Save money, time, stress, and the environment when you choose electric.

With climate change and the cost-of-living crisis on everyone’s radar at the moment, cycling is often cited as a way of tackling climate change by reducing traffic congestion, air pollution and a way of saving money, stress and time on transport. But do the claims stack up? Let us dig into the detail and take a look.

Cycling and it's green credentials

Everything we manufacture and everything we buy will have an impact on the environment. Cycling is not immune. For example, every bike, electric or not will have a carbon footprint. The mining of raw materials, the energy used to build the bikes then they need to be transported, often around the world on ships in containers however this ‘embedded carbon’ can be mitigated or entirely offset. According to Trek’s sustainability report 2021, if you ride about 430 miles that you would normally have driven you will have saved the equivalent carbon than it took to make the bike. Quite a statistic…but hold on, there are more.

An older Dutch study by the European Cycling Federation (ECF) claimed the manufacturing footprint of non-electric bikes is 96kg of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) or 134kg for electric bikes. Trek, in their report, claimed a footprint of 100kg per bike plus an additional 65kg to electrify it. Even if we take the highest figure for an electric bike from Trek at 165kg, the differences between electric and non-electric are marginal. A small hatchback car produces approx. 5.5 tonnes (5500kg). Add 13000kg more for an SUV and 2000-3000kg more again for electric versions due to their batteries and motors. EV’s are not the silver bullet car manufacturers have us believe.

Then we need to consider the lifetime of these bikes and cars

A typical car 

220g CO2e/km 

A typical electric car 

160g CO2e/km 

A non-electric bike 

25-35g CO2e/km 

An Ebike 

21-25g CO2e/km 

There are a lot of variables not considered here like electricity emissions for example, but it is absolutely clear and irrefutable that bikes and ebikes are a gamechanger if we are realistic about cutting air pollution and traffic congestion. Riding a bike replaces a car journey. They are traffic busters!

60% of car journeys are under five miles, perfect for an ebike and why they can play a key role as society inevitably transitions to electric. Electric bikes are a genuine alternative to driving for people who would find it difficult or inconvenient to ride a non-electric bike Switching from a daily drive to an electric bike can save an average of 249kg of CO2 for every kilometre travelled. Scale this up nationwide and there is the capability to cut emissions in England by up to 50 percent. That is about 30 million tonnes of CO2 per year.

Rob from our Wilmslow branch uses the smartphone hub on his bike and it tells you CO2 savings. He's done 4500 miles since last year and just saved up 1000kg of CO2 emissions! 

Plus Rob also reports he's lost 10kg in weight without trying to diet or anything - great work Rob keep it up!

Further Reading

Save £££

Let us dig into some numbers now and see how riding an electric bike can save you money.

The cost-of-living crisis is born from a fall in disposable incomes due to inflation and geo-political events pushing up energy, food, and fuel prices. Everybody is looking at ways at saving money and using a bike rather than a car can be a key factor in achieving this goal.

Upfront costs

The cost of buying a new car has overtaken wages at a rate that is unsustainable for most. Since 2012 the average price of a car has risen sharply from 137% of the average salary to 159% in 2022. That is an increase of 40%. Used car prices are lower but they are rising too. Compare this to the average outlay of an electric bike, according to the Bicycle Association, at £1850, it is obvious where the savings can be made. Make your next car an electric bike.

Ebike Finance is a great way to spread the cost of buying a new e-bike and accessories. We can offer finance for online purchases, remotely via email or in-store on any order over £250 excluding a minimum deposit of 10%. Learn more about finance HERE

You can also purchase a new bike using a Cycle To Work scheme. The Cycle to Work Scheme is a government incentive that lets you make significant savings on buying a new electric bike and accessories by paying through tax-free salary sacrifice. The bike is hired from your employer and at the end of the hire period ownership can be transferred.

Employees can use the scheme annually to buy more bikes or spread the cost of future parts, accessories and upgrades. Learn more about Cycle To Work schemes HERE

Fuel costs

Fuel costs are still a significant outlay for drivers despite prices coming down from their all-time high in July 2022. The average 60 litre car is going to cost you around £90 to fill up at the pumps at current (£1.50 per litre) prices. In 2021, 72% of car journeys were under five miles. It is a fact that most car journeys are short, they are inefficient on expensive fuel and the majority of them could be replaced by an electric bike. For regular drivers and commuters perhaps enough to pay for the bike and save money!

Let us say a car can average 35 miles to the gallon. So, 1000 miles would take 28.57 gallons or 129.7 litres. At £1.50 per litre, 1000 miles in this car would cost £194.57 in fuel.

For an ebike, let us assume an average range of, say, 50 miles on a full battery which costs 30p to charge. 1000 miles will require 20 charges at 30p, so the total fuel cost for an electric bike will be £6. A massive saving every time you cycle instead of drive.

Maintenance Costs

The average cost of a car service depends on its size, make and model but for a small car you are looking at around £150, £50 more for a medium sized car and nearly £400 for a large one and that does not include replacement parts.

Don't forget too that cars need an MOT an essential annual vehicle check to assess roadworthiness and safety standards. A MOT usually costs around £40 but that's just the test, if any work is needed than the yearly cost can be much higher. A MOT is due on the third anniversary of the vehicles registration.

Mechanical replacement parts for bikes are far cheaper and service costs average between £25 and £150. It is also true a lot of cyclists can service and maintain their own bikes unlike drivers due to the greater mechanical complexity of cars. Another saving on labour.

Vehicle Excise Duty

VED is a tax on polluting vehicles. It is not a Road Tax, that was abolished in 1937. A charge based on the amount of CO2 cars emit. Electric Vehicles and bikes are exempt but if you drive an old gas-guzzler expect to pay a lot. The average family car costs around £150 a year.
FUN FACT: Roads are paid for by everyone out of general taxation not the mythical road tax or VED

Other Costs

Ask yourself a question. How often do you drive and pay to park? With the average cost of car parking at around £1.30 per hour, all those hours you spend shopping could be costing you more than you think and with major cities now introducing congestion, LEZ and ULEZ charges, driving has become an expensive way to travel short journeys. A regular commute by car into central London, for example, could cost you £3k a month! Throw in the odd speeding and parking fine and cycling short journeys by electric bike becomes more attractive. Cyclists do not pay to park, and you can park your bike closer and in more places.

Not everybody owns a car, and some opt to use public transport and taxis occasionally so let us look at those options.

As an experiment, we spoke to members of our team and gained some insight into how much it costs them to commute to work vs other transport methods.

Alan – Commercial Director
Commute to Battersea Store 
Distance: 12 miles
by Car: 1hr 20 mins, cost £24 (fuel + parking)
by Taxi: 1hr 20mins, cost £29
by Bike: 45mins, cost £FREE

Choosing to cycle Alan saves a lot time and a lot of money! If he used a car every day fuel and parking in a year would mount up to £6000 that's enough to buy 3 electric bikes!!!

Rowan – Store Assistant
Commute to Cardiff Store 
Distance: 5 miles 
by Car: 30 mins, cost £12.50 (fuel + parking)
by Train: 20 mins + platform wait + travel time to station, cost £4.50 
by Taxi: 30 mins, cost £15
by Bike: 25 mins, cost £FREE

Rowan's journey on two wheels is door to door and faster using a bike. Driving would cost £62.50 or using the train at £22.50 a week.

Commute to Wilmslow Store
Distance: 9 miles
by Car: 1 hour, cost £8 (fuel + parking)
by Bus: 40 mins, cost £5
by Train: 30 mins + platform wait + travel time, £9.40
by Bike: 40 mins, cost £FREE

For Rob it's a no brainer to use his bike for his daily journey, he's saving money and time.

Niall - Finance Controller
Commute to Central Office in Bristol
Distance: 4 miles
by Car: 20 minutes, cost £1.20 each way for fuel as parking is free
by Bus: 1 hour, cost £4
by Bike: 25 mins, cost £FREE

For Niall using his bike to get to work will take a few minutes longer than driving but he will save on fuel plus avoid any traffic jams and stress. In a week £12 will be still in his bank account ready to spend on a Friday night takeaway.

What you also need to consider is that using a bike is normally a door to door journey, there will be no cancelled trains, or late buses, you won't be sat in traffic jams or crammed into a overcrowded compartment, the journey is virtually completely under your control.

A full charge on an electric bike will cost around 30p (depending on the battery size and your energy tariff). Usually employers won't mind you charging your bike's battery at your place of work (best to check first though).

For a bike with a 625Wh battery that 30p cost should enable you to travel 60 or more miles. ) Range is dependent on a lot of factors - Bosch have a handy calculator HERE


The benefits of exercise for our health and wellbeing are well documented. Electric Bikes have been shown to be as good if not better than non-electric bikes for exercise and allow more people to be able to ride too. Commuting to work by electric bike is linked with a 45% lower risk of developing cancer and a 46% lower risk of heart disease, a stat that should not be lost on us.

Have costly gym membership? No need, use the free open air gym called the outdoors when you ride your bike. Cyclists are just healthier people and place less-burden on our stretched NHS and therefore saving it money. 

Poor health often leads to absence at work and a cost to the economy. Healthy people are happier people. If you ride an electric bike, it will almost certainly help if you struggle with your mental health too. It has been proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression that, statistically, 1 in 4 of us may encounter at some point in our lives.

For many people the added assistance that an electric bike provides compared to a non powered bike makes cycling a viable option, you don't need to be super fit (or even moderately fit) to tackle those pesky hills on your journey. If you want more of a work out then turn down the power, but even on maximum assistance it's great exercise too as you still need to pedal.  


So, we have looked at the green credentials of bikes and the stats are absolutely clear. Bikes and electric bikes are a clear benefit to the environment as we tackle climate change, air pollution and traffic congestion. Comparing them with cars for short journeys is incomparable, ebikes win hands-down every time.

We understand that cycling every day may not be possible, but even if you just choose to hop on your bike when the weather is fine then the savings will quickly mount up. England has on average around 145 days per year where there is rain but most of those it won't rain all day. You will find cycling home in the rain after being sat in front of a screen is actually really refreshing too.

If you want to boost your health, reduce stress, and get to where you need to be on time, every time. An electric bike is a tool that will do the job.

A quality electric bike could keep you cycling for around 7 years, Bosch themselves state that the battery should be good for around 10 years or 1500 full charge cycles and for the first two years a Bosch battery is covered by the warranty. Purchase a bike using a Cycle To Work scheme saving 30%+ or spread the cost on interest-free finance and all of sudden the price of an ebike seems cheap. What price can you put on your time and stress?

To save money, driving locally is now so expensive due to rising vehicle prices, fuel, and maintenance costs it is time to reconsider your transport choices. An ebike can not only save you money it can pay for itself.

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