If you are new to exploring the electric bike market you may be wondering just how expensive they are. We’ve developed this complete E-bike cost guide to help you with this big question.
Like most other products out there, the price of electric bikes can vary significantly. You could easily find a low-end and budget model for only a few hundred dollars—however, if you’re after something slick, speedy, and capable of traveling faster and further, you may see price tags in the range of several thousands of dollars.
We get that this is a lot to digest and that the decision to buy an electric bicycle isn’t one that should be taken lightly. That’s why we’re going to take a look at the different factors that influence price, as well as show you some low-end, mid-range, and top-end models so you can get an idea of what you’ll expect to pay when you buy a new electric bicycle.
Investing in an Electric Bicycle
So, you are thinking of buying an electric bicycle. Well, like with any other product, budget is going to most likely be a factor and you will see many different models that meet nearly every budget.
Say you’re in the market for a pair of shoes, you can probably find what you’re looking for with prices ranging from five dollars all the way up to several thousand dollars. A price disparity like this is also common in the world of electric bikes.
Think about it, e-bikes come with a variety of features, are built using different materials, and are either the products of trusted brands for those just entering the market. Factors including quality, availability, and personalized touches are all going to play a role in the price of your electric bike.
If you look hard enough, you can find an electric bike for as low as around $300 USD. If you spend some time looking online or checking out shops, you could also easily see price tags in the tens of thousands of dollars.
How is Price Determined?
There are a variety of factors that go into the price tag. Manufacturers are aware that many people are trying to get into the fun and exciting world of E-bikes. While there are certainly many high-priced models that appeal to the most hardcore enthusiasts, now, there are also more affordable options than there ever used to be.
Whether you’re in the E-bike game for high class style and top-notch performance, or you’re just interested in a sustainable way to get around, bicycle manufacturers are able to combine different elements to produce E-bike models with varying price tags.
The first, and probably most apparent factor, is the specs of the electric bicycle. What makes up the specs? This includes the wheels, the tires, the frame, and any other features that are typical of a standard bicycle.
The frame of the bike will play a role in how much the electric bike ends up costing. Different materials are used for different purposes, and some of which are more readily available and therefore cheaper. Carbon fiber, aluminium, and steel are the most commonly used materials in frames. While not listed here, titanium it’s also considered to be a good bike frame material—but has a price tag suitable for only the most serious cyclists.
- Carbon fibre: Carbon fibre frames are the lightest—very typical for racing road bikes and also used in electric bikes to keep the weight down. While these may be the lightest, frames built with carbon fibre will contribute to heavier price tags.
- Aluminium (aluminium alloy): Aluminium is a common option for mid-price bicycles that also prioritize a lightweight frame. Aluminium is the most commonly used material, combining durability with affordability.
- Steel: As one would assume, steel is the strongest and heaviest of the materials mentioned. It’s typically used with low-cost bicycles, however, is sometimes used in high-end mountain bikes or cargo electric bikes.
Wheels are sometimes overlooked in a bike, but they play a role in performance. Different materials will affect quality and cost. The better, more expensive materials are ultra-strong and ultra-light, and will be pricier than standard alloy rims.
Bearings will also play a role in the total price of the electric bike. Better wheels have better and more durable bearings. In addition, they will also have better hubs on their rear wheels. This will make hub engagement easier when you’re pedalling, and your drivetrain more responsive.
The Battery (Range)
The battery is another factor that will play a primary role in the total price of an electric bike. Most electric bikes are fuelled by a lightweight and rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The main determining factor for price will be the range and the amount of power provided by the different batteries used in different bikes.
The range provided by the electric bike’s battery will vary based on a number of different factors. These include the terrain in which the bike is being ridden on, the weight of the driver, and any headwind or hills involved. In addition, if the rider were to use more human-generated power to supplement, the range will also be longer. However, generally speaking, a good quality battery would provide between 20 and 50 miles (32 to 80 kilometres) of riding per charge. Like with the other elements, a higher range generally equals a higher price.
The Motor (Speed)
When it comes to power and performance, the motor in your electric bike will play a big role. That said, the motor will also play a huge factor in the total price of the bike—a better motor equals a higher price.
Generally speaking, the power rating of the motor is the primary factor for the total cost of the electric bicycle. Many standard electric bikes that you see on the market will come with a power rating of 250 watts, although some are much higher (up to 750+ watts). Higher motors will generate more power and will be more responsive, contributing to a more versatile riding experience— and this also means a higher price tag.
- Mid-Drive Motors: If you remember one word about mid-drive motors, it would have to be efficiency. These motors really show their power when climbing up steep hills. They are centrally located on the bike, which makes for a more balanced ride. As such, they’re commonly used for many electric mountain bikes. While they’re certainly the most powerful choice, they also involve more mechanical components—which means a higher price tag.
- Hub Motors: Hub motors include both direct-drive hub motors and geared hub motors. They aren’t as efficient as mid-drive motors and, especially when it comes to direct drive hub motors, they require more wattage. This means a bigger motor and a bigger battery. While they require more heavy components, these are generally mass-produced, are and therefore cheaper.
When it comes to some of the other features on electric bicycles, those with greater strength and more durability are going to work more effectively and efficiently—and will also come with higher prices. These can include the quality of the brakes, whether the bikes can fold securely or not, or special electronics that come equipped on the bike. In addition, the inclusion of warranty and customer service in the price may result in a higher price tag, but could end up being worth it in the end.
Low-Range Electric Bikes (Under $1,200)
|Name||Stark Drive City||Nakto City||Swagtron EB7 Plus||Ancheer Power Plus||Ride1Up 500 Series|
|Specs||Aluminium frame||Steel frame||Aluminium frame||Aluminium frame||Aluminium frame|
|Motor Power||250 watt||250 watt||350 watt||250 watt||750 watt|
|Speed||15 mph (24 kph)||15.5 mph (24 kph)||18.6 mph (30 kph)||15 mph (24 kph)||25 mph (40 kph)|
|Range||38 miles (60 km)||18 – 20 miles (29 – 32 km)||20 miles (32 km)||18 miles (29 km)||20 – 40 miles (32 – 64 km)|
|Special Features||21-speed, long-life battery, USB charging||Speed sensor, LED display, rear and front lights||Shimano gears, foldable, removable battery||Shimano gears, battery integrated headlight||LCD display with odometer, comfort seat, Shimano gears|
Mid-Range Electric Bikes ($1,200 to $4,000)
|Name||M25 All Terrain Scout||Raleigh 2019 Sprite iE Step Thru||Tern Vektron 28 Foldable||Giant Fastroad E + EX Pro||Priority Embark|
|Specs||Aluminium frame||Aluminium frame||Aluminium frame||Aluminium frame||Aluminium frame|
|Motor Power||750 watt||350 watt||250 watt||250 watt||750 watt|
|Speed||28 mph (45 kph)||20 mph (32 kph)||20 mph (32 kph)||28 mph (45 kph)||20 mph (32 kph)|
|Range||20 – 45 miles (32 – 72 km)||16 – 35 miles (26 – 56 km)||25 – 56 miles (40 – 90 km)||40 miles (64 km)||50 miles (80 km)|
|Special Features||Step through design, 28” fat wheels, front and rear cargo basket, USB display||Mechanical disc brakes, integrated rear rack, kickstand||Hydraulic disc brakes, Bafang M400 drive system, maximum torque for fast acceleration||Yamaha motor and EnergyPack smart compact battery||4 different pedal-assist modes, hydraulic disc brakes, Bosch motor and battery|
Top-End Electric Bikes ($4,000+)
|Name||Wilier Cento1Hy Ultegra Di2 e-bike||Stromer ST5||Specialized S-Works Turbo Creo SL|
|Specs||Lightweight carbon fibre frame||Stromer alloy frame||Lightweight carbon fibre frame|
|Motor Power||250 watt||850 watt||240 watt|
|Speed||20 mph (32 kph)||28 mph (45 kph)||28 mph (45 kph)|
|Range||15 miles (extension possible) (24 km)||120 miles (193 km)||80 miles (128 km)|
|Special Features||One of the lightest e-bikes on the market, built with materials used in high-end competition bicycles||Anti-theft GPS Shimano gears, ultra-bright headlight, 2-year warranty||Super quiet 1.1 motor, ultra-lightweight frame, 35 Nm of torque is super responsive|
New vs Second-hand
There are many reasons you might decide to buy a used electric bicycle. First of all, it would probably be cheaper. Also, for environmental reasons it would be better to recycle an already-existing E-bike rather than purchasing a new one. In addition, if you’re buying a used electric bike from a friend or someone you know, they’ll be able to give you valuable tips and insights that you most likely wouldn’t get when you buy new.
However, when you buy a new electric bike, you’ll have the peace of mind from knowing that your bike hasn’t been in any accidents. Many new electric bikes will come with a warranty, and some will have servicing options included in the price. Additionally, electric bikes have become really popular only in the past couple of years, and the selection when buying a used one will be rather limited.
When it comes to sustainability, electric bike manufacturers are continuously making improvements. That said, if being eco-friendly is one of your goals, newer models will tend to have better carbon footprints. Similarly, newer e-bike models will have very attractive and advanced features that may be better suited to your needs
How do They Depreciate?
Just like a car, the depreciation starts as soon as you take that electric bike on its first ride. Lucky for us, experts have developed a way to calculate e-bike depreciation.
For most big brands, the depreciation rate is a straight line that occurs over a five to seven year period. What does that mean in layman’s terms? Well, every year a new e-bike will lose about 1/5 to 1/7 of the value of the original price tag.
A Big Decision
If you’re starting to think about buying an electric bicycle yourself, there are a lot of different factors to be aware of when it comes to its price. Of course, your budget will be dependent upon you and your personal needs, but you can use this guide as a way to determine what is important for you.
Do you need something lightweight and super-fast, with a significant distance between charges? You might be spending a bit more. If you’re not that concerned with the quality of the materials and just want something to get you to your favourite local spots, you could certainly get by with a cheaper electric bike. Ultimately, consider this purchase like that of buying a car. Take some time to really consider things and shop around to find the best deal for you.