The Cost Of Electric Bikes Vs. Other Transportation

The Cost Of Electric Bikes Vs. Other Transportation

There are plenty of reasons for riding a bike on your commute that go well beyond trying to be more fit, or even save time. For many riders, especially in larger cities, riding a bike to work can save you a significant amount of money on a yearly basis.

While conventional bikes are still a very popular choice for bike commuters, electric bikes are starting to become more prevalent as time goes on. These bikes can help commuters tackle larger distances at a faster rate, and without having to exert as much effort, which can definitely come in handy during warmer months.

Below, we’ll go over some of the potential savings one can experience when using an electric bike for their commute instead of automobiles, subways, buses, etc.


Out of all the costs to gauge for this article, the electric bike is probably the hardest one. You can spend anywhere from $400 to $2,500, and still end up with a viable bike that can be relied upon each day on the way to work.

For the sake of keeping things average, we’ll just say an electric bike in this case has an upfront cost of $750, with maintenance costing about $100 a year, for a grand total of $850 upfront, and $100 a year after that.


Commuting by auto remains the most popular choice in many parts of the world. In terms of costs, you have to consider gasoline, and insurance. We won’t account for repairs in this article, so consider the final figure less than what it likely really is.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the average commute length is 15 miles on way. So, when doing a round trip, that’s 30 miles.

Gas prices over the last year have hovered around $2.20 per gallon nationally. As for gas milage, newer cars now average around 26 miles per gallon.

Comute to Work

So, if you’re going 30 miles per day to work on a 5 day workweek, that’s 150 miles total. When going off the national gas mileage average, that’s 5.76 gallons of gas per week just for work. Multiply 5.76 gallons by $2.40 per gallon, and you’ve got $12.67 per week on gas. Multiply that  by 52 weeks per year, and that’s $658 just on gas for work.

As for insurance, $100 per month is a common rate, So that’s $1,200 per year.

The final cost per year of commuting to work by car in this scenario is $1,858 -- and that’s with generous gas mileage and lower insurance rates. If you’re going monthly, that’s $154 a month.


Public transit that includes buses and subways varies all over the world, but for reference, we’ll go with New York City.

A MetroCard for the subway per day is $6 round trip. That’s $30 a week.

Subway in New York

A monthly MetroCard pass that includes bus and subway is $121 per month.

Go with the daily subway rate, and you’ll pay $1,560 per year. Get a monthly MetroCard pass, and you’ll pay $1,452 per year.


As you can see, even if you buy a mid-range electric bike at $750, and pay $100 a year for maintenance, you’re still coming in at around $800 to $1,000 less per year than you’d use with other transportation methods. That can really add up.

Electric bikes give you the ability to get around quicker in some scenarios, while still getting a good workout when you want. And of course, on top of that, you’re saving a good amount of money per year. This is just another reason why you should consider one for your commuting if you’re able.

This post was last updated on June 2nd, 2018 at 06:14 pm

About the Author Max Shumpert

Over the last few years, I’ve taken my love of the outdoors, hiking, skiing, trekking and exploring to the next level by starting this site. I started a bike shop in Denver, CO, and have seen amazing growth over the last few years. Getting paid to do what I love has been a dream come true for me. That’s also what led me to start In my shop, I spend a large amount of time helping people find the perfect bike for them and the style of biking they’re going to be doing. It only made sense that I expanded my reach and got online, making it possible for me to help people all over the world. If biking and staying fit is your priority, too, you’ve come to the right place.

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