E-BIKE RUNNING COST

THE COST OF RUNNING AN ELECTRIC BICYCLE

Every kilometre you ride an e-bike saves you 20 cents or more if your alternative is to drive a car. Putting that aside let’s look at actual cost.

The battery needs to be topped up. A typical battery is 36 V (volts) and has current delivery of 10 AH (Ampere Hours, ie 10A for 1 hour H). The energy content of the battery is one times the other. That is 36 x 10 = 360 watt-hours or 0.36 kwh, the units on your power bill. One kwh costs about 28 cents now, so  0.36 kwh costs 10c. Actually we need to add about 30% to allow for losses in the charger and for the battery voltage being actually about 42V . Say 13c. If that takes you 40 km then that’s 0.3 cents/km.

That’s small but the greater cost is allowing for eventual replacement of the battery. If you get 750 recharges of 40 km and a new battery will cost $360 ( I expect battery costs to go down) that comes to 1.2 cents/km.

Tyres, tubes and maintenance may cost 0.5 cent/km. ( you would be paying that to run an ordinary bicycle anyway – same for insurances etc), So cost to run an electric bike is about 2 cents/km

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