Do you know how far you can go on your ebike?
Every manufacture assigns a range to their electric bike, but you may experience a different range based on a wide range of variables. In this post, we will dive into what causes this dilemma and how you can use the OEM range estimates to plan accordingly for your use-case.
To get started, let’s demystify how the range is calculated. To do that, you can use an easy calculation that will give you the approximate range based on the technical specifications of the battery.
This calculation takes into account the voltage of the battery and how many amp-hours the battery provides to come up with the watt-hours. Then it applies the draw of the motor to create the approximate range: Voltage (V) x Amp Hours (Ah) = Watt Hours (Wh)
For example, the Ride 1UP Roadster V2 has a 36 volt (V) battery with 7 amp hours (Ah).
- 36V x 7Ah = 252 Watt hours (Wh): The average electric bike will use about 20 watt hours per mile driven. So the next step is to divide the 252Wh by 20-watt hours to get the distance the e-bike could go on a single charge:
- 252wh ÷ 20wh = 12.6 miles is the approximate distance of the Ride 1UP Roadster V2.
However, many other factors will contribute to the actual battery range. For example, the total weight, how the rider operates the bike, tires, weather, motion fluidity, the rating of the motor, and terrain are all factors that can affect the total range in which your e-bike can go on a full charge.
The Impact of Rider + Cargo Weight
The weight of the rider or any cargo that may be carried can have a significant impact on the distance range the battery can power on a single charge.
The more weight on the ebike, the more energy it takes to move the bike. This consumes more power reduces the distance it can travel.
If you will be adding cargo to your bike often, then you might want to consider an ebike with more range than the distance you are traveling to account for the additional weight.
How You Operate the E-bike
How the rider operates the bike can add or subtract the distance that can be ridden. For example, the energy the rider exerts by doing more or less pedaling can add or decrease miles.
If the rider does a lot of pedaling during the ride, less power is used, and more distance is added to the range. If the rider relies more on power than pedaling, then the range limit will apply.
Also, using the pedal-assist feature in combination with the gears (if present) to correctly to match the wanted speed will reduce motor effort and get the e-bike further.
Finally, if you can push the bicycle forward with your feet on the ground to get it started instead of starting with pedal assist or the throttle, you will reduce one of the biggest power consumption moments for the battery. Starting by pushing the ebike can help you to achieve the maximum range.
Tire Style and Pressure
The rubber part of the tire that puts it in contact with the road determines how much friction there is between the rubber and the road or trail. We recommend that you consider the tire for your e-bike that fits your use case.
For example, there are 4 popular styles of bicycle tire; mountain bike tire, commuter bike tire, road or racing bike tires, and fat tires. Each style of tire can have a different impact on the range.
If it’s extremely hot or cold, that can have an impact on the range & will reduce the distance you will be able to travel on a full charge.
Additionally, wind blowing against you or behind you can make a difference in the effort put upon the motor. A tailwind will push and propel the bike forward adding to the range, while the headwind will make the motor work harder to propel forward causing the range to decrease.
Wet pavement will cause the tires to slip and not grip, slowing momentum. More power is applied in this condition, again, diminishing distance range.
As mentioned before, the greater the momentum, the less power used, and the more distance you can get out of a battery.
What happens if you are commuting to work and there are a lot of stop signs and stoplights. Being a responsible bike rider, you must adhere to the rules of the road, but this can also tax the motor and decrease the amount of distance that can be ridden.
So, taking into account the number of stops and starts that will have to be performed during the commute will have an impact on the distance range you will have to have for your e-bike.
Rating of the Motor
The power rating of a motor can drain more or less power from the battery affecting the distance range. A 750 watt electric motor, like what’s on the Dirwin Seeker, will draw more power than a Wing Bikes Freedom 2, which has a 350W rated motor.
However, because the Dirwin Seeker has a larger battery, at 48V and 16Ah, this boosts the approximate distance range to about the same range as the Wing Bikes Freedom 2.
Going up hills and over rough terrains, such as gravel and rocks, can have an impact on the amount of power drawn to navigate these kinds of terrain.
Going up hills results in a greater effort to propel the bike forward. Likewise with uneven terrain as opposed to smooth pavement. Both will reduce the range of the electric bicycle as these conditions put more strain on the vehicle than if it was operating on normal, flat conditions.
Whatever purpose the e-bike is being used for, the distance the e-bike can go on a full battery charge is determined on part by the components on the ebike, one part by the rider/cargo, and one part by the conditions.
This comprehensive guide is intended to show riders how to maximize the range distance they need for the purpose their e-bike is serving.
If you are looking to get the longest life & the most range out of a charge, view this helpful resource:
Best Practices for Charging Your Electric Bike, Escooter, or Emoped