Doing The Math - Cost Per Mile - More Range Please.

So there are a thousand ways to look at cost, and therefore any way you compare is highly debatable such as my choices below to only compare at full assistance levels.

I currently ride a 2015 Raleigh Detour iE and have on order a Trek XM 700+ (notified last week it is due in the second week of August). My wife it appears is likely to finally buy a Pedego City Commuter.

Here’s my concern. The Trek-only dealer I am buying the XM 700+ from tells me that the additional battery I want is $800 ish and I don’t like the math. Because the Bosch battery is warranted for 500 charge cycles with an advertised range of 15 miles at maximum assist (28 mph).

So let’s be very generous and say I don't get 500 charge cycles, but I get 700 charge cycles and instead of the 15 miles advertised range I get a whopping 20 miles of range instead. So with that, the life of the battery would give me 14,000 miles (700 charges multiplied by 20 miles of course). So assuming I replace the battery at 700 charge cycles, that is 5.7 cents per mile cost as a function of battery cost but ignoring electricity cost for the 700 charges. That is slightly more than I pay per mile for gas for my car.

However, if you run the numbers with the battery at a 500 cycle life and the range at the advertised 15 miles at full boost, then (7,500 miles) then it’s 10.5 cents per mile as a function of battery cost. Almost double, by the way, of my gas cost per mile with my two ton car!

Now the Raleigh Detour iE. Ignoring recharge costs again. Rack mounted batteries for this bike are only $480, and at maximum boost I go 20 mph and I am supposed to get 25 miles minimum range but in practice I get 22. So granting the 700 cycles I’ll go 15,400 miles. Now with the cheaper battery plus the greater range the cost per mile drops to 3.1 cents per mile.

The Case For More Range: I’m not as interested in bike battery prices coming down as I am battery range going up. I’m fine with a $800 - $1,100 battery that weighs 8 lbs. if it will have way more range. Look what happens: Stromer ST2. Forgetting for a second you spent $7,000 for the bike (and worth every penny). Replacement battery $1,100. Minimum range 60 miles at 28 mph. @ 700 charge cycles. 2.6 cents a mile!

Of course all of the bike numbers get much better if you lower the assist.

Just for fun, my plug-in Fusion Energy (white) averages 40 mpg when it has not been plugged in and is running as a hybrid. So I filled up for $2.05 a gallon, and that is 5.1 cents per mile, the car having an actual cheaper per mile “fuel” cost than my incoming XM 700+ comparing battery purchase to gas purchase (again ignoring the cost of charging the battery 700 times). At 18 cents per kilowatt (like in MA) hour my car costs five cents a mile in electricity, but where I live electricity is 11 cents per kilowatt hour so three cents a mile.

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Well-Known Member
I agree with your idea and laugh when I see it only costs 15 cents to charge and how cheap it is to run an ebike when all consumables are not factored in.....wait for it .....BUT so far I have found my batteries last much longer than the minimum warranty. Maybe twice as long. This makes the numbers much improved although there are other costs to be added for maintenance.
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Well-Known Member
I've owned 2 ebikes for over 7 years. The life cycle spec is kind of meaningless. You can get 1000 cycles if you can live with 50% original capacity. Depreciation Is the real killer on cost

I've found the total cost of ownership is around 20 cents a mile. The more you use it the lower the cost. Batteries deplete just from age, and e bikes depreciate worse than cars.

So run the hell out of it!