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How Much Does Charging An Electric Bike Cost?

If you’re thinking about getting an e-bike, you’re probably aware of the significant upfront costs. While expensive, you do get quite a bit of convenience from these powered transporters. But, when it comes to upkeep, what should you be aware of? Since the battery is most likely your main concern, how much does it cost to charge an e-bike?

It costs anywhere from $0.04 and $0.10 to charge an e-bike’s battery on average, and as little as $10 a year. Battery size and local price of electricity will affect the overall price. With the right cords, you can use wall outlets, car batteries, or even portable battery packs to charge them.

Of course, other upkeep costs will still play a role in the overall price tag for using your e-bike. Things like repairs are often more expensive due to the extra parts and accessories. Ready to learn how you can calculate your bike’s charging costs? Read on to learn more.

How Much Will Charging an Electric Bike Cost?

man changing electric bicycle battery

When we’re talking about e-bikes, you always need to factor in several elements to get a clear picture of what upkeep really costs. One cost that often gets overlooked is the cost of the electricity used to charge the battery.

So, what factors play into how much energy a battery needs to operate reliably? Moreover, how can you get a good idea of how much it will cost to charge your e-bike?

The main factors involved in determining charging costs include the size of your battery, how often you need to charge your bike, and the cost of electricity in your area. If you have a good idea of these above factors, you can get a good estimate of overall costs. On average, though, you can expect to spend around 4 to 12 cents on a full charge.

The first thing you should know about is the difference in the costs of energy. As this is going to depend highly on where you live, judging overall charging costs can be difficult.

If you live in an area with high energy costs, you can assume you’re going to be paying more to charge your battery than if you lived somewhere with more reasonable electricity costs. Below, you’ll find a table to help you determine charging costs.

BatteryVoltsAmp HourCosts
XP-Power (on Amazon)36 V13 AH$0.042
Lectic XP 2.048 V9.6 AH$0.046
Joyisi E-Bike Battery (on Amazon)52 V20 AH$0.104

Note: For this table, we’re using the average price of electricity, which is around $0.10 per hour.

As you can see, for the larger batteries, you’re going to be paying more for each charge. But, with that extra juice, you are probably getting more bang for your buck in terms of range. This will depend on the size of your motor and on whether your e-bike is full-throttle, uses pedal-assist, or both.

If you live in an area with higher electricity costs, you can expect that number to increase as well. Overall, though, even if you had to charge daily for the large battery option, you’d be spending around $37 a year.

How To Calculate the Cost of Charging Your Battery

While there are other aspects of e-bike upkeep that can get costly, there’s no denying that charging your bike is the most frequent maintenance task you’ll have to keep up with.

Even with the costs of charging, you’re still getting more efficiency than, say, a car. In fact, a lot of research has shown that e-bikes are by and large the most energy-efficient form of motorized transportation.

But, for those of us who want to nail down the costs of charging an e-bike, what do you need to know?First, you’re going to need to figure out the capacity of your battery. The capacity of your battery will be measured in watt-hours, or Wh.

If you don’t see this number anywhere in the documentation, there’s an easy way to calculate it. You’ll need to find both the voltage and the amp hours of your battery, usually denoted as V and Ah, respectively. Once you have these two numbers, V and Ah, all you need to do is multiply them together. So the equation is as follows:

  • V x Ah = Wh

This number will then need to be converted from Watt-hours to Kilowatt hours. To do this, simply divide your Wh by 1,000. So, if your Wh is 374.4 Wh, the equation would look like this:

  • Wh/1000 = kWh or, 374.4Wh/1000 = 0.3744kWh

Now that we have our batteries kWh, all we need to do is find our electricity suppliers’ cost per kWh and multiply by that number. Let’s say the cost of a kWh of electricity in your area goes for around $0.10.

  • 0.3744kWh x 0.10 = 0.037

So, at this rate, you can expect to pay around three cents per charge.

Is Charging an E-Bike Over Time Expensive?

An electric charger whose light is red, a sign that it is charging an electric bicycle

It’s often the case that your battery-charging frequency will depend on how often you use your bike. If you are only using your bike on the weekends to get outside with some friends, the costs of charging will be quite negligible. However, if you use your bike as a daily commuter, you can see how things will start to add up quickly.

Let’s take the example of the Lectic XP 2.0 Battery. On average, you can expect to spend around $0.04 per charge, given the average cost of electricity in the U.S. Now, part of what makes calculating average costs over time difficult is the variables that affect range.

First, the weight of you and your bike together will play a huge role in how far you can get on a single charge. Another thing to consider is the types of terrain you intend to ride on.

Easy city streets with no elevation will give you more range than if you decided to take your bike on some trails with rugged terrain and slopes. Let’s say you can get around 50 miles on a single charge. Again, this will be relative to the user and how you intend to ride.

Now, let’s assume you are going to use your e-bike as a daily commuter five days out of the week. In total, your trip to and from work is around 30 miles. In total, you need to ride around 7,800 miles in a year. That’s about 260 charges or 21 charges per month.

If it costs us around $0.04 per charge, that’s about $0.86 per month or around $10 per year. Compare that to the costs of operating a car, and you can see why so many people are opting for e-bikes over other forms of motorized transportation.

What Other Electric Bike Costs Should You Know About?

While battery charging costs are certainly a factor, you should be aware of, that’s not the only thing included in e-bike upkeep. To help you get a real grasp of the costs involved in owning and using an e-bike regularly, we’ll walk through some other common factors that add up over time.

The first thing you want to be aware of is the costs of e-bike insurance. While this is not a necessity for owning an e-bike, it’s often a great idea. This can save you if you have an issue with your e-bike or end up in an accident. On average, expect to fork over around $70 to $100 per year for quality e-bike insurance.

Another cost you’ll want to understand is maintenance. Since e-bikes operate with motorized parts, you’ll need to regularly take your bike into a shop that will cater to e-bikes.

If you don’t, you could end up with even costly repairs or replacements down the road. A six-month checkup at your local bike shop will vary in cost but can end up being around $75.

It’s also worth noting that batteries don’t last forever. In fact, even after a few years of use, it might be time to replace your battery.

This will, of course, depend on how often you use your bike, your charging schedule, and the quality of the battery. On average, though, expect to spend around $400 on a new e-bike battery.

Can You Charge an Electric Bike from a Car Battery?

Electric bicycle battery being charged from RV campervan using solar energy and inverter system

If you don’t have reliable access to a power outlet, you might be curious if there are other ways you can charge up your e-bike. While you should always follow manufacturer instructions regarding how to properly charge your battery if you’ve got a little electrical know-how, you might be curious if you can use something like a car battery to charge up your commute.

Here’s the thing: you can pretty much charge a battery with anything as long as you’ve got the right connection. With car batteries, you could theoretically charge your e-bike up with one. We would not recommend this, as it could do some damage to your battery.

If you can find an attachment that will allow you to connect your car to your battery, that might work. Some cars will offer ports for USB chargers. If this is what your bike’s battery needs to charge, then you might be able to get it to work.

This is going to depend heavily on the kind of energy that your car’s output power ports have. Again, we always recommend following the instructions set by your battery’s manual.

This will depend on the type of battery, too. Some newer batteries may rely on some standard charging ports like USB, but this is not the case for all of them. For most batteries, you’ll have a dedicated AC charging brick.

If this is the case, the only way you’ll be able to use your car’s battery is with some rustic engineering, and by that, we mean connecting everything with non-recommended means.

Can You Charge an Electric Bike from a Portable Battery Pack?

If you’re thinking about taking your e-bike with you on a trip, you’re probably trying to work out how you can charge the battery on the go. While we’ve already talked about car batteries not being a great choice, what about something like a portable power pack?

While you’ll run into the same problem as the car battery, if you go with a portable smartphone charger, it could lack the proper connections; you could use something like this Jackery Portable Power Station (on Amazon). Chargers like this offer the plug-in connection you need to use your battery charging accessories.

This strategy will work but keep in mind that eventually, the charger will run out too. You’ll need to do some calculation based on the type of charger you get to establish how many runs you can get.

You may also consider just buying a backup battery to keep with you. For a few hundred dollars, you can have a backup battery charged up and ready to go when you need it the most.