What is the Cost per Mile of an Electric Scooter?
How much does electric scooter cost to run per mile? The cost of ownership of an electric scooter is about 9 cents per mile. Renting an electric scooter will cost you around $1.50 per mile. This low cost is why many people are using electric scooters as their transport of choice.
That is a basic answer, and if we want to come to a fuller idea of the cost, we need to look at the other costs of electric scooter ownership. We need to know what we would have to pay for an electric scooter, what our service bills are likely to be, and how does the cost stack up against owning a car or bicycle?
How much does an electric scooter cost?
You can find electric scooters from as little as $100. As you can likely imagine the base models at $100 are not as full of features as higher models or come equipped with a good battery. You will find that the market for electric scooters slows down at the $500 mark. The $500 point is where you will find all the new technology being tested before it slowly starts to filter its way down to lower models.
One of the key reasons to buy a more expensive electric scooter model is battery life. You do not want a battery that will not last for your trip. Although at least, unlike cars, you can then still use your scooter it will just require some more effort.
Types of Batteries
There are three main types of battery found in electric scooters.
- Lithium-ion battery (Li-ion). These are the most modern style of batteries, and you may want to think about a mortgage if you’re going to buy one. You will see everyone raving about these batteries online. This is because they are super lightweight.
They are not just light though, they last around three times longer than SLA batteries, and they also need virtually no maintenance. You can leave your electric scooter in the cupboard for a long time, and it will just start back up again. NiMH batteries tend not to do so if you leave them for a while.
Batteries are expensive
When you buy a new scooter the majority of the price you pay will be for the battery. Some electric scooters with Li-ion batteries and carbon fiber construction will cost you over $1000. These electric scooters will be super light and will easily manage to get 10 miles from one charge, which is approximately 40 minutes since you asked.
Lightweight might be something else you are looking for in an electric scooter, but lightweight will mean a lighter battery. That will either impact the cost of your scooter or the distance your electric scooter can go. Around the $350 mark is where we have found the best balancing point of price, weight, and distance to be.
To rent an electric scooter generally starts with a flat rate hire fee of $1. You will then be expected to pay 15 cents per minute afterward. You would have to then be on the scooter for 660 minutes before it makes more sense to have bought a scooter.
Chain and Drive belt
You will also want to check your chain or drive belt regularly. If either loses tension, you can have your chain or belt slip off, or you wear your other drivetrain parts will wear down faster. The same is also true for too high a tension. Never over tension your belt or chain.
If either your chain or belt is showing signs of wear, replace them. The longer you wait to replace them the more they will wear down other components. You also want to make sure you don’t place the chain or belt so as they are rubbing other parts.
While looking at your chain, you might want to make sure it is lubricated. Regular lubrication will extend the life of your parts. While doing this, you will also want to lubricate your throttle and brake linkages. Don’t go crazy with the lube but just enough to let everything move and stop them rusting.
Your battery is the part that makes your electric scooter an electric scooter so make sure you take great care of it. Only ever use the battery charger that your electric scooter manufacturer states you should use, really don’t cheap out here. You also don’t want to leave your battery on charge after it has charged. Leaving it on charge risks a fire.
If your battery is showing signs of chemical leakage or corrosion, change it. If your battery is no longer holding charge or is losing it faster, it is time to buy a new battery. Taking care of your scooter can cost you nothing or can cost you a new battery at anywhere between $50 and $1000 for the new Li-ion batteries. On average you will be looking at the cost of pennies for a regular maintenance schedule.
If you take care of your electric scooter, it should lead a good and happy life. You can expect a well-maintained scooter battery to last for around 2-3 years. This figure will grow as technology improves. As the battery is the main cost to your scooter, it is then up to you to either buy a new scooter or just a battery. Remember and recycle as much as you can either way.
How much does electricity cost to charge an electric scooter?
On average an electric scooter will take a half kilowatt of energy to be fully charged. This means in America you will be paying around 5 cents for each charge. In the UK this will mean about 6 pence for a charge. In the EU you will be looking at an average of 10 euro cents per charge unless you live in France and you’ll be looking at 7 euro cents. I guess all the electric scooter users will be moving to France.
Imagine you use your electric scooter for commuting, how much do you think that will cost over a year? So we have decided to buy a good mid-range electric scooter, it has cost us $350. Your commute is 5 miles to work and 5 miles home, which means every night your battery is drained.
Working 5 days a week for 4 weeks holiday would mean we work 240 days a year. That would mean the electricity would cost us $12 a year.
Chain lube that we lube the scooter with costs us $15 for the year. Your cost for one year’s commuting would be $377 — a cost of around 16 cents per mile.
If kept the scooter for more year, and also replaced the drive chain at $20. Your commute cost would be $424 for two years — a cost of just under 9 cents per mile.
Is an electric scooter a great transportation choice?
According to the AAA the average annual cost of owning an electric car is $8,439, and for an average car, it is another $30. The average cost here massively exceeds the cost of an electric scooter over a year. The number though is based on an annual mileage of 15,000.
That gives us a per mile cost of around 57 cents for an electric car. For the average car, it is almost the same, only fractions of a cent more. A car will cost you almost 6x as much to run a mile. That would make a scooter seem like the more sensible choice for short journeys. Especially if we start to think about environmental harm
If we want to stay environmentally friendly, we could look at a bike. A bike is figured to work out at $308. That figure may seem less than the scooter figure, but this figure is worked out over 5 years as opposed to a single year. Our average cost over two years was $212 for the scooter, on that basis the scooter will work out cheaper than a bike.
So, in the end, the costs of running an electric scooter are very cheap. Much cheaper than other forms of transport, the only cheaper way would be to walk. Maybe it is now time to think about your bank balance and get an electric scooter for those short commutes to work.