Electric bikes appear more and more often on city streets, and as their popularity grows, people wonder about the e-bike’s efficacy in their own daily routine. Many people are curious that how many miles can an electric bike go on one charge.
Like most things in life, there’s not one simple answer, as several factors can affect the possible distances you can cover on your e-bike.
Riding Range of an Electric Bike
Most e-bikes average a range of between 20 and 60 miles on a single charge. But remember it’s an average figure. And it’s not a simple process to figure out how far an e-bike can go on a single charge, as many factors can affect your personal mileage experience.
The main determining factor in an e-bike range is the rider’s style. If you use your e-bike like a motorcycle or scooter, meaning you don’t pedal at all. Your battery will deplete faster, and you’ll be looking at a range closer to that 20-mile lower end.
However, some e-bikes don’t offer a full-throttle option but instead use the pedal-assist feature, meaning the electric motor won’t activate until you pedal the bike. It’s not a motor to get you from here to there, but rather to help you get there with a little less effort.
How Far Will an Electric Bike Go on a Full Charge?
Again, depending on many factors, you can expect at least enough miles for your daily commute unless you live in the suburbs and work downtown. Since an average low-end of the e-bike range is about 20 miles, you should be able to complete your daily tasks on one charge, even if you’re full-throttling for all your time on the bike.
Increase your e-bike’s range by pedal-assist or going entirely under your own power. With pedal-assist engaged, you should average up to about 60 miles on a single charge.
How Far Will an Electric Bike Go Without Pedaling?
With no pedaling at all, riding your bike like you would a scooter will drain power from your battery at the fastest rate. Expect an average of 20 miles.
However, if you’re on tough terrain or carrying a lot of extra weight (groceries, your messenger bag with a laptop and a bunch of work files in it, or even another person), it will cut into that figure even further. The more you ask of the electric motor, the shorter the total distance it will take you.
Factors That Affect How Many Miles Can an Electric Bike Go
One of the reasons it’s tough to put a hard-and-fast number on an e-bike’s range is because so many things can affect that number.
- The Type of Electric Bike. If your bike has a full-throttle option and you use it, you’ll have a shorter range than if yours is a pedal-assist bike. The latter type of e-bike always gets some help from the rider.
- Battery’s Power and Capacity. You get what you pay for. If your battery is an inexpensive one, it will not hold as much charge as a larger, more expensive one.
- Throttle Operating System. Some e-bikes have a full-throttle option, and others have the pedal-assist only. With some throttle systems, you can turn the motor off completely, powering your bike entirely by yourself. If you’re not using the battery, its charge will last longer.
- Weather conditions & terrain. Riding over rough roads means your bike’s motor has to work harder. Smoother roads and low winds will extend your e-bike’s range. Cold weather can also decrease your battery’s range.
- Whether to use the pedaling. Even pedaling a little bit helps extend your motor’s range— anything you can do to take some burden off of it will extend the e-bike’s range.
- Rider’s weight and other weight. Continuing with the don’t-make-it-work-so-hard idea, the more weight on the bike, the harder the motor has to turn, and the more of its charge it expends. If you’re a bigger rider, opt for a higher-capacity battery.
- Your Riding style. Use the throttle sparingly, if possible. The e-bike’s purpose is to make it easier for you to ride, not do the work for you entirely.
How Pedaling Affects the Range of an Electric Bike
Simply put, pedaling extends the range of your e-bike by taking some of the onus of propulsion off the motor. Use the motorless, and its charge will last longer.
Using full-throttle and not pedaling at all will suck up power. Through the use of your legs, the pedal-assist will ask less of the motor, allowing it to conserve its charge.
Pedaling without pedal-assist engaged shuts the e-bike motor down completely. If it doesn’t use any power at all, you’ll have more charge in the battery for a longer time.
How To Improve the Range of Your Electric Bike
Since so many factors affect your e-bike’s range, it stands to reason that you can do some things to extend that range.
Choose the Easy of the Terrain
Going up hills, slogging through mud, and bumping up and down on rough roads all require more energy than riding on a paved street surface does. If you have a choice, take the smoothest roads you can find.
Use Pedaling Often (Don’t Overuse the Throttle)
Keep in mind that the e-bike’s motor is supposed to help you, not completely relieve you of all effort. Pedal when you can, and if you have a full-throttle option, pretend you don’t. Your bike will go farther on a single charge.
Reduce Stopping Times (If Possible)
Every time you stop, your e-bike has to work a little harder to help you get going again than it does to keep you going once you’re on the road. Stops and starts can drain the battery in the same way stop-and-start driving delivers lower gas mileage in your car than highway driving.
Maintain the Battery Properly
If you take care of your things, your things will take care of you. That’s true of bike batteries, too. Keep it out of extreme temperatures, and don’t let it spend long periods with no charge at all in it. Keeping a battery at extremely high or low charge levels can put undue stress on it.
Reduce Other Weight
If you can help it, shed all the weight you can. Don’t need two water bottles? Take one. Do you need every single thing in your backpack? Dump what you don’t need.
With so many factors affecting the range of an e-bike, it’s hard to say exactly how many miles an e-bike can go.
Your e-bike’s battery can help power your bike and make it easier for you to ride, but remember that the more you ask of it and the harder it works, the shorter the distance you can cover before depleting the charge completely.
Pedal when you can, reduce excess weight and ride on smooth terrain to get the maximum distance from a single charge.
Read also: How Many Miles Should I Bike a Day?