cbr shadow wrote:So do you have another car that you "could" drive if you need to? I assume your $0.50 / mile calculation factors in the cost of insurance, car payment, etc and you're not paying 50 cents/mile in gas, right? So whether you drive or not you're still paying those fixed costs. How much of that is gas? I assume this brings your 4000 miles way up. Same goes for any parts/tires/maintenance on the bike in those 4000+ miles.
It sounds like you've put a lot of thought into this though so I'm interested.
Great points. We own two cars. You are correct that insurance is a fixed cost. The actual annual costs were roughly: maintenance/depreciation: $1,100; insurance: $400; fuel: $1,542, registration: $65.00. I would dearly love to get rid of one car, but because of my work, I couldn't do so easily. Most of the cost on this vehicle is mileage based so I am willing to pay the opportunity cost of having it and not driving it much. Also, I have a kid who is coming up on driving age. I am trying to pre-sell her on the idea of ebikes but so far, she takes after her mom on that score. She will probably need use of a car occasionally when the other is out. Perhaps adding an ebike to the mix it will keep us from doing the American thing and buying a car for her. That is no small thing. Many of our friends have already bought or are planning to buy cars for their kids and they aren't even driving age yet.
Over the life of the car, we have put an average of right at 12,000 miles/yr on it. So my cost per mile, subject to the above, is around 26 cents. If I paid to have the car worked on, it would be higher. The costs above assume the vehicle is completely depreciated (and believe me, it is. It is 16 years old and was only $18k new) and actual maintenance costs, averaged over the life of the vehicle.
This started as a personal experiment. Certainly the most interesting thing I have found is that for me (an approximately average person, car-wise), I have to be pretty dedicated to e-biking to make it break even. There are little ways that e-biking can cost you more money also. For example, there is a gourmet market right on the bike trail while the regular one is an extra 15 minutes. If I just need a couple of items on the way home, I'll go to the nearest store, which costs more. Also, I might get a smaller package of paper towels because I have to carry them on the bike. That is usually at a higher per unit cost. You need rain pants and a rain shell that you might not have otherwise or you will not ride if it looks like it will rain. That drives your cost savings per mile down.