Why Are Ebikes So Expensive?

January 09, 2022

Why Are Ebikes So Expensive?

How much does an electric bike cost?

The cost of a new electric bike can range from a few hundred dollars, to over $10,000. Within this wide range, there are certain tiers or price points for ebikes that consumers should be aware of.

At the lower end, you can find cheap ebikes on mega sites like Amazon, Walmart and eBay. These models typically come from Chinese brands that sell on these marketplace platforms. Some of the brand names found on these sites include Vivi, Hiland, Engwe, Ecotric, Polarna, Heybike, Velowave, Sohoo, Zpao, Paselec, Ancheer, Eahora, Addmotor, Sixthreezero, Gforce, Speedrid, NBpower, Vitilan, Wookrays, Alomejor, Tbest, Kunray, Vtuvia, and TB Vechi.

To achieve these low prices, the manufacturers must cut corners, but using inferior components and often shoddy construction methods. We do not recommend buying from these sellers, since they are not able to provide pre-purchase information or after-sales support (that’s part of their cost-savings strategy).

There are a few Chinese brands that manage to produce good quality ebikes for less than $1,000. Our favorite is Natko brand, and we have written about their various models in this blog post. The Aostirmotor brand also has several models for less than $1,000, including the popular A20 folder and S03 city commuter.

The next price point tier is between $1,300 and $2,000. In this price range you will find a wide selection of ebikes to choose from, many of which feature premium components, and special features such as sensors that automatically cut power to the motor when the brakes are engaged. Bikes in this price range also come with accessories, such as fenders, lights, racks, and longer-range batteries. If you want a bike in this price range but do not have the cash on hand, consider using PayPal Credit, which will give you 6-months of interest free financing. Brands selling ebikes in this price range include Aero, GreenBike Electric Motion, and Snapcycle.

The next price point tier is around the $2,500 mark. Bikes in this range will feature such premium components as hydraulic disc brakes, longer-range batteries, mid-drive motors with higher power ratings, and high-quality suspension. A good example of an ebike in this tier is the Fat-HD by Eunorau. The Fat-HD feature the powerful 1000W Bafang Ultra mid-drive motor; Promax XD-E200 hydraulic disc brakes with automatic motor cutoff sensors; a long-range 48V/15.6Ah battery which mounts aerodynamically to the downtube; and a left-side thumb throttle with a 12-magnet cadence sensor. The Revi Cheetah is another ebike that comes in under $3,000. The Cheetah has a bespoke retro frame reminiscent of 1960s cafe racer motor cycles, fat tires, and a powerful 750W rear hub motor.

Finally, there are a class of ebikes that cost over $5,000. These models are often designed for a specific use case, such as hunters, who demand the highest build quality and other specialty features not found on lower-priced units. Models at this price point include the Bakcou Mule, which was voted most favorite ebike for bow hunters in the last several year. In 2022, Bakcou introduced the Rohloff internally-geared hub as an upgrade option to the Mule and the Storm fat tire electric hunting bikes. 

How much does a good electric bike cost?

Research shows that consumers tend to believe that price is an indicator of quality. As noted above, the price for good electric bikes can be wide ranging. Good electric bikes can be found for under $1,000, although you might have to make compromises when it comes to the feature set. It is also important to recognize that price is not a direct indication of quality. For instance, you might find two bikes with very similar specification, which may have widely varying prices.

One reason for this is the business model of the manufacturer. Some brands have special contracts with their factories, maintain their own warehouse facilities, and have other business practices in place that allow them to offer bikes at lower prices. They may also have widely varying expectations with respect to their returns on investment. Another factor is brand prestige, where a brand prices their products high to create the perception of enhanced value. This can clearly be seen in the luxury car market.

Why are electric bikes so expensive?

Are ebikes really that expensive? When compared to other forms of personal transportation, such as cars and motorcycles, an electric bike can be considered quite affordable. Some ebikes are even cheaper than high-end conventional bicycles.

There are a number of factors that affect the price of electric bikes. The most expensive component on an ebike is the lithium-ion battery. These batteries use a variety of exotic chemicals and materials to function, and they are expensive to produce and manufacture. Ebikes also have more components than a conventional bike. In addition to the battery, you have the battery charger, the motor, the controller, and the display. These parts all cost the manufacturer money, and they have to factor that into the price of the ebikes they sell. Likewise, ebikes must be designed to resist water infiltration, which is also an added cost that is passed onto consumers.

Another factor that people often forget are ebike tariffs. As much as we hate it, the Trump-era trade war tariffs which were finally implemented for electric bikes on January 1, 2021 are forced many brands to increase their prices, and past those operational costs onto consumers. The added 25% expense raised the price on many models by between $100 and $250 per unit.

As with most technologies, mass adoption and technical advancements have a downward pressure on prices. Remember how much cell phones cost when they were first introduced? In countries like Holland, sales of electric bikes are now higher than conventional bikes. We believe that advancements in battery technology, as well as more adoption of ebikes in the US, will ultimately drive down prices.

Electric bikes on a budget?

We like to think that there is an ebike for every budget, and we do our best to help people find the perfect electric bike to meet their budgetary requirements. We carry ebikes starting at $699.

How much does an electric bike battery cost?

Electric bike batteries are the most expensive component on an ebike, and the greater their capacity (measured in amp-hours) the higher the price. When you buy a new ebike, the battery and charger are included. However, if you want to purchase an extra battery to extend your range, or need a replacement ebike battery, you can expect to pay at least $500. Larger capacity batteries may cost as much as $800 per unit. If you are looking to replace an old ebike battery, you should consider getting the battery packed with fresh cells. There are several companies that can test and rebuild your batteries, for much less than buying a new one.

Are there electric bikes under $100 dollars?

We’re sorry, but there are no electric bikes for under $100.

What is the best cheap electric bike?

We believe that the Nakto brand has created an affordable line of electric bikes, starting at $699. 

Why are Trek electric bikes so expensive?

Trek is one of the largest ebike brands, and they intentionally target the premium tier of the market. Their least expensive ebike is the Verve+2, which starts at $2,850 at the time of this writing. Verve+2 features an integrated battery and mid-drive motor, and other premium components. However, has noted above, prices do not always translate directly to quality, and many brands target upper-middle class consumers who have lots of disposable income.

Why are electric bike batteries so expensive?

The battery is one of the most critical parts of an electric bike. Without it, you would not be able to power the motor and enjoy the pedal assist system or throttle power. All ebike batteries make use of lithium-ion cells, which are lighter, more compact, and have a higher energy density than their sealed lead-acid (SLA) predecessors.

Lithium-ion batteries are priced mainly in terms of their capacity (measured in amp-hours). A battery with more amp-hours will give you a longer range per charge, which you can calculate using our Ebike Range Calculator. Lithium is a highly reactive element, which means that a lot of energy can be stored in its atomic bonds. This is why such batteries are described as having a high energy density. Similar batteries are found in cell phones, laptop computers, and other modern electrical devices. And if you ever needed to replace one of these batteries, you know how expensive it can be.

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