One of the most attractive features of an electric bicycle is
the extremely low cost required to operate and maintain one. U.S. law limits the speed of electric bikes to 20 mph, so there's no need for a special license, insurance or registration in most states. And it only costs $0.10, on average, to fully charge a battery. With a range of 15-40 miles per charge (depending on the model and battery type you choose), it costs less than a penny per mile to operate an electric bike or scooter.
Automobiles, on the other hand, are much more costly. Most vehicles average around 25 miles per gallon. With gas prices between $2.50 - $3.50 per gallon, it costs about $0.15 per mile for gasoline alone - or 1500% more than an electric bike. Add in license, insurance, registration, maintenance and other fees, and the cost skyrockets. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), the average cost of driving and maintaining a motor vehicle in the United States is $0.54 per mile. And the tax code supports this fact - with the standard deduction for businesses at $0.51 per mile.
* With the gas savings alone, you could easily payoff your new electric bike within 1-2 years! See our gas savings calculator (below) to see how much you can save.
Another cost to consider is replacement batteries. Although this
will have very little impact on the overall cost of operating an
electric bicycle, you can expect to pay between $75 and $150 to
replace a sealed lead acid (SLA) battery every 1-3 years. Nickel
Metal Hydride (NiMH) and Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) batteries will last
3-6 years and cost anywhere from $300 to $600 (depending on the
model and battery type). Battery
Automobiles vs. Electric Bicycles
Gasoline Savings Calculator
Edit the fields below to see how much you can save on gasoline by commuting with an electric bicycle. This calculator does not take into account auto insurance, vehicle registration, maintenance and other fees. Your actual savings will be much higher.
* See our complete list of electric bicycles and scooters >
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