How much can an ebike cost? This is a hard question, and for all the hard questions the right answer is always the same: it depends!
Ebike prices are related mainly (but not only) to the components used to assemble it. The components of an ebike can be divided into two categories: the classical, mechanical components, common to all bicycles (eg the frame, wheels, brakes, tyres….) and those specific to ebikes (battery, motor, sensors, displays…).
In general, an ebike can cost anything from about 500€ (about 580 US$) up; the best value for your money is typically achieved with ebikes costing between 1100 and 1400€. We are only talking about city, trekking or folding ebikes. For other kinds of ebikes, such as electric mountain bikes, the price range can be rather different.
- For about 1100-1400€ you can already get some nice ebikes, weighing about 25 kg or less, with good quality components: alluminium frames, brushless motors, lithium batteries….ebikes costing 1300 to 1400€ should have all these characteristics
- From 1500€ up you can find great city or trekking bikes, with high quality components: silent and light brushless motors; high-capacity lithium batteries; advanced displays and control systems; disc brakes; seats that remain comfortable even after a long session; suspension forks…
If you know you’re going to use your ebike every day, it makes sense to spend some more and get an high quality one. If the ebikes takes the place of a car in your daily life, the substantial savings will allow you to make up rather quickly for the greater expense.
It should be obvious that spending a lot of money for an ebike does not necessarily mean getting an high-quality bike: some manufacturers for instance make you pay a lot for a peculiarly designed ebike (eg a particularly vintage or sporty frame), which can however be not great from a purely functional point of view. It’s up to you to decide.
- In the lowest price range, about 900/1000€, you will find ebikes with less technologically advanced components: steel frames, low-quality brakes, front hub motors, low-capacity batteries with lesser-quality cells…these ebikes are typically heavier and offer a reduced range. There is nothing bad in buying a cheap ebike, if you are aware of their limitations; if you think of using your ebike for short commutes without any climbing, then they will do their job just fine. The most important thing when buying an ebike in this price range (and in general) is to pay attention to the warranty and post-sales services. Try to choose an ebike from a well-known producer with a tested network of retailers able to provide assistance and spare parts. If you buy an ebike from an anonymous producer who disappears after a few months, good luck in finding a replacement battery when yours starts offering a reduced range (you would have to have a specialized shop rebuild your battery pack with new cells: it can be done, but it’s much easier if you can just buy a new battery from the producer of your ebike).
- Avoid lower-priced ebikes selling for about 800€ or less. For that price, it is impossible to offer a decent ebike which can be actually used in a real-life situation: the most likely thing to happen is that the battery will die after a few months or even weeks.