Esk8s for commuting. How much does it cost?

Some of us are also using esk8s for commuting.
Personally I am about 50-50 between hobby use and commuting.
The cost per km for the hobby part I will not discuss. It is a hobby after all so cost stops making sense.

Commuting on the other hand is a whole different game. I have used alternative means of transportation all my life when I can and hope to continue to do so.
Right now esk8s are my alternative means of transportation and I would like to start a discussion on the cost of using them.
From what I read, it seems that:

  • Most motors don’t get past 1500-2000km. With a cost of 250€/2 motors this means 125€/1000km
  • Batteries last 400-500 cycles. If we take an average of 30km/cycle this means 30x500=15000km until the battery needs changing. Average cost 350€ so 23€/100km
  • Bearings, wheels, belts, bushings, griptape etc. Their life depends greatly on use. Let’s assume an average of 2000km so 200€/1000km

This comes out at a total of 350€/1000km.
Now I may be seriously off on some of my assumptions but even if the actual value is closer to 150€/1000km that is still too expensive.
I used to commute by bicycle and could get 3000-4000km out of my tyres and chain for a total cost of 60-70€. That’s about it.

What do you guys think? I love eskating but I am not so sure on how viable it is as a means of transportation.


I see your math and it makes sense, perhaps not the actual numbers but the thought process.

I’d argue that anyone who is using a board dedicated to 10mph commuting along a well known route twice daily will not have to spend anywhere near those numbers to keep it operating.

Assuming diy competency and respectful treatment I wouldn’t even put the number at a third of yours. This is all without data though…

Let’s ask some commuters?



However not everyone commutes at 10mph. I use my commute as a fun way of starting and ending my workdays so this means 55km/h every chance I get and full throttle up most hills.
By the time I reach my home the bloody thing is thermal throttling even during the winter but I have too much fun to use it in an other way.


Fair enough haha. You’re back in the hobby group then.

You need to build a minibus board and regret every journey for max efficiency.


This is the only thing you’ve ever posted that I’m truly offended by. What are we, masochists? My main carver is probably the best board I have to run the math on, so I’ll chime in tomorrow when I’m less jet-lagged and/or stoned

I love the premise of this question though, so I’ll be back with some data.

I think the cost of your board is going to make somewhat of a difference though. I’m at nearly 7000km between my two geardrive carvers and the biggest cost for me has been burning through motors. My more targeted battle hardening on my motors has alleviated a lot of this cost though.


Okay Brian.

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I keep costs down by using LiFePO4 batteries in some of the highest-mileage boards, because they deliver so many more lifetime cycles than li-ion, and also I use things - eg: bearings, wheels, belts, pulleys, truck hangers - until they completely fail.

Motors seem more robust as long as you’ve coated the sensor board and windings. I haven’t had many motor failures. I think I must have just lucked-out though on that front.

Also, I don’t run huge current numbers at the limit of what the equipment can do, and I don’t run 12S 50.4V packs. Ever.


Also, 10mph (16km/h) is ridiculous. Top speeds somewhere in the range between 20mph (32km/h) and 27mph (43.5km/h) are perfect. I’d almost say 25mph (40km/h) is the perfect top speed.


Do any of you guys have any more specific data so we can come up with a more appropriate cost?
I have not been doing this long enough to be able to gather enough data and even if I was, I am still one specimen.

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I’ll get back to you on this tomorrow. I’ve got consistent metrics over the last 6 months thanks to the Metr Pro modules.

Are we factoring initial cost of board? My geardrives just require so much less maintenance than any of my belt boards but have higher initial cost.


Initial cost depends on too many factors plus in the end the cost for a board with 10s-12s4p battery, with Vescs and 2 motors is around the 2000€ mark plus or minus 500€.
In the case of gear drives I believe the difference in maintenance costs is offset by the higher initial cost so it’s a wash.

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I was supposed to be rediculous in order to garner a response from you.

My work here is done

/rides off into the sunset at 10mph
/still going

/lol this is getting awkward now have you seen the weather next week?
/alright cyaaaaaa

/only kidding still here


Okay. Let’s compare it to using public transport and a gas car instead.

My trip is 12km.
It cost €2,8 via public transportation
Gas car (might be completely off): 12 km/L

12 km via eboard: 350/1000x12 = €4,2
12 km via public = €2,8
12 km via gas car: 1x1,35 = €1,35

That’s quite shocking.
Seems like eboards must need some more evolution before it will be considered as an alternative to a car.

AND WANNA EMIT LESS CO2 WHEN COMMUTING (not taking into consideration how much co2 it emits when building the board)


Keep in mind that my numbers were more or less arbitrary so take them with a grain of salt. As I stated I could be way off.
Still I agree with you about everything else.


I better don’t start to calculate that all in the city I live at the moment.
The train ticked to work and back (about 50km) cost me 1,20€ round about.
Hard to beat with any other transport which is anyhow motor driven.

But one big factor I haven’t seen included is the time saving factor. How people like to say, time is money…
Still the main part of my daily commute is best and cheapest managed by train, but the way to the train and from train to work is another 30min by foot or 5min via esk8.
25min saving every day is a lot for me.
Might save 15min if to use a push board only as well, buuuut hey, esk8 is just more fun for me :sweat_smile:


Are you forgetting that an average car costs £10k+ - say that car lasts you 10 years.

For the span of 10 years you could probably spend like

£3000 on insurance
£10000 on the car
£x on fuel costs
£1000 on road tax
£x on parking
£400 on MOT
£1000 maintenance

This is completely made up numbers and not that accurate but it gives you some idea

And even at my age insurance is still £1k - for a grown adult maybe £200. Parking, MOT (£40/year),maintenance(say £500 every 4-5 years),road tax.

Road Tax

Car Insurance - Ranges

Fuel costs are just a fraction of the total cost for having a car.

This would be a good article to make though. Good thread


on my board, over the last year I’ve only had to replace belts, bearings, and bushings for wear.

i’ve replaced other things but not because of wear. I think that makes it more difficult to judge from my perspective because my personal ride is also the one we use to test long-term what will go into my customer’s boards.

  • battery should last about 2 years or so on average.
  • Wheels, maybe a year of hard riding but not sliding and shit.
  • Bearings can last about a year if you don’t get them wet too often and keep them clean. We use ceramics, they seem to last longer. I was burning up steel “skate rated” bearings to the point of disintegration within 6 months.
  • Focboxes don’t seem to fail very often at all if they don’t come from the factory failing already, Unity seems to be in the same low maintenence/never replace category as far as i can tell already
  • decks age well if you don’t smash them, shouldn’t need replacing until you change your style
  • most if not all trucks will bend easily within a year’s time unless they’re the expensive precision type, some within 6 months or so
  • enclosures can be hit or miss but riding style and rider weight, along with enclosure type/materials will have a lot of say over how long it lasts.

I think the biggest thing to remember about esk8s from a commuting perspective is, and this is going to sound ridiculous and possibly obvious, that they are skateboards. Skateboards take a fucking beating. Period. Even if the ride is gentle and in idea conditions, they are taking more abuse than any other type of vehicle. You will have to replace something at minimum every 6 months more than likely.

edit: just remembered i did replace one motor about a month ago because of a tiny peice of metal that flew into the stator from the street and cracked a magnet and split some stator layers.


I agree for the most part but your mileage will vary.

I’ve heard of people bending trucks over time but I’ve been using the same TB218mm trucks since I drove up to ride with you back on Jan of 2018 and they are still going strong currently on my 4wd set up with thousands of miles on them with my weight. :slight_smile:
I do have some Surfrodz to test on my next build.


I have been riding for for 2 and a half years now. 2000km on board1 with 2XTB 6355 motors. Still working. I have changed it’s bearings twice. My motors are always protected from dust and direct impact using a 3D printed plastic shield.

I have shifted over to pneumatics(board2) now though, I believe I’ll get much better life from bearings and motors now. Thinking of putting all ceramic and not be bothered with regular maintenance or worry about water ingress.

Never destroyed an ESC(like @b264, never go beyond 10S).

For a while I had restricted my speed to 24kmph(15mph) but after changing over to pneumatics, I feel safer to commute at 40kmph(27mph)


@DerelictRobot at wheels do you use? Curious why you have gone through so many motors and what exactly breaks in the motors?