Gas Bikes vs. Electric Bikes: Pros and Cons List (2008)

Wayneburg

New Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2008
Messages
16
I'm trying to decide between an electric bicycle and a gas powered bicycle. I've started up a list of pros and cons the two types of bicycles have. Can you add to this list?

Gas Powered
Pros:
-Less expensive initial purchase price than electric bicycles.
-Can go faster than electric bicycles.
-Has a farther range than electric bicycles.
-Weighs less than electric bicycles.
-Can be refueled quickly.
-As fuel is used, the weight of the bicycle decreases.
-A gas motor kit can be removed from one bike and installed on another.

Cons:
-OBNOXIOUSLY LOUD!
-Fuel is more expensive than electricity. This makes gas powered bicycles more expensive over the life of the bicycle when compared to an electric bicycle.
-There are less places to find gas than electricity.
-Cannot be taken on trains or in some buildings
-Uses fuel any time the motor is on, even when the bicycle is stopped.
-Heat from the motor can be dangerous.
-Gas is environmentally unsafe, presents a health hazard and is smelly.
-Oil is environmentally unsafe, presents a health hazard and is smelly.
-Exhaust is environmentally unsafe, presents a health hazard and is smelly.
-Cannot be ridden in some places. (some parks, some beaches, some pedestrian areas)

Electric Powered
Pros:
-Quiet.
-Electricity is less expensive than gas. This will make an electric bicycle less expensive over the life of the bicycle when compared to a gas powered bicycle.
-Can be recharged at any electrical outlet. Electricity does not have to come from the owner's residence. This also makes an electric bicycle less expensive over the life of the bicycle when compared to a gas powered bicycle.
-There are more electrical outlets than gas stations.
-Can be taken on trains and all buildings.
-An electric motor kit can be removed from one bicycle and installed on another.
-Does not use fuel at all times like gas powered bicycles do.
-No heat issues.
-No exhaust issues.
-Can be ridden in all areas a non-motorized bicycle can be ridden.

Cons:
-More expensive initial purchase price than a gas powered bicycle.
-Has less range than gas powered bicycles.
-Slower than gas powered bicycles.
-Long recharge time.
-Weighs more than gas powered bicycles. This will be an issue when pedaling without electric assist.
-Batteries pose a hazardous waste issue.
 
Last edited:
L

Large Filipino

Guest
Electric bikes are not necessarily slower,yo.
There's one here I seen a while back that can hit 50 mph.
I like Gas because at the pumps when I fill up my 4 stroke people are amazed that I only need one dollar.
My 2 stroke is loud but my 4 stroke is pretty darn quiet.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Weedylot

Member
Joined
May 31, 2008
Messages
30
One thing my folding stowable electric can do is ride on city park paths and trails with pedal assist. My Whizzer wouldn't be so welcome.
 
D

dbigkahunna

Guest
The cost and expense of the battery(s) is the #1 issue with any electric. Over time the batteries will cost more than any gas engine. And the TOTAL polution an electric puts out will not be that much less than a gas engine. Remember, you have the energy it takes to manufacture and dispose of the battery.
I believe a combination/hybrid set up would be the most effective. The gas engine would negate the weight issue of the batteries. Use the pedals to get started, the electric motor to get up to speed or when in traffic and yoiu need the power burst you can get with the electric, then use the electric to get the bike up to speed and use the gas motor for longer distance. A gasoline motor at speed, while not as efficient as a electric, can go much further than electric.
 

Wayneburg

New Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2008
Messages
16
The cost and expense of the battery(s) is the #1 issue with any electric. Over time the batteries will cost more than any gas engine.


I don't understand. How will the batteries cost more than a gas engine? If you fill up a 1 gallon gas tank 100 times at $4.00 a gallon that will be $400.00. But, a battery costs around $300.00. Plus the price of gas will only go up from $4.00, increasing the total after 100 fill-ups.
 

Weedylot

Member
Joined
May 31, 2008
Messages
30
I bought a pair of new batteries at The Battery Factory, a battery dealer and re-cycler here in Tucson. They cost around $60 each if my memory works right...
 
L

Large Filipino

Guest
I don't understand. How will the batteries cost more than a gas engine? If you fill up a 1 gallon gas tank 100 times at $4.00 a gallon that will be $400.00. But, a battery costs around $300.00. Plus the price of gas will only go up from $4.00, increasing the total after 100 fill-ups.

I get 160 miles per gallon.
100 gallons of gas at 400 dollars is 16,000 miles.
Even at 300 dollars that's 75 gallons.
75 gallons equal 12,000 miles.
Could your 300 dollar battery last you 12,000 miles?
And this is not including the price of electricity to charge your battery,mind you.
 
D

DougC

Guest
I don't understand. How will the batteries cost more than a gas engine? If you fill up a 1 gallon gas tank 100 times at $4.00 a gallon that will be $400.00. But, a battery costs around $300.00. Plus the price of gas will only go up from $4.00, increasing the total after 100 fill-ups.
Electrics aren't all slow--with a lot of high-performance batteries they can be very fast, and they usually accelerate and pull up hills very well also. The problems electrics have are the cost of high-performance batteries, and that of limited ride-time endurance.

The cost of regularly replacing batteries drives the cost-per-mile of an electric vehicle WAY up. This page shows a comparison I did between the costs of a BionX system and a typical gas-engine system:
http://www.norcom2000.com/users/dci...ent/moto_bike_page/episode005/episode005.html
The electricity required to charge the batteries costs very little--but the batteries have a limited lifespan, and if you average the replacement cost of the batteries over the total miles, the cost of an electric vehicle is still considerably higher than for a gasoline vehicle. In my figures and even using $4/gal gas, an electric is still 3 to 5 times more expensive, per-mile.

Also to an extent the battery life can depend on how the electric vehicle is used. If you only discharge the batteries lightly (by not going very far between recharges) the number of cycles you can get can be a lot more than the typical rated lifespan. Some people who had the BionX said that they only normally rode it for a few minutes a day over level ground, said they got as much as 50% more recharge cycles out of the batteries.

----
I don't have an electric, but I wanted something that could go longer ranges so I didn't consider them useful.

If you are only planning on shorter-range use, the practical advantages of an electric can make it attractive and the costs can approach that of a gas engine--but for long-range use, the cost of an electric is still much higher than a 4-stroke gas engine. (I didn't do a comparison of 2-stroke engines specifically, so I don't know about them)
~
 

Accender

Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
205
The duty life of batteries is not refined, although thy are getting better.
Replacing them after X amount of miles is $$$$


A
 
Top