How Much Money Could I Save Riding an E-Bike?September 4, 2022
No question, riding an e-bike offers significant environmental benefits over a car and the health and fitness picture is very appealing as well. But what about our personal economics? How much money could you save commuting by e-bike instead of an average family car? The answer is simple….“it depends”. For simplicity, we’ll focus on what you can save on the commute, which is the majority of available miles for most people.
While you’ll save the most from year-round bike commuting, let’s plan more conservatively. Suppose you cycle 8 months a year, 4 days a week while driving in at other times because of weather or other errands around work. And let’s say your commute is 8 miles each way. Do the math: 8 months x 4.3 weeks per month x 4 days = 138 days of riding each year. And at 16 miles per day, that’s 2,208 miles. According to the AA (The British motoring association not Alcoholics Anonymous), the 2021 fuel report for a medium-size family car costs £0.14p per mile. You’d be spending 2,208 x 0.14 = £309.12 for fuel alone. In general, the battery of your e-bike usually requires 500 watt-hours (equivalent to 0.5 kilowatt-hours) to get charged, depending on its capacity. Based on a £10-£15/kWh rate (here in the UK), a charge that lasts 40 miles and it will cost you about £5 (bear in mind that we are in an energy crisis here in the UK and that price is based on the end of 2022 evaluations). So we then divide 2,208 by 40 which equals 55.2 (We will ignore the 2 because you are bounds to get a little more out of the battery depending on the way you ride) so 55 x £5 = £275 So at first glance, its not much of a saving at all. Yes, it’s still money saved, but not much. But fuel is only one part of owning a car…
Overall, automobile maintenance is usually more expensive than bike maintenance. We’ll assume you get a new set of bike tires each year and have some other annual tuning done. Guaranteed, that will cost less than what you spend on car maintenance unless you’re in the first year of ownership or extremely lucky.
Suppose you pay to park each day. Now the money piles up fast. Using a carpark and once again turning to AA’s 2021 numbers that is an average of £1.10 per hour and £4.80 if you live in London. But I don’t live in London, so let’s stick to the UK average. £1.10 X 8hrs = £8.80. Then times that by 138 days of average yearly commuting and that is a whopping £1,214.40p per year!
So finally we turn back to the AA’s numbers for 2021 and find out that it costs £3,556 per year to run the average family car. So when you remember that the only cost of an e-bike is £275 for charging the battery you suddenly realise just how much money you can save by switching to one!
With it looking like the cost of living is rising all time here at EBUK we can easily see more and more people turning to e-bikes for their daily commute.