How long do e-bike batteries last?

One of the most common questions about e-bikes is: How long does an e-bike battery last?

This depends mainly on the battery capacity and the type of e-bike. The answer is not the result of a simple numerical or mathematical calculation, but we must consider many things, starting with the total Wh (watt-hour) capacity and motor power.

Then, we can consider the mode in which you use your e-bike, for example, throttle in pedal assist mode or full electric mode. In fact, the energy consumption differs greatly between these two modes.

In addition, we must consider any other aspects such as: the kind of terrain you ride on, the gradient and the temperature. In addition, the rider's weight and tire pressure will also affect battery consumption.

Any e-bike manufacturer will state the battery capacity of the e-bike and usually they will talk about the maximum capacity of the battery under certain conditions. For example, it can be about 40 miles, but higher capacity models can reach over 80 miles on a single charge. This value also refers to a specific test and model, which we will explain better later in the article.

So, as you can easily understand, range is affected by how you drive and external factors, so let's dive into the details to better understand and make the battery last longer!

Battery capacity and motor power

As a first value, we must consider the total capacity of the battery pack, which will affect long-lasting performance. Generally speaking, if you put a larger battery pack on the same bike, you will get more range.

Wh walue indicates the maximum cumulative capacity of the battery: usually it is clearly written on the bike tech sheet. But you can also calculate it easily by choosing the wattage and AH value.

For example, let's take a 48 volt battery pack with 20 amps. We must multiply the volts by the amps to get the Wh value. wh indicates the number of watts per hour consumed.

Calculation. 48x20=960Wh.

Is it always necessary to have a very large battery pack? No, it depends on the type of e-bike and our needs.

Generally speaking, powerful motors require more energy and consume more batteries, which is why smaller and lighter e-bikes can cover the same distance with smaller battery packs.

On top of that, speed sensors and torque sensors affect battery consumption: torque sensors are more complex, and e-bikes have a longer range due to more accurate power release. If you want more details, you can read our article about the differences between these two sensors. 

PAS or all-electric?

As we said at the beginning, the battery range varies greatly depending on the mode you choose. Full electric mode is activated by the throttle, which means the motor will propel the bike, taking up all the power you transport, and if you compare it to pedal assist mode, it takes double the electrical energy.

Pedal assist mode helps the cyclist move the bike and requires "half" the electrical energy. But it also depends on the level of assist you choose, and of course on your riding style.

If you accelerate a lot and stop frequently, the consumption will certainly be higher than if you travel at a constant speed on a longer road.

Where do you ride your e-bike?

Terrain affects battery consumption because it requires more or less effort on the motor and battery, and flat, smooth asphalt roads require less energy than soft, sandy terrain.

If you're riding steep hills and climbs, the battery range will be relatively shorter because the motor has to work so hard. The worst case scenario is on off-road steep terrain, which will require a lot of power, acceleration and speed changes.

Ambient temperatures can temporarily affect battery capacity, and lithium batteries can be affected by cold temperatures. This means that you can get less capacity and performance from your battery pack throughout the winter as the battery loses some of its space.

Fortunately, this is only a temporary situation and can be avoided if you keep your battery in a warm and safe place, rather than in a cold room or outside.

Tire pressure and rider weight

Least of all, we must mention the effect of tire pressure on battery consumption, as low pressure causes more rolling resistance with the ground, especially if your e-bike is equipped with wide and thick tires.

When off-road, low tire pressure is good because it provides more comfort and traction. On the other hand, on smooth asphalt, it is better to choose a higher tire pressure for faster spin and less rolling resistance.

Maximum range values

Please note that, as we said, every manufacturer announces a certain value for the maximum range that an electric bike can achieve. But that doesn't mean you can do the exact same mileage and it has to refer to some conditions.
For example, they also say where and how the bike will be used, the rider's weight, etc. Usually, they test e-bikes with very light riders, on flat terrain, with low assistance levels.
So, in general, you can go to a lower range depending on the declared value.
After analysis, you know how to make your battery last longer to get higher mileage.
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