Being every day motorcycle commuters,we save quite a bit already compared to those who use their cars daily. Yet have you ever wondered how much more you could save if the engine was taken out of the equation entirely? That goes for fuel costs and parking fees too.
One electric kick scooter commuter has certainly wondered about that. Thankfully, he's documented the distance and done the math to show exactly how much he saved.
What's an EKS?
Electric kick scooters (EKS) make for a great commuting option. Unlike bicycles, EKS don't requires some level of being physically fit to pedal. This is especially crucial if you have a long commute that could be tiring when pedaling under the heat of the sun.
They may look like toys, but they're propelled by an electric motor, powered by onboard rechargeable batteries. They can travel up to 40 km/h on average. Some can hit 60 km/h with upgrades. They're fitted with lights, brakes, and sometimes working suspension systems. They only consume electricity and need very little maintenance.
One rider, through his social media post, has done the math on just how much he's been able to save. By riding his EKS every day for more than 2 years, he was able to save at least Ph₱231,500 on fuel and parking costs. Bear in mind that his computation for the car does not include the maintenance and other costs that arise regularly if one uses a car or a motorcycle for commuting.
Tim Vargas, one of the founders of the group Electric Kick Scooter Philippines (EKSPH), has shared that his 2-year, 15,000-kilometer old EKS costs zero-pesos in parking and can even be brought up his office. It only costs Ph₱0.20 per kilometer in electricity and is 11-minutes faster than a car during rush hour traffic.
By comparison, his car, a Honda Civic, already racks up Ph₱200 a day for parking and consumes 1-liter of gasoline every 7 kilometers. Depending on the prevailing fuel prices, conservatively, Vargas says, his car would’ve consumed almost Ph₱96,500 in fuel over the 2-year, 7-month period. This doesn't even include the maintenance and service costs of the car.
Compared to a car, a motorcycle would still be a cheaper alternative when used daily. However, motorcycles might only have the advantage in fuel consumption since most parking spaces these days charge the same rate whether for car or motorcycles. Plus, there’s the yearly registration, insurance, and maintenance costs. A motorcycle is generally cheaper to maintain than a car, but certainly not as low maintenance as a kick scooter.
Since the government has been promoting the use of alternative transport options due to the pandemic and limited public transport, a lot of commuters have switched to riding an EKS to and from work. These electric scooters are allowed to use the metro’s major thoroughfares, though restricted to the designated bicycle lanes.
Getting your hands on an EKS is fairly easy. A quick look at online classified ads suggests that an entry-level EKS could be bought for as low as ₱12,000. Of course, these can be significanly more for brand new units, which may not have the light, battery, and motor upgrades that many EKS commuters recommend. Just like motorcycles, these electric scooters are also available in mid-range, and high-end models. It all depends on your budget.
In terms of maintenance costs, parts are relatively cheap, save for the battery. For now, there are no yearly registration and insurance costs.