Author Topic: Ditching the car lease for an e-bike. Shall I pull the trigger?  (Read 652 times)

jamesbond007

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 283
  • Location: USA
  • One penny at a time.
So my commute is 18 miles one way. I currently commute 2 days a week (when it's not hot) to work on my road bike and it takes about 90 minutes each way. I have been thinking about building an e-bike. I figured out everything I need. It costs me $1600 to build worst cast. I spend $200 per month on my electric car lease incl. insurance. There are 2 more years left on the lease.


I am thinking of going full e-bike and ditching the car. I thought I may have to pay the penalty but there is a lot of demand for the Chevy Spark EV for lease takeovers. I tested this by placing an ad on Craigslist and there are at least 10 people who were interested. So I am sure I can get rid of the car. I got $2500 from the state and $500 from my utility company for this car. So technically I did not lose any money. If I go full e-bike, I will be breaking even in about 8 months. Commute times are the same. Even with an EV with a carpool permit it still takes about an hour each way.


Just want to confirm that I am not missing anything in the details. During rainy days and severe cold days I can get around by using Waze carpool or other carpool apps. I tested those too. They are very reliable.


Edit: I already have a fully paid off Mazda that I leave at home. I put about 200 miles or so on it each month for running basic errands and weekend travel and such. So getting hold of a car when needed is not a problem.


Shall I pull the trigger?
FI by 2025.

Mgmny

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 310
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Northwest 'Burbs of MSP
Re: Ditching the car lease for an e-bike. Shall I pull the trigger?
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2017, 10:38:33 AM »
No clue about the E-bike but the $200 lease is super cheap. Also, super cool you got the chevy spark EV. Those are not to be found in the midwest!

jamesbond007

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 283
  • Location: USA
  • One penny at a time.
Re: Ditching the car lease for an e-bike. Shall I pull the trigger?
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2017, 10:47:54 AM »
No clue about the E-bike but the $200 lease is super cheap. Also, super cool you got the chevy spark EV. Those are not to be found in the midwest!

Yes. It was a compliance car the Chevy had built as a stop gap before the bolt. I was lucky to grab one on the cheap. I guess that's why there is lot of demand.
FI by 2025.

AlanStache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1583
  • Age: 38
  • Location: South East Virginia
Re: Ditching the car lease for an e-bike. Shall I pull the trigger?
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2017, 11:02:50 AM »
Is theft of the ebike a concern?  Do you want to e-bike daily?
Be the person Mr. Rogers knows you can be.

jamesbond007

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 283
  • Location: USA
  • One penny at a time.
Re: Ditching the car lease for an e-bike. Shall I pull the trigger?
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2017, 11:18:40 AM »
Is theft of the ebike a concern?  Do you want to e-bike daily?

Theft is not a concern. I have a fenced yard and I will put the bike indoors anyway. Also, we have a huge bike "cage" at work that works only with our employee badge. Coming to waiting to ebike everyday, here is what I am thinking. It currently takes me an hour each way anyway. It would take the same amount of time on an ebike. If I carpool I pay abour $6 each way. So even if I ebike 3 days a week and carpool 2 days, I would still come out ahead. Also, 80% of the 18 mile trip is on a trail. So not worried about traffic either.
FI by 2025.

AlanStache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1583
  • Age: 38
  • Location: South East Virginia
Re: Ditching the car lease for an e-bike. Shall I pull the trigger?
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2017, 11:45:27 AM »
Cool, sounds like a great use case for an ebike. 

Were you planing on putting fenders on the bike?  Would help with those 25% chance of rain days where you are not sure what it will be like in the afternoon.
Be the person Mr. Rogers knows you can be.

Mgmny

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 310
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Northwest 'Burbs of MSP
Re: Ditching the car lease for an e-bike. Shall I pull the trigger?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2017, 11:51:07 AM »

Also, we have a huge bike "cage" at work that works only with our employee badge. 80% of the 18 mile trip is on a trail. So not worried about traffic either.

This is so cool! Take advantage of this!!

jamesbond007

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 283
  • Location: USA
  • One penny at a time.
Re: Ditching the car lease for an e-bike. Shall I pull the trigger?
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2017, 12:01:21 PM »
Cool, sounds like a great use case for an ebike. 

Were you planing on putting fenders on the bike?  Would help with those 25% chance of rain days where you are not sure what it will be like in the afternoon.

Yep. Fenders and a rear rack.

I just needed a Mustachian opinion to make sure I am not missing anything. Thanks so much.
FI by 2025.

CargoBiker

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 344
    • Urban Tribe Cargo Bicycles
Re: Ditching the car lease for an e-bike. Shall I pull the trigger?
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2017, 09:01:46 PM »
18 miles on a non-electric bike for a commute sounds punishing.

I did 20 miles round trip commute for a year, before I knew about electric bikes, and it just beat me down so much.  It would've been faster, more enjoyable, and safer, had I had an electric bike.

The numbers look solid, I don't think your missing anything from a purely cost perspective.


If the time by car and bike will be the same... go for the bike!
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 09:28:30 AM by CargoBiker »
Owner - Urban Tribe Cargo Bicycles

🚲 The Bike for Urban Families 🚲

Kids in Front | Wooden Cargo Box with 2 Benches | Electric Assist Motor | 3 Wheels

Rediscover Your City Join the Tribe

www.urbantribecargobicycles.com

FINate

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 634
Re: Ditching the car lease for an e-bike. Shall I pull the trigger?
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2017, 11:24:49 PM »
I say go for it! Having the Mazda as backup makes this very low risk...if you ever need to drive in you have that option (bad weather, etc.).

Also, the EV market is evolving rapidly. If there's demand for the Spark right now I would jump on that ASAP. Would not want to hold onto a discontinued stop gap vehicle long term.

jamesbond007

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 283
  • Location: USA
  • One penny at a time.
Re: Ditching the car lease for an e-bike. Shall I pull the trigger?
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2017, 11:14:25 AM »
I actually made everything better. Built the ebike as planned. Cost me $1700. Rode to work 3 days. It was awesome. Was about to get rid of the car and I figured I am not spending enough time with my daughter. So I sold the ebike (Built brand new) for $1900. Netted $200 and keeping the car for now.  :)
FI by 2025.