You know the joy of owning an e-bike, and the exhilarating feeling of flying through the streets, ratcheting up the throttle, and getting around with ease! But, wouldn’t it be nice if you could get a bit further on a single charge?
Wouldn’t you feel better knowing that you can make it to the grocery that’s slightly out of your way on your commute home, knowing that your e-bike will survive the extra mileage?
Sure, you can add a new battery to increase your range. But why not try to work with what you have before investing in additional equipment?
By following a few simple tips, you can get yourself that extra mileage on what you currently have on your e-bike. First, you need to understand the maximum potential range of your e-bike, and with a few minor adjustments, you can maximize the wattage to get you those extra miles you’re looking for!
How to Calculate E-Bike Range
Before learning how to get the most range out of your E-Bike, you need to understand the exact capacity that your current battery has, and it all comes down to watt hours (WH). When E-Bike manufacturers are building and developing E-Bikes, the WH determines the range a bike will have, how much it’s going to cost you, and how heavy it is.
To determine the watt-hours for your e-bike’s battery, multiply the voltage by the amp hours (Ah). For example, a 36-volt battery with 10-Ah will get you 360-watt hours.
Now that you know the maximum wattage of your battery, you need average in how much your motor uses per hour to understand the full capacity of your E-Bike. For a 500-watt motor, using a 36-volt 10-Ah battery will last one hour and 20 minutes at full-throttle.
As you can see, it’s not only the battery you need to take into consideration but your motor as well.
Tips to Get the Most Range Out of Your E-Bike
Now that you have the starting point of understanding what your current setup can do at maximum use, you can use that information to adjust how much wattage you’re using to get more out of your e-bike.
Let’s look at a few tips on maximizing your range on your current setup.
Remember, your e-bike is still a bike, and that means you don’t have to rely on the motor to get you around. We’re not suggesting that you completely give up on using your motor, but if you switch to pedaling at times when the motor is working the hardest, you’ll decrease the amount of WH that you’re expending.
Acceleration is the single most substantial use of battery power. If you want to save on battery energy, pedal each time you’re trying to get up to speed.
Whether you’re going up a hill or starting from a stop, any time you’re changing your cruising speed, pump those pedals to reduce the amount of energy your battery is expelling to get you there.
Easy on the Throttle
Another tip for reducing your energy consumption on acceleration is to limit the use of your throttle. Sure, it’s incredible to go full-throttle and whip through to get up to speed, but this takes a toll on your battery pack.
Instead, ease into the throttle and take your time accelerating. While it will take you a few seconds longer to get up to cruising speed, it reduces the amount of power you're pulling from your battery.
Similar to taking it easy on the acceleration and use of the throttle, when you know you’re coming up to a stop, it’s best to try to coast into it. Riding full throttle until the moment you need to engage your breaks wastes precious battery energy.
Since you have to stop anyway, why not save on that last bit of battery by cutting the throttle earlier to slow down, coast for a bit, and then engaging the brakes just ahead of your stop?
Sure, it might take you a bit longer to get to where you’re going, but at least you’ll have the range left on your battery to make it there!
Proper bike maintenance should be something you consistently do anyway, and it can also ensure that you’re getting the most range out of your e-bike. When it comes to your bike gears, friction is the enemy of range. A clean, well-lubed drivetrain is essential to make sure that your e-bike is firing at maximum potential, and chain lube is the key.
If you use your e-bike regularly, like for commuting, you should make sure that you’re keeping your drivetrain friction-free by lubing up your gears at least once per month.
Proper maintenance will ensure that your e-bike motor is running as efficiently as possible, and you’re getting the maximum amount of WH out of your battery!
Invest in a Wattmeter
If you really want to understand how your e-bike riding habits are influencing your e-bike range, a wattmeter is a fantastic tool to get. This device is wired to your e-bike and will let you know how much energy you’re using in real-time and at any speed.
While this device isn’t necessarily going to increase your range, it allows you to be aware of how you’re utilizing your battery.
If you notice that you’re losing a lot of WH on your commute because you’re going up a lot of hills, you can adjust your route to go around those hills and get more out of a single charge.
It’s also useful for monitoring your usage when you’re out and about. If you find yourself using your battery a lot on the first leg of your trip, you’ll know you’ll have to scale it back to make sure you can make it back home.
Keep Your Battery Fully Charged
Whether you use your bike for short trips here and there, or as your primary way to commute, you’ll want to make sure that your e-bike is always fully charged. Lithium batteries get the most range when they are at a 100% charge.
And while you may not feel like you need to charge your battery after a short trip to the corner store, those quick trips can add up. They can leave you with a battery that’s probably in some state of discharge for the majority of its life.
A good standard to hold:
If you’ve used your e-bike during the day, you should charge it that night.
Not only will this ensure that your battery is always fully-charged and ready to go, but you’ll avoid the stress of waking up in the morning before work only to find that your battery is nearly dead!
There’s a lot of joy and freedom in owning an e-bike, and you want to make sure that you’re getting the most use out of it. While these are only a few of the small ways you can extend your battery life, and ride further and longer, they’re immediate action items you can take now.
Buying a new battery may not be in the budget today, but that doesn’t mean you can’t optimize your current equipment. Follow these tips and take full advantage of what your e-bike can do, and you’ll thank us!
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