A car replacement? YES!

Lenny

Well-Known Member
One of our friend, Adam sent us this video and we were WOW'ed by his effort and scientific approach.
You may remember he had made a video a month ago comparing an ST2 with Focus mid-drive.

Now, he is taking it to another level. This is such a detailed, analytical approach to comparing E-bike Vs Car.

Take a look and you will see why we say E-bikes are a real car replacement.

 

antimirov

New Member
Great video. Although I would say the amount of k-calories spent is overestimated. I don't know how that device measures it, but ~1000 kcals seems too much for 20 miles route.
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
Hmm, so, I'm curious where the $17.15 cost for the vehicle is derived from. Let's say you've got a car that gets 25mpg (much closer to the average vehicle than a suburban, which probably gets half that amount), you'd be using about 3/4 of a gallon of gas for this trip.

Let's just say $2.00 for this car trip.
If your vehicle isn't owned, a $10,000 auto loan over 60 months is $200/month (approx), which translates to approximately $6.50/day.
Add insurance at $60/month, $2/day.
We're up to $10.50, add another $2 for the return trip gas - $12.50/day (not accounting for weekends where your vehicle sits and still costs $8.50 whether used or not).
Finally, for a vehicle in good operating condition, add $0.50/day for other maintenance (not including major repairs) - total $11.00/day to operate an average car to/from work.

We should then provide a more realistic cost for the bike, in this case a Stromer ST2, $6,990 MSRP - let's say you find a good deal and get it for an even value $6K out the door. Whether you pay for this up front, or finance over 3 years, I'm going to spread the cost out over a 3 year period.

$2,000/yr is $167/month, $5.56/day.
Cost to charge $0.12.
Maintenance I'm going to add the same cost of $0.50/day, whether you're buying your own parts or need to get something fixed, there are ongoing costs of bike ownership as much as a car - $6.18.
Bike insurance for this bike will likely run several hundred dollars; without checking I'm going to say $240/year, $0.67/day, for a total of $6.85.
Clif Bar or some other way to replenish your energy - $1.00/day - total $7.85.

If you break down the more realistic costs, the ebike is still the winner, but not quite so widespread as the video would have us believe.

There are obviously the other factors that weigh in with riding - no gas consumption, health benefits that are clear and obvious. In the long run if you had the ability to ride instead of drive, I'm sure it would be a blast, and worth it regardless of the overall savings or end costs.
 

Kaldeem

Active Member
@pxpaulx I believe your numbers are a little off. I've personally done some research on this topic for some college reports, and though I don't have them on hand right now, a simple google search of "The true cost of owning a car" will produce numerous articles stating the average is between 5k and 9k a year. That's not including the initial purchase of the vehicle (down payment) taxes and tags, and so-forth. Most of the research in this area only calculate gas, insurance, maintenance & repairs, monthly payments. Some of the articles come in a little lower at the 5k mark while other at the high end of 9k, it's really dependant on where they start. IE, what vehicle they are using in their study. Quality used vehicles that are paid in cash and have no monthly payments usually come in low and vise versa.

Here's a quote from an article I'll link.

"According to the AAA, the average person spends $9,641 per year for the privilege of driving."

Read more: The True Cost Of Owning A Car | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/08/cost-car-ownership.asp#ixzz47NJJOkZS

And like I said do a simple google search you will be surprised (or not) with the amount of information that's been studied and the numbers showing an increase in the cost to own and operate a motor vehicle in the USA.
 
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Kaldeem

Active Member
PS. 17.50 x 365 = 6,387.5 $ a year so his average in the video isn't far off from other reports. Where as your estimate of 11.00 per day comes in way in the low end of 4,015 a year. So if you add them both up and divide them by 2 for the average of 5201.25 a year to operate a car in both circumstances, bikes win. Hands down.
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
@Kaldeem I was obviously providing just one example, one that would certainly fall below the average - people who buy new cars would be paying significantly more than a reasonably priced economical used car at $10,000.00. If you stretch out my example over a year, the cost is $4,300 - which wouldn't include non-work driving gasoline costs - add that on and you'd be right in the neighborhood of $5,000. I was just providing a more realistic number comparison than $0.12 to $19.00 - the $0.12 in particular is the number that isn't being fair with the comparison.
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
PS. 17.50 x 365 = 6,387.5 $ a year so his average in the video isn't far off from other reports. Where as your estimate of 11.00 per day comes in way in the low end of 4,015 a year. So if you add them both up and divide them by 2 for the average of 5201.25 a year to operate a car in both circumstances, bikes win. Hands down.

My $4,015 is strictly the to/from work cost of the vehicle, which doesn't account for additional usage. He is also saying $17.50 for just that trip - multiply that value by 2 for a single day cost of vehicle ownership, the value starts to become somewhat unrealistic on the high side to me (as much as the $0.12 is on the low side).

In the end if it is an option for someone, ebike commuting is still a no brainer, but certainly a commitment that has pretty significant weight as far as choice in the American bike commuting atmosphere (depending on where you live and how far you'd have to travel of course).
 

Lenny

Well-Known Member
Hmm, so, I'm curious where the $17.15 cost for the vehicle is derived from. Let's say you've got a car that gets 25mpg (much closer to the average vehicle than a suburban, which probably gets half that amount), you'd be using about 3/4 of a gallon of gas for this trip.

Let's just say $2.00 for this car trip.
If your vehicle isn't owned, a $10,000 auto loan over 60 months is $200/month (approx), which translates to approximately $6.50/day.
Add insurance at $60/month, $2/day.
We're up to $10.50, add another $2 for the return trip gas - $12.50/day (not accounting for weekends where your vehicle sits and still costs $8.50 whether used or not).
Finally, for a vehicle in good operating condition, add $0.50/day for other maintenance (not including major repairs) - total $11.00/day to operate an average car to/from work.

We should then provide a more realistic cost for the bike, in this case a Stromer ST2, $6,990 MSRP - let's say you find a good deal and get it for an even value $6K out the door. Whether you pay for this up front, or finance over 3 years, I'm going to spread the cost out over a 3 year period.

$2,000/yr is $167/month, $5.56/day.
Cost to charge $0.12.
Maintenance I'm going to add the same cost of $0.50/day, whether you're buying your own parts or need to get something fixed, there are ongoing costs of bike ownership as much as a car - $6.18.
Bike insurance for this bike will likely run several hundred dollars; without checking I'm going to say $240/year, $0.67/day, for a total of $6.85.
Clif Bar or some other way to replenish your energy - $1.00/day - total $7.85.

If you break down the more realistic costs, the ebike is still the winner, but not quite so widespread as the video would have us believe.

There are obviously the other factors that weigh in with riding - no gas consumption, health benefits that are clear and obvious. In the long run if you had the ability to ride instead of drive, I'm sure it would be a blast, and worth it regardless of the overall savings or end costs.

The video description provides this info.

Toll road cost = $1.06
Parking = $12
Gas cost to drive that guzzler = $4.09
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
@Crazy Lenny Ebikes I missed the parking part! Parking costs can be a real killer of an expense. I use public transit currently...work for a large company and they offer a subsidized metro pass for $46 a month pre tax, which ends up being about $15 out of each paycheck when tax is considered. I'm planning on riding to a closer bus stop with my bike as often as time permits this biking season. I really should dump my Honda ridgeline, which sees little use these days.
 

Reseg

Member
Thanks Crazy Lenny, you rock :)

I tried to make the video relate to the average person in a similar situation. The average person living 20 miles outside the city, and commuting daily into the city, likely has a family, living in the suburbs, with a larger vehicle to hold the family. They also aren't likely to have the option of selling their vehicle to use a bike exclusively, like people in the city and single folks. This is why i didn't factor in the cost of ownership of the vehicle (maintenance, registration, depreciation, ect), since they would still retain most of that except depreciation due to miles, which would depend on the vehicle, so I didn't bother. I didn't want to over-complicate it.

I also have a scooter, and scooters get free parking downtown Austin, and better gas mileage, drastically reducing costs vs a car, which I addressed in the last graphic of the video. However, while I was originally going to use the scooter for comparison, by far more are driving a car (in Austin w/ long commute), you don't get exercise with the scooter, it still costs more for daily use, and you're still stuck in the same crappy traffic. So, I don't think it would relate to their current situation nearly as well.

I only listed the direct costs of choosing to drive the Yukon XL that day/commute vs the direct costs of choosing to ride the ebike that day/commute. The daily costs are:
$2.12 toll roads ($1.06 was used, since it's just my ride home)
$24 parking ($12 was used, to fairly split it in half)
$8.18 fuel ($4.09 was used, again, 1-way commute) This was based on my MPG showing in my dashboard for that commute X that day's gas prices. Rush hour stop & go is horrible gas mileage.

I didn't want to confuse anyone by showing the total cost of that day, but the video only showing a 20 mile commute, instead of the full 42, round-trip.

More on the comparison: I very rarely drive and I only drove this day because I wanted to video it for this comparison. I think the haze is because of the dirty windshield, which I thought was clean lol. I considered driving again to retake it, but I just couldn't bring myself to hahah. For the bike video, I always have the GoPro running, and I have faster commutes I could have used, as well as ones where there was more traffic due to wrecks, which would have looked crazy dramatic with constant passing of backed up cars. I used this one because it was close to the same period, same traffic level, and not a crazy tail wind, or head wind, just an average day.

I did ride hard on this commute as you can see from my power and heart rate. 279 ave watts over nearly an hour commute is very hard to average when there's a lot of short stop & go and a few slow-down sections. I would often take my R5 road bike out for 2hr+ on a solo ride (50-60 miles) and average 22-23mph and over 300 watts, yet that same bike on a 20 mile city commute I could never average 300W or even 19mph, no matter how hard I tried. I'm only saying to put things in perspective of how hard I went here, to show you can still get a crazy good workout, if you choose to. The days I average only ~180W, it only adds about 5 minutes to the commute, but it will drop the battery more. The reason is, 180W average means I'm easily riding over 200W, when pedaling, and that's enough input to max the motor assist out, so we're still talking 700W+ (motor & me). When I go harder, like in the video, I actually max the motor out less, because I'm more often pushing the speed limiter, making the motor stay more backed off. However, the extra effort doesn't cut the time much, it just trades battery power for my power, giving me a more intense workout and a fraction of a MPH higher.

On average, I use 422.1 watt hours, out of the 814 watt hours available on each 1-way, 21 mile commute. That puts me at around 48% battery remaining, each commute, while on max assist. It gives me an average potential range of 40.5 miles on a battery. The wind & cold definitely makes a difference, the extremes have left me with the battery at anywhere from the low 20% range to high 60% range.

Also, on the calories, as I said in the YouTube comments, I'm only going off what the Wahoo ELEMNT said. Since there's no official standard that carries from person to person with consideration of all conditions, its all relative. These devices can only predict the calories by applying their algorithm to your data. How accurate 998 calories on the bike and 96 in the car is I don't know. I have no data that tells me it's any more innaccurate than any other calorie tracker someone else is wearing. Since I also used the heart rate monitor and tracker in the car, I would more focus on the indication of the bike burning 10X more calories than driving. The days I back off and let the motor do a higher proportion of the work, it shows in my calories being a few hundred less. The 1k mark is about as high as it ever gets on a commute.