How does an electric bicycle save you money?

An electric bicycle might seem like a big up-front investment but it very quickly starts saving you money. First off, you don’t have to pay motor tax or car insurance. You can save on public transport tickets too and parking is free. But after the initial layout, what are the running costs of an electric bicycle?


Every electric bicycle comes with a rechargeable battery. A standard size electric bicycle will have enough power on a single charge to take you about 80–100km on the flat using a moderate level of assistance.

Going up steep hills or setting your bicycle to give you a higher level of assistance will take more charge. Typically, Cork riders find their electric bicycles will go for about week on their daily commute on a single charge but this depends on use.

Charging an electric bicycle battery takes about 2–4 hours. There’s no special charging points needed. You just plug your bicycle into a domestic socket like charging a mobile phone. Some bicycles let you easily remove the battery to change it without having to bring your bicycle indoors.

And it’s really cheap! A full charge of an electric bicycle costs less than 10–15c – not bad for a week’s commute!


Jack Kelleher of Clonakilty, West Cork examining a bicyce part with other people.
Jack Kelleher from Conalkilty showing a bicycle part.

Aside from the electric motor, everything else on an electric bicycle is the same as an ordinary bicycle. This means you can bring your bicycle to local bicycle repairs shop to have it maintained or you can do it yourself.

For a lot of people, maintaining their bicycle themselves is one of the most satisfying parts of owning a bicycle. Other people prefer their bicycle to be repaired by a professional. In either case, the costs are very low.

One of the stakeholders to we-bike is Cork Community Bikes, who run a community bike repair shop in Blackpool. Cork Community Bikes can help you with advice on how to maintain your electric bicycle – or even how to convert a normal bicycle to an electric bicycle.

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