Electric bikes come in the same styles as conventional bikes: road, mountain, commuter, hybrid, cruiser, cargo, and folding. They use electric motors powered by rechargeable batteries to provide either partial or full assistance to the rider. With many models, the rider can choose the level of assistance that the motor provides. In many cases, riding an electric bike is a similar experience to riding a standard bike. With pedal-assist bicycles, the motors are activated by pedaling. Riders can also choose to ride without any assistance from the motor.

Though electric bikes can be heavier than standard bicycles due to additional components, motor-assisted riding makes it so riders aren’t limited by the extra weight. In fact, it’s easier to carry heavy loads, like groceries or children, with the help of the motor.

Best of all, charging the battery is simple and cost-effective. There are two kinds of batteries: an integrated battery (fixed) or a removable battery. Most electric bike batteries can be recharged with the cord that came with the battery virtually anywhere that there’s a grounded electric outlet. Batteries usually take several hours to charge on a normal 110V outlet, but even so, charging adds very little to your electric bill. It costs just about 11 cents to fully charge a 300 watt-hour e-bike battery (at an electricity price of 30 cents per kilowatt-hour and a charging efficiency of 80%), or about 38 cents to charge a 1 kilowatt-hour battery.

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