Why You Should Consider an E-bike Before Your Next Used Car

People are choosing e-bikes over cars for their daily commute. E-bikes cost less to buy and maintain and leave a tiny carbon footprint.

Introduction

How long will gas-powered cars be around? Most people need something to get from A to B on their daily commute, visit friends, or hit the gym. So in many cities around the world, e-bikes have already become one of the most significant adoptions of green technology worldwide.

Ok, bicycles are already green, but electric bikes put going green to a whole new level. E-bikes use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that can travel up to 45mph (73 km/h). You can arrive anywhere with as much sweat as you want, or nothing at all (choose a long-distance e-bike without pedals). With prices lower than most unreliable used cars out there, you can find a brand new, reliable, and stylish e-bike for half the price.

Here are several reasons to consider an e-bike before you start looking for your next used car:

Reason #1: Electric bikes are the most economical fuel choice.
Reason #2: E-bikes are safer and require fewer insurance costs.
Reason #3: Cars get stuck in traffic, Ebikes shorten commute times.
Reason #4: Ebikes cost less to buy and maintain than a used car.
Reason #5: You’ll look darn good riding a (fat tire) e-bike.
 

Reason #1: Electric bikes are the most economical fuel choice.  

The price of almost everything is going up faster than you can drive by the gas station. If you’re in Europe or Asia, you might have noticed inflation sooner than anyone living in the United States. Through the pandemic, demand for natural gas has never been higher, and the supplies have never been lower. You probably notice rising costs as you drive by the gas station(there’s a billboard) or drive to the grocery store for food. If you’re commuting on a cost-effective e-bike, when was the last time you felt the pinch of rising prices for petrol or gasoline?

If you use it, you’ll notice gas prices can be unpredictable. They can change quickly from morning to evening. In the United States, prices vary from state to state. If you’re in Austin, Texas, you’re looking at just over $3 per gallon (the lowest in the US). If you’re in California, the average price is over $4.60 a gallon, and in San Francisco, it was $4.80 a gallon! On the other hand, the cost of charging an e-bike battery is low.

The cost of charging an electric bike battery is minimal, even when using a high-capacity battery. As an example, low the cost of charging an e-bike battery really is. A high-capacity lithium-ion battery for e-bikes is around 3000Wh. That’ll take you approximately 70 to 90km (45 miles). You’ll be waiting about 4-6 hours to charge—the cost being around .5 USD. We’re basing this on setting from 0%-100% capacity of the battery.

The typical cost to charge an e-bike will only be as much as you use it. Maybe you’ll bring the battery in with you after you get home from work. You’ll be charging it at 52%, 66%, or 35%. Whatever the cost per charge, you’re generally looking at less than 50 cents on the USD to charge your battery to the max.

Let’s say you drive 25 total miles on your commute, every day, five days a week. What will your costs be per day? Or per week? About .25 USD per day, and under 2 USD a week to commute to work and back.

Reason #2: Ebikes are safer and require fewer insurance costs.

 E-bikes allow you to get places faster and safer. E-bikes are faster than a regular bike, and in many cases, safer than the average car stuck in traffic. Yes, you can ride on sidewalks, bike lanes, and cut across parks, but in almost every city around the world, you’ll still want insurance.

Riding an e-bike can be safer than riding a regular bike even if you’re riding where people are walking, like on a sidewalk or through a park (Yes, you can do that). There are just different risks. You can speed up to get out of the way faster, travel at higher speeds, and keep up with traffic flow. Consider protecting your e-bike with insurance.

Whether you spent a few thousand dollars, or several thousand, your e-bike is an investment. You can easily ensure you have sufficient coverage against theft or damage by purchasing insurance. If you’re living in most cities worldwide, insurance isn’t required. But it’s a risky move not to have it. You don’t need to buy insurance. Your home or renters insurance may partially cover your e-bike. However, there’s more opportunity for damage, or theft when you’re commuting. Most insurers have plans ready and available for e-bike owners to fill in the gaps where any other insurance may have exclusions in the fine print.

A typical electric bike insurance policy covers e-bikes with power assist up to 750 watts covers theft, damage, and more. Most policies begin around $100 USD per year(in the US), increasing depending on coverage levels and deductible options. In addition, you can find policies personalized to fit you and the amount you ride. Coverage can remain under $200 per year despite the many options.

Optional coverage can include protection for damage caused by theft, collision, fire, attempted theft, or vandalism. For example, suppose you’re running an e-bike rental business. In that case, you can find coverage for much of the equipment you need to maintain services you wouldn’t think about—extra rental benefits like spare parts, cycle apparel, and rental reimbursement.

Reason #3: Cars get stuck in traffic, Ebikes shorten commute times.

E-bikes are one of the newest and best ways to commute to work or run errands. Most cities classify e-bikes as bicycles. So you can drive e-bikes on sidewalks bike lanes, and cut across parks. Fat tire e-bikes are perfectly fine for the road. With speeds up to 45mph(70kph), you can cruise along at safe speeds in everyday traffic and still have the option to “cheat” using bike lanes or cut through other alternate solutions. As a result, work travel, commute faster, and always have the opportunity to avoid getting stuck in traffic with a car (with zero emissions).

Instead of driving E-bike riders, cut down on gas and pollution, helping to improve air quality and the environment around them. However, most bikes(including fat tire e-bikes) come equipped to sound like a regular Harley Davidson motorcycle or dirt bike. While it sounds like a standard motorcycle, you get the familiar ignition sounds when you turn a fat tire e-bike. Moving forward, you hear the throttle. And turning the key off silences the sound of the motor. You can run the e-bike silently if you like, but we wouldn’t recommend it. The sounds are built-in safety features.

With an e-bike, added safety features will help you remain safe on the road with other cars. In addition, many governments and municipal councils create incentives to adopt green, electric transportation. They are even designing cities for vehicles with electric charging and maintenance stations in mind.

Reason #4: Ebikes cost less to buy and maintain than a car.

Electric bikes (especially fat tire e-bikes) are becoming more popular every year, especially in Europe and Asia. As the volume of manufactured electric bikes increases, this should lead to lower prices. Moreover, it’s a bonus because hundreds of available models are already cost-effective as it is.

You can expect to invest between $600 – $8000USD on an e-bike, depending on the style, function, and capacity of the battery. As components become mass-produced, market competition increases, and technology improves, the cost will decrease. If you’re considering purchasing an e-bike over a new/used car, consider looking at the prices.

Do you need the “Lamborghini” of the e-bike world? Or, maybe you need a mid-range e-bike with all the style and features necessary for commuting, visiting friends, or picking up groceries. You can find e-bikes in the $3000 – $4000 range that feature more than you need. Then there are the maintenance costs to consider.

How do the annual maintenance costs compare to a car?

 

E-bike

Car/Truck

Tune-up (every 6 months)

$100

$150

Oil change

n/a

$460

Flat tire fix

$15

$50

New tire tubes

$20

$20

New tires

$30 each

$600 (replace every 3 years)

Brakes

$30

$300

Drivetrain replacements /adjust.

$40

n/a

Battery

$250

n/a

Repairs etc.

$40(not including the cost of electricity)

$500(not including the cost of gas)

TOTAL COSTS:$555

$2080

   

What are the actual costs of batteries for e-bikes?

Many people ask about the actual costs of batteries for e-bikes. The truth is they’re a significant part of the cost of an electric bike. For top-tier batteries, the cost can range from $0.70 – $0.90/Wh. So a 500Wh battery could cost around $350 to $450. Price varies depending on the brand or custom-packed batteries explicitly built for one or two models by one manufacturer.

Look for e-bikes that come with a warranty.

An e-bike warranty tells you manufacturers are proud of their product and stand by their work. You’ll find guarantees can range from 90 days to 5 years. They can cover the battery, frame, motor, comprehensive, etc. In general, they can provide coverage like this:

  • 1-2 years comprehensive
  • Two year motor
  • 1-3 years battery
  • 2-10 years or lifetime warranty for frame

Reason #5: You’ll look darn good riding a (fat tire) e-bike.

If you live in North America, e-bikes are “head turners.” People on the sidewalk will stop and look over as you(especially if you’re on a fat tire e-bike) cruise past them on the street. Fat tire electric bikes look a lot like motorcycles. However, many are sporty, functional, or even cute ones. Most e-bikes are easy to ride, but fat tire electric bikes seem the most versatile. You can ride over grass, on the sandy beach, and comfortably over asphalt from A to B.

Fat tire e-bikes provide the best balance between style and functionality. Their wide tires help you keep balance while you ride and ensure the best traction while you steer. It takes some time to get used to steering, squeezing the throttle. There’s no lag time between pressing down the gas and accelerating forward, unlike many used cars. When you squeeze the throttle, the power you get is an adrenaline rush. However, the instant acceleration can take some time to feel comfortable.

Whether you’re cruising through the city street or enjoying the sunshine by the beach, fat tire e-bikes are incredibly fun. Most fat tire electric bikes offer three-speed modes. So choose the proper speed range for the city or off-road. There are also e-bikes for men and women.

Choose from lighter-weight fat tire electric scooters and e-bikes for women and young girls. They’ll be easier to control as they have less weight. In addition, e-bikes for girls have a smaller frame size, construction, and design. As a result, a girl who’s 5ft tall and under 120lbs can quickly move the e-bike and swap out batteries whenever necessary.

There are e-bikes for men too. Anyone who likes the style and feel of a Harley Davidson motorcycle would also like the look and feel of many fat tire e-bikes. You’ll be addicted to the type and feel of the ride sooner than you think.

Conclusion

The electric revolution is happening fast and for a good reason. Gas prices are way too high. And climate change is starting to affect everyone around the world. So e-bikes are one necessary solution. Not only to reverse the effects of climate change but to reduce your monthly expenses.

E-bikes use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that can travel up to 45mph (73 km/h) on your daily commute. You can reduce your monthly fuel expenses from a few hundred dollars down to under $20 USD a month. With prices lower than most unreliable used cars out there, you can find a brand new, reliable, and stylish e-bike for half the price and a quarter of the maintenance cost. If the price difference wasn’t enough, you could look darn good on one too.

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