As a new electric bike owner or as someone considering buying an electric bike, you may be wondering, “just how far can these things go?” That’s a fantastic question and one of supreme importance as one wants to have enough battery power to get home and back on a single charge. While you can ride an e-bike once it’s run out of battery power, the bike is noticeably heavy and difficult to maneuver once it’s out of juice.
So, ensuring you have enough power to get you there and back is important. Let’s look at the key factors that influence e-bike range and what that means for you.
Battery and Motor
One factor to consider as you ask this question is how powerful your motor is. Higher-watt motors will get you farther, with 1,500-watt motors capable of giving up to 49 miles on a single charge. This is not guaranteed, however, and it is important to factor in the other aspects of the range we’ll cover below.
Another question to ask is, “how’s my battery life?” A fully charged battery and a healthy battery will get you farther, so be sure to charge up your battery fully (overnight is ideal) before riding, and store your e-bike’s battery in a cool, dry location when not in use. Make sure not to over-charge your e-bike’s battery, either, and unplug it once it’s reached maximum capacity. These steps will prolong your battery’s life and help it maintain a stronger charge longer over its life span.
The terrain is another factor to consider when determining how far your e-bike will go. Just like a person, your battery pack will drain energy faster the more rigorous of a workout it is put through. Climbing hills on the throttle, riding uphill, and on uneven terrain will drain your battery much faster. An even, flat riding surface like a sidewalk with minimum incline will give you the longest range and allow your battery to supply power with maximum efficiency. If you have a long distance to go over hills and through mountains, consider taking an extra battery pack with you, just in case.
Pedal Assist vs. Throttle
Riding your e-bike is also highly important, and understanding how this impacts range is key. The more you pedal, the less work your motor will have to do and the less power you’ll lose from the battery. The more you use the throttle, however, the more energy is used up and the shorter of a range you’ll wind up with; as much as half the full potential range can be used up in this way.
Engaging the throttle only when truly needed (as in an uphill situation) while continuing to pedal as you engage will ensure you get the maximum distance out of your e-bike.
Pedal assist is your friend here, so don’t forget to use your e-bike as a bike. The more often you do this, the length of a ride you’ll get. Choose the best e-bike for you.
All of these factors, from motor power to terrain to how you ride your e-bike, will impact range. The maximum range for an e-bike on moderate terrain with a moderate amount of pedaling and a strong motor will be about 50 miles a ride. Expect about half this range (20 to 25 miles) with an entry-level or a mid-range model.
Your e-bike will be unique, with its standards and abilities. Consider carrying an extra charged battery pack with you, just in case, if you plan on longer rides.
About the author:
Trevor Fenner is the founder of Electric Bike Paradise, the #1 online retailer of electric bikes, electric scooters, electric skateboards, mobility scooters, electric wheelchairs, electric golf caddies, solar kits, and trolling motors. Trevor has been selling bicycles, electric bikes, and electric scooters online since 2010 and eventually established Electric Bike Paradise in late 2013 when he happened to meet a car enthusiast that introduced him to electric bikes. Trevor searched for electric bikes online but couldn’t find a website that offered a wide selection of electric bikes, scooters, and informational articles. He started a website where everyone can shop conveniently, browse buying guides, and read educational posts. The website is called Electric Bike Paradise.