Electric bike range

The electric bicycle is an increasingly popular means of transport. You can travel at speeds of up to 25 km/h on an electric bicycle without much effort. This means you can get to work without traffic jams or feeling tired. It is also a good solution for a ride and, depending on the model, for much more sporty outings in the forest or even in the mountains, on sometimes very steep terrain. 

But if you're going to race through town or through the forest, your bike battery needs to have sufficient average autonomy. In this article, we explain everything you need to know about the operation and maintenance of a bicycle battery.

How many kilometres can you ride an electric bike?

There are a multitude of electric bike models, with theoretical ranges generally varying from 50 to 120 km... The Tanana Dry 6, a Kayza trekking electric bike, for example, offers an approximate range of 120 km.

On average, city electric-assist bicycles allow you to travel 70 km before needing to be recharged. But the distance you can cover on your EAB depends on a multitude of factors.

By the way, what happens when your e-bike runs out of battery? Don't worry, you won't be lost in the middle of nowhere! You'll still be able to pedal as you would on a conventional bike...

But beware: with its electric equipment, a VAE is much heavier than a traditional bike. Pedaling will therefore be more laborious. That's why it's so important to choose your electric bike carefully, and determine the range you'll need for daily use. Once you've reached your destination, all you have to do is plug the battery into the mains.

For a full charge, this operation will take between 4 and 7 hours, depending on the model.

The role of the battery on the autonomy of your EAB

Battery capacity: what are all these figures?

The battery is, in a way, the tank of your EAB. Its average capacity will partly determine the distance you can cover. 

Battery capacity is expressed in Watts per hour (Wh). The higher this figure, the greater the energy carried by the battery, and the longer the range. Some manufacturers don't communicate capacity in Wh, but rather in Ampere hours (Ah) and voltage. Since voltage (which determines the force delivered by the battery, in other words the energy that will be transmitted to the receivers) is almost always 36V, it's the amperage that you need to rely on. It varies between 5Ah and 18Ah.

To calculate the capacity of your electric bike battery in Wh, simply multiply the voltage in Volt (V) by the capacity in Ampere hours (Ah). For example, a 36V, 14Ah battery will have a capacity of 36V x 14Ah = 504 Wh.

Translate battery capacity into kilometers

Here are a few figures to give you an idea of the real range offered by a VAE battery according to its capacity in Watts:

  • 260 Wh = about 40 km ;
  • 375 Wh = about 60 km ;
  • 520 Wh = approx. 80 km.

Bear in mind, however, that the range given by manufacturers is for guidance only: it is calculated under favorable traffic conditions. This is a theoretical range.

Estimated service life of bicycle batteries

Battery life is not expressed in years, but rather in the number of charge cycles. In principle, an electric battery can easily reach 500 charge cycles before losing its range. At 60 to 100 km per cycle, an electric bike can therefore travel between 30,000 and 50,000 km before losing its range.

Bosch claims a battery life of 30,000km, while Shimano guarantees 60% capacity after 1,000 charge cycles! Depending on your use, this could mean 4, 6 or even 8 years.

You have two options:

The range of your electric bicycle: it also depends on you!

If the mechanical elements of your EAB influence the number of kilometres you will be able to ride, your behaviour on the handlebars also plays a role! Here are some elements that can make you lose or gain a few kilometres of autonomy.

Your riding style in an EV

Most models today offer several levels of electric assistance. The more assistance you need, the faster your bike's battery will run down. This will also be the case if you ride in an urban environment and stop and restart several times.

For your information, there are several types of electric bikes. Some are equipped with a power sensor to adapt to your pedaling and multiply your own strength. Others are equipped with a rotation sensor. As soon as the wheel turns, they will deliver the maximum assistance linked to the level you have selected. As you can see, this is much more energy-intensive.

The type of terrain you travel on

Another parameter to take into account for the autonomy of your electric bike is the terrain on which you ride. Flat, tarmac roads will place little demand on the battery, whereas rough roads with lots of climbs will require more assistance and therefore more energy consumption. 

For example, with the same battery, you will not cover the same number of kilometres if you are in the city on flat ground or in the countryside on hilly terrain. It is therefore important to look at the range offered by the battery before buying an electric bike. The steeper the terrain you intend to travel on, the more comfortable a longer range will be. 

Weather conditions

The weather is also an external factor influencing bike autonomy. If temperatures are very low (below 0 degrees), the battery accumulates less energy and won't allow you to cover as many kilometers as usual. It's perfectly normal for your electric bike's range to diminish in winter, and does not indicate any malfunction.

Wind also plays a role on VAEs. A headwind will slow your pace, which will probably require you to use more electric assistance. On the other hand, a tailwind will increase your speed, reducing the need for assistance. If you live in a windy region, this is a parameter to take into account.

A question of weight

Obviously, weight plays a considerable role on a bicycle. The heavier you are, the more energy your bike consumes to assist your pedaling. So keep in mind that your morphology has an impact on the number of kilometers you can cover with electric assistance.

But it's not just your own kilos that come into play: the total weight of the bike and your load also has an impact on range. So it's important to compare not only battery capacity, but also the weight of the bike they're fitted to.

How to improve the autonomy of your electric bike?

By choosing an electric bike suited to your riding conditions, you should be able to cover a satisfactory number of kilometers without burning out. However, there are a number of tricks you can use to improve your electric bike's range and gain a few kilometers of assistance.

First of all, it's important to regularly check the condition of various components, such as the pressure in tires (by the way, regular inflation of tires is also essential for your safety) and the braking system. And when you're not using your electric bike, remember to disconnect the battery.

Try to use gears intelligently too. For example, to get off to a flat start, opt for assistance level 2 or 3, then change gradually. Adopt a flexible driving style in town: when approaching a red light, it's advisable to slow down in advance rather than having to stop. Restarting consumes a lot of energy. Ride with low assistance whenever possible, and ask for a real boost when going uphill or when you're tired.

Generally speaking, take good care of your battery: charge it regularly (every 60 days minimum, using the original charger) and keep it in a cool, dry place.

When you purchase your electric bike, we strongly recommend that you perform a full charge and discharge cycle before recharging. This process can be performed every 5,000 km for optimum battery maintenance. As with your smartphone, we strongly advise against leaving your VAE to charge overnight: remove the charger as soon as the charge is complete. 

Test your electric bike to choose the right one

As you can see, the distance you can cover with your electric bike depends on a number of factors. That's why it's important to find out all you can about the characteristics of the EAB you want to buy. 

It's best to test your electric bike before finalizing your choice. We often find that two people trying out the same model of bike do not have the same experience. This varies greatly according to experience, level of riding and expectations.

That's why Upway gives you 14 days to try out your bike. This gives you time to assess whether your bike is suitable for your daily use. If you don't like the model you've chosen, you can return it. To be eligible for a return, your item must have been reasonably used and be in the condition in which you received it. It must also be in its original packaging.

The performance of an electric bike depends on several criteria. In addition to motor power, it mainly depends on the range offered by the battery.

Source: velobecane.com