Running costs

What is the cost of running an electric bike? 


Electricity cost -  A 36Vx10AH is about 0.3 KWh (360 Wh), and your electricity supplier sells you 1 KWh for about 17c (in NSW).  A full recharge taking you about 50 to 60kms is therefore about 6 cents or about 0.1c/km.  Assuming your battery charger is 70% efficient, this gives approximately 0.17c/km, or about 1 Aussie cent per 5 to 10 kms.

People often forget about the battery cost -  Typically, lithium nano phosphate batteries last approximately 1000 to 2000 charges.  Let's take the lower range of 1000 charges and a pessimistic range, given varying rider abilities, loads and terrains, of about 40 km per charge.  That should give us about 40,000 km per battery which, at most is about $400.  So $400 / 40,000kms  about 1c/km.  The actual price of the current batteries is around $350 which gives about 0.875 c/km.  This is a typical worst case scenario.  You should get better results than this in practice, but even this is so much better than:

  1. the cost of running a car to the shops or local commuting
  2. the poor fuel consumption on inefficient short trips
  3. cost of depreciation
  4. cost of registration 
  5. cost of insurance
  6. ever increasing cost of petrol/diesel
  7. cost of maintenance and servicing - new oil and fluids, spare parts, disposal of old oil and fluids
  8. the environmental cost of producing the vehicle - the aluminium and plastics in cars have a huge environmental cost compared to making bicycle frames and tyres
  9. the environmental cost of disposing of the vehicle and its parts and fluids such as brake fluid and oil
  10. human and capital cost of accidents and injuries caused by accidents with pedestrians and other vehicles