Last updated on May 8th, 2023 at 11:12 am
Bicycles have changed rapidly over the years, eventually leading to the invention of electric bikes.
Many people use these bikes for transportation, especially in urban areas, but they get shocked when they look at the price tag.
What makes these bikes so expensive?
This article will discuss the components that make electric bikes so costly. This information will help you understand what you are paying for and why the cost is worth it.
We will also discuss why these bikes have risen in cost over the last five years.
You can watch the video version of this article by clicking the video below.
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Electric Bicycles Have Been Around Longer Than You Might Think
Many people mistakenly believe electric bicycles have only been around for a few years.
These bikes first arrived on the market in the early 1990s as pedal-assisted pedelecs.
Why Are Electric Bikes So Expensive?
If you’ve shopped for a bicycle lately, you have discovered prices are not the same as when you were a kid.
Bicycles, in general, are expensive, but if you add in a motor and other components, the cost goes up substantially.
So, what is it that makes these bikes so expensive? Are they worth the expense?
One of the most significant aspects of making electric bikes so expensive is the battery.
You may be surprised to learn an electric bicycle battery, in its upper-cost ranges, can rise as high as $1000 or even more.
Although you can undoubtedly get electric bicycle batteries more affordable, this is not a part of your bike you want to go cheap on because it will determine the level of power.
Larger batteries cost more, but they also determine how long you can ride between charges.
The motor is also an expensive component of an electric bicycle and one of the primary reasons they cost so much.
The most expensive motors for electric bicycles will cost several hundred dollars.
Like batteries, you need a powerful motor that is going to give you the horsepower you need for hills and other difficult rides.
Hub motors are the least expensive, while mid-drive motors are more costly.
Another reason electric bikes are so expensive is because of the engineering required to create them.
Electric bikes must be designed to handle all types of terrain with enough power.
A poorly engineered bicycle may cost less money, but you will suffer from an inability to harness the power you need.
Electric Bicycles Cost a Lot to Manufacture
Many parts go into making an electric bicycle. For instance, the drivetrain, wheels, gears, and braking system are all expensive.
With issues like inflation, parts are becoming more expensive, which is driving the costs higher.
Electric Bicycles Are in a Niche Market
One of the reasons electric bicycles remain so expensive is that they are considered a niche industry.
Because electric bikes are not produced en masse, like some vehicles, the economies of scale do not apply.
The economies of scale simply mean manufacturers save money by producing in bulk, so they can pass the savings on to their customers.
Because manufacturers do not produce electric bicycles in bulk, they cannot develop mutually beneficial relationships with parts suppliers, so their costs remain relatively high.
Electric Bicycles Are Also Heavy
One thing that can increase the cost of electric bicycles is something many do not factor into the equation.
If you have ever ridden an electric bicycle, you know how heavy they are.
This weight means many of the parts of an e-bike are weighty which requires a greater shipping cost.
Electric Bicycles May Become More Affordable
From the early 1990s to 2017, the popularity of electric bicycles remained consistent. Since 2017, we have seen e-bikes rise in popularity exponentially.
This boon to the numbers means demand has increased rapidly. How will this increase in demand impact the cost of electric bicycles?
Typically, an increase in demand drives up the cost of products, but this is not always the case.
Sometimes, increased demand drives more competition among manufacturers, which is a win for consumers.
If more manufacturers are making electric bicycles, competition will begin with greater consistency, leading to a price war that helps make these bikes more affordable.
We need more e-bike startups to rise, and we will eventually see prices coming down.
Unfortunately, this could take a while, so you can plan on electric bike prices staying high for the unforeseeable future.
Additional Costs to Consider
Many people only consider the cost of the bicycle purchase but fail to factor in other costs associated with owning an electric bike, including the following.
- While the cost of charging an electric bicycle is very low, it does cost money. Depending on the cost of electricity in your area, you could pay around $2 to $3 per 12-hour trip.
- The most significant and ongoing cost for electric bike ownership is replacing the battery. Electric bicycle batteries range from $200 to around $1000. These batteries last between 500 to 1000 charges.
- Maintenance is also another cost factor for consideration. Replacing parts as they wear down can become expensive. For instance, you may have to replace the tires every 1000 miles.
- You should also consider the cost of repairs if you need work done on your electric bike.
Electric Bikes Bring Great Fun and Practicality
It seems everyone these days is concerned about the environment. With the cost of gasoline steadily rising, many are looking for alternative forms of transportation.
While electric bikes are more expensive than traditional non-motor varieties, they are still much less than cars. An electric bike can take you where you need to go and beyond.