How much does it cost to charge an electric bike?

Before you go all gung-ho and buy that electric bike you’ve been eyeing, it’s probably wise to ask, “How much does it cost to charge an electric bike?” This will be effectively the major running cost of owning an electric bike. The good news is it’s AMAZINGLY CHEAP to charge an electric bike. 

The cost to charge a 500 W electric bike from 0% to full capacity is around 6.91 cents in the US, 3.69 cents in India and 11.98 cents in the UK.

Calculating the exact or even approximate cost of charging your eBike depends on several factors: cost of electricity from your provider, electric bike battery specs and battery range. We’ll go into all these details in this post and how to calculate these costs for your own specific electric bike. Read on!

How to find out how much it costs to charge your electric bike

Let’s talk theory! To calculate how much it costs to charge your eBike, you need to know the cost of electricity and the electricity consumption of your bike. In other words, you need to know your battery’s full capacity and the cost of electricity per unit to find out how much it costs to fill your battery from zero to 100% full.

Cost of Electricity x Battery Full Capacity = Cost to charge electric bike (from 0% to 100%)

Man on Orange Okai electric bike

Electric bike charge cost calculator

To find out how much it costs to charge your electric bike, you’ll need to go through 5 essential steps:

  1. Find your bike battery voltage (V) and amp hour (Ah)
  2. Battery capacity in Watt hours (Wh)
  3. Convert watt hours (Wh) into kilowatt hours (KWh)
  4. Electricity cost per kilowatt hour (KWh)
  5. Multiply electricity unit cost by battery capacity in KWh

Basic electric bike charge cost calculations.

  1. V x Ah = Wh
  2. Wh ÷ 1,000 = KWh
  3. Price/KWh x Kwh = Electricity cost

Electric bike charging cost country index

Here’s the best resource I could find online on global electricity prices. It’s dated December 2020. Note: all prices are in US dollars. (Converted from local currency). 

Statistic: Household electricity prices worldwide in December 2020, by select country (in U.S. dollars per kilowatt hour) | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

For your own calculation, please use data from your electricity provider. Your costs may vary significantly from your country’s average. 

Electric bike charge cost example

Let’s go through an example to make this more realistic. I’m a fan of the Lectric 2.0 XP Black. It’s got a 48v 9.6 Ah battery. If you already have an eBike, you can find this information on the body of your battery pack or the user manual. Following the electricity charge cost calculator steps:

  1. Find battery voltage (V) and amp hour (Ah)

For the Lectric 2.0 XP Black, V = 48 and Ah = 9.6

  1.  Find battery capacity in Watt Hour (Wh)

Remember Wh = V x Ah. In this case, that’s 48V x 9.6Ah = 460.8 Wh

  1. Convert watt hours (Wh) in kilowatt hours (KWh)

Wh/1000 = KWh. So, 460.8 Wh = 0.4608 KWh.

  1. Find your electricity cost. Most electricity suppliers charge in KWh.

Since, I’m not you. I’ll be using the average electricity cost from Statista. Most of our readers are from the US, India, UK, and Australia so we’ll find out how much it costs to charge the Lectric 2.0 XP Black from 0% to 100% in those countries.

Related post: How many miles can an electric bike go?

Average electricity unit cost (per KWh) by country

Globe on desk showing the world map

From the Statista data, we see the following average electricity prices in our countries of interest. 

  • US: $0.15
  • India: $0.08
  • UK: $0.26
  • Australia: $0.23
  1. Multiply electricity cost by full battery capacity

To find the electricity cost to charge the Lectric, we just need to multiply electricity price ($/KWh) by battery capacity (in KWh)

Electricity cost (in $) = $/KWh x KWh. 

Thus, $0.15 x 0.4608 = $0.06912 or 6.91 cents

The total electricity cost to charge a Lectric 2.0 XP Black from 0% to 100% in the US is 6.91 cents. MIND OFFICIALLY BLOWN!!

Cost to fully charge Lectric 2.0 XP Black in different countries

Here is a summary of the cost to fully charge an electric bike (Lectric 2.0 XP Black) in different countries.

  • US: 6.91 cents
  • India: 3.69 cents
  • UK: 11.98 cents
  • Australia: 10.60 cents

Average annual cost to charge an electric bike

Finding the annual cost to charge an electric bike depends on your electric bike usage. If you plan on replacing your car with an electric bike, you might estimate you will ride it for 360 days a year. (I highly doubt this.) 

However, for this calculation, I’ll classify users into power riders, average riders, and casual riders. These classifications are just to find out the estimated yearly costs out of curiosity. 

  • Power riders: 360 days a year
  • Average riders: 180 days a year
  • Casual riders: 60 days a year

Please note: These are just our assumptions for this thought experiment.

Mother and child beside Orange KBO eBike

Annual cost to charge an electric bike in the US

Again, we use the Lectric 2.0 XP Black as the bike example and we are using the Statista average data as well as our arbitrary rider classifications. We also are assuming that our rider charges up the bike only once a day.

For your own specific annual costs, you will need to use your actual electricity cost, bike usage, and bike battery capacity.

  • Power rider annual cost: 360 days x 6.9 cents = $24.84 
  • Average rider annual cost: 180 days x 6.9 cents = $12.42
  • Casual rider annual cost: 60 days x 6.9 cents = $4.14

Related post: Why are eBikes so expensive?

Annual cost to charge an electric bike in India

India is one of the cheaper countries to buy electricity. As such, the annual cost of charging an electric bike in India is significantly lower than those in the US. Check out the numbers below.

A power rider in India, who commutes 360 days a year, exclusively by bike, will spend less than a 1,000 rupees to charge their electric bike in a year

  • Power rider: 360 days x 3.69 cents = $13.28 or 990.95 Indian rupees
  • Average rider: 180 days x 3.69 cents = $6.64 or 495.48 Indian rupees
  • Casual rider: 60 days x 3.69 cents = $2.21 or 164.91 Indian rupees

Recommended reading: Do you have to pedal an electric bike?

Annual cost to charge an electric bike in the UK

The United Kingdom, on the other hand, is one of the most expensive countries to get electricity. In the Statista data, there’s only 6 countries with higher reported electricity prices.

It’d roughly cost a power rider £31.63 a year to charge their electric bike in the UK.

  • Power rider: 360 days x 11.98 cents = $43.12 or £31.63
  • Average rider: 180 days x 11.98 cents = $21.56 or £15.81
  • Casual rider: 60 days x 11.98 cents = $7.18 or £5.27

Annual cost to charge an electric bike in Australia

The Down Under is also relatively high on electricity prices. But, it’s got some of the best landscapes for mountain biking.

It’d cost our average rider about 26 Aussie dollars annually to charge their eBike in Australia. 

  • Power rider: 360 days x 10.60 cents = $38.16 or 52.92 Australian dollars
  • Average rider: 180 days x 10.60 cents = $19.08 or 26.46 Australian dollars
  • Casual rider: 60 days x 10.60 cents = $6.36 or 8.82 Australian dollars

eBike battery charge cost ( Mileage per dollar spent)

Samsung ebike battery on tower ebike

In addition to checking how much it costs to charge an eBike, some readers might want to know just how FAR their dollar goes. Basically, we are trying to find out miles covered per dollar spent. 

To find the answer, we need an additional piece of information: your electric bike range. In our example, we used a Lectric 2.0 XP Black. According to their website, you can get up to 45 miles on a full charge. Let’s use 30 miles to be conservative.

From our previous calculation, it takes 6.91 cents to fully charge the Lectric 2.0 XP Black with its 30 mile range.

To find its mileage per dollar, we need to divide the bike range by full bike battery charge cost. 

Mileage per dollar = Bike range ÷ One full charge cost

Using our Lectric example,

Mileage per dollar = 30 miles ÷ $0.06912 = 434 miles per dollar. 

This further confirms the INCREDIBLE VALUE that electric bikes offer especially if you use them for your commute. 

The average fuel economy for 2020 model cars was 25.4 miles per US gallon. A US gallon of fuel today (19th Jan 2022) costs $3.67 on average. All this translates to 6.92 miles per dollar.

An eBike will complete a car’s trip roughly 62 times for the same dollar spent. 

Sure, you won’t get to your destination anywhere as fast or as comfortably as you would in a car but you’d save an absolute fortune on transport costs.

eBike battery charge cost ( Cost per mile traveled)

You may also be interested in knowing how much it costs to travel one mile. You can then use that figure to check how much it’ll cost you to make your commute if you ever plan on ditching your car for your eBike.

To find the cost of traveling 1 mile, we have to invert the mileage per dollar. In other words, 

Cost ($) per mile = 1 ÷ Mileage per dollar

Cost ($) per mile for Lectric 2.0 = 1/434 = 0.23 cents to travel 1 mile.

For example, a 15 mile commute will cost just 3.45 cents.

Again, this is another RIDICULOUSLY LOW figure especially in comparison to a train, or bus ticket, or even the most efficient car’s mileage.

Related post: How to charge your electric bike properly

Tips to reduce cost to charge an electric bike

Man removing KBO electric bike battery pack

We’ve already established that the costs of charging an electric bike are extremely low. However, there may be some who still would like to conserve as much as possible. 

Here are a few ways to further reduce the costs of charging your eBike

  1. Charge eBike at off-peak hours

In most countries, off-peak KWh unit costs are much lower than peak hours. To save on your bike’s charging bill, you should always recharge at off-peak hours. I’d advise charging overnight.

  1. Use work or other public sources to charge electric bike

If you go to work or to school or to a public library, you can also take out your eBike’s battery pack and charge it with public electricity. This will cost you nothing.

  1. Change your electricity provider to a cheaper one.

This isn’t just good advice for your eBike but for your finances as well. You should shop around and find the best electricity rates available in your area. 

Find out how much an electric bike costs

  1. Get an eBike with regenerative braking or add that to your bike

If you are on the market for a new electric bike, shop for ones with regenerative braking. In a small vehicle like an eBike, it’s debatable how effective it will be, but it’s been reported that it can save you up to 5% – 15% on your bike’s energy consumption. So, if you love saving money, check them out.

  1. Change your battery to a more efficient model

If you’ve already got an eBike, your battery technology might be dated. If this is the case, changing to a modern, more efficient model might be your best bet. It may be expensive, but if you get a quality one, you might not have to change it for many years. Bosch makes excellent eBike batteries.

  1. Maintain your eBike battery properly

Follow your eBike manual and maintain your electric bike battery properly. Don’t overcharge it. Only charge it when the battery gets below 25% unless you’ve got a long journey planned. Once it’s full, disconnect it. Overcharging can drain a battery’s life.

Conclusion

There you have it. Now, you know how much it costs to charge an electric bike. It’s ridiculously cheap to maintain after the initial bike purchase. If an eBike’s charging costs were holding you back, fear no more. 

Also, switching your car commute for a bike commute will save you loads of money and it can be your form of daily exercise. So, you’ve got the financial and physical benefits of eBikes and don’t forget it’ll also massively reduce your carbon footprint. Now, that’s a WIN-WIN-WIN situation. 

Thanks again for reading. Cheers!

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