How much does it costs to charge an ebike? (Just for the geek in me!)


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2:08 PM
Jul 17, 2020
I’m just curious if anybody has done the math to figure out approximately how much it costs to charge a 504wh battery like on the Levo. I personally don’t have the brain power :unsure:
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lots of variables. how much per kw your rate is, what time of day. how much you are putting back in it. don't know how efficient the charger is. im thinking not much though.
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They're super fun, actually. We figured out our old upright freezer was costing us like $80 a year in electricity - so sold it for $50 and replaced with a chest freezer that costs $15 a year instead.

Unfortunately I can't plug it into my milling machine or welding gear (darn 240v equipment!) and see how much power I use in the shop...

Sometimes libraries or county extension offices have them for loan, too, if you don't want to spend the $20.

It's close enough to half a kilowatt-hour.

So depending on which state you live in, anywhere from 5 to 16 cents.
In California and with PG&E supplying at least $.10 maybe closer to $.15 depending on tier 2 usage.

But why not mention battery depreciation? Easily $1.00 per charge and possibly 2 or 3 X that.

I think Specialized's warranty implies the battery life is something like 75% at 300 cycles. $900 for a factory replacement???

That is a good point. I'm at about 100 charge cycles on mine. It will be interesting to see how the battery degrades. The RadPower bikes use stock/generic batteries so you can replace ours for roughly $400 even if you don't want to re-cell.

I'd guess for a relatively generic battery, $1 per charge is about right. For some of those fancy proprietary ones it is probably $2-3.

Good point, but then one could argue that the entire bike would likely depreciate at a similar rate - if not for wear and tear, then obsolescence.

Either way, the energy costs amount to a minor contribution to the total cost of ownership.
The cost to charge is minimal and as pointed out the cost of battery life per mile over time and ultimately the cost to change is the bottom line.

Especially as the new 20/21700 cells come online as they are not going to be compatible with existing enclosures making proprietary battery systems unable to retro fit. Nothing the bike industry likes better than a new standard however as it keeps bike sales brisk.

This article, although over half a year old, illustrates the way the market is heading:
The future of ebike batteries according to Germany's BMZ | Ebike portal

So that "insert price point, category and manufacturer model" here bike you buy prior to their introduction will still be supported going forward and new bikes will come already equipped as soon as next model year I for one wouldn't be in a big hurry to put down the large on an e bike at this time. But because I subscribe to the open source theory it won't be a problem to retro fit any of my bikes and I predict that "hobby" type batteries with the new cells will be the first to hit the scene.

On the other hand the new cells have been in use in the Vape market for over a year and are considered to be the standard now. Make of that what you will.....
When I have more time I'll do the math; e-bikes are still a bit "new" to have solid statistics though.

Also comparing battery costs to "food energy" costs is pretty interesting. The "ham and cheese sandwich" standard is surprising close to a typical e-bike battery in energy content.
Top tier is $.45 per kWh in PG & E country.

As previously mentioned, the cost for electricity is far less than the depreciation cost for the battery alone. Even if you assume 1000 charge (30,000 miles) for a Levo battery, that's $.90 versus a dime or so for the average power bill. The bike is $5k or more. That is more than a 3 year lease on an electric car in California.
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Bicycle tires are also expensive on a /mile basis.

I should soon get 7000 km out of a $7 tire but that is about as cheap as it gets.

High cycling costs don't cause me to enjoy cycling more.