If you are concerned about the environment and are on the lookout for ways to reduce your carbon footprint, then owning an electric bike is an excellent alternative to using your vehicle or public transport to get around. And, if you’re planning to invest in an electric bike, you may be wondering how much it will cost to charge it and if it will create a hole in your pocket just to charge the bike’s batteries.
On average, to charge your electric bike, it can cost anywhere between $0.04 and $0.12 per charge. The cost essentially depends on your battery capacity, battery voltage and the electricity rates in your area. Also, batteries having a higher capacity and voltage will cost much more to charge.
The cost of charging an electric bike depends on various factors such as the battery size, the size of your bike, the type of ride or where you’ll be riding i.e., uphill, commuting, hunting, etc. and the rider’s weight. So, read on to know how to calculate the cost of charging your ebike.
Table of Contents
- How Much Does It Cost to Charge an Ebike Battery
- Determining the Electric Bike Battery Cost
- Determining the Charging Cost of the Electric Bike Per Mile
- Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does It Cost to Charge an Ebike Battery
If you want to know how much it will cost to charge your ebike battery, you can do it manually by following the steps described below. To calculate the cost, you need to know the voltage (V) of the battery, the amp-hour (Ah) of the battery and the electricity rates in your area.
You can find the amp-hour and voltage of the battery printed on the battery itself; however, if the information is not available on the battery, you can check the manufacturer’s manual, check for the details online or on the manufacturer’s website or contact the battery manufacturer.
You can check online to find the electricity rates for your local area; however, if you’re unable to find this, you can check your electricity bill or contact your utility company.
Here is an example of how to calculate the cost for every charge for your ebike. For the purpose of the example, we have used a 36-volt, 10.4 Ah ebike battery.
Step 1: Firstly, you must determine the capacity of the battery, which is usually measured in watt-hours (Wh). You can calculate this by multiplying the voltage (V) x the amp hours (Ah).
V x Ah = Wh
36 V x 10.4 Ah = 374.4 Wh (capacity of the battery)
Step 2: The next step is to convert the capacity into kWh because typically, the utility company uses kWhs to bill the customers, 1kWh = 1 electricity unit. So, the capacity (Wh) of the battery must be converted into kWh, which can be calculated by dividing the Wh calculated in Step 1 by 1,000.
Wh / 1000 = kWh
374.4 Wh / 1000 = 0.3744 kWh
Step 3: The kWh of the battery must be finally multiplied by the per-unit electricity rate charged by your utility company in your local area.
kWh (of the battery) x Cost per kWh (charged by the electric company) = Cost to charge your electric bike battery
0.3744 kWh x $ 0.13 = $0.048
On average, in 2021, the cost per unit of power charged by the electricity companies in the US is around 13.19 cents per kWh of electricity (according to ElectricChoice) and the cost of electricity varies by state.
So, taking an average of $0.13, the cost of charging a 374.4 Wh (0.3744kWh) battery will cost around $0.048 or 4.8 cents per charge. And, if your ebike can travel around 22 to 40 miles in a single charge, for less than 50 cents, you can travel up to 40 miles, which is really an inexpensive and cost effective way to travel.
Determining the Electric Bike Battery Cost
While the cost to charge your electric bike is quite cheap, often you tend to overlook a hidden cost that increases the electric bike battery costs and that is the battery replacement cost.
You can charge the battery of an electric bike only for a certain number of cycles after which the battery must be replaced. And, if you include this cost of replacement of the battery into the per charge cost, the cost will be quite different.
To find out the cost of the battery in your ebike, you need to know the average lifespan of the battery and the cost of the battery. Typically, an ebike battery lasts for around 800 cycles of charge and a new battery costs around $500. So, the battery cost can be determined by:
Cost / No. of cycles = Battery Cost
$500 / 800 cycles = 0.625
While the battery cost is much higher than the cost of charging your electric bike, you must keep in mind that this depends on the type of battery and the frequency of charging. The cost of the battery will be spread out across the life of the battery itself, which may be around 5 years.
So, even if you factor in the cost of the battery along with the cost of charging the ebike, the cost is significantly lower compared to other modes of transport like your car, train, tube, etc.
Determining the Charging Cost of the Electric Bike Per Mile
If you want to calculate the cost of charge of your electric bike per mile or kilometer, it may be a bit tricky to determine the exact cost and so it’s a good idea to consider the average range.
To determine this, you need to know the average range that your electric bike can travel per charge and the cost of the charge (which we calculated earlier).
Charging Cost / Range = Cost per mile or kilometer
$0.048 / 20 miles = $0.0024 i.e., 24 cents per mile or kilometer
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does an Electric Bike Charge Last?
Typically, you can expect the charge in your electric bike battery to last for an average of around 20-70 miles on a full charge. How much the battery lasts also depends on the power of your bike, the power of the battery, the battery management system and how you ride.
For instance, if you’re riding on full throttle, you can expect the battery to last less, while managing your battery life properly can ensure that you get much more.
Do Electric Bikes Charge When You Pedal?
The battery of your electric bike can be recharged when you use the brake. This is known as regenerative braking, which makes use of the kinetic energy produced when you apply the bike’s brakes to charge the bike’s battery and extend its range.
When you brake, the brake sensor activates the motor and kicks it into reverse mode, while using the energy of the bike’s forward motion to charge the ebike’s battery instead of dissipating the energy as heat via the brake pads.
Often, ebikes featuring regenerative brakes typically charge your bike less than 10% when you brake. However, if you are very careful and brake very lightly when going downhill or when you approach the stoplight, you can get an increased regenerative charge up to 20%.
Should I Charge My Ebike after Every Ride?
It is always a good practice to recharge the battery of your electric bike as soon as it runs out of charge. It is recommended that you should charge the battery after every ride so that your electric bike is always ready for whenever you want to take it out the next time.
The frequency of charging also depends on the type of battery in your electric bike. For instance, if your electric bike has lithium-ion batteries, these last much longer with regular use and so, they require regular charging.
Also, experts recommend that the electric bike battery must never get completely discharged and it is always a good idea to recharge the battery when there is around 30% to 60% charge remaining. You must also ensure that you charge the battery just to top it up and not leave it on charge for several days.