Saturday, March 5, 2022

Electric Bike vs. Car Comparison

a woman and two children on a cargobike, seen from above
(Adapted from my Twitter thread March 4, 2022)

Since gas prices are a hot topic these days, I thought I'd do an electric bike vs. car comparison.

To drop off & pick up my kids from school then back to work from home is about 12km a day. 

  • Ecargobike: ~3 cents electricity
  • Average Canadian vehicle: ~$2 gas

For the whole school year:

  • Ecargobike $5
  • Gas vehicle $360

I usually ride around 3000km in addition to school runs, so I estimate my ebike electricity costs for the year are around $12. If I were driving an average vehicle, those kms would cost me about $900.

When you factor in maintenance & insurance costs, that's even more saved.

a woman standing in front of a cargobike in the snow
My ecargobike insurance is only a few dollars per month on my home insurance, under $40/year. Maintenance is under $500. 

Average car insurance is $1832 a year, maintenance of a newer car would be not much more than my bike, let's say $800.

Parking is another thing not to be underestimated. I never pay for bike parking. A lot of the places I shop & go to appointments have pay parking, so I'd likely spend $200-300 a year on that if I drove.

a fully loaded cargo bike parked in front of a Costco

When the initial cost of a vehicle & depreciation are factored in, replacing one with a decent ecargobike looks even better. The average cost to own & operate a car in BC is $9500 a year.

People often ask what my Tern GSD cost, & they're surprised that I spent $7500 (that's including all the kid carrying accessories, bags, locks, a second battery, & tax) but that's less than the cost of one year owning & driving a gas vehicle!

So if you're looking for alternatives to high gas prices & expensive vehicles, you may want to look at how an ecargobike would work for you. 

Let me know if you have questions about how it works for Costco runs or in snow, or whatever. Leave a comment below, or ping me on Twitter!

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