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Will An Electric Bike Be Worth It For You?

With each year, electric bikes are becoming more and more popular and accessible. With prices falling into a more reasonable territory, it’s never been a better time to consider adding an E-Bike to your arsenal. But, will an electric bike be worth it for you?

E-bikes can save you thousands on commuting costs, reduce your carbon footprint, and keep you fit. Trying one out is relatively risk-free since they hold resale value well. If the cost is a bit high to you, there are e-bike conversion kits that allow you to convert an existing bike for roughly half the price of a new E-Bike.

Every rider will experience different levels of benefits and disadvantages from their electric bike. It will depend on their budget, model, commute, and riding style. Read on to find out the full details on whether or not an electric bike will be worth it for you!

How Much Can You Save Using An Ebike To Commute?

Hipster businessman commuter with electric bicycle traveling to work in city

One of the most significant advantages of electric bikes is the costs you can save over the long run. Compared to a conventional car, electric bikes are much more affordable and cost-effective. Let’s break down all the ways you can save using an electric bike.

The initial investment of a new electric bike will run you an average of $1,500. The average range for a new vehicle is going to be about $30,000 to $40,000. As you can see, the savings can be tremendous. But let’s assume you already own a vehicle.

On average, it costs just under $5,300 to own a vehicle in the United States. This number includes car payments, gas, insurance, and maintenance. The average American spends about $3,000 a year on gasoline, or about $250 a month.

With an electric bike, you’ll be saving on gas but have to charge your bike. If you were to charge your electric bike two times a day over a year, you would spend about $65 annually. Or, about $5.50 a month!

How Vehicle Fuel, Insurance, and Maintenance Costs Compare to E-Bike Costs

The price of full coverage car insurance will depend on various elements, but we’ll use $1,200 a year for our example. In most cases, electric bikes don’t require insurance and may even be covered by homeowners insurance. But, if you did opt-in for an insurance policy, you can find rates ranging from $100 to $250. With this example, you’re saving anywhere from $950 to $1,200!

Vehicle maintenance costs will also vary. Prices can add up with oil changes, tune-ups, batteries, and replacement parts. For this example, we’ll use a round number of $1,000. With an e-bike, you’ll be getting one to three tune-ups per year.

These tune-ups will vary in cost, but on the high end, you can expect about $200. You might also have to swap out your tires which can cost around $60. So for an electric bike, you’ll be spending anywhere from $260 to $660 a year on maintenance costs.

Let’s add all these numbers up!

Annual CostsElectric BikeTraditional Car
Gas/Charging Cost$65$3000
Insurance$0 to $250$1,200
Maintenance$260 to $660$1,000
Total$315 to $975$5,200

With these numbers, you could save anywhere from $4,225 to $4,885 annually! Keep in mind, this is a rough estimate, and your savings will vary.

The number depends highly on how often you commute, maintenance costs, if you purchase insurance, and several other variables. But as you can see, you will nearly always save money using an electric bike to commute instead of a traditional car.

Are E-Bikes Better for the Environment?

One of the most significant factors which draw people towards electric bikes is their environmental benefits. If contributing towards a cleaner environment is crucial to you, an electric bike will surely be worth it.

Electric bikes are far better for the environment than conventional vehicles because they don’t release any emissions. Traditional vehicles release about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year and contribute 29% to the total amount of greenhouse gases in the U.S.

Since electric bikes don’t produce any emissions, they do not contribute to environmental pollution. Without creating any emissions, or significantly less, you can reduce your carbon footprint significantly!

On top of that, electric bikes can save wear and tear on the roads. Traditional cars are much heavier, which results in more damage to the streets. This damage requires more servicing and maintenance, which in turn affects the environment even more.

It’s also important to mention; electric bikes are better for you from a health perspective. Commuting to work or around town on an electric bike will benefit your health, which helps the environment!

Yes, electric bikes are better for the environment. Compared to other methods of helping the environment, like not using straws or taking shorter showers, electric bicycles offer far more significant and tangible results. If this is important to you, we recommend getting an electric bike!

Why Should You Buy an Electric Bike?

An electric bike in nature

E-bikes come with unique advantages that are hard to find in other modes of transportation. Affordability, eco-friendliness, and health benefits all come to mind. But, why exactly should you buy one?

Cost Benefits: As mentioned earlier, you can save incredible amounts if you use an electric bike to commute instead of a conventional car. If you bought an e-bike for $1,000 and saved $500 a year on commuting, it would pay for itself in just two years. After the initial investment, you could save upwards of $4,800 a year! All these cost-saving factors can make electric bikes a sound investment.

Eco-friendly Form Of Transportation: Electric bikes are one of the cleanest forms of transportation currently available. If this is something that you value, you should definitely consider purchasing an electric bike.

Health Benefits: E-bikes offer health benefits that other vehicles can’t match. Biking regularly can decrease stress/anxiety, increase cardiovascular fitness, improve strength, and much more. These advantages shouldn’t be ignored, and you should factor them into your choice.

Enjoyment: We can’t forget the fun of riding an electric bike. The speed, power, and wind in your hair turn your daily commute into an experience! With different communities surrounding electric bikes, you can find other people who enjoy your hobby. Connecting with different people and the fun of riding can give you a more meaningful day-to-day life.

All this being said, if you can’t replace your commute or use the bike extensively, you may not receive the full range of these benefits.

However, if you’re leaning towards a purchase and have the necessary funds, go for it! In the worst-case scenario, you can always flip the bike on craigslist or eBay. If you purchased a bike like the eAhora XC100 (on Amazon), you would only lose about $100 to $150 on your initial investment. Not to mention, the person you sell it to will be able to enjoy the benefits as well.

Should You Consider an E-Bike Conversion Kit?

If you’re still on the fence about purchasing an electric bike, consider buying a conversion kit. Conversion kits are potentially the most affordable option when getting into electric bikes.

Transforming your conventional bicycle into electric is relatively easy to do. With kits offered from BAFANG (on Amazon) at under $500, you can get significant power and your toes wet in the hobby. Keep in mind that a conversion kit’s resale value won’t be as high as a traditional electric bike. That being said, conversion kits are an excellent compromise for those on the fence!

Are There Disadvantages to Electric Bikes?

We’ve talked about all the great parts of electric bikes, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have any downsides. What disadvantages can you expect from purchasing an e-bike?

Heavy Upfront Cost: Electric bikes still have a high upfront cost. With ranges from $1,000 to $3,000 for an entry-level model, they don’t come cheap. For some riders, this can be a huge turn-off. Going with a payment plan can make the upfront cost more bearable but might not be doable for everyone.

Short Battery Life: The batteries in e-bikes still have a relatively short lifespan. This short lifespan impacts all levels of commuting and how soon you’ll have to purchase a new battery. Not to mention, e-bike batteries start to deteriorate the moment you start riding. You can purchase a bike with a longer (~50mi) range, but the cost will be higher.

Charge Times: With a short battery life comes more charge times. The charge times for electric bike batteries can already be high, at around 3 to 6 hours. This long charge time, plus the frequency, is a significant downside of the current technology.

Low-Range: Compared to a conventional or electric car, the range you can travel on an electric bike is significantly lower. 25 to 35 miles on a single charge is not that great and standard for entry-level bikes. If your commute isn’t too long, this may not be an issue. That being said, this is definitely something to factor in.

Weight: E-bikes are much heavier than traditional bicycles. This weight not only impacts the overall speed but the rider as well. Transporting your electric bike can be a huge pain if it’s on the heavier side. If accessibility is something your after, you may want to consider the weight of your bike.

Maintenance: Although electric bikes are still cheaper than cars, they still have their fair share of maintenance costs. These maintenance costs add up over time and continuously lower your investment. Not to mention, if you’re not technically savvy, maintenance and repairs can become a massive headache.

All these disadvantages can add up and be a turn-off for specific riders. Keep in mind; you will always have the option to resale your bike. We have an entire article on how electric bikes hold their value. You can check it out here!

How Much Should You Spend on an E-Bike?

How much you choose to spend on your electric bike will depend on your budget and needs. The average price of an e-bike will range from $1,500 to $4,000. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t find a suitable model for under $1,000.

Budget-Friendly Options:

We have an entire article on the best electric bikes for under $1,000 you can check out here! That being said, we’ll give you two recommendations to start with.

  • The Pace 350 by Aventon is an excellent entry-level bike for the primary commuter. This bike is accessible, has decent power, and is made with quality in mind. This model comes with a 350watt rear-hub motor, an average range of 35 miles, a 5-level pedal-assist system, and easy access for any rider.
  • Another budget option to keep in mind is the XC100 by eAhora (on Amazon). The 350watt motor and 48volt battery offers excellent power, speed, and range. Coming in at $900, this electric mountain bike is incredibly affordable for anyone looking to get into the hobby.

A Great Choice:

Standard electric bikes are going to range from $1,500 to $4,000. You can expect good quality, increased power, and overall more options and accessibility at this price range. If you have it in your budget, starting in this range is a great place to be!

  • The Cannondale Adventure Neo 3 EQ Electric Bike is an excellent choice for nearly any rider. With the increased price tag, you’re paying for higher quality, accessibility, and more power. With the 64 mile range, fully removable battery, and free adjustment period, $3,000 is hard to beat!

Luxury Models:

Luxury models are going to range from $6,500 to over $10,000. These types of bikes have all the bells and whistles, are higher quality, and are incredibly powerful.

  • If you wanted to know what a high-end electric bike looked like, check out the Specialized Turbo Level Comp Mountain Bike. This bike comes in at over $7,500, making it the perfect example of a luxury model. Blue-tooth connectivity, higher range, more power, smoother rides, and turbo options make this model the Cadillac of the e-bike world!