Last Updated on May 17, 2023 by Matt
Considering how long electric bikes take to charge and their high battery capacities, you may think that the electric bike charging cost is high. That’s a common misconception – charging your electric bike is actually pretty cheap.
In this guide, we will discuss electric bike charging costs around the world. I will also show how you can calculate your electric bike’s charging cost according to your country’s electricity rates.
How much does it cost to charge an e-bike?
The cost to charge an electric bike can vary depending on the model of your electric bike and the electricity rates in your country. For an electric bike with a battery capacity of 400 watt-hours, a single charge can cost $0.0672 in the U.S., $0.168 in the U.K., $ 0.44 in Canada, $0.083 in Australia, $0.028 in India and $0.184 in Germany.
What factors affect an electric bike charging cost?
Several main factors will affect your electric bike charging cost. The following factors can vary depending on where you live and what model of electric bike you have.
The battery capacity of your electric bike
When it comes to battery capacity alone, the bigger the capacity of the battery, the more it costs to fully charge it.
If we take into account the varying prices of electricity, the battery capacity may not always have a proportional relationship to the charging cost. In the majority of cases, however, it does.
Electricity rates of your country
Some countries charge more for electricity than others. They also may have different methods of charging you for electricity. So the cost of charging largely depends on where you live.
Some electricity providers charge different rates at different times of the day. Rates are higher during peak hours and lower during off-peak hours. So, charging your electric bike during low-peak hours will cost less.
Another method of pricing electricity is the flat rate method. This means you’ll be charged the same rate to charge your electric bike no matter the time of day.
With tiered rates, the rate per unit of electricity depends on how much energy you use. If your energy use crosses a certain threshold, you’ll be charged a higher per-unit rate. So, charging a higher-capacity battery will cost you more.
Age and condition of your battery
Lithium-ion batteries are known to degrade with use and age. An aged battery will fail to hold charge for longer periods of time and will need to be charged more often. This will increase the bike’s charging cost.
These batteries also become less efficient with age, so they’ll use more energy than usual to charge completely. Combining the deterioration effect of the battery’s capacity and efficiency, the charging cost will be high, and you won’t even get optimal performance.
Even if you have a high-quality battery, bad charging habits like overcharging and undercharging can decrease its efficiency.
Over time, the battery will hold less and less charge, and it will use its energy with less efficiency, which will cause the charging cost to go up.
Type of charger
Different electric bike chargers have different efficiencies. Some are designed to charge your battery using less energy but take longer. Other chargers are mainly designed to speed up the charging process.
An inefficient charger wastes energy and fails to regulate the charging process properly.
Fast charging can be convenient but will consume more energy and hence cost more. These chargers also affect the battery’s ability to hold charge. The battery may charge quickly, but its drainage time will also be faster than normal.
This means you’ll need to charge it frequently, adding to the charging cost. Using an incompatible charger can speed up the degradation process of your electric bike battery, affecting its ability to hold charge.
How to calculate an electric bike charging cost?
If you want a more accurate idea of how much will it cost you to charge your electric bike, you can calculate the value yourself through the following steps.
- Find the capacity of your electric bike in watt-hours by using the following formula:
- Voltage (volts) x Ah = Battery capacity (Wh)
- Since the rate provided by electricity providers is usually expressed per kilowatt hour, convert the watt-hours value of your battery capacity into kilowatt-hours.
- Battery Capacity (Wh) / 1000 = kWh
- Find out the price per kilowatt-hour that your electricity provider charges and multiply that value by the kilowatt-hour value of your bike’s battery capacity.
- Electric bike’s battery capacity (kWh) x Electricity cost per kWh = Ebike charging cost
Charging costs per country
On average, an electric commuter bike has a battery capacity of around 400 watt-hours. That is 0.4 kilowatt-hours, which is the value I used to calculate an electric bike’s charging costs in the following countries. I sourced the electricity rates for each country from here.
|Country||Charging Cost (local currency)||Charging Cost (USD)|
|The U.S.A||0.0672 USD||0.0672|
|The U.K.||0.136 Pound Sterling||0.168|
|Canada||0.6 Canadian Dollar||0.44|
|India||2.29 Indian rupees||0.028|
|Sweden||1.21 Swedish Krona||0.116|
|New Zealand||0.12 New Zealand Dollar||0.076|
|Philippines||3.98 Philippine peso||0.072|
|South Africa||1.18 South African Rand||0.064|
|Hong Kong||0.50 Hong Kong Dollar||0.064|
|Japan||8.02 Japanese Yen||0.06|
|China||0.39 Chinese Yuan||0.056|
|Indonesia||535.43 Indonesian Rupiah||0.036|
|Malaysia||0.088 Malaysian Ringgit||0.02|
|Russia||1.97 Russian Ruble||0.024|
How much does charging an electric bike in the USA cost?
Currently, the average electricity rate in the U.S. is $0.14 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Multiplying this value by 0.4 kWh, we get a total cost of $0.0672 for a single charge.
How much does charging an electric bike in Canada cost?
Canada is charging 0.15 CAD per kilowatt-hour, so the total cost for a single charge of an electric bike will be 0.6 CAD.
How much does charging an electric bike in the UK cost?
Until June 2023, the U.K. will charge 0.34 pound-sterling per kilowatt-hour for electricity. This makes 0.136 pound-sterling for a single 400 Wh electric battery charge.
How much does charging an electric bike in Australia cost?
Australia charges 0.31 Australian dollars per kilowatt-hour. It’ll cost you 0.124 AUD to completely charge an electric bike.
How much does charging an electric bike in Germany cost?
The electricity charges in Germany are $0.46 per kilowatt-hour, which is 0.42 euros. It’ll cost you 0.168 euros or $0.184 to charge your electric bike once.
How much does it cost to charge an electric bike in India?
India charges 573.36 INR or $0.07 kilowatt per hour for electricity. That means a single electric bike charge will cost you $0.028, which is 2.29 Indian rupees.
How to reduce an electric bike charging cost?
Though charging an electric bike doesn’t cost much, here are some ways to further reduce the cost.
Charge during off-peak hours
As I mentioned earlier, some electricity providers charge different rates at different times of the day. The rates are usually the lowest during off-peak hours. Some providers apply off-peak rates for specific hours, while others do it for specific days.
For example, many providers offer low rates overnight or on weekends. Charging your electric bike during off-peak hours can save you a good deal on your charging cost. You just need to know your provider’s rate structure and schedule for off-peak hours.
A friend of mine uses a programmable charger to set up an automated charging schedule according to low peak hours.
Avoid frequently charging your ebike partially
It might be true that you’ll never be able to fully enjoy an electric bike if you’re always trying to charge it fully. However, it is still a valid method to reduce the bike’s charging cost.
You can also lower the number of times you need to charge your electric bike by using my tips to increase its range, including riding at a moderate speed, keeping your tires inflated, avoiding extreme temperatures, etc.
The longer the charge lasts, the less frequently you’ll have to charge your ebike, and the more efficient your battery will be.
Maintain your battery
Maintaining your electric bike battery helps keep it healthy and improves its ability to hold a charge. The battery’s degradation process slows down, so charging doesn’t require excessive energy consumption.
You’ll require less frequent charges when your battery is in optimal working condition. Some tips for maintaining your electric bike are to keep the battery clean, inflate the bike’s tires, charge it according to the manufacturer’s guidelines and regularly check for damage.
Take the proper steps when storing your battery. Store it in a cool and dry place after cleaning its terminals and case. Store the battery when it is between 20%-80%. Keep checking on it during storage to ensure the percentage doesn’t drop 20% below.
If it does, charge your battery to avoid speedy degradation caused by complete discharges.
Use an efficient charger
An efficient charger provides faster and more reliable charging while consuming less energy. It doesn’t waste any energy as heat and adjusts the charging process for optimal results. This helps in decreasing the charging cost of your electric bike.
These chargers can also regulate the temperature of your battery in case it overheats. Make sure that the charger you use is from the same manufacturer as your electric bike and that it is compatible with your battery.
You can also use a programmable charger to avoid extra energy consumption caused by overcharging. The charger will stop as soon as the battery is full.
Get a bike with regenerative braking
The regenerative brakes on your electric bikes can help raise your charge mid-ride. To stop an electric bike with regenerative brakes, apply pressure on the brake pedal. This causes the motor to slow the bike down.
While the bike is slowing down, regenerative brakes use the kinetic energy produced by the bike’s movement and convert it into electrical energy.
The generated energy is sent back to the battery for later use and can help increase the range of your electric bike. Since the ebike battery will be able to hold charge for longer periods, you won’t have to charge your electric bike as often.
Don’t delay battery replacements
If your battery has run its course, it’s time to let go of it and replace it with a new one, preferably an upgrade. You may think you’re doing yourself a favor by saving yourself the money for a replacement battery, but you’re actually doing the opposite.
Since your original battery is no longer efficient, it’s consuming way more power than needed to charge. Much of that consumed power is being wasted as heat, so you’ll be charged extra for the energy you didn’t even use.
Getting a replacement battery will save you money in the long run because the bike will charge more efficiently. The new battery will also be able to hold charge for a longer time, so you won’t have to charge it as often.
Get solar panels
The best part about electricity these days is that there are options to generate it for free, the most popular being using solar panels.
Though the upfront cost for solar panels is quite a lot, the money is worth it in the long run. You can use solar panels to charge your electric bike free of cost.
Additionally, you can transfer any extra generated solar energy to electricity provider companies in exchange for deductions in your electricity bill. Of course, not all electricity providers offer this service, but you can find one easily and reach a mutual arrangement.
Electric bike charging cost vs other means of transport
Electric bikes are more sustainable than gas-powered vehicles and cost much less to operate.
To illustrate this better, let’s break it down:
- Gas prices are currently at around $3.50 per gallon (and the rate is only increasing as time goes by).
- The average car can cover around 25 mi / 40 km per gallon, which is the the minimum range of budget electric bikes (many have a range closer to 100 mi / 160 km).
- Even if we assume the worst case scenario and say that an ebike covers just 25 mi / 40 km on a single charge, the price for that distance is still pennies on the dollar
Plus, you don’t even get stuck in traffic with an electric bike.
Riding public transport could be cheaper than using a car, but you will still be paying for a ticket, and you won’t have a lot of control and flexibility. You’ll have to follow a schedule, wait for the transport, and you’ll probably still have to walk to get to the end destination.
With an electric bike, you can ride wherever you want without any unnecessary stops. You can stop for groceries and take more pleasant or shorter routes without worrying about missing the bus or subway.
If we compare the charging cost of an electric bike to an electric scooter, the difference between the two is negligible. However, electric bikes have a better range because they aren’t entirely dependent on the motor to move forward.
The rider’s pedalling helps conserve battery, so the electric bike holds charge for a longer time. In comparison, an electric scooter does not get any assistance from the rider. Even if it has the same battery capacity as an electric bike, it will drain much more quickly because of the complete reliance on its motor.
If you’re thinking about getting an electric bike and are worried about its associated costs, you can pretty much let go of the worry about charging costs. It’s peanuts compared to the costs needed to operate other vehicles and modes of transport.
If you still care about the charging cost, there are multiple ways to reduce it, most notably charging at off-peak hours.
The main costs are the one-time upfront cost you’ll pay to buy your electric bike, and the second is battery replacements. But most electric bikes don’t need a battery replacement until 5-8 years of use.
Just maintain your ebike regularly, and you won’t be facing any costly expenses for quite a long time.