Electric skateboards aren’t cheap— it’s no secret. There’s a lot of tech, manufacturing, and supply-chain hurdles that have to be overcome in order to create one of these devices. Add quality batteries, decks, motors, wheels, and remotes and it’s easy for these boards to cost anywhere from a few hundred, up to several thousand dollars. Despite how much fun and efficient eboards are, price remains one of the biggest misgivings people have when it comes to buying an electric board. So we wanted to see how much an eboard actually costs compared to other forms of transportation.
Let’s look at the price of our electric boards. The Hellfire, Tomahawk, and Stinger are all $499.00 and come with a 12-month warranty. (About half the cost of other boards, with twice the warranty, by the way.) Electric boards are powered by electricity, which apart from the initial cost of your board, is one the most expensive parts of using it. In order to figure out our electricity usage though, we'll have to do a little bit of math.
First, you must calculate your board’s charging adapter’s input watts (volts x amps). Our adapters, as well as many others, are designed to be used around the world and accept varying amounts of volts (100-240v). If you’re based in the US your voltage for any basic wall outlet will be 120v, while our adapters specifically use 1.7 amps. So multiplying 120 volts x 1.7 amps = 204 watts.
We’re not done quite yet. Now taking the number of watts, we need to multiply this by the number of hours our boards take to charge, which is around 3 hours. 204 watts x 3 hours = 612 Watt-Hours. In most cases, energy companies will usually display your home watt use in terms of kilowatt hours, so we need to divide 612 watts by 1,000 to give us 0.612 kilowatt hours (kWh) per day. Multiply this by 30 (days in a month) and your board’s monthly energy use is 18.36 kWh.
To calculate your energy cost, you'll need to look at your energy bill to see how much you pay per kWh. This number can fluctuate month to month, but in New York we average $0.20 cents per kilowatt hour. 18.36 kWh x $0.20 = $3.67 per month or $44.04 per year charging and using your board every day.
Total cost of electric skateboard ownership for a year: $499 + $44.04 = $543.04
Almost 56% (5,700,000) of New Yorkers rely on subways, trains, and buses for their daily commute. So how does the cost of our electric boards compare to subways and public transportation? We looked at fares from some of the United State’s biggest metro systems.
Annual Public Transportation Costs
Unlimited 30-Day New YC Metro: $121.00
Per Year: $1,452.00
30-Day Pass for Los Angeles Metro & Chicago Transit: $100.00
Per Year: $1,200.00
30-Day Pass for San Francisco MTA: $75.00
Per Year: $900.00
While public transportation is a great alternative to your board on rainy or snowy days, using it as your main form of transportation over one of our boards will actually cost you 2.67 times more per year if you live in New York.
Unfortunately, most of the US population doesn’t have access to reliable public transportation. According to a survey by the United States Census Bureau, 86% of workers rely on automobiles for their commute. It’s a staggering amount when you consider how much it costs to own a vehicle.
Cars are stupid expensive. Edmunds released a report earlier this year that showed the average price of a used car of truck averaged $19,189, a 3.4% increase from 2015. A new car or truck averages $31,400. Because cars vary so much in price and are obviously way more expensive than a skateboard, we won’t even consider this cost in our analysis, but lets have a look at some of the expenses of owning a car after the initial purchase.
In order to operate a car, you of course need insurance coverage. Here is a list of the average annual car insurance rates for some of the states electric boards are most popular in.
Average Annual Car Insurance Rates:
New York: $1,958
Just looking at the insurance costs alone, you’re already paying more than most of the public transportation options we’ve looked at, but we haven’t even added the costs of operating a car.
Average Annual Car Operating Costs
Gas: $0.11 per mile
Maintenance: $0.05 per mile
Tires: $0.01 per mile
Total: $0.17 x 15,000 (average miles driven per year) = $2,550
Total operating cost of car in New York State: $1,958 + $2,550 = $4,508
We haven’t even included the initial price of the car, and the cost of operating a vehicle is already 3 times higher than NYC’s unlimited public transit and 8 times more expensive than a year of owning and operating our electric boards.
While we know that eboards can’t take the place of a car or subway for every situation, when you look at the numbers, it’s easy to see how much you could save by using a board when conditions allow for it. Depending on your location and how far your commute is, it’s totally realistic to reduce the amount of traveling you do by car or public transportation. If you’re ready to make the cost saving switch, check out our selection of boards here. Let us know in the comments below how buying an electric board has impacted your wallet!