Electric bikes have become a popular choice for those not wanting to drive, but also those who would like a little bit more power than that of a self-pedal bicycle. They’re also popular with those who cycle for a hobby. Electric bikes, or ebikes, provide a clean mode of transportation which don’t use harmful fossil fuels. However, a lot of potential buyers become stumped when looking for a bike to purchase because the costings can be quite erratic and they end up unsure regarding how much electric bikes should cost.
The technology is developing all of the time, which means the prices fluctuate pretty fast, year on year. They also tend to maintain a higher price point due to the technology inside an electric bike, which consists of a motor, sensor and battery.
How Much Are Electric Bikes? Costings Explained
As you’d imagine, there’s quite the scale depending on which bike you go for. At the very bottom of the scale, you can expect an electric bike to cost around $600 (£435), and at the utmost top end of the scale they can cost $8500 (£6.1K).
Realistically, most bikes are around $1500 (£1080) to $5000 ($3.6K). You don’t want to buy one which is too cheap because the performance won’t be there, at the same time, buying one at the top end of your costing might mean you’re overpaying for features you might not need. So, what can you expect, realistically, from each price point:
Under $1500 (£1000 and less)
Really the entry point to electric bikes. There may be a few hobbyists or occasional cyclists who love the bikes in this category. For the main, you should buy one in this category if you intend to ride it over even ground in sunny, good weather. Again, catering mainly for occasional hobbyists.
Unfortunately, the electric system on these kinds of bikes is nowhere near good enough for daily riders and the parts will be substandard. Think about it. Lithium ion batteries are pretty expensive, then you add in the other vital components of a bike such as the digital display, motor, sensor, pedelec, potentially a throttle, then the manufacture of the bike itself. Plus, the manufacturer needs to make a profit…it doesn’t take much to realise that these level electric bikes are created with the lowest quality materials available.
Aslo, the materials available will likely need replacing at some point, and if it’s the battery, this can cost you around $500 itself. The battery might be ungraded, so check the standard your country or area certifies them to. For example, if you’re in the EU it should certify to EN15194 whereas in the USA you’d be looking for UL2849 certification. Also, the warranty, if offered, won’t last as long. So although the upfront cost might be cheaper, you’ll end up paying more. They may also weigh a little bit more because they may not use lithium ion batteries, instead using nickel or lead acid which in some cases can weigh as much as the frame.
Around $1500 (£1100)
Here you can expect a solid bike, but nothing special. Make sure you check the components and battery, ensure there’s a decent warranty and shop around properly to find the right bike for you. It’s a decent budget, but for daily cycling or commuting, and even for weekend cycling long term, you’d be better off purchasing a more expensive ebike.
From $1650 to $3000 (£1200 to £2180)
Most people buying electric bikes will purchase in this price range. If you’re buying in this range you’re usually cycling everyday, whether for work or fun, and you’re using the batteries often. It’s probably where the market is at its most competitive, meaning you can get a brilliant machine for a fair price.
At this price point you start to see the bigger brands which are priced at the higher end of the range, along with brilliant lesser known brands from Taiwan or China. You’ll probably have your eye on a Bosh, Panasonic, or Yamaha, which are the leaders at the price point.
The batteries you pay for in this range are far better. You should expect, and you should check, that they’re 36V lithium Ion batteries which use cells from high grade manufacturers like Sony, Samsung or Panasonic. You’ll also want to check the warranty, and ensure you’re getting nothing less than two years, and more if you can. Most offer two years but there are exceptions. These batteries will likely give you anything from 30-70 miles depending on how intensively you use the battery, and of course on the battery itself. If you’re willing to pay more you can sometimes get up to 100 mile electric bikes, but make sure the batter is around 800wh otherwise it just won’t happen and the manufacturer is exaggerating somewhat.
Also, remember that most tests are done on low settings, so if you’re planning on using full assist mode, you’re going to have way less range.
At this price point you’ll be able to look at better extras too. You’ll get a better braking system, likely hydraulic, as well as nicer reflectors and lights, a fancier and more comfortable seat as well as higher class suspension which is vital if you’re buying a mountain bike. Look for Rockshox or Suntour in particular.
For a great electric bike experience this is how much you’re going to want to spend. Of course, if you have the budget, you can push on further still.
$3000 to $5000 (£1200 to £3630)
You’re in the premium range now, where you’re looking at the better branded bikes along with top brand components. You’ll also see some of the less known brands who are smaller and more niche, but offer a superb riding experience. If you’re wondering how much an electric bike with specialist frames, full suspension, and hydraulic brake discs costs, then this is your bike cost. At this price point, you can even commission or build the bike yourself on a specialist cost, but for that you’re looking at the higher price range rather than the lower end of the costing scale.
$5000 plus (£3630)
There are more high end bikes being built and marketed all of the time. At this point, you’re usually looking at custom jobs where high quality bikes are being synced up with the best kind of electrical components, giving you the best of both worlds.
In the main, for this money, you’re looking at a carbon fibre frame. However, for the most part, you won’t see the quality increase too dramatically.
How much should you spend on one
In short, in regards to how much a bike will cost, you’re looking at, if you want a decent build bike for everyday use, anything upward from $1500 (Approx. £1000) with an emphasis on the fact that you need to be extremely careful when spending low amounts. With that said, you need to look at your own budget and use that to determine how much you should spend on an electric bike.
How Much Do Electric Bikes Cost To Run
You have to charge electric bikes, meaning they do incur a slight running cost. However, it’s extremely cheap. You’re looking at around $7 (approx £5) for 1000 miles of powered riding. So sure, you have to technically pay to run an electric bike but in reality, it’s extremely cheap.
This being said, for many commuters their workplaces will let them charge their ebike at work, meaning it’ll cost you nothing depending on your circumstance.
Electric Bike Insurance
Electric bikes can be pretty expensive so a lot of people decide to get their ebike ensured. This means you’re protected from theft, or from damage, whether incurred by yourself or someone else, depending of course on the cover you choose.
The amount you pay will depend on the cost of the bike. But let’s take an average of $2700 (£2000). On average, you would be paying $12 (£9) a month for full coverage, which isn’t much for peace of mind. You should use an insurance calculator to find the best deal near you, and it’s usually cheaper if you buy yearly over monthly.
A Solid Bike Lock
If you’re going to be parking your bike at your place of work, or if you don’t have a garage to store the bike in overnight, you’ll need to invest in a solid bike lock. There are so many locks to choose from, but you’d be best to consider a Sold Secure approved lock. Do this and you’ll know they’re up to standard. For one of these, you can expect to pay around $150 (£110) depending on how solid you want or need the lock to be.
Electric Bike Rider Safety
You’ll need to invest in protective gear for yourself too. A helmet is necessary, and depending where you’re cycling, riding without one can get you into trouble. You might also want to purchase waterproof and reflective clothing for the bike. If you’re using a class three with a strong throttle, you might even want padded clothing in case you come off the bike at speed. You can get all manner of quality in regards to the clothing you choose and the amount you spend is up to you.