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E-Bikes vs. Cars in Canada: Is It Cost Effective?

Are you looking for cost-effective transportation? Click here to find out if e-bikes or cars are more cost-effective for traveling in Canada.

There was a time when the car was considered the best way to get around, but now there is a two-wheel competition: e-bikes. E-bikes are fast becoming one of the most popular ways to travel in Canada, but are they a cost-effective transport solution?

The best electric bikes in Canada are leading the way in changing how Canadians get around. It doesn't look like it will change anytime soon either, with the North American e-bike market projected to reach $1 billion dollars by 2026. But are they worth the hype? 

If you're wondering if e-bikes are viable and cost-effective transportation options, read on. Here is everything you need to know about e-bikes vs. cars. 

How E-bikes Work

'E-bike' is an abbreviation for an electric bike. E-bikes are bikes that are powered by electricity and peddling. They have an electric motor that can either replace or assist your peddling.

A rechargeable electric motor powers the engine; you usually recharge it by plugging it into a standard outlet. When you look at some of the best electric bikes in Canada, you will see that the vehicles often look like classic bikes. E-bikes work in different ways depending on their design.

Benefits of E-bikes

When weighing up if e-bikes are cost-effective transport solutions, it is essential to look at their benefits. When we look at our transportation options, we consider the financial efficiency but also the other types of cost-savings different forms of travel offer. Here are some of the top benefits of e-bikes.

Improve Your Health

Regularly using your e-bike can help you exercise and stay healthy. Health Canada recommends a minimum of 2.5 hours of exercise a week to stay healthy. Using an e-bike as a form of transportation can help you achieve this if you interchange between peddling and motor use.

Some of the health benefits of cycling include the fact it is low impact, supports brain function, and helps build strength and endurance. Getting these benefits while using e-bikes as ways to travel helps add more meaning to your commute and enables you to develop a healthier lifestyle.

Avoid Traffic Jams

Some of Canada's major cities, such as Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, and Montreal, rank highly in terms of traffic jams. E-bikes offer a way to avoid traffic jams instead weaving through other vehicles, allowing you to get to your destination in shorter periods of time. 

Environmentally Friendly

Average trip lengths and average commutes in Canada sit at around 12 km. Electric bikes in Canada vary in km per charge, ranging from 20 km to over 350 km for some of the best electric bikes in Canada. This means e-bikes are a viable option to replace other ways to travel.

Many transportation options are harmful to the environment, such as cars and the amount of pollutants they emit. These pollutants are also harmful to human health. E-bikes, on the other hand, are environmentally friendly, so you can lower your carbon footprint while also having an efficient way to travel.


When weighing up cost-effective transportation options, it is also important to consider your mental well-being and at what cost it is impacted by how you spend your time. Many Canadians spend a lot of time travelling in vehicles, but not all provide the same amount of joy.

E-bikes allow you to enjoy the fresh air and cycle to places you could not reach on an average bike. There are some important considerations for colder months, such as in cities like Toronto, but overall they offer the chance to create priceless memories no matter your reason for travelling. 

E-Bikes vs. Cars: Cost Breakdown 

One of the main reasons people consider e-bikes is because of their cost-savings. But can e-bikes compete against other transport options like cars? Here is a cost breakdown to determine if e-bikes are more cost-effective for travelling in Canada.

Initial Investments 

How much is a bike in Canada?

The average e-bike price in Canada depends on the type of e-bike you want to invest in, as there are different types, from mountain e-bikes to folding e-bikes. However, some of the best electric bikes in Canada average around $3,000 CAD. It is essential to also factor in costs for a helmet and other accessories. 

It is challenging to find a quality car for the same price. E-bikes still have initial investment costs but are more accessible than many other transport options where you own the vehicle. 

For example, many people ask, do you need a license to drive an electric motorcycle in Ontario and other major cities? It is important to keep up-to-date with Provincial/Territory e-bike laws; however, currently, you do not need a license to ride an e-bike in places such as Ontario. 

Recharging Your E-bike

Fuel costs continue to rise worldwide, whereas e-bikes offer cheap recharge fees. Currently, the average price for a litre of fuel is $1.74. In comparison, an e-bike can cost as little as $0.05 per km, offering significant cost savings, especially if you are travelling a lot in Canada.

Maintenance Costs

When purchasing an e-bike, it is important to remember that maintenance costs will be involved. If you care for your e-bike and invest in one of the best electric bikes in Canada, it should last many years. Many companies also offer warranties, which can help with any initial maintenance costs.

One of the biggest costs to consider is replacement batteries for e-bikes. Battery life depends on the battery type, quality, and amount you travel, but they can last for around five years. Other maintenance costs can involve tune-ups, brakes, and tires.

If you ensure you care for your bike and schedule regular tune-ups, then costs will be lower. However, in comparison to cars, e-bike maintenance saves you money.

Routine maintenance for cars in Canada works out to around $700 per year, including oil changes, replacement air filters, and other costs. There are also a variety of costly car parts that may need replacing. 

Parking Costs

Cities such as Toronto and Ottawa come with other car fees, such as parking. Parking costs often involve lost time, too, if you do not have a regular spot to park. Like a daily cup of coffee, these parking fees can quickly add up over the year, even if you get an annual rate. 

In comparison, many cities offer free areas to park bikes, although you may want to consider investing in some accessories to keep the e-bike secure.

Insurance and Taxes

It is important to consider insurance for your e-bike for security and safety purposes. However, you do not have the same insurance and tax demands as a car.

Annual costs of car insurance in Canada can be over $1,000. You also have to consider car tax, which can vary depending on your province. 

In comparison, you do not have to worry about these costs with e-bikes. In fact, in other countries, there are even incentives to purchase e-bikes, such as tax credits. It is an exciting time to invest and see what incentives Canada may consider in the future. 

Other Cost Factors

There are several other cost considerations when comparing e-bikes vs. cars in Canada. You could potentially save more money by improving your health and having lower medical costs if you start keeping active with your e-bike.

You also make priceless cost savings, such as earning back a lot of time that would be otherwise spent in traffic or searching for a car parking space. Gaining time back helps you utilize your day and improve your productivity, which can also help benefit your earnings if you work.

E-bikes vs. Cars: Considerations

When weighing up the cost-efficiency of e-bikes, it is important to consider several factors that differ between cars and e-bikes. The best e-bikes in Canada demonstrate these types of vehicles' possibilities, including increased distance coverage.

However, there are still differences in how you can navigate using an e-bike compared to a car, such as travelling in different seasons. It is also important to be safe and invest in the right equipment for your e-bike, including clip-in shoes. 

You need to stick to e-bike rules in Canada, which include lower speeds than if you are in a car. However, you also need to be mindful of car speed limits; often, if you are driving in the city, you are slowed down by obstructions and traffic issues. 

E-Bikes as Cheap Transportation: The Verdict

E-bikes are a cheap transportation option that can offer a variety of savings for many people. If you are based in a major city such as Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, or Montreal, then you can reap many cost-savings. They are perfect for people who commute, especially over short distances, on a regular basis. 

The Best Electric Bikes in Canada

In order to enjoy the benefits of electric bikes in Canada, it is important to find a reputable provider. 171 Electric Bike Company offers some of the best electric bikes in Canada, based in Ontario.

If you have any questions about purchasing an e-bike, please do not hesitate to get in touch. A great place to start is to check out our range of e-bikes to determine the best option for you. 

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