The cost of the battery is definitely a barrier in the current electric bicycle market. It is usually the most expensive part of the electric bicycle.
Although the companies promise even 1000 charge and discharge cycles for modern Li-Ion batteries, in reality they tend to only give 1 year worth of warranty on the battery. So there is some sort of gambling when buying a new electric bike and we should take this gambling aspects out of the game.
Let's assume that we can't be sure the battery is going to work outside its offered warranty. Therefore, we would need to pay a couple of hundreds a dollar (maybe every year). This is clearly a lot of money for a transportation vehicle that is published as being very cheap.
So let's think for a moment about leasing:
You don’t buy the complete electric bike,
You just buy the electric bike and lease the battery.
There are currently electric car companies that offer such an alternative. On the same basis, a quality e-bike would cost less and take the headache out of battery replacement. Of course, there would have to be safeguards against battery abuse, but it makes a lot of sense to me.
Other new technologies in the past which were too unreliable and expensive used the same idea. Television were rented back then in the 50's and 60's.
Leased batteries may be the way forward.
Further improvement, to protect the consumer and the seller, could be to keep periodic battery repairs at a set, pre-arranged price. It can be set through a one time payment by a smaller monthly payments
The Electric Transport Shop is offering a ten-year battery warranty, provided you agree to a six-monthly service at £40 a time - £800 over ten years. Failure is regarded as a 50% loss of capacity, and the shop only offers this warranty on batteries by Heinzmann, Powacycle, SMARTA, and Wisper.