No matter what you choose to call it or how you write it. E bike. Electric bicycle. eBike. Electric bike. E-bike. One thing is certain. The eBike is disrupting the transportation sector in a big way. More and more people are buying and commuting on an electric bike than ever before. One of the biggest considerations when buying an e bike is range. How far can the eBike I’m interested in actually go?
The longest range e bike currently on the market is from Delfast bikes. It holds the Guinness World Recordfor longest range eBike on a single charge. 228 miles. With upgraded software on the newest model, the Top 3.0i just achieved an unheard of 232 miles. But how many miles can an electric bike go in real world conditions? Can you get an idea of how many miles an electric bike can go based on the volts and amp hours a company lists on their website?
The battery, controller, motor, and various components all contribute to the range you can achieve. Together they determine your speed, the amount of pedal assist to apply, and can even give you an estimated range based on those factors. With that said, the number one factor for that question of how many miles can an electric bike go comes down to the battery capacity. Volts, Watts, and Amp Hours.
The Voltage of the Battery
The first characteristic to pay attention to is the voltage of the battery. This parameter is commonly expressed in Volts (V). Most electric bike companies utilize a 36V or 48V battery. In most cases, these mass-produced batteries have a relatively low cost. However, as with many other technological products, you get what you pay for. A lower voltage battery will not provide the range many riders are chasing.
An electric bike equipped with a 36V/48V battery delivers modest power to assist the cyclists pedaling. In uphill terrain the rider may notice a lack of power. Speed is also modest with this type of battery. If you want an electric bike that is powerful and fast, it’s best to aim at models equipped with higher voltage batteries.
Electric bikes with 52V batteries are significantly more powerful, faster, and more efficient. Efficiency is important in achieving a longer range. However, as we will discuss later, other parameters determine the range of an e-bike. 52V batteries are also expensive, but the higher the voltage the more enjoyable your ride will be thanks to the power and speed available.
It is wise to invest upfront in an electric bike with an electric system based on a high-voltage battery. Delfast utilizes a 72V Lithium-ion battery on our high-end TOP 3.0i electric bike. The use of a 72V battery makes the Delfast e-bike the fastest in the world. The size of the battery allows for more power with the use of a 3,000W motor. Of course, it is also the longest-range e-bike.
The Amp-Hours Value of a Battery
If the voltage of the battery defines the speed and power of an electric bicycle, what is the definitive aspect of the range? Here, we have to use a different parameter often referred to as Amp-Hours (Ah).
When the motor is functioning, it draws an electric current from the battery. It is measured in Amperes (Amps or A) and refers to the flux of electrons in the motor coils. The higher the Amp value, the more intense the flux of electrons is. Both voltage and current define the power of the motor since power in Watts (W) is equal to voltage times amperes.
The Amp-Hours value refers to the fixed number of Amperes that the battery can sustain during an hour. Typical values go from 10Ah to 20Ah. So, this is also a measure of the battery capacity. A battery with a 10Ah capacity can sustain 20A in half an hour or 5A in 2 hours. The larger the capacity, the longer the electric bike will be able to ride on a single charge.
Batteries for Long-Range e-Bikes
As seen, a long-range electric bike must use a battery with a high capacity. This is easier said than done. High-capacity batteries are larger and significantly heavier. Typical Lithium-ion batteries weighing 6-8lbs deliver a range of approximately 20 miles. That’s not exactly a long-range electric bike. If your electric bike is equipped with a throttle only mode, riding without pedaling will further shorten the range.
A long-range e-bike is usually equipped with a battery of at least 20Ah and 52V, which allows for a range of approximately 100 miles with a motor of 1,000W. New eBike riders should select the battery with the highest voltage and capacity possible within their price range. There are three important factors to consider:
- Size. High-capacity e-bike batteries are larger and more cumbersome. Be sure your frame and bike of choice can accommodate it.
- Weight. High-capacity batteries are heavier. If you need to carry your e-bike upstairs this is an important consideration.
- Price. High-capacity batteries are more expensive. Depending on the intended use of your electric bike, a high-capacity battery may not be a must. If your planned use is only for commuting, you can estimate the distance of a daily round trip. If it’s a modest commute, you can use a conventional battery with a capacity between 10Ah and 20Ah.
The Leader of the Pack for Range
Our long-range ebike TOP 3.0i doesn’t compromise the type of battery. It utilizes a 72V 48Ah Lithium-ion battery that far exceeds the specifications of other e-bike batteries. This battery allows for a top speed of 50 miles per hour and an outstanding range of 200 miles.
If you want an electric bike that can deliver top performance in virtually all conditions, the TOP 3.0i is for you. It works perfectly as an offroad mountain e-bike, allowing you to travel very long distances through the countryside. It is the perfect commuter for those wanting long range. It is the cross-over of choice to transition from street to trail, commuter to after-hours fun.