charge storing capacity.

As a result, the owner has to incur expensive battery repair and replacement costs.

Hence, for people who do not know much about battery care or cannot afford to purchase a new battery, an electric bike may be a risky (and expensive) purchase.

Final Thoughts

Global electric bike sales prove that an electric bike is a popular and in-demand product.

However, while some people cannot stop talking about an electric bike’s many benefits, some people do not find an electric bike worth it due to the expenses attached to it. Hence, whether an electric bike is worth it or not will depend greatly on the consumer’s income and thought process.

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