How much does it cost to charge an electric bike?


An e-bike costs about 5c to charge in the US, about 7p in the UK, 30c in Germany, 19c in France and 6 rupees in India. The exact cost depends on the local electricity price, your battery capacity, how empty the battery charge is, and other factors.

Let’s take a look at some major global e-bike markets to determine some common charging costs in various countries.

Cost to Charge in the US

According to Statista, the average US electricity price is 12c per kilowatt hour. Therefore, we take some common values for e-bike batteries, plug them into this handy e-bike cost per charge calculator created by myself for your convenience!

As you can see, the cost of charging a typical e-bike battery of 396 Wh, is about 5 US cents! That is incredibly good value and proves that e-biking is a cheap mode of transport, particularly compared to a regular car or EV. If you charge your e-bike at work or at a lower nighttime electricity rate, you may even pay less.

If you charge your e-bike 200 days per year – which would be a high estimate – expect to pay just $10 per year in e-bike charging costs!

If you are confused about volts, amps, watt-hours, etc. I wrote this handy guide to common battery terms which should help you to understand them. The most important battery metric is Watt Hours (Wh).

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Cost to Charge in the UK

According to Statista, the average UK electricity price is 26c per kilowatt hour in US dollars (Statista lists all global prices in US dollars, not in local currency), which is about 19p GBP per kilowatt hour at the time of publication.

Punching these numbers into our handy-dandy calculator, we get the following results:

It costs about 8p in GBP to charge a fairly typical e-bike battery from zero to 100%, at average UK electricity prices. Depending where in the UK you live, that electricity may come from wind or nuclear, so your journey is not adding emissions into the atmosphere, i.e. you are taking a zero carbon mode of transport (counting emissions at the ‘tailpipe’, ignoring the emissions used in manufacturing the e-bike and components). Compared to taking the tube, the cost is nothing! Plus you get exercise on our route, and take advantage of the ever-increasing UK cycling infrastructure.

Cost to Charge in Germany

Germany has the highest residential electricity prices in the world. It’s also a huge market for e-bikes, and contains a growing manufacturing base for electric bikes. Despite the high electricity prices, it’s still really cheap to charge your e-bike in Germany compared to public transport or traveling by car. According to Statista, the average German electricity price is 36c per kilowatt hour in US dollars, which is about 30c per kilowatt hour in Euro at the time of publication.

Let’s fire up our helpful calculator once more and see what the citizens of Europe’s biggest economy have to pay for the privilege of charging an e-bike battery.

In Germany it costs about 12c in Euro to charge a 396 Wh battery from zero to 100%. Compared to the cost of an S-Bahn, U-Bahn, bus, car or electric car, this is a tiny cost.

Cost to Charge in France

France has cheaper electricity than their Teutonic neighbors to the west. This is perhaps due to the long-ago amortized fleet of civilian nuclear reactors that provide much of the countries electricity – which is zero-carbon power too! According to Statista, the average French electricity price is 22c in US dollars per kilowatt hour, which is about 19c in Euro at the time of publication.

The cost to charge our example battery in France is about 8c in Euro.

Cost to Charge in India

India is a large and growing market for electric bikes. The electricity cost in India is much cheaper than the other countries on this list, however, the average Indian salary is correspondingly lower too. According to Statista, the average Indian electricity price is 8c in US dollars per kilowatt hour, which is about 5.94 Indian Rupees at the time of publication.

So is it good value to use an e-bike in India?

The cost to charge our example battery in India is about 2.35 Indian Rupees.

E-Bike Cost to Charge Calculator

I have created a handy, easy-to-use calculator so you can quickly calculate your own individual cost per charge. I have added some descriptions which should help you to determine your own battery metrics. You can look at your own electricity companies’ rate for the most accurate amount in your local currency, or else use global average electricity amounts as a rough measure and then convert the USD amounts into your local currency.

Link to Google spreadsheet:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1jG-2A04x6ncNqiRP8Pb6NH4Wxo8l305HFTrjcD7QZws/edit?usp=sharing

Real-life Example – cost to charge my e-bike battery

My daily driver is a budget priced electric bike. Consulting the underside of the battery (and blanking out the serial number), I can see the following numbers for my particular e-bike battery:

If you squint, you can make out that it says 48 V, 10.5Ah and 504 Watt hours – perfect. We can use these numbers as follows:

So it costs me about 15c in Euros to charge my roughly 500 Wh battery at typical prices. Considering that a typical train journey starts at upwards €5 where I live, this is a cost factor saving of x34 assuming that the e-bike can directly replace a train journey – which it often can, usually multiple journeys saved!

Conclusion

Compared to the cost of almost any other mode of transport, e-bikes offer exceptionally low cost of transport. For many people, the cost of charging the battery is a rounding error and will not impact the decision of whether to use an e-bike or not. The more important is the upfront cost of the e-bike itself, and the cost of parts like replacement tires, replacement batteries, and gear and accessories.

Nikolaj Carlsen

Nikolaj loves cycling! He currently owns two bikes. He used to commute to work with a car but switched to an e-bike in 2017. He loves e-bikes and sharing his knowledge on everything cycling related. He has been part of the Amped Cycling Team since early 2020.

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