E-bikes have been the point of debate for a while now.
Some people believe e-bikes are an excellent means of commuting. They neither cause environmental pollution like other vehicles nor tire you out like traditional bicycles. But some people are still doubtful about their worth in relation to their prices.
Why Electric Bikes Are So Expensive
E-bikes are priced higher than traditional bicycles. But why? Because their electrical components are expensive, depending upon the quality. For example, the higher an e-bike battery’s quality, the higher its price.
Other expensive components include motor, motor controller, battery charger, etc. Plus, they also involve extra costs like ground waterproofing.
Prices of E-Bikes
The prices of E-bikes vary significantly. They are divided into three classes based on their range of prices.
- High-end e-bikes that cost above $3000 are mainly designed for a specific purpose or extensive use. For example, an e-bike specially made for mountain riding will cost more.
- Mid-range e-bikes that cost between $1000 and $3000 can easily handle regular use.
- Low-end bikes that cost below $1000 are just meant for occasional and light use.
There are always cheaper options available in the category of e-bikes. So, what’s the difference? The prices of e-bikes vary mainly due to the quality of materials used in the components like batteries, motors, brakes, and wheels. These components vary greatly in terms of durability, weight, etc.
Prices of e-bikes differ from brand to brand. Here are the prices of some e-bikes from a few popular brands.
|Gazelle Ultimate C380
|43 miles avg.
|37 to 93 miles
|45 miles avg.
|20 to 45 miles
Are E-Bikes Really Expensive?
The prices of e-bikes may seem a little too much to you. But they are still much lower than the prices of other vehicles like cars and motorbikes. Some e-bikes are even cheaper than those high-end traditional bicycles.
How expensive is an e-bike for you? It depends upon the quality of your e-bike and the intensity of your use. Let’s say you buy a high-end e-bike, but your use is just occasional; you will obviously consider it an expensive investment.
The Factors that Make E-Bikes Expensive
Yes, e-bikes are expensive when you compare them to most traditional bicycles. But what increases the prices of e-bikes? Let’s look at the factors in detail.
1. E-Bikes Batteries are Expensive
Traditional bicycles are operated only through manual power. E-bikes are a step up from traditional bicycles; they use electric power to assist you in pedaling. That electric power comes from the battery,
Batteries are the main reason why electric bikes are more expensive. The cost of an e-bike’s battery may be around $500 to $900 and above, based on the brand and capacity.
Following are the reasons why batteries increase the cost of an e-bike:
- The purchase price of a high-quality battery is high.
- Batteries also involve recharging costs.
- Batteries need to be replaced eventually. Brands that supply e-bike batteries, like Yamaha, Bosch, and Impulse, believe that an e-bike’s battery can last around 800 – 1,000 charging for two years of continuous use.
There are two main kinds of batteries: Lithium-ion and Lead-acid.
- Lead-acid batteries are low in cost. However, they are heavier and require more frequent replacements. The frequent battery replacements increase an e-bike’s total cost of ownership.
- Lithium-ion batteries are more expensive because they are lighter and smaller. They cost you more initially, but you don’t need to replace them as frequently as the lead-acid ones.
You might think that buying less expensive batteries will reduce the cost of your e-bike. However, they increase the cost of owning an e-bike in the long run. Why?
- E-bikes with cheap batteries are generally heavier, making them hard to handle. It means their performance is limited.
- Low-quality batteries need to be changed frequently. Plus, they take more time to recharge, increasing the cost of electricity consumed. Even though charging your battery is cheaper than fuel, you should still consider it an ongoing cost.
- Low-cost batteries do not last long. You need to bear the replacement cost frequently. High-quality batteries also need to be replaced eventually, but they last much longer.
2. E-Bike Motors Are Also Costly
E-bikes use a motor to assist you in pedaling, another expensive component that traditional bikes don’t have. Even the least expensive motor can cost you several hundred dollars.
Motors are expertly crafted devices that need to be specially installed on an e-bike. Their make and installation both add to the total cost of an e-bike.
The different kinds of motors include rear, hub, and mid-drive motors.
Mid-drive motors are usually the most expensive ones, thanks to their production and fitting complexity. Manufacturers cannot mass produce them; their design needs to be altered according to the size and frame of a particular e-bike.
Plus, their installation is not easy and often requires skilled labor. Hence, e-bikes with mid-drive motors are even more expensive.
On the other hand, the simple design of hub motors enables manufacturers to mass-produce them. They are placed on the wheel, so you don’t have to alter the e-bike’s frame to fit different e-bikes. Hence, they do not cost as much as the mid-drive motor.
The price of motors also depends upon their capacity. Motors with a capacity as high as 48-72V are obviously going to cost you more.
However, the range of a powerful motor is worth its cost for the people who want regular or heavy use.
3. E-Bikes are Still New
It has been a while since electric vehicles were introduced in the market. However, they are still considered a new technology in the automobile industry. Measures to make them more efficient and cost-effective are still under research.
With improvements in technology, manufacturers will be able to cut down their costs, leading to a reduction in prices.
Moreover, there aren’t many e-bike manufacturers in the market right now. Only a few brands are trying to meet the rising demand. This factor also pushes up the price of this vehicle.
More manufacturers will enter the industry over time, lowering the prices through increased supply.
4. High-Quality Components Increase Their Price
We usually have to pay more for high-quality products. The same is the case with e-bikes. The more powerful an e-bike, the higher its price. Hence, racing and mountain e-bikes are even more expensive than e-bikes intended for regular use.
An e-bike usually requires high-quality components, which means a higher cost. You can also opt for their cheaper counterparts, but they don’t last long. Why? Because they are more fragile.
Plus, they do not usually come with warranties or guarantees. It means that cheaper components end up costing you more in the long run.
Efficient batteries enable you to enjoy a longer range. Motors having high capacities allow you to utilize your e-bike to the maximum. Besides the battery and motor, other components of e-bikes also need to be stronger than traditional bicycles.
For example, the frame, drivetrains, and wheels should be durable enough to handle the weight of added components and provide a greater speed.
Conclusively, e-bikes need high-quality materials and components for better performance. Such high-quality components drive up the cost of an e-bike significantly.
Check out, Do Electric Bikes Need To Be Registered?
5. E-bikes are Still a Niche
As mentioned earlier, e-bikes are still relatively new in the market. Not many people are aware of its advantages yet, so they are not widely purchased. Simply put, e-bikes are a niche market right now.
Although their demand is increasing significantly now, it has still not reached a point where manufacturers can produce them in bulk.
With the increase in demand over time, manufacturers can benefit from economies of scale by mass-producing the components of e-bikes.
In other words, mass manufacturing will bring the cost of production down, allowing manufacturers to offer lower prices.
Are The Benefits of E-Bike Worth Their Price?
Looking at the prices of some e-bikes for the first time may shock you a little. But let’s set the record straight: E-bikes seem pricey until you look at their benefits closely.
Here are a few reasons why investing in an e-bike is a good idea.
1. They Cut Down on Fuel Expenses.
This is by far the most important benefit of e-bikes.
Most people use cars for their daily commuting needs. However, gasoline-powered cars require fuel to operate. If you switch to e-bikes instead, you don’t need to bear the cost of fuel anymore.
E-bikes work through electric power and not fuel. Although you have to pay to recharge your e-bike’s battery, the total cost of charging is much less than the total cost of fuel. That means you cut down your transporting costs to a great extent.
The mileage of these vehicles varies significantly, but it’s easy to compare how much they cost per mile.
Let’s talk with an example. Fuel for a 10-mile trip may cost you around a dollar for a medium car. On the other hand, the cost of charging an e-bike is just around one to two cents for a 10-mile ride.
2. They Don’t Harm the Nature.
Just think about the number of harmful gases emitted by other vehicles every day; you will realize why e-bikes are better in general. Isn’t a safe, zero-emission, and convenient commuting method worth paying more? It’s high time we start making environment-friendly choices for the sake of our planet.
Even though bicycles are even more environmental-friendly, you can’t travel a long distance without tiring yourself out. With motor assistance, e-bikes become a more practical choice than traditional bikes for everyday travel.
3. They Promote Fitness
The biggest misconception about e-bikes is that they do not contribute to fitness. Some people even believe it is cheating to fix a motor on a bicycle; they think it takes away the whole point of cycling.
This is not true at all! The motor is there to assist, but you still have to pedal. Although not as much, you still have to put effort and use your muscles to move forward.
E-bikes work up your body without straining your joints too much. You can also use them as a means of light exercise in situations where you cannot exert your body too much.
Conclusively, e-bikes are a great source of exercise; they pump up your body and freshen up your mind.
Will the Prices of E-bikes Go Down without Affecting Their Quality?
The answer to this question is a big YES! As mentioned earlier, E-bikes are still relatively new in the market.
With time, more manufacturers will enter the industry, increasing competition. Increased competition will automatically push the prices down.
Moreover, the demand for e-bikes is expected to rise with time. With increased demand, the manufacturers will be able to mass-produce these vehicles. The ability to buy the required material in bulk will reduce their cost of production, leading to reduced prices.
Also, the technology in the electric vehicle industry is still under development. Researchers are trying to find ways to cut down the cost of batteries by improving their efficiency.
In short, the prices of e-bikes will go down in the following situations.
- When more people realize its usefulness and their demand increases.
- When the number of manufacturers in the industry increases.
- When the technology in the electric vehicle industry improves.
Related electric bike articles:
- Can You Ride an Electric Bike After Drinking?
- How Easy Is It to Ride an Electric Bike
- Can You Take an Electric Bike on a Train?
- How to Convert a Mountain Bike to Electric Bike
- Can You Ride an Electric Bike on the Sidewalk?
Experts believe that e-bikes can transform the scene of urban transportation with a few improvements over time. They are priced higher than traditional bicycles because of their batteries, motors, and other added components. Moreover, they are relatively new in the market and still considered a niche.
The real question here should not be why electric bikes are so expensive. Instead, people should focus more on the total value for money they provide. They are a more practical option for regular commuting than traditional bicycles that rely on your stamina alone. Moreover, they are cheaper and more environmentally friendly to commute than cars.
Do not look at the prices of e-bikes alone. Take into account all its short-term and long-term benefits. This is the right way to figure out if they are a worthy investment for you or not.
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.