One of the big talking points for electric motorcycles is the subject of price/performance parity, i.e. when electric motorcycles will provide similar performance figures as internal combustion engines (ICE), for the same price. Performance can mean more than just raw power of course, with the cost of a motorcycle over its lifetime also being an important measure.
Considering that ICE motorcycles require more up-keep…and gasoline, the variable costs can stack up over time; whereas electric motorcycles require very little in additional costs, but are more money up-front (fixed costs). If that sounds like a lot of economics and math, it’s ok because a blogger by the name of Empulse Buyer has put together a handy break-even calculator that shows the total cost of owning electric and ICE motorcycles.
One of the issues that has been poorly addressed in the electric world is the real-world cost of owning a motorcycle over its lifetime. While would-be electric motorcycle buyers have suffered from the sticker shock associated from these new machines, one of the points that hasn’t been driven home well enough is the fact that electric buyers don’t have the recurring costs that normal motorcyclists incur.
This fact has lead some manufacturers to consider leasing batteries instead of selling them outright in order to reduce costs, and to help customers upgrade to new technology as it rolls out (EV battery tech is rapidly evolving after all).
However, one thing that is missing from this calculator is the fact that your purchasing the bulk of your energy expenditure in advance (i.e. the batteries), while buying your gasoline as you need it. To truly reflect the cost associated with owning electrics, a net present value calculation should be added into the equation. Also one should factor battery replacement costs, and bear in mind the typical amount of time an owner keeps a motorcycle, since buying an electric motorcycle has both long-term and short-term owner concerns that can affect the true break-even point.
Still the calculator is a very neat and easy to understand tool that allows motorcyclists to get a better picture of their purchase decision. If you’re considering an electric motorcycle, be sure to check it out and input your own cost structures.