Within a short period of its launch, electric bikes have managed to significantly reduce our dependence on gasoline-powered modes of transport.
Although one can find thousands of e-bikes on the roads of several countries, it is still an expensive consumer item for many people. As a result, many people choose to rent an electric bike in the United States.
How Much Does It Cost to Rent an Electric Bike in the USA?
An electric bike is a modern and technologically advanced version of the traditional bike we have seen since our childhood. The features of this bike make it significantly more expensive than a regular bike.
Hence, due to the high purchase price, many people have no choice but to rent an electric bike to enjoy its many benefits.
The cost of renting an electric bike will vary according to the country or state. The more abundantly available and relatively affordable an electric bike is in a country, the lower its average rent will be.
In the United States of America, the average hourly rent of an electric bike is around 10 to 20 USD; however, the exact amount can vary due to different factors. Some factors are:
- Where the electric bike is being rented
- The regional per unit cost of electricity
- The type and version of the electric bike
- The time of the year or occasion
- The terrain you intend to ride the electric bike on
- Whether or not you subscribe to the electric bike membership package
Moreover, if the electric bike you have rented gets damaged in any way, you will have to pay for the damages as well as the rent.
Continue reading to understand why renting an electric bike is more expensive than renting a traditional bike.
Moreover, we will elaborate on the aforementioned factors that can affect the electric bike’s hourly rent. You will also learn about the many benefits of renting an electric bike.
Let’s get started!
Why Is Renting an Electric Bike So Much More Expensive than Renting a Traditional Bike?
In general, all electric bikes are significantly more expensive than traditional bikes.
As a matter of fact, some electric bikes, such as the Blacktrail BT-01, which costs a whopping 80,000 USD, are even more expensive than a Tesla electric sedan.
The different components contribute to the high purchase price of an electric bike. Some of these expensive components are:
- The lithium-ion electric battery, which is responsible for storing the charge.
- The electric motion sensors pick up on a rider’s pedaling motion.
- The electric motor, is responsible for converting the electric battery’s stored chemical energy into kinetic energy.
- The energy transmitters that carry the kinetic energy produced by the electric motor and transfer it to the tires.
- The LCD screen that allows an electric bike rider to track their charge level, get notified about their remaining range, and track their calories burned.
Moreover, the frame of an electric bike is also mainly made from steel instead of fiberglass. This drives up the electric bike’s costs and allows it to maintain quality and performance under the influence of electrical assistance.
Hence, since the purchase price of an electric bike is so high and all its electrical components are made from expensive materials, the hourly cost of renting an electric bike is also automatically much higher than renting a traditional bike.
Different Factors that Influence the Hourly Cost of Renting an Electric Bike in the USA
The American State Where You’re Renting the Bike
It is not uncommon for a price of a product to vary across the US. Different American states have different regional taxes that affect both the purchase price and the rental price of a product.
The same thing happens when one is trying to purchase or rent an electric bike. While one can rent an electric bike for as low as 7 to 12 USD per hour in one state, the price can drastically increase to even 30 USD in another state.
This usually happens because taxes are not the same everywhere.
Moreover, smaller American states do not have as many electric bikes on their roads as bigger states do. Due to the low supply, at times, the hourly rate of renting an electric bike can go up.
The Regional Per-Unit Cost of Electricity
One of the main factors affecting the hourly rate of renting an electric bike is the per-unit cost of electricity in a region or a state.
The table below shows a direct comparison between the per-unit electricity prices of different countries.
|Name of the Country||Average Per Unit Electricity Prices|
|United States of America||$0.144 USD per kWh|
|Germany||$0.359 USD per kWh|
|Japan||$0.193 USD per kWh|
|India||$0.109 USD per kWh|
Electric bikes are a hit in countries like China primarily because of the per-unit charges of electricity.
In contrast, electric bikes can not make a similar impact in countries like Germany due to their expensive electricity.
The per-unit price of electricity does not only vary across the globe but can also vary drastically within the USA as well. The table below makes a direct comparison between different American states.
|Name of American State||Average Per Unit Electricity Prices|
|Manhattan||0.196 USD per kWh|
|Washington DC||0.119 USD per kWh|
|Hawaii||0.379 USD per kWh|
Since an electric bike is designed to be completely dependent on electricity to charge, the price of electricity will have a direct impact on a bike’s hourly rental charge.
When consumers rent out an electric bike, they are provided with a fully charged electric battery. This factors into the rent and affects the final price.
If the electric bike is being rented in Hawaii, where the per-unit cost of electricity is high, the hourly rental fee can be as high as 30 to 40 USD per hour.
On the other hand, if an individual wishes to rent an electric bike in Washington DC, the hourly rental fee will be significantly less.
Hence, if one wishes to rent an electric bike just to enjoy a ride, they should ideally do it in a state where electricity is relatively cheaper.
The Type and Version of the Electric Bike
To cater to the massive global electric biking community, electric bike manufacturers have designed multiple kinds of electric bikes.
Due to this, one can find an electric bike that exactly matches their unique preferences and requests.
The rider has to manually press a gear to select their ideal level of electric assistance and will have to pedal accordingly.
The higher the level of electrical assistance, the less the rider will have to physically pedal.
Due to the relative abundance of this electric bike, the purchase price, as well as the hourly rental cost of a pedal-assist electric bike, will be comparatively less than any other kind of electric bike.
The other type of electric bike, one that is not as common, is the pedal-less throttle electric bike.
These electric bikes do not depend on the rider’s pedaling motion, and their mechanism is more similar to that of an electric motorbike.
This is probably the closest experience to a motorcycle that one can get. However, these bikes don’t travel as fast as most motorcycles, which makes them a comparatively safer experience.
People who enjoy riding a bike that they don’t have to pedal and wish to travel at much higher speeds usually prefer throttle electric bikes.
Due to their added pedal-less feature, the purchase price, as well as the hourly rate of renting a pedal-less throttle electric bike, is much higher than renting a pedal-assist electric bike.
Moreover, apart from the type of electric bike, the size of the electric bike’s battery will also affect its hourly rental fee.
The most common electric bike battery sizes include the 48 Volt battery, the 52 Volt battery, or the 72 Volt battery. The larger an electric bike’s battery, the higher its charge storing capacity will be.
As a result, the electric bike will have a higher range, allow the rider to go at higher speeds, and will be able to cover greater distances on a single charge.
As a result, electric bikes with relatively larger battery packs will have higher per hour rental costs. However, since the rider is able to cover a greater distance on a single charge, paying the high rental fee is often worth it.
The Time of the Year or Occasion
The cost of renting an electric bike will not stay the same all year round. Like other consumer items that tend to become more expensive in the holiday season, the hourly rental fee of electric bikes also goes up.
This happens because, in a country like the USA, the holiday season means a massive influx of tourists. This means that companies will take advantage of this population boom to increase their prices.
Due to the high demand of tourists wanting to travel on electric bikes, and the relatively low supply, the hourly rental fee automatically goes up.
The Terrain You Intend to Ride the Electric Bike On
Usually, companies renting out their electric bikes will ask the rider where they plan to take the electric bike. If the rider plans to ride on steep slopes and arduous trails, the company will charge the rental fee accordingly.
This is because when an electric bike goes over rough or steep slopes, its battery depreciation rate increases and the battery’s health is negatively affected.
Hence, the rental fee that the electric bike company decides takes all these damages and effects into consideration and charges a higher hourly rental fee than normal.
Electric Bike Rental Details
Electric bike rental cost varies depending upon the period of use. For instance, you can get one for around $20 an hour. If you plan to use it for longer, the rent is normally about $65 per day. In the same way, rent for a week is likely to be around $200 – $300.
Some places also offer monthly rental services. In that case, you would have to pay around $400 to use an e-bike for a month.
Hourly E-Bike Rentals
As stated earlier, hourly bike rent is in the region of $15 – $20. If you want to use an electric bike for a short period, say a couple of hours, you would have to pay this hourly rate to rent an e-cycle. Fees may vary depending upon location as well.
For example, renting this type of two-wheeler at a popular tourist spot may cost more. On the other hand, you might be able to get a bike for less than the mentioned rate at a not-so-popular place.
Remember to ask about the various rental options. You can normally choose between hourly, four-hour, all day, multi-day, weekly, and monthly rentals.
Many e-bike dealers and shop owners provide discounts hourly for renters looking to use an e-bike for longer than four hours. In the same way, concession might be available on the per-day rate if you want to rent a bike for multiple days.
Full Day E-Bike Rentals
To get more value out of your rented electric bike, consider leasing it for longer. For instance, the hourly rate for an 8-hour period would be less than $15. This would set you about around $90 to $100 at most.
On the other hand, if you rent a bike for three to four hours, the hourly rate is likely to be approximately $20 – $30. And you’d end up paying $80 for just four hours of bike use.
Weekly Electric Bicycle Rentals
As mentioned above, the longer you rent an e-bike, the more value for money you’re likely to get. For example, renting an electric bicycle for a full week costs around $200 to $300.
In contrast, if you calculate the weekly cost of renting an e-bike on per-hour basis, it will end up setting you back more than $600.
Monthly E-Bicycle Rentals
Similarly, renting an e-bike for a month would give you more value compared to renting per week. Where the weekly rent of your two-wheeler would be in the region of $200 – $300, the monthly rent would be around $400.
So, if you rent a bike on a per-week rate for a month, you’d probably end up paying a whopping $1,200 for four weeks of e-bike riding.
Additional Rental Costs
If you plan on using some e-bike accessories, this will cost you extra. Rental electric bicycle providers tend to include a lock and helmet in the rate.
However, if you want a navigation setup, such as a GPS (Global Positioning System) device, the shop will charge you extra.
Of course, these days your smartphone can take care of all navigation needs. So, be mindful in case a rental e-bike dealer tries to be clever and charges you for a GPS navigation device.
You probably won’t need it, and you should keep an eye out for that in the rental amount quoted by the shop.
Benefits of Renting an Electric Bike in the USA
- Since purchasing a brand new or secondhand electric bike can be an extremely costly affair for many people, renting allows people to experience the ride of this modern bike without breaking the bank.
- Many people refrain from using electric bikes because of their high purchase prices. With significantly lower prices, more people can afford to ride these bikes. As a result, more people are able to reduce their everyday carbon footprint, which improves the air quality in cities.
- The cost of traveling on personal gasoline-powered cars or public transport can be very high in a country like the USA.
- With gas prices rising, people cannot afford to pay for gas to travel long distances. Renting an electric bike is far cheaper than filling up a tank of gas.
What to Ask a Rental Electric Bike Provider?
Ideally, you should ask the following questions from the dealer or shop owner when renting an electric bike.
- What’s this e-bike’s top speed?
- How far can this e-cycle go on a fully charged battery?
- What costs are included in my rental fee?
- What safety precautions should I take?
- What injuries are covered by insurance?
- Can my child accompany me on the bike?
- What maintenance processes should I follow when the bike is not in use?
- What e-bike riding laws should I be mindful of?
E-Bike License or Permit: Do You Need One?
Electric bike riders don’t normally need a permit or license to use the two-wheeler in public spaces. The same goes for insurance, although some states might be an exception. So, do check in with your local authorities to find out the latest rules and regulations concerning e-bikes.
Some locations may require you to be at least 18 years old to rent an e-bike. They will probably check your ID before lending you the two-wheeler. Payment is normally accepted via cash and credit card.
Lastly, if you want to bring your child along, there will probably be an age requirement. Generally, kids under 16 are discouraged from riding electric bikes owing to safety concerns. However, the rules and regulations may vary depending upon your state and county of residence.
An electric bike is a modern and expensive two-wheeled automobile that is an unattainable luxury for many. The high price tags of these bikes usually put
However, this does not mean that one should not get the opportunity to enjoy and experience a futuristic electric bike ride.
Many bike enthusiasts who do not have the means to afford an electric bike of their own have the option to rent it for some hours, a day, and even an entire week. By doing this, more people can benefit from the convenience an electric bike offers and can finally experience what the hype is all about.
Related electric bike articles:
- How Long Does an Electric Bike Battery Last?
- Can you take an Electric Bike on Eurostar?
- How Far Can You Go On an Electric Bike?
- Can You Ride an Electric Bike on a Road?
- How To Use Gears On An Electric Bike
- Can you Pedal an Electric Bike Without the Battery?
My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric bikes caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my e-bike. Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric bikes. Check out more.