Why are electric bikes more expensive than a regular bike?

EMU ebike stepthrough

An electric bike  has a number of additional parts compared to a regular bike. These include in order of expense a battery, a motor, a controller, a display panel and various higher quality components.

Spare ebike battery for EMU bikeThe most expensive additional component is the battery .”In the beginning” electric bikes used extremely heavy lead batteries which would often be so heavy that the bike would wobble as you started peddling. Today, we use very light lithium ion batteries, which on the better the bikes are incorporated into the frame. 

By incorporating the battery into the frame, you are not only get a better looking bike, but a better balanced bike as this is the most sensible place to store a battery. Batteries in the frame are also generally very easy to remove. They  can therefore either be charged on the bike, or removed and charged wherever you like.

 

A good quality motor is important to power your bike. The maximum power allowed under EU laws is 250 W of power.

For the battery to work the motor a controller also has to be installed. Here quality is also important.

Colour LCD for ebikesAs well as a fair amount of wiring, the final piece of the jigsaw is a (colour) display, and control buttons for the user to operate the bike. A good display will have many useful functions ,and also enable you to adjust settings on the bike.

What are the other higher quality components that are necessary on an E bike?

Firstly you need a sturdier frame for the extra weight involved with the motor and the battery.

Even though today’s best batteries are high-tech Lithium, small and light; they still weigh a few kilograms to give you the range you need. It is also a good idea on an eBike to have puncture resistant tyres. The bikes are a bit heavier and therefore more prone to punctures. 

One of the many beauties of an eBike is that you can dress for destination. This therefore means that you do not want to be putting a chain back on in your finest outfit. It is therefore sensible to have hub gears instead of a derailleur, and this also add to the cost.

An eBike enables you to attach lights on the bike to the battery pack. Gone are the days when batteries need constant replacement on the bike, and always go flat at the wrong time.

EMU silver pannier rear ebike rackAnother advantage of an eBike is that it is a very good load carrier. It’s pretty difficult to take the shopping home on a racing bike. With a rear rack, front basket and shopping bags on the handlebars; a huge amount of shopping can be carried on the bike. The weekly shop is more than possible, depending on how many children you may have!

Some people do however look to save costs by installing a conversion kit to their existing regular bike. This is not something EMU would recommend as the cost is not much less than buying a new bike, and as outlined earlier and the bike really needs different components to your regular bike. 

A good way of reducing the cost of an eBike is by taking part in a Cycle to Work scheme,  and you can find details online or on our own website here.

The cost of running a new bike are low. Maintenance is most probably no higher than for a regular bike. It is true that the battery will need replacing after several years depending on the usage, but most probably every five years. Maintenance should also be easy as the extra parts do not need servicing. You just service the bike like a normal road bike. There are many mobile mechanics now available. The electricity costs of running an electric bike will be under £20 a year. They are minimal.

However your bike is funded,  the bike should be able should enable you to be able to save fairly substantial sums of money compare to using public transport, hiring e bikes or using a car. The London Mayor calculates an average saving of £800.

And as well as saving money you will be improving your health, helping the environment,  should arrive quicker (if riding in town) and arrive on time, and enjoy Roaming Free.

EMU.

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Emu is more than just an electric bike — it’s a new sense of freedom and fun.

‘Roam Free’ is our mantra because, like the famous bird, we believe an Emu loves to travel and take you to new places.

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