Rarely does a day pass without the cost-of-living crisis hitting the headlines in the UK. And for good reason: household finances haven’t been squeezed in such a manner since the 1950s.

There are a number of global factors influencing the economic difficulties being faced almost everywhere in the world, with one of the most significant being the steeply rising cost of energy.

With this in mind, UK residents are becoming increasingly cautious about the amount of electricity they use at home, while also looking for cost-savings elsewhere by adapting their lifestyles and routines. 

It is in this atmosphere of concern, that electric bike owners, as well as prospective buyers, are wondering how much it costs to charge an electric bike. 

There are a number of factors to consider - not least the price of electricity. That said, how much does it cost to charge an electric bike? Not a lot - and a whole lot less than filling up your petrol tank.

In this blog, we explain how you can work out the cost to charge an electric bike, and why, for us, it is one of the best modes of transport in terms of cost-to-run at this time.

How to calculate the cost of charging an e-bike

Ready for a formula? Okay, to work out the cost of charging your electric bike, you need to calculate:

  • (Battery capacity in kWh x 1.25) x cost of electricity per kWh

Hold on, I hear you cry out, what’s the 1.25 about? 

We multiply the battery capacity by 1.25 due to the imperfect nature of energy transfer. Not all the electricity coming from the socket will remain in the cells of your battery. Notice the transformer becoming warmer? There you have it.

For the purposes of this blog, we’re focusing on charging costs in the UK with a price of approximately £0.35 per kWh at the time of writing. We’re also going to pick a pretty sizeable bike battery of 500Wh as you might find on one of our low-step folding e-bikes.

So: (0.5kWh x 1.25) x £0.35 = £0.22

That’s right, just 22 pence to fully charge a 500Wh e-bike battery. That’s pretty reasonable if you ask us!

You might be wondering how often you need to charge an electric bike. This depends on how frequently you are riding it.

Your riding style also is a factor - some riders will make use of the motor more than others. Terrain too will come into. If your commute consists of hill after hill, your battery will drain more quickly.

Riding an e-bike is a low-cost method of travel

Even if you were to be fully charging your electric bike battery on a daily basis during the working week, you’re looking at not much over one pound spent on electricity by the time you reach the weekend.

Consider how much your commute might cost using another mode of transport.

While it is below the record highs seen in June 2022,  the price of petrol remains high and this is reflected in the number of road users opting to remain at home, certainly if that is feasible work-wise.

In London, 46% of respondents in a recent survey cited costly public transport fares as the reason they continued to work from home or only head into their centrally-based offices one or two times a week.

Indeed, for this author to travel to work in London via bus five times a week, I am looking at a cost of almost £25. Quite the difference between using an electric bike each day to reach the office.

Make the most of your battery by charging it correctly

Looking after your battery can mean longer rides, with fewer charges required - therefore saving you money.

There are several best practices to be aware of when it comes to charging your e-bike. 

Follow these tips to maintain battery health:

  • Temperature can have an impact on how a battery charges so make sure to charge your battery indoors, ideally somewhere with a moderate temperature of 10 to 20 degrees. 

  • We strongly recommend you use a charger approved by your e-bike’s manufacturer to avoid the risk of damage during charging. Note: Issues arising from using an unapproved charger could impact your warranty - get in touch with our team if you have any queries.

  • Don’t charge your battery immediately after finishing a ride - wait at least thirty minutes to let the battery cool down before plugging it in. This gives you an opportunity to give it a quick wipedown, too

  • Avoid charging your battery all the way to 100%, and likewise don’t regularly discharge it to zero. Reduce battery stress by keeping it between 20% - 85% charged. This will extend its life.

  • However, there is a quarterly exception to this final point. Every few months you will want to run your battery completely flat to keep the maximum charging capacity as high as possible.

The cost of riding an e-bike

After the initial outlay of buying your electric bike, they are generally very low-cost to run. 

Charging costs are low, and with a bit of battery care, you won’t be having to plug in too frequently.

Of course, ensuring you look after your bike will help keep costs down when it comes to maintenance. We’ve covered the essentials in this blog about keeping your bike on the road and running smoothly.

If you’re considering buying an e-bike and aren’t sure which is right for you, and whether there are additional costs to be aware of, get in touch with our friendly team of electric bike experts.

Contact us by email, phone, or live chat today,

Happy riding! 

November 25, 2022