In this writeup I’ll explain the difference in cost of owning and daily using a premium brand ICE motorcycle versus an All Electric motorcycle.
A few remarks are in place;
- All numbers are based on real invoices, documents themselves are not included for privacy reasons but trust me I paid everything at some point
- My Energica only has 2 services done at this point (checkup and first service) due to Covid regulations but interval is 10.000 km and what needs to be done is always the same
- Both bikes are maintained by official brand dealerships, I know you can save a lot by doing your own services but that is not what this article is about
- Both bikes are similar in aqcuisition cost, the differences are mainly found in service and running costs
- These costs do not include optional extras added later on in any form. However the BMW is loaded with all the options available, the Energica is a base version.
- Consumables like rubber, brake pads and brake fluids are not included. These costs are identical on both bikes. The only exception here is that the BMW has a shaft drive while Energica uses a chain. The final drive fluids are included for the BMW so I’ll include an estimated chain drive cost for the Energica.
- I didn’t finish this comparison with my Zero SRF since I think I was a bit unlucky with that one having a belt snap at 11k, being charged for firmware upgrades and all the issues I encountered
- Both bikes were bought new, yes you can find them second hand, yes there are cheaper bikes around. If you really want to run cheap you’re best off with a cheap japanese bike, even a new one.
- All prices are including 21% VAT (BTW, tax)
I’ll separate 3 costs; 1) cost of acquisition, 2) cost of running the bike, 3) cost of servicing. So lets start with the aqcuisition cost including some details on the bikes themselves.
There is no difference in taxes on purchase here or in having these bike insured. If you buy privately you can get a reduction of up to 3.400 EUR for electric bikes only. For business owners going electric or not makes no difference on motorcycles. There is a difference in what you pay yearly as road tax and the tax to put it in circulation but for motorcycles that are low amounts anyway.
A big difference between the 2 bikes listed here is that one is full option and the other is without options. If you want to correct for that I’ve included base price for the GS also. All in all they cost around the same. For my Zero SRF I paid around 23.000 EUR for the premium, standard was 21.000 EUR back then.
2016 BMW R1200 GS LC Triple Black
Bought in 2016 from a BMW dealership where I was already having my BMW R1200 RT serviced. It was full option. Note that today base price for these bikes is a bit higher and there are many more options available on the newer models. Thus you can spend a lot more today on a new one if you want.
Price 20.846,01 EUR (base price back then was 15.699 EUR)
2021 Energica SS9+
For this one I traded in my GS. I did already own the Zero SRF for 2 years at that point and noticed that I rarely used the ICE bike so that one had to go. This is a complete standard bike. I did add some personal options (like Ribelle handlebars) but won’t include these in this cost.
Price 25.495,00 EUR (optional incentive is 3.400 EUR)
The first difference in cost is the running cost of these bikes. For that I need to look at the price of fuel and electricity combined with consumption numbers. These are estimates. Important here is that I will make a difference between charging at home and charging on the road since there is a huge price gap. If you would always charge on the road using CCS fast chargers (AC on the road doesn’t make much sense unless you run a Zero) the cost would be nearly identical to that of fuel. So that DC fast charging price is just for reference.
Since I do a lot of highway distance on higher speeds the average consumption number I got might be a lot higher than people riding mostly on backroads. Take that into account. My GS had an overal average consumption of 5,8 L / 100 km measured over 68.000 km. With an average fuel cost of around 1,6 EUR / L I have spent (680*5,8*1,6=) 6.310,40 EUR in total on fuel in just 2 years 😬.
(5,8*1,6=) 9,28 EUR / 100 km or 0,0928 EUR / km
Electricity AC @ Home
Consumption of my Energica is also quite high because of all the highway riding I do. Similar story there, at least this is consistent. On average I get away with around 90 Wh / km or 9 kWh / 100 km. Cost for charging at home depends on where you live and even what electricity provider you choose or if you charge at night or not. In Belgium a general price for calculating electricity cost is 0,30 EUR / kWh, in reality you can get that down to 0,20 EUR / kWh by charging at the right time. But let’s calculate with that average cost of 30 cent.
(0,30*9=) 2,7 EUR / 100 km or 0,0270 EUR / km
Electricity DC on the Road
Charging on the road is a different story. A common price for HPC services is 0,69 EUR. Again you can find cheaper and more expensive ones. You could also get a subscription like I have for IONITY which will drop the price per kWh in return of a monthly fee. But that really only makes sense if you charge enough on the road.
(0,69*9=) 6,21 EUR / 100 km or 0,0621 EUR / km
2016 BMW R1200 GS LC serviced @ BMW dealer
The costs of servicing a BMW are rather high. I will ignore the cost of the initial service and inspection done at 1.000 km since I also had this done on the Energica. If you want to maintain your GS yourself you’ll need a 400 EUR tool to reset the maintenance indication on the dashboard or have your dealer do that for you (at 40 EUR per time).
The schedule is every 10.000 km but it alternates between a small service and big service. I had these services executed up to 60.000 km so I’ll take those invoices, remove all non related costs and make an average for the small and big service and calculate with these values.
Small service cost @ 10k, 30k, 50k averaged at ((278,45+277,45+291,36)/3=) 282,42 EUR
Big service cost @ 20k, 40k, 60k averaged at ((415,95+355,12+412,29)/3=) 394,45 EUR
These values are without the cost of brake pads that were replaced on some of these invoices. Also that time I was charged 3! times 😡 for them fixing a part they forgot to mount back on are not included. The small service cost is pretty consistent, I have no clue where the difference in the big service cost at 40k comes from where I only paid 355 instead of the 400+ on the other intervals.
Average 10k service cost (to compare with Energica) is ((282,42+394,45)/2=) 394,45 EUR
2021 Energica SS9+ serviced @ Energica dealer
If you looked at the difference in cost of fuel versus the cost of electricity and that made you smile, watch this! The Energica has to be serviced every 10.000 km. The difference here is that it is always the same service, well that and the price.
Energica 10k service cost is 79 EUR
Now to be completely fair in this comparison I do have to add the extra cost of a chainset. This I feel is needed since I also have service costs and fluids for the final drive on the BMW included on those invoices. I haven’t replaced my chain at this point so I’ll have to estimate the cost and the lifetime of it. I’ll go with a chainset price of 300 EUR and a lifetime of 30.000 km. That boils down to 100 EUR per 10.000 km extra.
Energica 10k service cost incl. chain 179 EUR
Total costs per 100 km
I could also list the total savings and totals cost here on these bikes and how long it would take me to earn the Energica back. But that really depends on the distance I ride. So instead let’s just add all the costs and show them per 100 km, except for acquisition that is.
Bike/Cost: BMW R1200 GS LC Energica SS9+ Acq. Cost 20.846,01 25.495,00 EUR/once Running Cost 9,28 2,70 EUR/100 km Service Cost 3,94 1,79 EUR/100 km Total Cost 13,22 4,49 EUR/100 km
Just for a quick reference you save (13,22-4,49=) 8,73 EUR for every 100 km you ride this way. I do at least 30.000 km a year, except now with covid I don’t, so at that rate I’ll save up (rather just don’t spend) (100*8,73*3=) 2.619,00 EUR a year.
More in general you can say that the Energica electric motorcycle is 1/3 the cost to run and keep running compaired to a premium brand ICE motorcycle.