Wondering how much does an electric bike cost? There are 8 factors that determine the price of an electric bike. From battery capacity to braking and aesthetics, this is the price of an ebike. Let us check out in detail.
How much does an electric bike cost? The price of an electric bike depends on 8 factors like, Electric Bike Battery, 2. Electric Bike Torque and Motor, 3. Weight of the Electric Bike, 4. Drivetrain, 5. Braking System, 6. Electric Bike Maintenance, 7. Electric Bike Insurance, 8. Aesthetics of Electric Bike.
Understanding the Cost of an Electric Bike
With public transformation systems taking a toll on the environment, people are looking for alternative means of daily commute.
Electric bikes come with the promise of zero carbon emissions, powerful motors, and long-lasting battery – all of which makes them a powerful alternative. This kind of luxury, however, comes with a price.
The modern e-bike is equipped to deal with rougher terrains, steep hills, and slippery slopes – thanks to powerful features like motor-assists, fat tires, and adjustable assist levels.
So it comes as no surprise that the average price for e-bikes starts around $4,500, with a price range hovering around $1,000 to over $9,000. The price ceiling can rival that of a mid-range (or even high-end) car.
As a general rule, any e-bike that can provide more riding range (because of a powerful battery) is going to cost higher than those that usually have a lower battery capacity (which translates into lesser distance traveled on motor-assist).
Add motor power, maintenance, total weight, insurance, and other advanced features into the mix, and you have a pretty good picture of what factors drive the price of electric bikes.
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So how much does an electric bike cost in USA?
Let’s take a deep dive to answer this question based on the various features that the modern electric bike is equipped with these days.
These are the 8 Factors That Affect Electric Bike Prices in USA
The most significant areas that determine prices are the specs of the battery and motor. Cycling isn’t much fun when you have to do all the work for pedaling. The extra support that battery and motor can provide while riding through difficult terrain makes for an exhilarating experience.
As a general rule, the more innovative features and supports your electric bike has the higher its costs.
Electric Bike Battery
The total distance that an electric bike can travel on assist (motor) depends on the battery’s capacity, usually measured in watt-hours. This is one of the main factors that influence how much an electric bike costs.
For obvious reasons, the greater your e-bike’s capacity, the more it will cost. The standard capacity for most batteries is around 250Wh for low-cost models, usually electric bikes costing between $500 to $2000.
The real funs begins at battery capacities of over 750Wh, where you can travel over 180 miles on assist. It should be noted that the faster you travel, the faster your battery drains out. So a healthy balance of motor-assist and pedaling should be used to preserve the electric bike’s battery.
Most manufacturers add at least two batteries to increase the distance that can be traveled on motor-assist. These are often added externally. Of course, you can opt for more batteries with higher capacities, but such upgrades and customizations will add to the total price you’ll have to pay.
In fact, the battery can account for nearly half the price of the electric bike. With that said, the riding range (total distance that can be traveled on motor-assist), depends on a combination of various factors including the biker’s weight, temperature, air resistance, terrain, tire pressure, and tire treads. These vary a lot based on the rider and their unique circumstances (such as environment and terrain).
As such, the riding range quoted by electric bike manufacturers should be taken with a grain of salt.
Some electric bike manufacturers like Bosch equip their offerings with technology that lets riders know the riding range they can expect based on their cycling preferences. While this perk is useful, it can rack up the price of the electric bike even higher.
Finally, it should be noted that the more batteries you have on your electric bike, the more weight you’ll have to carry on your own.
This can become particularly cumbersome when the battery runs out and weight becomes a concern, which explains why lighter bikes are usually more expensive because of rider preferences.
Electric Bike Torque and Motor – In-Depth Discussion
Torque on an electric bike is closely related to the power of the motor. Modern motors can provide powerful support to riders to help them get past sharp ascents and achieve high-speed limits of over 20km/hr. Most electric bikes that are equipped with powerful motors tend to be a bit more heavy and beefier.
If you want your electric bikes to be able to climb steeper hills, you’ll have to cough up a lot more.
Certain electric bike models include advanced features such as varying levels of pedal-assist so that the rider can freely shift through them while traveling through different types of terrains. These high-end features add more value to the electric bike’s price.
This discussion on “how much does an electric bike cost” won’t be complete without talking about the two most common motor technologies used today: hub motors and mid-drive motors.
Hub motors are placed in the center of a bicycle wheel and are certainly more common of the two. Mid-drive motors, on the other hand, are located closer to the center of the electric bike and transfer the motor’s power to the rear wheel through the chain drive.
This is becoming more common over the years because it allows bikers to cover more distance on motor.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Hub Motors
Both have unique advantages and disadvantages. The biggest advantage with hub motors is that they don’t need as much maintenance in the long run due to fewer moving parts.
All of the components of the motor are encased inside the bicycle’s tire, leaving nothing for you to deal with. Because the system is enclosed, it also means that there is a lot less to fail.
There are two types of hub motors: gearless hub motors with no gearing and geared hub motors with internal planetary gears. The former requires next to no maintenance, for obvious reasons. But the latter, with their gears, will eventually require maintenance because the tooth can break off after regular wear and tear.
The disadvantage with almost all hub motors is that they only come with a single gear ratio. While this makes riding on flatter terrains more convenient, you would want something with higher torque gear to climb steeper hills. It’s simply not efficient to rely on a single-speed motor to get past steep hills.
Then there is the fact that hub motors add considerable weight to electric bikes. This weight is unsprung weight on suspension electric bikes, which reduces the effectiveness of the suspension and transfers the majority of the bumps to the rider.
Hub motors are more limiting when it comes to wheel components such as tires and rims. This means you’re basically stuck with the same tire for the lifecycle of the electric bike.
All of these disadvantages can be overcome with mid-motors.
Advantages and Disadvantage of Mid-Motors
Mid-drive motors feature a gear ratio. This allows riders to power the rear wheel with the same chain and gear set as the pedals, allowing them to power up steel hill and access to high acceleration. A mid-drive motor is usually lighter and smaller than hub motors of similar power.
For example, the Bafang’s new line of mid-drive motors weigh only 2.3 kg.
It also becomes relatively easier to change tires on mid-drive electric bikes since you don’t have to deal with heavier hub motors. Tire swapping can be done like on a normal pedal cycle. Moreover, since you can use normal bicycle wheels, you have the freedom for more customization and can add any wheels or tires you wish to add.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of mid-drive motors is the sheer power they can provide. Modern mid-day motors can provide a range of 250-750 watts of non-stop, unadulterated power as long as the battery isn’t completely drained.
This is the equivalent of the fastest cyclist on earth never running out of power. More power means more price and mid-drive motors can be very expensive.
Weight of the Electric Bike
One of the factors that affects an electric bike’s price and performance is its weight. This is because the weight determines your speed, distance, and ease of traveling. In most cases, an electric bike can weigh anywhere from 40 pounds to over 100 pounds – depending on the features it packs in.
As a general rule, a fully-equipped electric bike with top of a line motor and battery will easily weigh over 100 pounds. Manufacturers often add more batteries and powerful motors, which adds to the weight of the bike. This also makes it easier to pedal and maintain higher speeds as the motor keeps assisting you.
However, pedaling will become extremely difficult once the electric bike runs out of battery. There are some high-end electric bikes that are below 40 to 50 pounds that can still go on smatter batteries, but these models often come with a premium price tag.
Typically, a single charge on mot electric bikes can last for around 50 miles, and some electric bikes can last over 120 miles. But the range depends on the battery and electric motor size, and where you are on the road, for instance, off-roading.
Also, if the electric bike isn’t properly maintained, all the accumulated weight can add to the total weight. So make sure to take your electric bike to an ebike shop for maintenance.
A traditional electric bike consists of several moving parts, including shifters, chain, crankset, and derailleurs. These components help drive the electric bike forward. These parts also determine the price of an electric bike in USA. For instance, an electric bike with high gear would take more effort to pedal but would result in more drive wheel rotation per stroke.
A traditional drivetrain, even in its most basic form (single gear ratio and single speed) can be effective for an electric bike. Of course, if you prefer something much quieter, such as the EVELO Quest Max, the price tag will be higher.
The Quest Max features the Gates Carbon Drive and the NuVinci CVT. The system uses a belt system instead of a conventional chain drive. The result is that the electric bike is much quieter, reliable, and longer-lasting. It’s also more expensive.
Moreover, if you plan on hunting game on these electric bikes and require stealth, you may want to go with a quieter drivetrain. The Quest Max is priced at around $2,600.
Powerful electric bikes with their high-end motors will need equally powerful braking systems that can bring you to a stop at top speeds. Most electric bikes come with manual or hydraulic disk brakes. Powerful brakes cost more but have enough force needed to slow down an ebike.
You may also want motor inhibitors. These systems can stop the motor by pulling the brake handle so you won’t have to struggle against the ebike motor when bringing the bicycle to a full stop.
Most braking systems use hydraulic pressure to slow the electric bike down. While this works just fine for our intents and purposes, it does generate a lot of friction which causes kinetic energy and cause premature wear of the brake pads and disc rotors.
This is why high-end electric bikes come with regenerative braking systems that actually convert the kinetic energy into electric energy which is then sent to the main battery. This system is actually found in the Stealth B-52 with an asking price of between $5,000 to over $9,000 depending on the features you add.
Electric Bike Maintenance
Electric bikes come with many moving parts, which indicates that at some point or the other, they will require maintenance. These moving parts will also undergo wear and tear, which means they’ll have to be either replaced or repaired, depending on the extent of damage they sustained over regular use.
As such, modern electric bikes are outfitted with premium parts designed to last much longer and not require as much maintenance.
This, for obvious reasons, translates into a higher price.
It is also worth pointing out that regular maintenance can also add to the price. An experienced electric bike shop will charge you to look after your electric bike. As a good rule of thumb, you should have your electric bike checked on a yearly basis by an experienced mechanic.
Below are a few things you can do to maintain your electric bike (and keep prices for maintenance down).
- Keep the tires properly inflated
- Learn how to fix a flat
- Get replacement tires made for your ebikes
- Regularly check the brakes for signs of obvious wear and tear
- Clean and lubricate your chain regularly (use a chain wear indicator tool to alert you when it’s time to replace the chain before it begins to affect the rest of the drivetrain)
It is worth pointing out that if you take your electric bike for off-roading adventures, they will be subject to much harsher conditions. This will increase the amount of wear and tear on your electric bike and they may need more maintenance, if not outright replacements.
Electric Bike Insurance
In the same vein, electric bikes that come with lengthier insurances tend to cost a lot more. This is definitely true in the case of electric bikes that come with lifetime warranties for parts and services.
Most electric bike policies start at $100 per year and basic coverage includes things such as protection for damage, theft, crash, collision, vandalism, and other things.
If you do decide to invest $1,000 or more on an electric bike, then it makes sense to contribute $100 (or more, depending on the features you opt for), per year to insure your electric bike from those inconvenient events.
Aesthetics of Electric Bike
Modern electric bikes feature bold and new aesthetics to accommodate a younger generation. Many minimalist electric bikes are merging contemporary innovations to appeal to a broad spectrum of audiences.
Some high-end designs also allow the removal of the battery so that the electric bike can be used as a normal bicycle without having the extra weight.
Handlebars come with integrated gear cases, brake lever, and third party electronics (such as displays and speedometers). All this can add to the total price you may have to pay for the electric bike.
It goes without saying, that high-quality craftsmanship and different styles of design will affect the prices, but not nearly as much as the most useful elements such as battery and motor performance.
You may like the following ebikes:
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- Which Electric Bike has the Longest Range?
- Best Electric Bikes Under $1000
- Best Electric Bikes Under $2000
- Best Fat Tire Electric Bikes
- All You Need to Know About Electric Bike Tires
- Check Out These 4 Best Big Cat Electric Bikes
The bottom line is that electric bikes provide easier, longer, and more comfortable rides than ever before. But the more features you opt for, the more you will have to pay.
If you’re a fan of off-road traveling, choose mountain bikes that can provide assistance on the long climb steep hills. If you’re after speed, choose Racing Bikes that weigh less and provide easier handling on the road. And if you need lightweight multimodal personal transport, try folding bikes that can be stowed away conveniently into the back of your pickup truck or car.
Prices for electric bikes start at $1,000 and higher. Drop below this price level and the electric bikes start to get sketchy with compromised parts and components.
I am Michael, an avid rider and bike expert. I am here to provide, biking tips and expert advice on in-depth bike reviews covering features, capabilities, price range, and much more. Specially on electric bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes, etc. I will provide honest product reviews, along with expert advice on purchasing, training, and maintenance. Check out my complete profile.