Electric bikes are the latest innovation in bicycles. Electric bikes are priced much higher than regular bikes. There are many reasons for this. The inclusion of the electric battery, motor, and technical specifications has caused this price increment.
Let’s examine the technical details of an e-bike to better understand why it’s priced so high and the status of this technology today.
Electric mountain bikes are powered by an electric motor and can be used manually, too, similar to an ordinary bicycle. One can push the pedals when starting to bike to generate power or can turn a throttle.
The throttle enables the motor to start, which propels the bike forward. This can take the rider through different kinds of terrain without slowing down.
The remarkable thing about an electric mountain bike is that you do not need gas or fossil fuels to power your journey. E-bikes are called “pedelecs” and give the rider a unique and enjoyable cycling experience.
E-bikes are not similar to motorcycles, as motorcycles can travel at high speeds. The motor of an e-bike stops propelling when the rider reaches approximately 20 to 29 miles an hour, or whatever the bike’s set speed limit.
Speed can also be adjusted through a power switch, and the rider can accelerate, especially if they want to climb steep lanes or hills.
Uses of E-bikes
E-bikes have multiple other uses apart from biking. You can use your e-bike as an e-cargo bike if you want to haul a heavy load from one place to another.
People are also using their e-bikes to avoid parking spots, as finding parking spaces in busy cities can be quite a hassle. Ebikes can also be used to maneuver easily through traffic and congested lanes.
As e-bikes can easily be charged through renewable energy sources, these bikes contribute to a cleaner and safer environment.
Ebikes also enable the rider to receive regular exercise. This improves a person’s cardiovascular system and provides numerous other health benefits, even if one cycles for an hour or so every day. If a person travels longer distances regularly, using an e-bike is a great idea. This is because you can pedal while receiving motorized support. You will go faster and will not tire out easily.
Why are E-bikes Expensive?
E-bikes are not only useful but also fun to ride. However, there is one drawback. This is because electric mountain bike cost is much higher than regular bicycles. This is why one might be slightly reluctant to buy an e-bike.
The reason e-bikes are priced higher is that they consist of complex engineering compared to traditional bicycles. In detail below, let’s look at the specific factors that add complexity to e-bikes and their structure.
The e-bike’s main component is its motor. When a rider is riding an e-bike, the bike’s motor is powered by energy provided by the battery. The motor has a complicated engineering design that can cost a person hundreds of dollars.
The cost also depends upon the electric mountain bike’s type of motor. Common e-bikes use a less pricey hub motor. High-end e-bikes use more expensive motors like mid-drive motors. These motors are more efficient and offer a smooth ride.
Sometimes special motors also have to be made and fitted within the structure of an e-bike. Specialized labor is also required for this task, thus adding to the bike’s cost.
An electric bike’s battery is an energy pack that energizes an e-bike. The battery is supposed to be the most expensive component of the vehicle.
Initially, older e-bikes used acid or NiMH batteries, but nowadays, most e-bikes use lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are smaller in size and span 2-4 years.
Lithium-ion is also more powerful and reliable, thus increasing the performance of electric bikes. These modern lithium batteries comprise sophisticated cells and are also quite lightweight. Their innovative design gives them a longer life span than the older lead batteries.
The lithium cells in lithium-ion batteries come in a small cylindrical design and are more secure and reliable than other cells. These batteries also have a specialized battery management system. This system controls the voltage flow in each cell, and if it finds any cell being over or under-charged, it cuts off the voltage.
The performance of a battery also depends on how high the cells are wired together and the number of cells present. On average most e-bikes have around 36 to 48 volts, but packs can also be as low as 24V or as high as 72V. The 36 to 48 volts range is safe from electric shock or low voltage issues.
An Amp-hour is a unit used to express the capacity of a battery. When we multiply the Amp-hour by the voltage, it is called a watt-hour. The watt-hour can tell you how much energy can be stored in a pack. Ebikes usually have around 300 to 800 watt hours.
So, we can safely assert a good battery will have a longer lifespan and good performance. But it will also be the costlier option. The size and weight of other components of an e-bike also affect its performance and price.
Battery packs are integrated into the e-bike’s frame tubing, so it does not look out of place.
The only problem with batteries is that they may need to be replaced after a certain period. After a battery begins draining earlier than usual, it’s probably approaching the end of its life.
If an e-bike’s battery requires replacement and that e-bike model has been discontinued, the owner may find specialized battery packs difficult.
An alternate is using conversion kit batteries placed on the downtube or rear carrier rack. Care should be taken that the conversion kit battery has a similar size and weight, so it is easy for the rider to cycle.
A battery generally costs approximately 500 dollars, but the cost can double if it is a customized battery. Therefore, the manufacturing and fitting of an e-bike’s battery is a major factor contributing to high costs.
The Monopoly of the Manufacturer
When innovations enter the market, products take time to capture consumers’ attention. Therefore, when there is less demand for a product, only a few manufacturers will produce it.
This also makes room for manufacturers to demand a higher price for the product and create a monopoly in the market. Initially, e-bikes also faced this problem. Due to less competition, the manufacturers fetched a higher price from the customer.
High-Quality Components are Expensive
A bicycle’s performance largely depends upon its components. Since an electric bike depends entirely on its well-engineered components, this adds to its high cost.
Therefore, a mid-range e-bike may cost about $1000, whereas a high-end e-bike may cost up to $15000. Whenever a manufacturer wants to produce a high-quality e-bike, it uses the best material for its wheels, frames, brakes, or drivetrains.
A customer might opt for a low-cost bike, but there can be a possibility that the material used will not be of a high standard and can be fragile. The price can be low because the Manufacturer might have also used substandard material. Such bikes may also lack warranties or after-sales service.
But one should also be careful if the price of a bike gets too high. The buyer should ask the seller the reason for the price hike to determine whether the high price is reasonable or not.
It is a fact that anything produced in high quantity will have a low cost. The Manufacturer can get quantity discounts because of the large units manufactured. E-Bikes are still a niche market, and manufacturers cannot produce them in bulk. This is also the reason the price of e-bikes has gone up.
Until e-bikes are not as popular as traditional bikes, they will always be more expensive due to the high cost of components.
After you make the initial investment and purchase your e-bike, you should know about a few other ongoing costs. These costs can range from small one-offs to higher continuing costs that are important to factor into your budget. These costs include the following:
- Charging the Battery
You might think charging your e-bike’s battery does not cost much. However, battery charging costs can increase if you frequently use your e-bike. Frequent users will have to bear higher costs than those who ride e-bikes occasionally.
- Battery Replacement
Replacing your e-bike’s battery can cost between $500 to $1000. This will depend on whether you are purchasing regular batteries or specialized batteries. Battery replacement may be needed when you have charged your batteries up to 500 charges. Some high-tech batteries do not need battery replacement until the battery is charged up to 1000 times.
If you maintain your e-bike well, it will last you a long time. However, regular maintenance will also be costlier. Routine maintenance is frequently needed when your bike starts aging. You can maintain your e-bike from any nearby repair shop.
Can Ebike Costs Go Down Shortly?
As the demand for e-bikes increases, there is a higher chance their cost will decline. As demand increases, so does competition. The increased competition enables bulk production and manufacturing, thus reducing the price of a product.
E-bikes are likely to become more popular as people realize their usefulness. These bikes are great for the environment as they can easily run on clean energy and do not utilize fossil fuels. They are also an excellent option for living a more active lifestyle.
Today, electric bikes are a relatively new technology. As this technology becomes more popular and widespread, e-bikes will be produced in higher volumes, and pieces will automatically fall.
The Popularity of Ebikes Today
Market research firm NDP Group stated that the covid-19 pandemic boosted e-bike sales by 145% from 2019 to 2020. This was double the rate for traditional bicycles.
Industry experts also claimed the number of e-bikes bight in American homes numbered around half a million in 2020 compared to only 232,000 electric cars bought during that period.
The growth of e-bikes does not seem to slow down. Research conducted by Deloitte in Germany estimated the sale of at least 130 million e-bikes worldwide between 2020 to 2023. Today, e-bikes are one of the world’s best-selling electric vehicles.
Another reason that has led to the popularity of e-bikes is the development of lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are smaller, cheaper, and more efficient. They are used in mopeds, scooters, and now also in e-bikes.
The last decade has seen a resurgence in urban cycling. Multiple bike-sharing programs are also being planned within districts. This lets people try electric bikes without buying one, thus adding to the popularity of e-bikes.
Today e-bikes also allow us to get active. They provide the moderate physical activity one requires throughout the day and help you burn calories.
One study showed that e-bike participants burned 344 to 422 calories per hour, depending on the motor assist levels of the bike.
Could e-bikes transform urban transit? This is something to think about. If you live in a busy, bustling city with everywhere you need to be close by, could e-bikes replace short car trips? If so, this will dramatically lower the cost of e-bikes.
With more manufacturers and higher demand, there will be more competition. Consumers will be able to purchase high-quality electric bikes at a lower cost.
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My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric Vehicles (Electric Cars & Electric bikes) caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric cars and bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my electric vehicle (e-bike and electric car). Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric cars and electric bikes. Check out more.