Range is one of the most important features you should consider when comparing eBike models.
E-Bike range can be hard to determine because it will differ from one situation to another and between different ebike batteries and motors. It's quite hard to give a specific answer on how many miles a car can drive, and it's just as difficult to give a straight answer about the range of an eBike.
This article will cover what eBike range is and why it's such an essential factor to consider when choosing an eBike.
What is eBike range?
The range of an electric bike refers to the amount of time you can ride on one battery charge.
Bigger eBike batteries will give riders longer ranges because these batteries have a higher storage capacity.
What is the average range of an eBike?
There are many different electric bikes on the market, and they don't all have the same range. The average range of most eBikes is between 20-100 miles/32-160 kilometers; of course, the exact range will always depend on factors such as the power mode, riding conditions, cargo load, and terrain.
Factors that impact range:
- Total weight of the load, including the rider and gear
- Your average riding speed
- Your riding position
- The bike's tire pressure and tire type
- Terrain and hill grade
- Wind conditions
- Road quality and bumps
- The outside temperature
- Your pedal capability and fitness
- Type of battery
- Battery size
- Age of the battery
How much further can you go on an eBike, compared to a regular bike?
Electric bikes can be ridden as easily as regular bikes, but you can ride further using the electric pedal assist. Pedal assistance allows eBikes to cover greater distances in less time than the same journey would take on a traditional cycle or mountain bike.
Unlike a traditional bike, an eBike battery has a limited range, so you need to be aware of your unique physical limitations and the range of your battery. You can extend your battery and ride further by pedaling on level surfaces and downhill and conserving your battery for uphill or other challenging sections of your ride.
While you're out riding, it's important to remember to track your time or miles covered. This precaution will help you keep track of your battery life, so you don't run out of power at the wrong time.
Which eBikes have the longest range?
There can be many different variables when it comes to range. However, as a general rule of thumb, you should expect a more extended riding range from electric bikes that come with a battery with higher volts and amp-hours.
How is the electric bike range measured?
Most eclectic bikes measure range in Wh/mi or Wh/km, depending on your country.
But what is WH/mi?
Wh/mi is a commonly-cited metric used for electric vehicle (EV) efficiency. Wh/mi stands for watt-hours per mile, or in the case of Wh/km, watt-hours per kilometer. The Wh/mi metric (in the USA) is one of the easiest ways to work out how much energy or watt=hours (Wh) is required to move an electric vehicle such as an eBike or car 1 unit of distance (either one km or one mile). You will see this metric used on many cars, including electric vehicles such as Teslas.
How far can a 750W electric bike go?
Multiple factors will always impact range, but generally speaking, most 500-750W eBikes will get you around 25 Wh/mi.
This estimate assumes that the electric bike is ridden on a flat or moderate incline. An electric bike with a 480Wh battery ridden in these conditions would provide you with approximately 19 miles of range. But a 750w electric bike can go approximately 28 mph (45 km/h) on flat ground.
A 750W electric bike is a popular choice for hunters, anglers, and ebike overlanding. Bikes of this motor size are moderately regulated without compromising on speed. We find that 750 watts are plenty for a hunting ebike.
Electric bikes with the most powerful motors are often more heavily regulated and consume battery power much faster than other Bikes. Because of this, 1000W eBikes can end up having more power but less range. Generally, 1000W electric bikes will come with a heavier, larger battery than most 750W eBikes. But we find for many use cases; a 750W bike is a sweet spot that provides both power and decent range.
How far can a 250W electric bike go?
Most 250W electric bikes aren't suitable for tough terrain. These types of eBikes are best for light city riding on fairly flat and even paths. That's because there isn't enough power or torque in an eBike with a 250 W system. You can't power heavy riders up hills with a 250w eBike if you still want to maintain a reasonable amount of speed. Trying to use a 250w eBike like a 750w model will drain your battery exceptionally fast and result in a very short range. Cheap electric bikes with 250 W motors can only go around 15-20 mph when it comes to speed. If you're a serious outdoor enthusiast, you should use an electric mountain bike with 750w or 1000w capability.
How do I determine the range of my electric bike?
It can be challenging to determine the exact range of an eBike because of the various factors we have discussed so far. Many manufacturers would be reluctant to put a precise range on their eBikes because conditions could easily impact the measurement. So how can you plan for eBike trips if you don't know your range?
To determine the approximate range of your electric bike, you should first start by looking at the battery capacity.
The battery capacity will be noted on a bike's description and in its manual. The battery capacity of an electric bike will usually be measured in Watt-hours (Wh). On occasion, you may see an eBike battery rated using volts (V) and amp-hours (Ah). For example, an eBike may be labeled as having a 48V 10Ah battery. If you want to convert volts and amp-hours to Wh, you should multiply the number of volts by the amp hours.
The next step is to calculate the effective bike range by taking the Wh capacity of the bike's battery and dividing it by an average efficiency number (which can be in either Wh/mi or Wh/km depending on the country).
Wait, what's the efficiency number? At this point, the math can vary. Your efficiency number will vary based on many factors, such as the rider's weight, incline, wind conditions, and tire choice. However, based on the earlier generalizations, a 750W eBike can go around 25 Wh/mi.
How can I increase the range of my electric bike?
Naturally, every adventure enthusiast wants to use their eBike to ride further, faster, and for longer. Compared to traditional cycles, eBikes can undoubtedly provide you with these benefits. Plus, eBike batteries are continually seeing improved performance as new electric bike technology gets developed. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't aim to extend our range further to increase our scope for exploration!
Thankfully, there are several simple measures you can take to improve the range of your eBike. Follow our tips to improve the eBike's range and squeeze out a little bit more power from your battery. And sure, you can always upgrade parts or update your battery to increase your range, but there's a lot of easy changes you can make for free as well. A simple change in riding behavior can have a significant impact on your range.
Here are some easy habits and changes you can make to extend the range of your eBike.
Go easy on your throttle
Hand throttles aren't standard in Europe but are prevalent in American eBikes - in addition to pedal-assist bike features. Many American riders (and those in other countries which allow hand throttles) will find that hand throttle is one of the quickest ways to drain your bike's battery and reduce range.
Remember that each time you accelerate using the throttle, you are using significantly more battery power than you would while cruising or pedaling manually.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't ever use your throttle; after all, it's there for a reason. But you'll undoubtedly want to be discerning about when you choose to use your throttle. If you are riding up steep hills, you will naturally need to use it more extensively, but you should be aware this will limit your range.
Instead of using the full-throttle every time you want to accelerate, you should instead try to ease into the throttle. Yes, this will mean you accelerate a bit slower, but by sacrificing a little bit of speed, you can increase the longevity of your battery's charge. This technique will help minimize the amount of battery power used by your bike each time you accelerate. Additionally, this method can also help keep the bike's battery cooler, enabling the bike to use even more efficiently.