How Far can an eBike Go?

An ebike or ebike for short can travel a certain distance, oftentimes, described as the range. Though many people want a specific number, the distance these bikes can travel greatly depends on how you utilize them. More importantly, the distance travelled is more often than not affected by your use of the ebike with its given specifications.

How Far Can ebikes Go?

The best ebikes on the market can travel anywhere from 300 to 400 km, however, these bikes have better quality 3kW batteries. Most bikes featuring 400-500 W batteries can travel shorter distances of up to 120 km per charge. Easily, the shortest distance is traveled by city ebikes as they only have approximately a 60 km range.

It’s easily concluded that the better the battery quality, the longer the distance travel range of the ebikes. Of course, there are other external factors that determine a bike’s ability to travel longer distances. This article will focus on taking apart the details that really go into determining how far a bike can travel on a single charge.

If you don’t already own one, ebikes are the future! They offer a fun and convenient method of transportation while providing many hours of much-needed exercise.

Here is a good guide on ebike battery care.

Factors That Determine An eBike’s Travel Capacity

person cycling on road distance with mountain during daytime

When investing in an ebike, most first-time owners want to know exactly how far their bike can travel on a single charge. In most instances, this information is clearly visible on the original packaging or box of the bike. Bear in mind, this number is an estimated range as the ultimate answer depends on how you ride your bike, what the conditions are, and how much pedaling you actually do.

Believe it or not, there are tons of ways that you can affect the overall performance of your ebike.  For example, the speed at which you’re pedaling and the amount of (if any) assistance you’re using both directly impact distance. Meanwhile, making regular stops or pedaling through rough terrain can also have negative impacts. Even the weather may work for or against you as it is proven that you get 15% better performance during a sunny day than you would during a rainy day. Lastly, pay attention to the specifications of your bike as they will also impact the travel distance. A heavier battery may perform better but will make it harder to bear the extra weight while a more robust motor will help propel the bike forward.

As you can see, very few things are actually determined by the bike’s specifications. Rather, most are determined by the conditions in which the bike is actually used. At the end of the day, it all comes down to purchasing an ebike that can handle the terrain as well as the wear and tear you subject it to.

All eBikes Are Manufactured Different

Not all ebikes are manufactured the same way or with the same usage goal in mind. Sure, the bike is a great way to travel from point A to point B, but the actual way the bike is assembled is responsible for divulging the smaller details.

ebikes, for example, meant to handle tough terrain such as snow, sand or gravel will have thick tires. The additional thickness of the rubber will help propel your bike through tough unseen terrain.

Bikes that are paired with thin tires are built for speed in an urban setting. These bikes not only have a longer range, but they can travel faster due to their lightweight build. The lighter body of the bike allows it to function faster for longer periods thanks to its lowered weight bearing.

If you plan on taking a basic city bike for a ride in the country, you can travel at around 50 to 80 km per hour on an even open road. However, you can only reach 25 km when traveling on mountainous terrain using the same bike. By upping speeds and traveling faster or working through tough terrain, you will drain the ebike’s battery reserve much faster.

How Battery Capacity Is Determined

When looking at the battery capacity of an ebike, it is usually expressed in amp-hrs. However, to gain a better understanding of the actual capacity, it is important to calculate the range in watt-hrs. How are watts determined? By multiplying capacity and voltage together! The resulting number is the actual distance that your bike can travel with just one charge.

You can determine the amount of power a bike has by paying attention to the voltage while the capacity is determined by the amperage. By doing some simple math, you can determine exactly how far your bike can travel in just one charge, granted you won’t be able to calculate or account for everything.

For example, you won’t get much use out of a bike with 6Ah and 24V specs while in comparison, a bike with 20Ah and 24V will get you much better distance. This also points to the second bike having the ability to travel for long periods of time on even terrain.

At the end of the day, to get the most out of your bike in terms of use, opt for a bike that has 200 watts-hs.

How To Get The Most Range Out Of Your ebike

There are some things you can do to ensure that you get the most range out of your ebike. Below, you will find some common sense tips to get you started!

*Keep extra weight to a minimum. Don’t forget to account for your own weight when considering how much an ebike has to transport. If you forget to charge your bike, avoid bringing extra luggage as it can make it harder for your bike to perform.

*If you do minimal pedaling but always use maximum assistance, your battery reserves will drain much faster. Pedaling does help your bike, but when you have the maximum amount of assistance turned up, you’re not traveling tough terrain on your own. More importantly, if you’re using assistance on a hilltop, your battery will drain that much faster. Use maximum assistance only when you really need it, and for other times, use minimum assistance as it helps prolong the life of your battery.

*Riding your bike in the city may feel a bit frustrating at times. This is due in part to the fact that the momentum you build up while pedaling, with or without assistance, is brought to a stop when you need to brake for cars or pedestrians. You will then need to gain momentum once again to travel at faster speeds.

Conditions Do Matter!

The most learning you’ll ever do about your ebike is while riding it! Ultimately, there’s only so much that your manual can teach you, but the rest comes with practice and trial and error.

There may come days when you travel and your bike seems to have barely drained your battery. On the other hand, there may come days when you’re shocked at how much battery power you’ve burned through. All of these are a result of the terrain you’re riding and the level of assistance you choose to use.

Using a heavy duty bike built for difficult terrain can still provide fantastic results in an urban setting. However, the opposite isn’t true if you choose an urban ebike to ride on tough mountainous terrain. 

Now that you have a bit better of an understanding as to how the range of ebikes are determined, you can look into purchasing a model that meets your needs! Always consider how and where you want to use your bike and compare the model specs to see if it will work for your application. Here is a good guide on types of models of ebike.

FAQ About ebikes

1. What is the range of an average ebike?

Unfortunately, there is no magic number to point to when it comes to answering this question. All packaging will show you is an average number range specific to your bike. The best money can buy in terms of a mid-range ebike will get you about 90 km, which is pretty good!

Don’t forget, however, that the terrain you’re traveling on as well as the level of assistance you choose to use will impact the bike’s performance. If you have to constantly stop and start, you may also notice your battery draining faster.

2. Should I buy a bike with the highest range?

No, there’s honestly no reason to do so, unless you will use your bike a lot. As ebikes that have long ranges demand a higher price tag, it simply doesn’t make sense to spend extra cash on a feature you probably won’t get much use out of.

3. What if I do not use any assistance when using my bike?

The great thing about ebikes is that you only need to pedal in order to get started. However, if you decide not to use pedaling assistance, you would essentially resort to riding an over glorified bike. Though it is completely possible to pedal without any assistance, why would you purchase an ebike if you don’t want this function? Getting assistance means going longer distances with less effort on your part.

4. Is it legal to ride ebikes?

Yes, it is. However, you need to read about local laws and regulations pertaining to the use of ebikes. For example, you can’t ride your bike more than 20 mph in New York City as it would otherwise register as a motorcycle.

5. How long will my ebike charge for?

The average ebike can take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours to fully charge when it has a 500 watts-hs battery.