Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Musing Journal #5

Electric Bike Cost

If you have been following my posts, you know that I have been smitten by electric bikes. No wonder. They are clean, light, simple, and really a good transportation mode all around. The fact that I have bike path from the house really does seal the deal. There is only one problem: The cost.

Now, I can go buy myself a cute little red scooter for about $2000. A used one can be had for $1000. So, I really don't want to spend more money than $1000 for an electric bike. A scooter can get you places bikes can, faster and safer. Of course, there is the cost of ownership. Scooters costs more to insure and maintain. But let's face it, with 100 mpg effective expense, it just doesn't cost all that much.

But how about electric bikes? You can always pedal. Yes, that's true. But with regular bike, that's free. How about the cost of an electric bike? There have been a lot of calculations thrown about that says an electric bike gets an equivalent of 1000 mpg! Some people, in fact, attached the battery charging unit to solar cells. That's probably about 1 million mpg. How can a scooter beat that?

I'm not interested in calculating pedal power into the equation. So, first, I'm taking the range of motor only. Then I take the cost of purchasing replacement battery. Finally, I take the amount of recharging the batteries can take before losing capacity. So, the true mpg cost of an electric bike is Price of batteries / (mile per charge * number of charge). That gives you dollar per mile. A simple price check will give you dollars per gallon. That will give you mile per gallon figure.

In my calculation, I get about 80 mpg for electric bikes. So, that's slightly less than that of a scooter. I consider, cost wise, scooters and electric bikes are the same. Perhaps I will change my mind later, once the battery technology has improved much and gasoline cost more that it is now. However, that's some time in the future and for now, I will not buy an electric bike that costs more than $1000. I'd rather have a scooter!

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