Accurately comparing costs


I’m interested in accurately portraying the costs of operating the electric vs gas and have created a spreadsheet to reflect my understanding.

I welcome input as to the logic used.



Nice chart.
You put bat life cycles at the lowest - 300 to 500 is the average range so you should put it at 400

What about initial cast of units? Depending on what ICE unit u get, it could be considerable more then the cost of Oppg with bats pending how many bats you buy… many variables to consider

And you need the PITATWO “Pain In The Ass To Work On” category –
and the WS “Wont Start” category :grin:
My point is that there are ineffable factors you cant take into account by $'s which will be priceless to many – Me being one of them.
Dont have to worry about spilling smelly gas or oil was big for me. Putting the rig in the back seat is another big one for me.
And I am fully aware I am trading fly time for these – but that will change in a few yrs once some squinty scientist finds the holy grail of battery chemistry.



Thanks for the info. Do you (or anyone) have any actual data about charge cycles I can quote? Maybe from the drone operators?

This is only an attempt to understand cost of operation. I soooo get the other benefits but I want to present just this aspect accurately.

Purchase price is tough to compare because there is no gas engine offering (that I’m aware of) benefiting from this method of marketing–essentially relying on the generosity of its developer/seller. There are plans (like but no complete machines like this. A more appropriate price for this machine would otherwise seem to be about $7k if sold like other paramotors.

Yep - there in lies the problem of comparison - not apples to apples. One might look to the EV community to find some ways to compare. But the most from there I have seen is straight fuel comparison cost.

As with EV’s, one should look at the battery of OpenPPG as a fuel tank(very expensive tank:>). I have seen some misinformation from some electric ultralights coming out about the higher cost of their aircraft because of the batteries (in part that is true) - but they try to say that you have to look at the extra costs do to the battery as if “you are buying your fuel in advance” - which is not true.- electricity is the fuel not yet accounted/purchased. You might purchase a a truck that has an 120 litre vs an 80L tank, but you still need to purchase gas separately.

So, from an “operational cost” point of view, I dont what should be in the calculations vs “cost of ownership” to make it more accurate which are 2 different beasts. I think you need to look only at cost of gas/oil and electrons if you want just a day to day operations cost IMHO – Electric will win out every time.


If you want to compare prices, that’s fine, of course.

However the openPPG project is more of a lifestyle thing. being able to get in the air with a less noisy, simpler, futureproof electric technology - possibly entering thermals and then shutting off the engines - that’s more or less the reason why I bought the OpenPPG.

I still have a 2 stroke gas engine that I’ll probably continue to use, if I want to go on longer flights or so.
But if the OpenPPG works well for me, I might as well resell the 2stroke engine.

Nice work, Jeff. Thanks for taking the time to do the comparative tables. I expect as battery technology improves with faster charge times, safer and lighter batteries and longer time aloft the differences between gas and electric power will become even more of a contrast than it is today. The future looks bright for electric. An interesting extra category, if it could be measured, would be the environmental impact each system has.


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Not sure if you can give a battery an exact end date. At 400 charges you might still have 80% capacity remaining and will still fly the battery another 400 charges. Or you might get a bad battery and it puffs up, or you fly it when it’s cold and it goes bad. You also might get a gas paramotor and the engine needs a rebuild well before the actual tbo (time before overhaul). I fly aircrafts and let me tell you aviation engines are expensive to maintain. Another huge draw is that you can pack this up and put it in your car and it doesn’t smell. Many gas paramotor guys have an enclosed trailer they use to put the gas paramotor in because it stinks. So add another 5-10k for a trailer.

Agreed this is a lifestyle choice at this point as you can’t compare range yet.

Well put. My thoughts exactly.

Totally agree with the fuel/oil smell issue.
In more than 10 year this is the only non elegant way to solve it I found so far…