Everything You Should Know: The Ebike Battery Range
One of the greatest sources of confusion and consternation with Ebikes—or any light electric vehicle—is determining how far of an Ebike battery range you can get on one charge. Sure, you can pedal any Ebike home without the electronic assist system on, but that’s not why you bought an Ebike. You bought an Ebike for the thrill of the battery boost gosh darn it!
For team TUOTEG, we spend a lot of time addressing this question, so here’s our definitive answer to the “what’s the Ebike battery range” question: probably about 50 miles and…it depends. There are two things to evaluate here, the watt hours your battery provides and the efficiency with which you ride your Ebike.
Calculating Watt Hours
Let’s start with the battery. When you see “48V / 14Ah” or “36V / 10Ah” listed in an Ebike battery description, you’re being given the essential numbers to begin to calculate your range.
The first number is the voltage (V) of the battery. Every battery has a voltage rating – the AAA battery in your kid’s toy is 1.5V, the battery in your car is likely 12V. Our bike batteries are made up of a series of individual rechargeable cells, each with a nominal voltage of 3.6V. The sum of all these cells wired together and balanced produces the 48-volt Ebike battery you’ll find in TUOTEG models.
The second number is the amp-hour (Ah) rating. Amp-hours represent how much amperage a battery provides over a one-hour duration. If we think of voltage as the potential power a battery can produce, then amp hours are the capacity. Like water in a garden hose, voltage would be the water pressure and amp hours would be the water volume. Or put another way, the volts are the horsepower and the amps are the gas.
Combining the voltage and the amp hours provides another measurement: Watt Hours. Watt hours are your best way to estimate how long a battery will last. This allows you to objectively compare different battery sizes. An increase in voltage doesn’t always mean an increase in watt hours.
36V x 14Ah = 504 Watt hours
48V x 10.5Ah = 504 Watt hours
48V x 14Ah = 672 Watt hours (TUOTEG)
Pedaling Efficiency and Your Riding Style
This is where things get interesting. What we need to do next is gauge efficiency by getting a ‘watt hours per mile’ estimate. That is, how many of those watt hours are getting used for each mile you travel on your Ebike? There are myriad component and environmental factors that contribute to this estimation.
- Tires – smooth, narrow tires at high pressure are more efficient than wider, knobby tires.
- Surface – smooth asphalt will offer less friction than rough gravel roads
- Weight – as the overall weight of the bike, cargo, and rider increase, efficiency is reduced
- Topography and wind – the more hills the Ebike needs to climb, the more time spent riding into the wind, the more energy will be expended
- Temperature Extremes – sub-freezing temperatures negatively affect the Ebike battery range as much as 20-40%
- Pedal-assist level – the biggest contributor to battery life will be how much the pedal assist system is getting used. Level 1 will use the least amount of battery, while level 5 uses the most. Continuous use of the throttle will drain the battery much more rapidly.
Ebike Battery Range Examples
When attempting to estimate your Ebike battery range, think about where you’ll be riding. Along with this, consider how much you want to use the pedal assist. A good middle ground to start with is 20 watt hours per mile. With the 672 watt hours provided by our batteries, that efficiency would net you a range of 33.6 miles. But let’s run with a couple thought experiments here…
Imagine you’re having a pleasure cruise on your TUOTEG CRZR with relatively skinny tires. You’re not carrying much with you and you’re in no rush, so you’re content to set your pedal assist system to level one and meander down a paved rails-to-trails path. That’s going to be a pretty efficient use of your Ebike battery, maybe getting closer to 10 watt hours per mile, which would provide 65+ miles of range out of one battery charge.
On the other end of the spectrum, riding a fat-tire TUOTEG CNQR on gravel roads, wearing a few extra winter clothes and a backpack, maxing out the pedal assist system at level five, heading up and down hills on a windy day, your efficiency is going to suffer. Given those conditions, you might see 30+ watt hours getting used up per mile. With this in mind, you can only expect your Ebike battery range to last for about 20 miles.
That’s why when folks as “how far will the bike take me”, we give such a broad range, from about 20-65 miles, depending…We’ve found that with judicious use of the pedal assist system, the average rider will see about 50 miles out of a battery charge. For your own range, we’d recommend erring on the conservative side for your first couple of rides and keeping track of your Ebike battery’s charge on the display. The more you ride, the more you’ll understand the factors that lead to quicker battery drain. And the more you understand, the less you will worry about your Ebike battery range!