An electric bike’s range basically means how far can it ride on one charge. There are many aspects that define how far an electric bike can ride. Surprisingly, most of them have to do with how you ride than with the e-bike’s specifications.
How far can electric bikes go? Currently, the longest range electric bicycles can reach is 350-400 km on one charge. Such e-bikes are usually powered by 3kW batteries. Standard e-bikes with 400-500W batteries would ride up to 100-120 km on one charge. Simple city e-bikes would normally run 50-60 km on a single charge.
Of course, the better the battery, the wider the range of hours the e-bike will ride on one charge. At the same time, external factors also have a lot to do with the riding range. After reading this article, you will understand why sometimes your battery could drain much faster.
And if you don’t have an e-bike yet, now you will likely to want one. E-bikes are one of the fastest and safest transportation methods at the moment. They also offer you hours of fun and exercise.
Factors that affect how far an e-bike can go
How far can an electric bike go is quite a common question, for new owners and some experienced ones.
Usually, the box where your e-bike first came from says how far can they go with just one charge. It’s not an exact number because that’s not taking into consideration how you ride, where you ride, and how much you pedal.
Some of the factors that influence how far your electric bike can go are:
- How hard you are pedaling and at what speed you are going;
- The level of assistance you are using (if any);
- How much you weigh and if you carry extra luggage;
- How many times you stop and start;
- If you have to face constant hills or flat terrains;
- The weather (usually sunny days offer 15% more range than rainy ones);
- The tire’s pressure (soft tires are always less efficient);
- How heavy the e-bike’s motor and battery are;
- The type of battery you are using.
As we mentioned above, many considerations don’t really depend only on the e-bike’s features per se. But you should also consider the main aspects of the electric bike, like what it was designed for originally.
Not all e-bikes are designed the same
Not all e-bikes are manufactured for the same purpose. Essentially, they are supposed to take to us from one point to another. And the way they were assembled tells us much more.
For example, electric bikes with fat tires are meant to be used on terrains with dirt, snow, or sand. The thick tires are supposed to help you go through mud and other difficult surfaces.
Meanwhile, thin tires are meant to give you speed and balance in urban scenarios. These ones are the ones with the longest range because they are lighter than the other models. This essentially reduces the amount of weight the e-bike has to carry around.
On a weekend city ride a regular electric bike can reach up to 50 km, if you are on an open road, it can reach 80 km. But if you take it to the mountains, the same e-bike will be able to reach only up to 25 km.
Of course, the faster the e-bike goes, the faster the battery will drain. And, the harder the terrain is, the faster it will drain too.
Usually, the battery capacity of an electric bike is expressed in amp-hrs. We should really be looking at watt-hrs to understand the range of an e-bike.
Watts are the result of multiplying voltage and capacity. The result is the number of kilometers per hour your electric bike can ride with just one charge.
The voltage tells you how much power it has and the amperage (capacity), tells you how far you can ride. So if we multiply the voltage by amperage, we have the watts, which basically tell us how many kilometers per hour our e-bike can ride with just one charge.
Therefore, if we have an e-bike with 20Ah and 24V, we have 480 watts-hs, but if we have a 6Ah and 24V e-bike, then we only get 144 watts-hs. This means that you will not be able to use the second e-bike for long independent of the type of terrain. While the first one on regular terrains can be used for much longer without being charged.
Easy Tip: Generally, it makes sense to get an electric bike with, at least, 200 watts-hs.
How to take advantage of my electric bike’s range?
To take the most out of your e-bike’s natural range, you can follow some tips in order to improve speed and battery efficiency.
For example, you already weigh enough for an e-bike. So if you have to go around the city and don’t have much time to recharge it in between trips, you can avoid carrying heavy luggage. Remember the battery and the motor also weigh a lot and despite you being the one pedaling with assistance, it’s our battery the one doing most of the job.
Secondly, if you use the maximum level of assistance all the time, do not expect your battery to last all day long. Pedaling helps, of course, but constantly using the maximum assistance drains the charge really fast, and if you have to go up many hills, then it will definitely drain completely very soon.
It is not the point not to use the maximum level of assistance, just use it when it really is necessary. The rest of the time you can use the minimum.
If you ride an electric bike in a city, you will have to stop and start more than once on every trip because of cars, pedestrians, and traffic lights. This essentially means all the speed you just gained from pedaling or using the assistance will drop to zero and then it will require a new effort to regain it.
Riding conditions matter as well
You will learn many further tips just by riding your e-bike. It’s an experience, not something you learn in the e-bike’s manual, but reading a little about it gives you some light on what you may be doing wrong and how to fix it.
For example, you will notice that some days your battery does not drop to half and other days you will see how fast it will drain with just one ride. Both situations depend on where you are riding the e-bike and the assistance level.
If you have a really heavy e-bike designed for long trips on difficult terrains, but you use it in the city now and then, the range will be extensive.
On the contrary, if you do the opposite with a light e-bike, one charge will unlikely to take you through the day, especially if you have to take hills or rocky terrains.
Which electric bike has the longest range?
Hopefully, we have shed some light on the questions related to how far can an e-bike go. And if you are wondering which electric bike has the longest range, you could check some of these models:
- Stromer ST5: it can reach up to 195 kms, and when you notice it is powered by a 984 watt-hs battery, then you understand everything.
- Delfast: hold on tight, it has a colossal range of 366 kms! And, of course, a 3kWatt-hs
- Riese and Muller: a more affordable one here, it has a range of 130kms, but still a pretty good battery of 1kwatts-hs.
- Raleigh Mustang Comp: finally, another powerful model with an amazing price. It has a range of 97 kms and a 400watt-hs battery.
Read also: Is Riese & Müller a good e-bike brand to buy? Complete brand & models review – in this article.
What is the exact range of an e-bike?
There is no exact range for all types of electric bikes, the box of the e-bike will show you an approximate number. The best mid-range electric bikes will tell you they have a range of 56 miles or 90 km, and that’s pretty impressive.
But if we consider everything we have talked about in this article, add to that number the difficulty of the terrain, if you have to stop often, if you use the assistance constantly and how much you weigh plus any extra weight.
Does this mean I should get the e-bike with the highest range?
No, it doesn’t. Before getting your hands on an e-bike, or before replacing the one you already have, consider the facts we mentioned at the beginning. You do not need an electric bike of 56 miles for range if you do not ride that much.
E-bikes with the longest range are usually more expensive, so why spend extra money on something you don’t really use often?
What happens if I do not use any of the assistance levels?
Pedaling when using an electric bike only helps it to get started, you won’t get as tired as when you use a regular bike. If you choose not to use any of the assistance levels you would be basically riding a normal bike.
Even though it’s totally possible to do so, people do not get an electric bike just to use it as a normal one. They use, at least, the first level of assistance in order to go faster and to be less physically engaged in the activity.
Are electric bikes legal?
Yes, they are. However, depending on where you ride them, there are important legal obligations you should follow. For example, in New York, you can’t ride an electric bike if it registers a speed up 20 miles per hour because it would be considered a motorcycle.
We recommend you to check your country’s specific regulations for this type of transport to avoid serious legal issues.
How long does it take an e-bike to charge completely?
It depends a lot on the capacity of the battery, it usually takes, at least, 4-6 hours for a 500watts-hs e-bike to charge completely.
You do not need to charge the e-bike every day unless its battery charge is under 30%. This is done to preserve the useful life of the battery.