After over 11,000 miles on an electric bike, here’s how much money one woman saved

We’ve always known that electric bikes are great alternatives to cars for many reasons, one of which is that they save riders significant cash. But rarely do we get a chance like this to see just how much money someone has saved by regularly using an e-bike to replace many of their car trips.

That chance recently came when Colorado resident Bryn Grunwald broke down the costs associated with riding her 2018 Juiced CrossCurrent commuter e-bike over the last five years.

As she explained to CleanTechnica, she uses the electric bike to replace many trips that she would otherwise take in her 2010 Toyota Camry.

Bryn went over the numbers, explaining that she gets a range of around 35 miles (56 km) per charge of her 624 Wh battery. Over 11,500 miles (18,500 km), that works out to around 205 kWh of electricity. At her local rates of around US $0.15 per kWh, that’s a fuel cost of US $30.75.

To put it another way, Bryn has spent around the price of a cup of coffee each year to charge her e-bike for thousands of miles!

When Bryn compared those figures to her Camry, they were even more eyebrow raising. Her car gets 26 mpg (9 liters per 100 km). Using the average gas prices over the last five years in Boulder, Colorado, of approximately US $3.50/gal (€0.84/liter), using her e-bike instead of her car saved her over US $1,500 in fuel costs alone.

Bryn added that the maintenance costs for her car would have been $0.10/mile (€0.05/km) according to Department of Energy estimates, meaning another US $1,150 in maintenance expenses had she used her car for those trips.

During the last five years she has spent around $500 on maintenance and accessories for her bike, as well as around $600 on a new battery.

That brings the total costs for using her e-bike to around US $1,130, compared to what the costs of using her car for those trips would have been at around US $2,650. That’s a savings over US $1,500, and that’s not even counting the costs of the vehicles, with the e-bike costing significantly less. In fact, since Bryn and her partner shared the e-bike instead of getting a second car, they likely saved tens of thousands of dollars that they would have spent on another car.

Electrek’s Take

Obviously there are lots of variables here that will change for different riders and locations. Some might be able to get by with fewer upgrades on their e-bikes and save more money, or had a lower cost for a replacement battery (Juiced Bike’s replacement battery costs are rather high). Some might alternatively have lower gasoline prices locally that cut down on the gap. With plenty of e-bikes for literally any budget, the options for saving money on an e-bike are nearly endless.

Suffice it to say that there’s basically no situation where using an e-bike instead of a car doesn’t save significant cash in ownership costs. We’ve seen situations where some riders have gone car-free by using an e-bike and saved over US $50,000!

That usually requires the rider to live in a city instead of a sprawling suburb or rural area. But guess who lives in cities: millions and millions of Americans. Hmmm….

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