If you’re thinking of getting an electric bike, you might be wondering how far they can go. This post will show you how far electric bikes go, the factors that influence how far electric bikes go and how you can get an electric bike to go farther.
So how far do electric bikes go? With normal use, you can expect to get a range of between 20-50 miles on a single charge. There are a number of factors that will affect the range the e-bike can get. The biggest ones are the size of the battery, the age of the battery and the size of the motor.
There are actually a lot of factors that can influence the range of an electric bikes battery and some people have been able to go over 100 miles on a single charge.
Factors That Will Influence Your E-Bike’s Range
There are a number of factors that will influence how far you will be able to go on a single charge battery and there is a lot that you can do to make the bike go further. Below I will show you a number of factors that will influence how far you will be able to go on a single charge.
- Capacity of the battery
The capacity of the battery will be the biggest factor in influencing how far an e-bike will be able to go.
Electric bike batteries are normally given in amp hours but it is the watt-hours that you want to look for. Watt-hours are calculated by multiplying the amp-hours with the number of volts that the battery has.
This means that if you have one bike with an 18 amp hour battery and 24 volts, but another with a 10 amp battery with 48 volts then the first bike will have a 432 watt-hour battery but the second one will have a 480 watt-hour battery.
That means that just because one battery has more amp hours it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is better.
At a minimum, you should be aiming to get a battery with a capacity of 200 watt-hours but really you should try to beat 300.
- Power of the electric motor
Obviously, the more power the electric motor consumes, the shorter the range the electric bike is going to have.
With that being said, you should try to make sure that the electric bike does not have a motor that consumes more energy (in watts) than the battery (in watt-hours) can handle.
When comparing the motor with the battery you should compare the motor’s capacity, in watts, with the batteries capacity in watt-hours.
For example, if the motor has a capacity of 360 watts and the battery has a capacity of 340 watt-hours then this is going to be problematic since the motor when working hard, will be demanding more out of the battery than it can handle. This could impact the batteries lifespan and it will reduce the range that you will be able to get out of the battery.
Something that you might not be aware of is that the energy required to keep your bike going will increase exponentially as you speed up.
This means that using the electric motor at higher speeds will drastically reduce the range that you are going to be able to achieve.
To counter this you can do one of two things.
You can either reduce the level of power assistance that you are using at higher speeds and pedal a bit harder or you can cycle more slowly.
Reducing the level of power assistance at higher speeds will mean that the electric motor will not have to work so hard to keep you going which will help you to get more range out of the battery.
Cycling more slowly will simply mean that you and your electric motor will not have to be putting in as much work as you keep going. You’ll get to your destination latter but at least you won’t have to put in as much effort.
When using an electric bike, if you cycle on a flat gradient for the entire ride versus going the same distance over a variety of gradients then you’ll use less energy going the whole way on a flat gradient.
This means that if, when you cycle, you are constantly having to cycle up and down hills then this is going to result in your electric motor having to put in more work meaning that you will not be able to get as much range as you would like out of the battery.
With this being the case, if you can plan your commute ahead, opting for the flatter one could help you to be able to go further.
- Temperature use and storage
When using your electric bike in colder weather, you will not be able to get as much range out of the battery as shown in studies.
Since you can’t control the weather, this means that if you know that you will be cycling a longer distance and the temperature is low, you should be aware that the range of the battery might be a bit lower than you would normally expect.
Storing the batteries at lower temperatures could also reduce their performance. This means that in order for you to get the most out of the batteries it would be wise to store them at room temperature.
- Wind Speed
The amount of wind speed that there is will also impact how far you will be able to go on one charge of your battery.
Think of how difficult it is for you to cycle into the wind on a regular bike. Well, when you’re cycling into the wind on an electric bike then it is the motor that is going to have to be the one to put in the extra work. This means that if it’s windy out then you’ll probably not be able to get as much range out of the battery (unless it’s in your back the whole way, in which case lucky you).
- Assistance level
Another big factor in determining how far you will be able to get on one charge of the battery will be the level of assistance that you are using.
If, when you’re cycling, you’re using the highest level of assistance then you’re not going to be able to get nearly as much range out of the battery as you would if you were to use it at a lower level of assistance.
This means that if you know that you’re going to need to get the most range out of your battery as you can on a trip then you should try to use one of the lower settings.
- Type of electric bike
Something else to consider is the type of electric bike that you are using.
There are two main types of electric bike, throttle assisted and pedal assisted.
Throttle assisted bikes work by twisting a throttle to make the electric motor work without the need of you pedaling. This means that the electric motor will be the one doing all of the work so you won’t be able to get as much range out of these types of electric bikes.
Pedal assisted e-bikes work by giving you an extra push as you pedal. This means that you will be sharing some of the work with the electric motor in making the bike move this helps these types of e-bikes to get more range.
- How much you and your luggage weigh
Another thing that is going to have an impact on how far the battery is going to be able to get you will be how much weight the electric motor is having to push.
If you’re going on a long journey and you will be carrying a lot of weight on the bike then you should consider that the extra weight is going to mean the motor will have to work harder so it won’t be able to go as far. You could counter that by going slower or by putting the level of assistance to a lower setting.
- Tire pressure
If the tire pressure is low then this will cause the tires to create more drag which will mean that you and your motor will have to put in more work to keep the bike going resulting in the battery not being able to take you as far.
This means that it is important that you regularly take the time to make sure that your tires are pumped up to the right setting since this can have a big impact on how far you will be able to go.
- Width of tires
Another thing that will influence how much drag the tires create is their width. Road bikes have thin tires because their thinness will cause them to create less drag.
This means that if you’re using an e-bike that has fat tires then the tires will be something that is having a big impact on the distance that you’re able to get out of your battery.
If you know that you’re going to be cycling on the road then using thinner tires is something that could give you a big push in the right direction.
- How often you stop and start
It’s easier to maintain speed than it is to get up to speed. With that being the case, if you’re having to constantly stop and start then you’re not going to be able to get as much range out of the battery.
- Battery age
The cells on the battery will normally have around 1000 life cycles before they are less than 80% as efficient as they were from the start. This means that if you have charged the battery fully from no charge 1000 times then your battery will be about 80% as good as it was meaning that if your battery has been used a lot then it’s not going to be able to give you as much range.
Your options here are either to replace the battery or to get the battery refilled.
Using lower gears will be easier at lower speeds and using higher gears will make things easier at higher speeds. With that being the case, in order to reduce the work that your battery needs to put in, it would be beneficial to plan ahead when cycling. If you see that there is a stop light coming up then selecting a lower gear before you get there is going to mean that you won’t have to put a big effort in to get going again and will help prolong your battery life.
Tips to Get More Range Out of Your Battery
There are a number of things that you can do in order to get more out of your battery and listed below are a set of guiding principles for you to consider in order to maximize your batteries performance.
- Use a lower level of assistance or cycle more slowly
- Store the battery at room temperature
- Change your gears before you run into obstacles so that you don’t need a big effort when you’re there
- Try to reduce the weight of your luggage
- Avoid using high levels of assistance at higher speeds
How fast do electric bikes go? Electric bikes can go as fast as you can pedal. They are normally limited to stop providing power assistance at 20 mph depending on local laws.
How long does it take to charge an electric bike? Electric bike batteries can normally be charged in between 2-6 hours. Something to keep in mind is that if the battery is larger then it will take longer to charge but you will be able to go further with it so you won’t need to charge it as often.