Pros And Cons Of Ebikes [Complete List After Years Of Experience]

Last Updated on May 17, 2023 by Matt

pros and cons of electric bikes

You might be wondering about the pros and cons of ebikes if you’re thinking of buying one. In this guide, I’ve put together my complete list of all the advantages and disadvantages of electric bikes based on my experience with them over the years.

Pros and cons of ebikes

Eco-friendly with small carbon footprintExpensive
Cheaper than drivingHeavier than conventional bikes
Faster than non-motorized bicyclesUnclear laws
Tax benefitsNot great for exercise
Great for older adults and the disabledSurrounded by negative criticism
Increases the life of your carRequire frequent maintenance
Fewer regulationsLong charging time
Require less maintenanceFrequent targets of theft
You can ride them manuallyThe battery can die mid-ride
Easy storage Not allowed on airplanes
Great for steep hills
More fun than conventional bikes
Health benefits
Everyone can keep up

The benefits of electric bikes are so great that at one point in 2021, electric bikes started outselling cars. Crazy, right? The trend of using electric bikes is unlikely to slow down in the coming years, but like everything else, they also have some disadvantages you should be aware of.

Let’s dive into all the upsides and downsides of electric bikes.

Pros of an electric bike

Here are some of the most important advantages of electric bikes that solidified my decision to get my first electric bike a few years ago.


saving the environment

Electric bikes emit fewer greenhouse gases than gas-powered vehicles like cars and buses. They are powered by electricity, which can be generated using renewable energy sources, e.g., solar and wind power.

This significantly reduces reliance on fossil fuels for energy, making electric bikes a more sustainable form of transport than motorbikes and cars. Another benefit of not relying on fossil fuels is that an electric bike can reduce your carbon footprint by 84%.

Electric bikes use more sustainable rechargeable batteries instead of disposable ones. Disposable batteries end up in landfills, releasing harmful gases and leaking toxic chemicals that pollute the air, soil, and groundwater.

If people start using electric bikes, even just for short routes, it could also help reduce air pollution and traffic congestion.

Cheaper than driving

Electric bikes are generally cheaper than cars in every way. Even if we put their upfront costs aside, gasoline is much more expensive than electricity. So operating an electric bike is much lighter on the wallet.

Ebikes don’t have as many components as cars, so their maintenance costs are significantly lower. Unlike cars, electric bikes don’t need regular oil changes, repairs, and tune-ups. You don’t have to pay parking or toll fees like with cars because bike lanes and stands are free to use.

Also, an electric bike saves you from paying insurance, registration fees, or license fees, which can add up to a huge amount for car owners.

Faster than non-motorized bicycles

electric bike vs regular bike

Electric bikes have motors that help you pedal. This makes the ride much faster compared to a conventional bicycle ride. Additional power to the pedals also saves you from fatigue and lets you pedal for longer distances. 

If you do get tired, you can use higher levels of pedal assistance, and with some electric bikes, you can also use the throttle. Putting down your electric bike in throttle mode means the bike will move itself without the need for pedaling.

Tax benefits

Countries all over the world are encouraging citizens to adopt more sustainable modes of transport through tax benefits. In the United States, the IRS offers a tax credit of up to 30% of the cost of your electric bike.

This can go up to a maximum credit of $1,500, but you need to meet a few conditions and adhere to certain limits. The electric bike has to be new, and the credit cannot be more than the cost of the bike. Individually, states also offer grants, rebates, and sales tax exemptions.

In the U.K., the Cycle to Work scheme allows employees to get an electric bike through their employers and pay the money back through salary deductions. Countries like the Netherlands and France offer subsidies for purchasing electric bikes, low registration fees, tax credits, and reduced VAT.

Great for older adults and the disabled

Electric bikes require less physical exertion because of motor assistance. You can even use the throttle for shorter routes to ride without pedaling. For people with disabilities, electric bikes offer a less complicated mode of transport than cars that they can easily control.

Electric bikes can also be modified according to a person’s disability, with wider seats, step-through frames, and hand-held throttles, whatever is needed to make the ride more pleasant.

All in all, electric bikes are an inclusive and more accessible mode of transport that everyone can use for an active and independent lifestyle.

Increases the life of your car

Yes, you heard it right. An electric bike can actually help increase the life of your car. Using your electric bike for shorter routes can save your car from wear and tear. Since the car won’t be used as much, its lifespan will increase, and you’ll be able to avoid major maintenance costs.

With all the traffic congestion these days, you’ll save your car’s engine from the unnecessary load of repeatedly stopping and then moving again.

Fewer regulations

Even though electric bikes have motors, they are still considered bicycles. So, they have fewer regulations than other motor vehicles. These regulations can differ from state to state and country to country but won’t be as severe as those for gas-powered vehicles.

In most places, you don’t need a license, insurance, or registration to use an electric bike. You can also use the designated bicycle lanes and trails without any problem.

Since an electric bike is considered pretty much a bicycle, the same safety rules also apply. Helmets, obeying traffic signals, and speed limits are all taken very seriously.

Require less maintenance

Electric bikes don’t have combustion engine parts like cars. They have fewer parts than larger, motorized vehicles and simpler mechanisms. So there isn’t much to maintain. 

Most of the maintenance is simple enough to do yourself, like cleaning and lubricating the chain, adjusting the brakes, and tightening bolts and screws. 

Even if you do end up needing a visit to a professional ebike mechanic once in a blue moon, the maintenance cost will be significantly less than a car’s.

Works as 2 in 1

What’s great about electric bikes is that you can also use them as conventional bikes. If your battery dies mid-ride, you don’t have to worry about getting stuck, and you don’t have to spend money on a separate conventional bicycle. 

Even if the battery is charged, you can turn off the motor and ride your ebike manually. I like to ride my electric bike manually when I want a more strenuous workout. If I get too tired and can’t push myself to pedal anymore, I can turn on the pedal assistance. 

In short, you get the best of both worlds!

Easy storage

electric bike storage ideas

Electric bikes are way smaller than cars, so they don’t need much storage space. You can store them in your garage or even in your home. Even if you live in a condo or apartment, there are a bunch of storage options you can buy to make space. 

These include vertical and horizontal bike racks, electric bike lifts, and stands. You won’t even have to pay for parking space.

Electric bikes are easy to disassemble and reassemble for transport as well. You can also just use a bike box or a bike bag if you don’t want the hassle of disassembling your bike.

Great for steep hills

people climbing hills on electric bikes

Riding a conventional bicycle up a steep hill can be exhausting. Electric bikes make uphill rides feel like a breeze with their multiple levels of pedal assistance and throttle features. 

Though these settings can use a lot of battery, I wouldn’t recommend manually climbing a steep hill. You could always lower the assistance once you reach the top of the hill.

Some electric bikes are specially designed for rough terrains and hills. They have better brake systems, fat tires, suspension forks, and comfortable seating.

More fun than conventional bikes

Electric bikes are just so much more fun to ride than conventional bikes!

Try finding someone who disagrees. Many users have even said that they wouldn’t ride at all if they didn’t have an electric bike.

In fact, it’s been found that people with electric bikes double their use of cycling for transport. That means a healthier lifestyle for the rider and a way better option for the climate. A real win-win if you ask me.

Health benefits

Electric bikes may not be the greatest way to lose calories, but that doesn’t mean they have no health benefits. What could be better for your mental health and stress than enjoying a ride outdoors and getting your fill of vitamin D? 

Electric bikes are also a great low-impact exercise for people who can’t handle over-exerting workouts or have mobility problems.

Everyone can keep up

Electric bikes can elevate group cycling with friends and family. Everyone can match cycling speeds no matter the difference in their fitness levels. 

All everyone has to do is use a suitable pedal assist level, and they can keep up with the rest of the group.

This is also an excellent inclusive group activity for people with disabilities, mobility problems, or other health problems.

Cons of an electric bike

Now that we’ve covered the pros, let’s discuss the cons. Though I believe the pros of an electric bike outweigh its cons, they should still be considered when deciding to get one.


Sure, electric bikes are cheaper than cars. But they’re also way more expensive than conventional bicycles. Due to the additional electrical components and integrated technology, electric bikes can cost anywhere from $1000 to over $5000.

Electric bikes of some brands have complex and rare parts, which can be a headache to find replacements for. Also, an average electric bike battery lasts between 2-8 years, and a replacement will cost you a pretty penny.

Heavier than conventional bikes

Due to the added electrical components, electric bikes are way heavier than conventional bikes. This makes the bike harder to maneuver, especially if you’re riding it manually. With heavier bikes, riding in tight spaces and crowds or taking sharp turns can also be difficult.

Another downside is that a heavier electric bike won’t be too portable and will use more battery.

Not great for exercise

As I mentioned earlier, electric bikes are great for low-impact exercise but won’t do much to lose calories. You could ride your electric bike manually for more exerting workouts, but you could also do that with a conventional bike.

So this shouldn’t be your sole reason to buy an electric bike.

Unclear laws

Electric bikes are still a new technology, so not all places have clear laws about their use. Some countries have well-defined laws and regulations, while others haven’t given them much thought.

Because of the growing popularity of electric bikes and their numerous benefits, governments have started updating their laws and regulations regarding e-vehicles.

This includes defining needed safety equipment and speed limits, classifying electric bikes based on their features, etc.

Negative criticism

There are more than a few negative criticisms when it comes to electric bikes. For example, a lot of cycling enthusiasts believe electric bikes are for lazy people, and they’re a way of cheating into the sport without being subjected to any exertion.

Frequent maintenance

An electric bike’s maintenance may be simple, but it must be done frequently to prevent defects. Skipping maintenance could speed up the degradation process or decrease the lifespan of your electric bike.

You have to be extra careful about cleaning any dirt and water off your bike to protect its electrical components. Even the smallest damage to the electrical components will result in significant repair costs or, in the worst scenarios, replacement costs.

Long charging time

Electric bikes can take between 3-5 hours to charge on average. If you forget to charge the battery, you’ll either have to wait for it to charge enough or risk the battery dying mid-ride.

Complete discharge can decrease the battery’s lifespan, so I don’t recommend going for a longer ride with a charge of less than 20%.

To solve this problem, you could keep a backup battery, although this means additional costs.

Frequent targets of theft

electric bike locked to a pole outside

Electric bikes are easier to steal than cars, especially if you keep yours in a shed or garage. Many electric bike thefts have been reported in the US and the UK. Sometimes, thieves just take the battery and leave the rest of the bike.

While this may make having an electric bike inconvenient, you can take security measures to avoid theft. Use multiple locks on your bike, like a U-lock or chain lock. You can also use a smart lock to detect if anyone tampers with the bike.

The lock will blare an alarm to alert you and will probably chase away the thieves.

The battery can die mid-ride

Though you can ride an electric bike manually in case the battery dies mid-ride, this isn’t possible for everyone. Older adults or people with mobility problems can find themselves in a frustrating and unpleasant situation in such a scenario.

The best way to avoid this is to always start your ride with a full charge. Also, investing in a backup battery might be an option worth considering. Keep the backup fully charged and use it when you forget to charge the original one.

You can also connect a second battery to your existing one to decrease the chances of this happening.

Not allowed on airplanes

You can’t travel on airplanes with electric bikes. This is because of the high-capacity lithium-ion batteries that can overheat and cause fires. To avoid endangering passengers and the plane, most airlines explicitly prohibit electric bikes onboard.

Airlines do allow lithium-ion batteries under a 160 watt-hours limit, but electric bike batteries have way higher capacities.


Like everything else in life, electric bikes have both pros and cons that can impact your decision to get one. However, the pros clearly outweigh the cons, and most of the cons are manageable. You can avoid them by taking the necessary precautions. 

Here’s a table referencing all the pros and cons of electric bikes for summary.

Eco-friendly with small carbon footprintExpensive
Cheaper than drivingHeavier than conventional bikes
Faster than non-motorized bicyclesUnclear laws
Tax benefitsNot great for exercise
Great for older adults and the disabledSurrounded by negative criticism
Increases the life of your carRequire frequent maintenance
Fewer regulationsLong charging time
Require less maintenanceFrequent targets of theft
You can ride them manuallyThe battery can die mid-ride
Easy storage Not allowed on airplanes
Great for steep hills
More fun than conventional bikes
Health benefits
Everyone can keep up

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Matt standing next to his Xiaomi M365 Pro electric scooter and holding an electric scooter helmet
My name is Matt Trajkovski. I love electric scooters, and electric vehicles in general. I like doing a lot of testing, reviewing, and research on various electric scooter models and brands, looking for great value and performance, both through data and experience. All of the content published on this blog goes through a rigorous review and editorial process, and our product reviews not only include the hands-on experience of our own team members, but the experience of our audience members as well. My goal is to provide you with the best information about electric scooters possible. You can see all of my posts in my articles archive.

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