How many miles do electric bikes last for?

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Varying factors can affect the battery life of an electric bike, including the weather, terrain, weight, style of bike, and more.

After riding around enjoying the sun for a few hours you might find that your electric bike battery is getting low, it will need to be plugged in and charged-up, hopefully you have planned your route accordingly! If you are considering buying an e-bike, one question most commonly asked is “how many miles will this bike travel on a full charge?”

The answer is never straightforward because there are differences in the bikes themselves as well as numerous non-bike variables.

How electric bike styles can affect its mileage

When you are looking at different e-bike options, there will likely be an indication of the range for each bike. For example our Allwave 11G has an expected range of 35-70 miles depending on wheel size and settings. That means that you should have enough juice to get you from A-B and back to A again, maybe with a detour to C and D if needed too.

If the battery life is not specified by the manufacturer, then you can make a rough calculation using the battery’s watt hours (Wh), which you can calculate by multiplying volts (V) x amp hours (Ah). Then divide that number by 20 (the estimated number of miles per watt hour) to give you a rough maximum number of miles that the battery should last for.  Or you can use this handy quiz to work it out for you.

As well as the battery’s quality, the riding range is affected by a number of other factors. One is the level of assistance that the rider has chosen. There are generally at least two settings on an e-bike, eco and turbo. If you are using the turbo setting, this is providing you with the highest level of assistance and will mean it will drain the battery quicker.

The weight of the battery itself also plays a role, as well as the frame and the motor. If the e-bike is heavier then this will drain the battery quicker than with lighter components.

Not all bikes, nor all batteries are made equal, and each e-bike manufacturer will use different batteries in their electric bikes. Low-end bikes are cheaper to buy but you may forsake some battery capacity. Better quality, high-end e-bikes will have batteries with a longer range, but naturally these come at a higher cost. 

Non e-bike variables that affect battery life

Whichever electric bike you choose (welcome to the club by the way!) a riding range is always going to be an estimate as not only does the battery and the bike affect the range, there are a number of external factors as well.

Additional Weight – this includes luggage and the rider’s own weight. As with the battery/frame, the extra weight of these elements will cause more stress on the battery and will shorten the riding range.

Terrain – the surface upon which you ride will affect the range. Rougher, softer, or rockier ground will use up more battery power than a smooth road. The gradient of the road also has a huge impact; the more hills you ascend, the more your battery life descends.

Weather – a battery will last longer in dry, sunny and calm conditions, if you are battling strong headwinds or rain, the battery needs to work harder and will drain faster.

Decision criteria

We’ve seen that there are many reasons why a battery’s range may differ from one charge to the next or from one rider to another. The bikes we sell all use Brose 500Wh lithium-ion batteries that are the best batteries available as we believe in providing quality e-bikes that are bespoke to each customer. They have an expected range of 35-70 miles, if you take into consideration the variables above, you can find yourself at the top end of the range. By Sierra Six Media 

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50 Electric Bikes

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