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eBiking saves on high gas prices + so much more!

eBiking saves on high gas prices + so much more!

April 05, 2022 | Pete Prebus

High gas prices are a painful reality these days, but riding an eBike is a great way to dodge that big bill at the gas pump.

Not only that, but riding an electric bike has a bunch of other benefits like improved finances, physical health health, making life easier, and just good old fashioned fun!

When you consider all the benefits of an eBike, it is really amazing how much value they provide compared to their relatively low purchase price.

eBikes Are a Special Class of Vehicle

When you zoom out and look at electric bikes they are pretty amazing vehicles when compared to everything else out there.

The traditional bicycle is one of the most efficient vehicles on the planet for transporting us around but they are not always convenient when it comes to arriving at our destination in a presentable way (not too sweaty), climbing steep hills, carrying cargo, etc.

When you add electric motor assist, it supercharges the bicycle to become a seriously useful and fun vehicle for getting around town!

With an eBike, the hills and headwinds are no problem and you arrive at your destination with an endorphin rush but no sweat. The higher average speed will get you to your destination quicker too.

Carry cargo or passengers

Another major benefit with electric assist is the ability to easily carry cargo and/or passengers. Taking the kids to school and picking up groceries is easy with all the cargo and passenger accessories that are available these days.

eBikes are designed to operate at speeds similar to a fit traditional bicycle rider so that they can use the same bicycle infrastructure. In some cases these bike routes can get you where you need to go faster than a car stuck in traffic.

EBikes have all the advantages of traditional bicycles combined with the electric assist that gives them car-like abilities at a fraction of the price and operating costs.

Save on High Gas Prices

If you have filled up your car's gas tank recently, the gas bill can be quite the shocker! With gas prices in the mid $4 to $6 range the price to drive around can be painful so why not take a look at other options like eBiking.

For example, let’s assume you have a 15 mile commute & errand running each way, so 30 miles round trip 5 days a week and 4 weeks per month:

30 miles a day x 5 days a week x 4 weeks per month = 600 miles per month

And let’s assume an average vehicle gets 20 mpg in stop and go commuting traffic.

600 miles / 20 miles per gallon = 30 gallons of gas consumed per month

And let’s go with $5 per gallon of gas...

30 gallons x $5 per gallon = $150 per month of gas savings.

Of course, your mileage may vary. You can plug in your own numbers to see how your situation compares, but in any case you should see a significant savings in gas money alone, which is not the total amount of the savings!

Charging an eBike is not free but it is pretty close. The cost depends on battery size and what your electric utility charges. A fair estimate is about $0.10 per charge.

If your eBike gets roughly 30 miles of range, then 20 days of riding per month would cost you $2, compared to $150 worth of gas.

Lower Maintenance Costs

Operating costs of automobiles are not cheap either and they can be a hidden cost that we tend to forget about until we get the bill.

As we turn over the miles regular maintenance items add up like oil changes, tune-ups, tires, windshield wipers, belts, hoses, battery, brake pads, car washes, and more.

If you use an electric bike for more around town miles that reduces those miles on your auto. Additionally, the stop and go town/city driving is the hardest on an automobile. Why not save the auto miles for the longer highway trips that are easier on the vehicle?

AAA has average monthly maintenance costs at $0.09 per mile. 

By saving 600 miles of driving per month that would be:

$0.09 per mile x 600 miles per month = $54 per month.

Riding an eBike won’t totally eliminate maintenance costs because they have their own maintenance costs, but much like the fuel price difference they are much smaller than a car. We could estimate $30 per month on average for maintenance of an eBike.

When you total up the savings you have:

$150 in gas savings + $54 in auto maintenance savings - $2 in eBike electricity - $30 in eBike maintenance = $172 per month in total savings from riding an eBike.

Over a 12 month period, that would be a savings of $2,064 that can help to offset the cost of the eBike itself. That $2,064 annual savings can completely pay for some of the more value-priced eBike models!

Big Cost Savings

If you are interested in really significant cost savings you may want to consider eliminating an auto and go with an eBike + other transportation (taxi/rideshare, car rental, bus, ferry, train, etc.)

Do you have 2 cars, but could live with 1?

AAA has the average monthly cost for car ownership at $773.50 per month or $9,282 per year. Ouch! 

Not only will you save money on eliminating an automobile but it is one less thing that needs maintenance that you have to worry about. Makes life a little simpler.

Here are some ideas for eliminating an auto. If you are a couple, do you both need a vehicle? Could you have 1 auto and some eBikes and use other transport options when you need it? For instance; rent a car when you both really need an automobile at the same time.

Or do you live in a city that has a lot of transportation options available that combined with an eBike would work well in lieu of a car altogether?

There are so many delivery options these days (groceries, products, restaurant meals, coffee, etc.) that can make going to 1 car or no car even more feasible. Not to mention some of these delivery options can save you time and hassle going all over town to get them.

Would saving $773.50 per month open up some options for regular trips and vacations?

My wife and I have shared a car for over 10 years and it has been great. We have rented a car occasionally when needed, but 99% of the time we are fine with 1 car.

No Traffic Headaches

Traffic sucks. Especially on the way to or from work. Adding stress when you are starting or ending your work day is no fun at all. You know what is way more fun? Riding a bike, especially an eBike!

Getting your legs turning for some moderate exercise and enjoying the fresh air as you cruise to work is the way to go. Way better than sitting in a car stopped in a traffic jam.

In some cases eBiking to work can be faster than driving. With good bike routes and higher average speeds (compared to a traditional bike) you may beat a car commute especially when there are traffic jams.

No Parking Problems or Costs

So you were able to avoid the traffic jams and now you arrive at work or at the downtown coffee shop and park right in front without searching for that elusive parking spot.

Not only that but you don’t have to pay for any parking. Another cost savings. For some city dwellers this can be an expensive monthly cost.

Enjoy the Health Benefits

Getting more exercise is important to all of us and finding the time can be difficult. So why not combine commuting & errand running with some exercise on an eBike?

The great thing about an electric bike is you can decide how strenuous a workout you want to get.

For instance, on the way to work you can set the pedal assist to be higher so that you arrive to work with an endorphin rush from moderate exercise but no sweat. That’s a great way to kick off the day.

Then on the way home you decide to get more of a workout and set the pedal assist in the lower range so your legs are providing more of the power. That’s a great way to get more exercise, unwind from the day, and arrive home with some good mental distance from work life.

Compare this scenario to sitting in a car with the potential stress of traffic jams and then still worrying about when you will get some exercise.

You can see how riding an eBike provides physical and mental health benefits during the commute and errand running.

Explore New Areas

This was a common story during the depths of the pandemic lock downs that people were exploring new parts of their town or city via eBike.

With long distance, hills, and headwinds not a concern with the addition of electric assist, an eBike is a great way to explore new areas of your town, especially places that are hard to get to by car.

Bike routes tend to be in neighborhoods on less busy streets and it is a great way to become familiar with places you haven’t normally traveled before. You may develop a normal route to commute and run errands but also consider switching it up to see new areas along the way.

On the weekend maybe get out to that new ice cream shop across town with a fun and creative route to earn that treat!

Also, your senses are more in tune with what is all around you on a bike. You tend to see more, hear more, and smell more (could be good or bad, ha!) of the areas you are traveling through.

It’s always fun to find new places to explore!

Meet New People

Another fun benefit of eBiking is that you are bound to be asked about your eBike!

There are a lot of people who are interested in getting an eBike and what better way to learn more than ask someone who has one. Fellow eBikers excited to share their eBike enthusiasm with a fellow rider!

It is a fun way to break the ice and meet people in your community by sharing your eBike experiences. I always enjoy asking people who have eBikes about their experiences and what their favorite part of riding is.

There are eBike riding groups that get out for fun rides during the week and weekends. Check with your local eBike shops, Facebook groups, and cycling clubs to see if there are rides happening in your area and join one.

...and eBiking is a Ton of Fun!

So there are a lot of logical and financial reasons to ride an electric bike but the most important reason is to get out and have a lot of fun!

Riding a bike is a lot of fun and when you add electric assist it really turbocharges that fun. You can experience what a top pro cyclists’ ride is like without having to wear lycra.

There really is a lot of value in eBiking when you consider the financial benefits, health benefits, lifestyle benefits, and most importantly, the fun benefits.

Enjoy your rides!