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Why are E-Bikes still so expensive?

It’s really strange that I can buy an old car for a few hundred dollars and fix it for a few hundred more but if I want to be more progressive and get an electric conversion kit instead for my bicycle to help get over those nasty hills in the summer heat, it’s more expensive?

I’ve been researching e-bike kits for the past few days and apparently the lowest cost decent front wheel hub motor is like $400 and then I can either get ancient & heavy sealed lead-acid batteries for a couple hundred more or relatively new/light and “environmental” LifePO4 batteries for $400-$500.

Sigh, oh well. Maybe next summer. I guess I’m stuck at home for this one.

ps. why doesn’t Wikipedia have a page on electric bikes? Weird.

10 responses

  1. Welcome to the early stone age of electronic bicycles. But its already worth to start an invest. Think of the modern Motorsystems as a rock solid part for a brighter and cheaper battery future.
    Means, start with a Motor conversation and test the new world of ebikes with a cheep battery first.
    With the years, batteries and accumulator systems will get more and more advanced and the prices in connection with mass production will go to a lower level.

    try the fun…

    May 27, 2008 at 4:21 pm

  2. Thanks for the feedback/encouragement!

    I think I am going to try something crazy and make my own battery pack via NiMH D-Cells as I know just enough about soldering (and batteries) to probably not kill myself in the process, lol (I once plugged a larger lithium cell into a motherboard backways years ago and it exploded – fortunately I was wearing glasses – that taught me a healthy fear).

    Now to try to find a used 24v or 36v motor+wheel.

    May 27, 2008 at 9:58 pm

  3. Gismo

    “Welcome to the early stone age of electronic bicycles”

    Well put! LOL I am actually a dealer of Veloteq Electric Bikes and I find the future of the battery technology the most exciting part of this whole venture. One day in the near future we will be plugging our bikes in at a charging station and voila, capable of going another 50 km.
    They really are in their infancy and the future is very exciting…I ride one everyday I can, and besides the money I save travelling, one cannot overlook the fact that they are fun to ride as well. My Motto is Bicycle when you can, Drive when you have to and for all the other times…Electric is the way to go.

    June 3, 2008 at 11:36 am

  4. Edward Rose

    Bollocks! I had EXACTLY the same experience as the person who started this thread. And I’m calling “Shenanigans”

    I think the whole merket for the motors is motivated by greed, and the lack of cheap conversion kits (even without batteries) is intentional. Always remember this…

    If me and guy/gal at the top of this thread are looking for the same thing, it means there are THOUSANDS of us out there. And if the price of these products is “Tweaked” to a breaking point, HUNDREDS of us will pay the inflated prices because one in ten of us can afford it. It’s the basic law of supply and demand… AKA: Capitalist Piggery

    June 17, 2008 at 1:34 am

  5. Clothing Retailer

    There is nothing wrong with making a good profit in business. The discount stores that are killing the ma and pa businesses in the world advertising the lowest prices in town are already backfiring on communities and creating unemployment everywhere. The same people who want things for cheap are the same people who complain there is no one to serve them at the box stores.
    Eaton’s, Consumers Distributing, Michaels…all went bellyup giving people the lowest prices in town. People want cheap so retailers look for cheap crap to sell. You get what you pay for.
    Fortunately there is a class of people still left looking for good quality products with good quality service. I bought an e-bike for $2200.00 and my neighbour bought one for $899.00. I have had mine for two years and his lasted about 6 months. If you want cheap….don’t worry it’s out there.

    November 5, 2008 at 7:08 pm

  6. Bobby Viner

    I will have to agree with last poster….there are different quality bikes on the market.
    While they all look the same on the outside, it is what is under the hood that counts.
    You can buy a 48 volt battery for $129.00 and one for $299.00. For those that price shop, they are always the ones on the blog complaining about crap. Is the bike tire a 3 ply or a 4 ply…That too is a big difference. One company offers two batteries instead of one. They do not inform the customer that one battery is 14 amps, and the second one is 7 amps giving a total of 21 amps. You are better off with one 20 amp battery. Public be aware and do your homework. Not all is created equal.

    November 24, 2008 at 6:28 pm

  7. electric bikes batteries are very expencive.that’s why a ebike still expensive.
    But there is few cost to maintain a ebike….

    January 8, 2009 at 1:38 am

  8. The problem with the nothing wrong in making the a profit agument is this – there is a difference to making a profit and extortion. The chinese send their e- bikes to say morrocoo and charge morrocan prices which would kill the average morrocan in their wage packet. It is the same here in the uk, they charge for out our level. This means the acutal production cost of the e- bikes are extremely low. So you have to ask are the profits they are making really just that or are they extortionate.

    I got lots of cheap stuff in morroco and boy i was shocked that if i bought the same item in england i be paying 50 per more.

    So the question is if the chinese or any other manufactorer can sell a product at such a low price in on one country, and still gain enough revenue to make it worth the chinesee while to send it them by the truck loads to this country I am came a way so angry when i got back to the uk, bloody ripp offs here. Another example there was a 50cc i think moped bloody hell they were selling it bran new for 325 pounds. over here they are over 2000 pounds. Of course the avearage morrocan could not afford this, but it goes to show how much really costs and how our governments are ripping us off.

    The acutal cost of making an e- bike is very low, look at all the kits being make in china and sold on ebay and its a booom in china itself, but here in the west we are so reliant on oil that big business want us to be tied into the oil business so they make it hard to alernatives to flourish. I am sure if there was a massive market in the west for these bikes then yeah the price would drop about a factor of 10 but till people get fed up of the expliotation, then yeah it would be great. The signs are there will the governement saying they want a electric car infrastructure but i am worried it just all talk because the same gov is refusing to reform the banking system saying it was not at fault for the recent crash. So it might be all hot air. Still people want cheap energy and want electric cars and e bikes, by the fact the gov is still not supporting e – transports enmass shows this global warming is aload of rubbish. If its that bad they be swtiching now, there be cheap kits available, incentatives that would meam something instead oh buy a new car and we will knock off 2 grand. There be massive development of public transport, massive new ideas on how to get around, but you stil get the fundi enviros who say oh electrics bikes still pollute. I am sure next they will say hey the very fact your alive and breathing means you are damaging the earth hence your carbon footprint,. I say tosh. rubbish, crap. The fact is no cheap alternatives means this global warming is crap and the gov wants to get e-bikes and the rest high as possible because the gov is in hand with the oil dogs.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:09 pm

  9. Pretty section of content. I simply stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to claim that I acquire actually loved account your blog posts. Anyway I?ll be subscribing in your augment or even I fulfillment you get entry to consistently fast.

    June 2, 2012 at 2:48 am

  10. dolomitiptyltddolomitiaus

    The same reason electric cars are expensive: lithium batteries.

    November 19, 2015 at 5:20 am

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