What’s The Range Of An Electric Bike?

Range of an electric bike

What do I look for?

Indeed, if you think about it, the variety of electric bikes claims to be completely precise is impossible. Too many variables distinguish it from individual to individual.

These include:

  • how much the rider weighs
  • what level of peddle assistance the rider needs
  • the landscape they’re cycling over
  • the amount of cargo they’re hauling
  • how fast they are going (1/3 faster = 1/2 the range)
  • how hard pedal
  • how many times they stop and start (hill starts in particular will drain power)
  • wind conditions
  • temperature (they will get about 15% more range from a battery on a warm sunny day than they would in winter)
  • tire pressure (as with regular bikes, soft tires = less efficiency = less distance for power expended)
  • what kind of battery they’re using
  • how old their battery is (batteries lose power over time)
  • Bike engine size (large engines are enjoyable, but obviously more battery energy is drained)
  • how fast they’re going.

And if you have lithium battery, for instance, you will continue to go much longer than if you have nickel cadmium battery, because lithium batteries have greater energy density. 

Keep in mind that you need to match your battery size and your electric motor to get the optimum variety. Look for a setup where the battery capacity in watt hrs is equal to the motor capacity in watts as a general rule of thumb. This kind of setup will have the best bikes because the engine will not over-tax the battery. You should be able to get maximum assistance with this kind of setup for at least one hour.

For example, the Lanke Leisi C-750 Plus has a top-of – the-range has a 355 Wh (36 V/9.6ah) with the 500 watt battery. Thus the motor capacity and battery capacity are almost identical in watt hours, and the battery is advertised as having an impressive range of 60 miles! When we tested the LankeLeisi C-750 Plus 1000 Watt 48v electric bike we were able to go 16 miles up and down big hills without peddling. With peddling we could go 50 + depending on how much peddling we wanted to do. Our happy electric bike tester was 230 lbs and 5 foot 11 and loved every second of our tests…

The Most Important Factor Is Battery Capacity

Most individuals want the fastest, strongest, lightest bike & motor they can afford with all the upgrades. But motor power only affects how quickly you can pull off and how well you can get up the hills. It doesn’t have to affect how far you can go. Battery capacity is the most significant variable to look at in terms of the spectrum of buying electric bikes.

The size of the battery is directly similar to the size of the gas tank of a car.

Battery capacity is usually measured in Watt-hrs. Watt-hrs= amp-hrsx volts (that is, power is equivalent to how long the current will be applied to the battery’s potential, multiplied by the amount of potential power the battery has).

Note: when you are looking at adverts for electric bikes, you may find some where battery capacity is simply stated in amp-hrs. This is insufficient, as it does not include the voltage, so it does not reflect the true energy capacity. So if a car is advertised with a battery of 36 volts, with a capability of 9 amp hours, then the battery’s real capability is 9x 36, that is, 324 watt hrs (written as 324 Wh).

Watt-hrs is important,

because watt-hrs determine the range of your bike, that is, how far you can go.

For example:

Bike A has a 24 Volts and 20 AH battery = 480 watt hours.
Bike B has a 48 Volts and 10 AH battery = 480 watt hours.
Bike C has a 24 Volts and 6 AH battery = 144 watt hours.

Bikes A and B have an energy that is similar. They will operate in a very comparable fashion if Bike A and Bike B have equivalent engines and cyclists. The motorcycle with the greater voltage battery will accelerate more quickly and climb better–but at the cost of some of that energy. Bike C, on the other hand, won’t bring you quite as far.

Given all of the above, you will be able to understand the electric bike advertisements…  Generally speaking, you want a battery of at least 200 watt-hours.

Bottom Line – Do Your Due Diligence

It is safe to assume as a starting point that the range is below what the manufacturer says it is. Advertised ranges are based on laboratory circumstances, and in a laboratory you will not be cycling anywhere. In addition, the manufacturer has a lot of time to make up whatever statistics they want, as there is no International Standard for calculating ranges of electric bikes, such as the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) views vehicle mileage ratings in the United States. And even true world car mileages do not match the ratings of the EPA, despite being strictly governed. This is because there are so many variables in the way real people drive real vehicles in the real world that it is absurd to believe that we could reach a fully precise rating of anticipated miles per gallon.

And when it comes to electric bikes, there is NO standard for makers and sellers to regulate, so when it comes to electric bike distance claims, it’s still the Wild wild West.

So find out as much as you can about electric bikes and distance. Ask the dealer if he knows how the range was calculated and under what circumstances it was calculated (such as what amount of assistance was used and how much the rider was pedaling). You can also ask the dealer whether they themselves tested the bicycle and managed to reach the advertised distances.

Consider also the range problem regarding the type of engine you are purchasing (you can read all about the distinct kinds of electric motorcycle engines here). There is a good argument, for instance, that crank drive motors get a better variety than hub drive motors because they operate with the gears synergistically but there is a big price tag with that crank. Do your own research an test drive some bike before you look for the really nice bikes for way less online!

Are You a Light Weight?

Take a good look at yourself… Are you heavy, or light? Most electric bikes may weigh between 40 and 60 pounds, but you’re sure to weigh much much more. Thus, the most significant weight variable is your own weight. Interestingly, electric bicycle makers are struggling to shave a pound or two off a bikes weight, when most people can actually afford to lose between 5 and 50 pounds–which could make a important difference in range!

Is your bicycle traffic also going to include significant hills or mountains? If so, energy will drain very quickly, so you need to look for a bicycle with a very lengthy range.

And if you’re planning to carry heavy baggage or tow a kid in a trailer, your demands will of course be even higher. If you want to go 20 miles with barely touching a peddle, studies show that a 1000 watt motor would be the best choice!

The Electric bike we love the most is the C-750 Plus upgraded to the teeth! Most electric bikes in our home town of Detroit Michigan have very little upgraded parts. This bike is fully upgraded at the price of a regular bike!

This would be our pick for the longest range bike! https://Motorcityebikes.com