How Much Does it
Cost to Run
an Electric Bike?
So you’re thinking of buying an electric bike, but you don’t want to take the plunge without considering all of the costs involved, right? No problem, we’ve created this handy guide to help you figure out electric bike running costs so you can decide whether or not an electric bike is right for you.
The benefits of buying an electric bike or electric cargo bike are fairly obvious. Save on fuel prices, switch up your daily commute and avoid stuffy public transport. Imagine not having to queue at the petrol station on your way home from work! Enjoy the freedom of a normal bike but with the added battery boost for beating those tough inclines or powering away at the traffic lights.
Running an electric bike is similar to running a standard bike, except that it has a few extra components and occasionally needs charging. Your electric bike is also likely to need servicing and replacement parts a little more often than a non-electric bike if it’s used regularly. This is because you’ll likely be travelling at faster speeds than you usually do and for longer distances, meaning more wear and tear on your bike.
How long does it take to charge an electric bike?
How long it takes to fully charge your electric bike will depend on the type of battery it has, the battery capacity, and the type of charger that’s supplied. Raleigh electric bikes are powered by Bosch and come with a 300wh, 400wh or 500wh battery and either a standard 4 amp charger or a 2 amp travel charger.
As a general rule, smaller amp chargers take longer to charge. A larger battery will take slightly longer to charge than a unit with a smaller battery capacity. Depending on which combination of battery and charger you have, getting your e-bike charged could take between 4 and 6 hours.
So, although it technically takes longer to charge than it would to pump petrol or diesel fuel into your car, you can do it in the comfort of your own home, during downtime.
How much does it cost to charge an electric bike battery?
One of the main questions people have about electric bike cost is how much total charging costs are overall. Calculating exact charging costs for e-bikes as a blanket rule is difficult, as there are so many variables involved - including your electricity rate, the size of the battery, the condition and more.
How to work out e-bike charging cost
To work out how much it will cost to charge your electric bike, take the battery capacity in Watt hours, convert this into kilowatt-hours (kWhs), and then multiply that by your electricity provider’s unit price.
To convert Watt hours into kilo-watt hours, divide your battery’s number of Wh by 1,000. So, if your battery is 300wh, this converts to 0.3 kWh.
Then, use the following formula to work out the cost to charge your bike’s battery:
Your bike’s kWh x your provider’s cost per kWh = your e-bike’s charging cost
Raleigh e-bikes offer excellent riding range on a single charge - as an example, the Motus Grand Tour Hub Gear model offers up to 100 miles on one charge - so you can get plenty of rides out of your charging cost.
If you’re wondering "how much does it cost to run an electric bike?", we can help. We’ve created this handy guide to help you figure out electric bike running costs so you can decide whether or not an electric bike is right for you.
So, over the course of an average month and considering the average cost of living and other bills, electric bike running costs can be fairly minimal.
How often do you have to charge an e-bike?
How often you’ll need to charge your battery depends on a number of factors and can vary person to person. The most significant are which electric bike system you’ve chosen and how you use the pedal assistance while riding.
A 300wh battery with average usage will generally take you between 25km and 80km on a single charge. In comparison, a 400wh battery will generally last between 40km and 100km based on average usage.
For an estimate of the range of your electric bike and how long it might last compared to others, take a look at Bosch’s range assistant. As with most other technology, the more sophisticated e-bike systems are more efficient and therefore take you further on a single charge when compared with cheaper alternatives. So, it's a matter of deciding which option is right for you - our e-bike buying guide can help.
How much does servicing and maintenance for e-bikes cost?
A standard service for electric bikes lasts about an hour on average and costs £40 to £60 depending on the rates of your local bike shop. Of course, if any parts need to be replaced there will be additional costs for the parts themselves as well as the extra labour time to fix the bike.
There are so many variables that can affect how often you need to service your bike. These can include how many miles you ride, how often and on what terrain. Since electric bikes are heavier than standard bikes and often travel faster and for longer distances, we recommend servicing them slightly more frequently.
Electric bikes also have additional electrical components, so there are more parts that can wear out or be damaged which might occasionally add to the maintenance cost. The mechanical, non-electric parts of electric bikes wear out slightly more quickly than on standard bikes because they deal with greater speeds, weight and force than non-electric bikes – but not to the point where it’ll break the bank!
If you use your bike a lot, for commuting every day for instance, then servicing it every two to three months will help keep it in top condition. However, if you only use your electric bike once or twice a week, for leisurely rides, you may only need to service it every four to six months. It will also likely need charging less often, which will reduce the overall running costs.
Regular visual checks and some basic home maintenance can reduce the number of services you need. This can involve cleaning and lubricating the chain, checking all nuts and bolts are tightened and cleaning off any mud or dust from the bike’s moving parts. For more information read our guide on electric bike maintenance.
How much is safety equipment for e-bikes?
As well as factoring in the small electricity costs for charging your bike, don’t forget there may still be a few accessories that you’ll want to go with your electric bike.
The basic safety essentials like a helmet and lights are a must! You’ll be able to pick up a decent helmet from around £20, though if you’re looking for something a bit more premium the best helmets often cost from £50.
If you intend to ride on the road you’ll also need to purchase lights as a legal requirement. You can pick up a light set for around a tenner, but we’d recommend spending at least £20 to get something a bit more durable. If you want to be extra safe you can also get yourself a visibility vest, or other high visibility clothing which starts from around £15.
You’ll also probably want to purchase a bike lock to protect your new bike from theft. To get something which is capable of protecting your electric bike effectively, you should spend at least 10% of the overall cost of your bike. For insurance purposes, many policies specify that you need a proper Sold Secure lock to qualify for a claim. You may also find accessories like a pannier bag useful. Of course, all these costs would still be relevant if you were to purchase a non-electric bike - but you'd be using more energy to cycle the same distance!
How much do replacement tyres for electric bikes cost?
When it comes to electric bike running costs, one of the main things that you will need to consider is replacing your tyres. Raleigh electric bikes use e-bike specific tyres, such as the Schwalbe Energiser+.
Electric bike tyres will cost around £30 per tyre to replace. This may sound like a lot at first glance but we really wouldn’t recommend going for a cheaper option, skimping or saving money when it comes to your tyres. Electric bikes are heavier than non-electric bikes and tend to travel faster and for longer than standard bikes. This means that they need more durable tyres to withstand the extra wear and tear and help you speed around.
Decent tyres are also much safer than cheaper options, so they’re really worth spending the money on!
How long do electric bikes last?
The lifespan of an electric bike depends on several factors. One of the most important factors is the type of electric bike that you purchased in the first place. The phrase ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ definitely holds true when it comes to electric bikes. Cheap electric bikes rarely have reliable, reputable electric bike systems which often causes them to fail more frequently and reduces their lifespan overall. However, other factors such as how frequently it is ridden and how far, how often the battery is charged and how well the bike is maintained are also extremely important.
You’ll get the most out of your electric bike through regular maintenance and services, and replacing any parts as necessary. Raleigh’s electric bike warranty covers your frame for five years, electric components for two years and any standard components (excluding consumable parts) for one year.
How much does electric bike insurance cost?
If you’re buying an electric bike you may want to consider purchasing insurance. There are two main types of insurance that you can purchase for electric bikes: insurance which protects against theft and damage, or a policy which covers you for personal accidents and public liability (damage or injury to members of the public or their property).
Depending on the value of the bike you’re insuring and which type of insurance you’re looking for this could cost anywhere from around £7.50 to £15 per month. It is worth noting that in some countries outside the UK electric bike insurance is a legal requirement.
We are working with Laka to offer Raleigh customers the first 30 days of bike insurance completely free. Find out more about our Laka insurance offering here.
So, are electric bikes worth it?
Ultimately only you can decide whether or not electric bike running costs are worth it to you. It’s clear that owning an electric bike is going to be more expensive than a non-electric bike but perhaps not by as much as you’d first thought. The electricity cost of charging an e-bike battery is fairly low per month, and you'll benefit from an eco-friendly form of transport and the added pedal boost from the electric battery!
Overall, many of the costs of an electric bike are the same as those that you’ll need for a non-electric bike anyway. It’s also worthwhile considering how low the annual running cost of an electric bike is in comparison to a car or other forms of transport – if you’re able to replace your car with an electric bike you may be on track to save thousands of pounds on the average cost of travel over the years.