E-Bike 1000 MPG Project

1000 MPG?

We've been monitoring real life e-bike charging electricity usage and found:

  • E-bikes get anywhere from 1000 to over 4000 MPG equivalent[1] - 400 to 1700 km/liter

  • E-bikes cost less than half a penny a mile to charge.

  • E-bikes can go over 70 times farther than a gas fueled car per pound of climate emissions (and more than twice that - over 150 times farther - with California's electric energy mix).[2]

  • E-bikes are over 20 times more efficient than electric cars at fighting climate change.

See Results for more on what we have learned about different types of bikes and the FAQ for how we evaluated them.

We also have researched battery and charging systems and found:

  • E-bikes get 30-100 times more miles per pound of battery than an electric car, dramatically reducing the environmental and human rights challenges of electric car batteries. See Battery for more on the problems with EV batteries and how we calculated the Ebike advantage.

  • E-bikes do not require the special charging infrastructure that electric cars require. See Charging for more.

The E-Bike 1000 MPG Project started as an exploration of how e-bikes (electric bikes) might contribute to meeting the climate goals of Berkeley California. What we learned is that e-bikes are impressively efficient, climate friendly, good for your health, great at climbing hills, beating headwinds, hauling kids & loads and tackling long commutes, helpful for addressing a number of urban planning challenges ... and lots of fun. Riders feel like they have superpowers.

Electric cars (often called EVs) are great, but will not stop climate emissions rapidly enough to avert disaster. E-bikes can help us get out of the car and beat the climate crisis.

Want to learn more about E-bikes? Check out our Climate Action E-bike Guide website devoted to understanding e-bikes for current or potential riders, policy makers, fleet operators, and activists.

Want to stay informed of our work? Sign up on the mailing list


[1] Miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) uses a comparison of the energy content of electricity and of gasoline to rate the efficiency of electric vehicles in a way comparable to how we label gas vehicles. See Results page for more detail on the range of results for different vehicles and the FAQ for an explanation of MPGe and how we calculated these results.[2] Comparing the average e-bike in our study to the average gasoline powered car on the road. See Results page for more detail

E-Bike Monitoring Project

Do you ride an e-bike?

Curious about how much energy it uses?

Want bragging rights on how you are contributing to beating the climate crisis?

Join the E-Bike Monitoring Project to find out.

The E-Bike Monitoring Project is assessing the role e-bikes can play to help address the climate crisis. This is a citizen science project in which e-bike riders measure the electricity they use to charge their e-bike and submit it along with mileage data for analysis by volunteer Project staff. Participants get a full report on their bike's performance.

Join the fun. Test your ride: Find out how well your e-bike performs and contribute to this study by joining the E-Bike Monitoring Project. It is simple. Just get a watt meter to measure your electricity usage when you charge your battery and enter your readings into an online form.

Learn how to get a watt meter and take part at How To Participate.

What we do with your data: You will enter the data you collect on your energy use and the mileage you rode between charges into an online form. We will use that data to calculate the effective miles per gallon (using EPA formulas) and carbon emissions. We will send you a report on the efficiency of your e-bike and how it compares to other e-cycles we have monitored and to a gas or electric car.

This data is being used to inform urban planning and state and federal legislative efforts (including subsidies) to utilize e-bikes as a low emissions alternative to slash climate emissions from car driving. Read the Walk Bike Berkeley E-Bike report for our initial study of e-bikes, their efficiency and other advantages as an alternative to gas or electric cars.

Privacy: We will not share your name or contact information or details of your bicycle or riding data with anyone outside of project staff without your explicit permission. Only aggregated anonymous data will be released publicly.