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If you're just starting to shop E-bikes, you'll hear how the range is important, but it differs from one bike to the next. How do you chose? All brand indicate the estimated range of their E-bikes, but they don't all calculate it the same way.
WHAT IS E-BIKE RANGE?
E-bike range is pretty much the same as evaluating how far a car can go with a full tank of fuel, taking in consideration how many miles per gallon the engin consumes.
Just like a car, the E-bike motor can be more or less energy consuming, depending on how powerful it is and instead of fuel, it consumes Watthours, the battery being the "tank".
On top of the speed at which the motor consumes the energy from the battery, other factors will influence the range. For example, a small car dragging a trailer will burn a lot more fuel per mile, then the brochure suggests it normally does.
It's the same for E-bikes, but with another layer on top: the assistance comes in different levels et spends the energy differently too. And now a variable: each person will use the assistance in a very personal way and thus, the energy spent will differ accordingly.
Other variables also influence the way the battery gets depleted of energy:
An E-bike carrying 250lbs (kids' trailer, grocery bags, etc.) vs a 130lbs cyclist, the range will not be the same for both even if they are riding the same bike.
Gravity wins, always! Riding upward on steep hills, really long ones or both, will deplete the battery faster then on flat ground of course.
Wind creates a resistance you're E-bike is fighting against and this will make the battery energy to drop faster.
Taking in account all those variables, fabricants still had to base their calculations on something to establish at least an estimate. Pretty much all companies use the ECO mode for their range estimation, but the variables used to make the estimate differ from one company to the next.
When a company suggest MAXIMUM RANGE, it's exactly that : the longest possible distance in the best possible conditions = no wind, no hills, with 160lbs maximum weight (rider & cargo included) in ECO mode of course.
A few calculate the average range, like Gazelle who calculates the range in ECO mode but with 250lbs, slight wind, slight hills. Or like Cargo bikes, destined to carry cargo, have an estimate range that takes in account more weight than 160lbs.
All these three cases, the bikes might indicate 115 range, but in reality, they'll all have very different range, depending on the rider and conditions. A great indicator though, are the Amp/hour (Ah) of the battery, that determines the capacity for a battery to maintain its charge.
So when you see an estimated range on a E-bike, don't take it literally. Keep in mind your own personal reality when you shop for an E-bike. Think of your routes and paths, the distance, the weight you're likely to carry and consider that depending on the conditions, the range will not be the same from one ride to the next.
Talk to one of our experts when you are ready to evaluate the range that you need for your futur E-bike, we can hep you make the best possible choice for your needs.
Hoping those infos were useful!
Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions: 1-877-683-3338