Results to date from the Ebike Monitoring Project
In our second test phase, we have continued the testing we did for the E-Bike Report. As we have collected more data, we have found a wider range of results than in our initial analysis for the November 2019 E-Bike report. We will continue to update this page as we collect more data.
Methodology for the analysis is explained on the FAQ page.
Cumulative average for all bikes tested to date
30 bikes, 3,457 miles (5,564 km), 123 charging cycles.
Charged on average every 28 miles.
Individuals averaged charging from every 9 miles to every 56 miles. Farthest distance on a single charge was 69 miles. These numbers do not necessarily reflect the available range. They also depend on whether owners take short trips and top off frequently or drain their battery almost all the way down before charging. Topping off frequently is less efficient and may lead to faster loss of capacity.
1.36 kWh per 100 miles / 0.84 kWh per 100 km (kilowatt hours of electricity used to charge battery)
Ranging from 0.8 to 3.3 kWh per 100 miles
$0.31 per 100 miles (charging electricity at average CA residential rates of $0.2253 /kWh )
Ranging from $0.19 to $0.75 per 100 miles
Electric rates in most of the US are 1/2 to 2/3 of California. The average charging cost per 100 miles would be $0.12 in the cheapest state (Missouri at $0.094/kWh) and $0.42 in the most expensive state (Hawaii at $0.324/kWh)
2,480 MPGe* / 1054 km/liter
Ranging from 1,006 to 4,061 MPGe
0.61 pounds of CO2 per 100 miles (based on California's state average carbon dioxide (CO2) production per kWh of electricity generation 2019).
Ranging from 0.4 to 1.5 pounds of CO2 per 100 miles
1.3 pounds CO2/100 miles based on the national average rate of CO2 per kWh
Comparison to electric or gas powered car
Typical high efficiency all electric car (2021 Chevy Bolt, similar to Kia Soul, Tesla 3 or S Long Range)
28.6 kWh per 100 miles
2020 & 2021 model US electric cars range from 24 to 50 kWh/100 miles
$6.44 per 100 miles (@ CA residential rate - see above)
The average charging cost per 100 miles would be $2.67 in the cheapest state and $9.25 in the most expensive state
118 MPGe (2020 and 2021 US electric car models range from 68 - 142 MPGe)
13 pounds of CO2 per 100 miles (CA electricity)- 21 times more CO2/mile than the average of all the e-bikes in our study.
26 pounds of CO2 per 100 miles using national average electricity CO2 per kWh)
Gas powered car - typical average car on the road currently
$18.81 per 100 miles (@ $4.176/gallon US average cost per gallon on 4/5/22,
The average gas cost per 100 miles would be $16.80 in the cheapest state (Missouri at $3.729/gallon) and $26.30 in the most expensive state (California at $5.838/gallon)
22.2 MPG (average efficiency of a car on the road as of 2019. New car efficiency is only slightly better. Average new car fleet efficiency for the 2019 model year was only 24.9 MPG)
88 pounds of CO2 per 100 miles - 145 times more CO2/mile than the average of all the e-bikes in our study. (using California electricity for charging)
71 times more CO2/mile using national average electricity
The most efficient all gas powered car (non hybrid) in the existing fleet in the US gets 39 MPG (2021 Mitsubishi Mirage) generating 50 pounds of CO2 per mile, 83 times more than an e-bike with CA electricity and 40 times more than an e-bike using national average electricity.
Results by e-bike type
Pedal assisted commuter e-bikes:
17 bikes, 2000 miles of testing
3.0 to 0.8 kWh per 100 miles, average 1.1
1140 to 4061 MPGe (485 to 1726 km/l), average 2942 MPGe
1.3 to 0.4 pounds of global warming CO2 per 100 miles, average 0.5.
Pedal assisted cargo e-bikes:
7 bikes, mostly parents frequently carrying 1-3 children plus other cargo, 472 miles
2.7 to 1.0 kWh per 100 miles, average 1.7
1255 to 3385 MPGe (534 to 1439 km/l), average 1979 MPGe
1.2 to 0.4 pounds of CO2 per 100 miles, average 0.8
Pedal assisted recumbent tricycle e-bikes:
2 trikes, both adaptive bikes used by people with handicaps, 295 miles
1.5 to 1.1 kWh per 100 miles, average 1.3
2198 to 2959 MPGe (934 to 1258 km/l), average 2526 MPGe
0.7 to 0.5 pounds of CO2 per 100 miles, average 0.6
Pedelec mountain & fat tire e-bikes (mixed trail and city riding):
2 bikes, 499 miles
1.4 to 1.1 kWh per 100 miles, average 1.2
2381 to 3055 MPGe (1012 to 1299 km/l), average 2803 MPGe
0.6 to 0.5 pounds of CO2 per 100 miles, average 0.5
Throttle only mode (little to no use of pedal assist) commuter e-bikes:
2 bikes, 137 miles
3.3 kWh per 100 miles
1006 to 1035 MPGe (428 to 440 km/l) , average 1017 MPGe
1.5 pounds of CO2 per 100 miles.
We have done a very limited amount of electric scooter monitoring, finding similar results to the throttle only commuter bikes bike at just over 1000 MPGe over 9 miles of riding.
*MPGe = miles per gallon equivalent - an EPA metric based upon the energy contents of gasoline and electricity. See the FAQ for details on how MPGe and CO2 are calculated.
More studies on e-bikes - how and why people ride them, their impacts and the effectiveness of incentive programs - can be found at the ClimateAction Center's E-bike Studies page.