Why Are Electric Bikes So Expensive? (Explained!)

Electric bikes, or e-bikes, as many call them, don’t come cheap. You will likely spend $1,500 – $4,000 on a single decent e-bike. That begs the question – why are electric bikes so expensive?

Generally, it takes an assembly of expensive components like the battery, motor, and reliable frame to make electric bikes, making them expensive. Additionally, e-bikes are small-niche bikes, which means fewer manufacturers make them, which

Nonetheless, even though e-bikes are expensive, they have many merits that make them worth it. So, most people often overlook the price because of these merits, and I’ll share them in this post.

But are there budget e-bikes? The answer is Yes. There are decent options slightly under $1,000. These options may not have the most high-end specs or be the fanciest, but they are pretty comfortable, decently durable, and easy to maintain.

why are electric bikes so expensive

Best Budget Electric Bikes (Best E-Bikes Under $1000)

  1. Swagtron Swagcycle EB-5 – Best Folding E-Bike For Kids
  2. Kemanner 26-Inch E-Bike – Best Electric Mountain Bike
  3. Wallke X3 Pro – Best Commuter Electric Bike For Women

How Much Should I Pay for an Electric Bike?

Before we examine why electric bikes are expensive, let’s talk about the numbers. So, how much does an electric bike go for?

On the lower end, you can spend $350-$1,000 on an e-bike and about $1,001-$1,500 on a mid-range option. Expect, however, to pay $2,000-$4,500 on a high-end electric bike.

Overall, there are fewer budget options. Most e-bikes are likely to average $1500 and above, thus making them costlier.

Here’s a table breakdown of the costs of electric bikes today:

Electric Bike TypeAverage Price

Why Electric Bikes Are So Expensive

Below are the things that make e-bike prices higher:

1. The Battery Makes Electric Bikes Expensive

Electric bikes use rechargeable batteries that don’t come cheap. They are among the most expensive parts of an e-bike.

You’ll find most batteries ranging from hundreds of dollars for the budget options and over $1,000 if you are looking for high-end option batteries.

However, as expensive as the batteries are, you won’t like going cheap on a battery. Reason? That’s because better quality batteries are more reliable. They don’t die quickly and hold a charge much longer.

Regarding the battery size, there are both the larger and smaller options. While larger options are known to hold more charge, that can’t be said for the small-sized options.

And when it comes to the lifespan, most quality batteries (lithium-ion options) are commonly used on most e-bikes and come with a 2-4-year lifespan, which is impressive.

However, the lifespan depends on usage and maintenance. The more you use the battery, and the less you take care of it, the shorter its lifespan. On the flip side, the less you use the battery, and the more you maintain it, the longer the lifespan.

2. The Motor Makes Electric Bikes Expensive

Another part that also dictates the price of an e-bike is the motor. You are likely to spend a few hundred dollars on a motor. However, motor price is usually dictated by type and quality.

There are two known motor types: the mid-drive motors and the hub-motor. The mid-drive options are pricey and mostly found on most high-end e-bikes, while on the other hand, the hub-motor is the most affordable option.

Regarding the quality of the motor, the mid-drive motors are the most efficient and will give you a good ride, unlike its counterpart. However, expect to spend more on a mid-drive motor than a hub motor.

3. The Frame Also Makes Electric Bikes Expensive

The quality of an e-bike frame also has a say in its price. E-bikes with high-end carbon and aluminum frames are more expensive than their steel counterparts. Essentially, that’s because carbon and aluminum are lightweight – but carbon is the lighter of the two.

Not just that. These two frames are also comfortable, stable, and durable, making them expensive. But if you are looking for a budget e-bike, you are likely to find them in steel frames and a few options in aluminum.

4. Quality of Components

Another factor to consider in hiking e-bikes prices is the quality of the components. Some features that make the bicycles costly include the wheels, drivetrain, and brakes.

So, suppose you are a biking enthusiast? In that case, you are likely to go for a bike with quality components that will cost you much more, unlike a weekend warrior or a commuter who doesn’t care much about component quality.

However, though I’m not saying cheap is terrible, if you go for the most inexpensive components, one thing’s for sure, you are likely to spend more on maintenance.

That is because cheaper components are more fragile than high-end options. Even worse, the more inexpensive components have shorter warranties.

So, keep in mind that cheap is expensive in the long run, and you should consider the mid-range options if you are tight on budget.

5. Electric Bikes Occupy a Small-Niche Market

Though the popularity of e-bikes has increased in the last few decades, not many manufacturers make them. You just compare their production volume with non-motorized road bikes, BMX, and MTBs.

And since very few manufacturers make them, they price them high, making them almost unaffordable to budget buyers.

Is It Worth It to Buy an Electric Bike?

Considering how much an electric bike costs, is it a worthy purchase? Below are some reasons explaining why an e-bike is worth it:

a) Assisted Cycling

E-bikes come with a motor that offers some assistance when pedaling. In the long run, that reduces the straining of your knees, hips, and lower back, allowing you to ride further without getting tired quickly.

So, you can go further than other bikes, including taking on hills, trails, and long stretches. An e-bike makes it easy to climb steep hills and take on long distances that seem unconquerable.

One budget e-bike that can boss the steep hills and challenging terrains is the Kemanner 26-Inch Electric Mountain Bike . This bike gives you the ultimate climbing power and comes with an aluminum alloy frame, thus giving it natural toughness and strength.

Why are E-bikes More Expensive Than Motorbikes

b) Fun Exercising

E-bike riding can keep you fit. Though these bikes offer assisted pedaling, you also have to pedal, and that’s where you get to work out. 

Riding an e-bike will work on your muscles and help you burn a few calories. The advantage is that you get all these while not pressuring your joints.

E-bike riding is also a perfect method of clearing your mind. You can use it as a stress reliever. The more you ride, the less you worry, improving your mental wellbeing.

Even better, if you want a complete workout with your e-bike, you can still pedal unassisted, which allows you to push yourself more.

c) Fast and Fun Rides

Another impressive advantage of owning an e-bike is that it makes riding to the school, shop, and office faster. On Average, an e-bike can hit 16-25 mph making it faster than regular bikes.

Others have a speed of 28mph, even though you shouldn’t go that fast in most places.

With the help of the motor, the ride is full of fun, and you don’t have to pedal hard. And when using your e-bike as a means of transport to the school or office means one thing – you will be saving on transportation costs.

One budget e-bike you’ll have fun riding is the Swagtron Swagcycle EB-5. It’s a perfect choice for in-town fun rides and short commutes.

d) Senior-Friendly

The fact that electric bikes offer assisted pedaling makes them suitable for seniors. These bikes don’t require much physical input from the rider, making them comfortable for older citizens, especially those with musculoskeletal conditions.

e) Save ‘Mother Nature’

Unlike motorcycles and cars that use fuel and emit toxic gasses to the environment, e-bikes are environmentally friendly. 

Because these bikes use electric power to recharge their batteries, their batteries do not contain toxic chemicals like lead. So, if you want to save ‘Mother Nature’ in your small way, getting an e-bike is an excellent place to start.

f) Convenient Commuting

E-bikes are faster than regular bikes, making them a fantastic commuting choice. They make it fun to ride to work or school daily, especially in short-distance.

One decent budget commuter e-bike is the Wallke X3 Pro E-bike For Women.

This e-bike promises women an ergonomic upright ride, and you can ride 40 miles at a top speed of 22mph on one charge. 

It comes with a load capacity of 275lbs and is best for women who are 5’1″ – 6’3″ tall.

People Also Ask

1. Are Electric Bikes Worth the Money?

E-bikes are worth every penny you spend. They are faster than regular bikes, environmentally friendly, promise assisted cycling, and are a more excellent way of working out without straining your joints.

2. Why are E-bikes More Expensive Than Motorbikes?

E-bikes are more expensive than some motorcycles because they feature high-end specs. Also, they are produced in small volumes to occupy a smaller niche than motorcycles. Thus, the demand offsets the supply, and that makes them pricier.

3. Are Electric Bikes Overpriced?

If you hear about the cost of an e-bike for the first time, you may think that these bikes are overpriced, which is often not the case. E-bikes are primarily expensive because of their components, which don’t come cheap.

Also, they are produced in smaller volumes, meaning the supply doesn’t match the demand, making them costly.  

In Conclusion – Why Are Electric Bikes So Expensive?

As discussed in the above guide, e-bikes are expensive because of the battery, motor, frame, and other components like the brakes, drivetrain, and wheels.

Also, occupying a smaller niche often means their demand is higher than the supply can match. As a result, they come at higher prices.

But given the overwhelming benefits that come with these bikes, it’s hard to complain about the prices. Besides, not all e-bikes are expensive. There are a few budget choices – you just have to shop around!