How much does it cost to recharge an electric scooter?

How much does it cost to recharge an electric scooter?

Sustainable mobility on two wheels is increasingly popular and more and more people are looking at electric vehicles as an alternative to petrol engines. Sales of e-bikes have far exceeded those of traditional bikes with 295,000 e-bikes sold in Italy in 2021. A positive trend that follows the European one, where 5.5 million bikes were sold in 2021 against 4.9 in 2020 and 1 , 5 million in 2015.

Equally positive is the growth of the mopeds and electric motorcycles sector with manufacturers that are starting to launch motorcycles powered by electric motors on the market. In the first ten months of the year - ANCMA, the cycle and motorcycle association reported - the electric market increased by 59.6%, with 12,800 vehicles placed on the road, about 5% of the total vehicles sold. But this is only the beginning of a growth that will be fueled by the recent Ecobonus, the 20 million euro fund allocated to incentivize the purchase of electric mopeds and motorcycles of the "L" category (and not for the purchase of pedal bicycles. assisted, as was assumed at the beginning) by applying a discount at the time of purchase up to a maximum of € 3000.

And one of the questions that many are asking, in the case of mopeds and motorcycles, is whether these vehicles, in addition to being zero-emission, are really cheap compared to an internal combustion engine. The answer is certainly yes. An electric scooter has much lower operating costs than a traditional one: first of all the road tax, then the lower maintenance costs and lastly the cost of recharging the battery.

But how much does it really cost to recharge an electric scooter and an ebike. And are the maintenance costs really that affordable?

How much does an electric scooter “fill up” cost?

The enormous convenience of the electric scooter is being able to fill up from home. Unlike electric cars, which need a charging station, electric scooters are adopting the removable battery as standard. This means that you can park the vehicle in any stall for motorbikes and mopeds and the battery can be removed and taken to your home or office where you can connect it to a battery charger, similar to that of a laptop. It is logical that the consumption of electricity necessary to recharge the battery will increase the bill, and with the increase in energy prices these days, it is legitimate to ask whether the full power of an e-scooter is still convenient.

Calculating the cost of recharging an electric scooter is very simple as long as you know the battery capacity, expressed in kWh (or Wh). In this case, just take the "unit cost" of electricity (cost per 1 kWh) from any electricity bill and multiply that cost by the kWh of the battery. Calculating a current unit cost of € 0.501 / kWh and assuming a battery of 2.8 kWh, charging the electric scooter will cost around € 1.4. This is an estimate, given that the resulting figure is not 100% accurate because very slight adjustments should be considered due to the efficiency of the charger and to the losses due to the Joule effect. But in any case, considering an autonomy of about 70 kilometers, the answer is more than affirmative: yes, the electric scooter is worth a lot, with an estimated cost per kilometer of € 0.02.

The cost of maintenance of electric scooters

To the cost of recharging are added the maintenance costs, which, as we have mentioned, are very advantageous. The road tax is halved for the first five years, insurance is reduced and maintenance costs are negligible. This is because an electric motorcycle has a much smaller engine than a traditional one, which also incorporates a cooling system and many gears that create friction (the fuel / air primer chamber, the crankshaft, and other parts). In an electric motorcycle there is the essential: a battery connected to an engine that transfers power to the rear wheel via transmission (belt or chain). The electric motor, in addition to having a very high efficiency (90% compared to 50% of the petrol one), does not require maintenance. In fact, the parts subject to wear are changed, such as the tires, the transmission and, to a lesser extent, the brake pads (which, thanks to energy recovery, are used less than a traditional vehicle). In a nutshell, although the initial purchase is more expensive, in the long run you will save a lot on routine maintenance. \

How much does an ebike "full" cost?

On the bike front, consumption is much lower than a motorcycle. Starting from the battery capacity of the electric bicycle, lower than a moped. On today's market, standard cuts range from 250 Wh to 700 Wh (watt hour). A wide range, justified by the type of bike for which the battery is intended. A city ebike normally uses batteries that do not exceed 500 Wh, while the higher cuts are common on e-MTBs, which require more power to be delivered to overcome significant differences in height. Unlike e-scooters, in terms of autonomy, it is not easy to make estimates, as the pedal assistance intervenes only to help the cyclist reach 25 km / h and in today's e-bikes there are different assistance settings, such as Turbo or Eco mode, with an energy consumption that depends on how much it is required. However, on average, a 250 Wh battery should be able to provide assistance for at least fifty km.

In order to calculate how much each full battery charge will cost us, we need to a small conversion to go from Wh to kWh, the quantity used by electricity suppliers (the kilowatt hour is equal to 1,000 watt hours). It is therefore sufficient to divide the Wh by 1,000: 250 Wh are only 0.250 kWh, 500 Wh are 0.5 kWh and so on. Always assuming a cost of 0.501 € / kWh, the calculation is beautifully done: that's about 0.12 € for a 250 Wh battery. For a 500 Wh battery it would be 25 cents, up to a maximum of € 0.35 for a "full" e-MTB with a 700 Wh super battery. Assuming that you pedal for 30 km a day, for the commute from home to work, probably every 2 days you will have to recharge the ebike with a 250 Wh battery, which would translate into about 13 monthly recharges over 26 working days, or 1, 56 euros per month of electricity consumed.

The cost of ebike maintenance

"Costs vary a lot according to the quality of the ebike and the use made of it" he explains Andrea Bonassoli, specialist dealer and mechanic, who works mainly on high-end bikes. Maintenance is related to the mileage and therefore to the wear of components (tires, disc pads, chain, sprocket and sprocket), a cost that remains almost the same as that of a normal bike at the same level. The discussion on battery and engine is different: «A battery is exposed to use as a recharge: in practice it loses capacity after a few kilometers. In general, a battery after 5 years has an estimated capacity drop of 5, 10%, which translates into a shorter range - explains Andrea, who adds that he has seen bikes travel more than 20,000 kilometers with the same battery. . On the motors we need to make a necessary distinction, with the ebike motors that are basically divided into two: motor on the bottom bracket and incorporated on the hub. «The central motors do not need maintenance, not even to be greased. That said, it is essential to pay attention to inaccurate washing: the infiltration of moisture is the cause of most of the problems I encounter. Hub motors also do not need maintenance, but are generally cheaper and last less than central ones. For this reason, in general, with a higher purchase price, you can be sure of buying a higher quality and therefore more durable bike ».

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