Blog Post 4.
When researching the purchase of my new e-bike I found I was particularly consumed by just how far the bike could go on a single charge. While I found quite a lot of data online there was huge range in the figures, which is understandable given the inexact nature of such a question due to the variables involved.
The watt/hr rating of the battery is the single biggest influence on the total range with the more common ones being from 200wh to 500wh. The higher the figure, the greater the range. I chose the latter as I want to be able to do some longish day spins. Given where I live and with my interest in the lake I wanted a bike that would be capable of taking me around Lough Derg, total distance 120km, on a single charge. More about this anon but firstly let’s look at some of the factors that affect battery range:
The single biggest factor is the level of assistance selected, there are 5 to choose from and on my Giant e-bike they are classified as: Eco, Tour, Active, Sport and Extreme. At level 1, Eco, the assistance is just barely noticeable while at the other end, Extreme, you simply turn the pedals and with very little resistance you are propelled along at an average speed of 25km/h
Terrain: Obviously cycling on the flat has less impact on battery range than hilly or undulating terrain.
Wind strength and direction: A strong head wind will place significant demands on the battery.
Total load on the bike: This is the combined weight of the rider plus other extras like panniers with shopping etc
So after four weeks on my new bike I am now pretty confident that I can reasonably predict the range for the terrain on which I intend to travel for my particular cycling style. I live in an area with quite undulating terrain and one of my main reasons for having the bike is to keep up some level of fitness so I want to continue to push myself somewhat while out cycling. For this reason I generally restrict myself to level 1 (Eco) or 2 (Tour) assistance, but this may change a little as I come to the end of a longish spin and travel uphill on the way home!
So just how far before the battery needs recharging? The video below was taken while the battery was at 95% charge and shows the expected range from the various levels chosen. So far I have found this prediction to be quite accurate, if bordering slightly on the optimistic. My longest spin to date is 65Km – over half of the distance around Lough Derg and I finished with over 50% charge remaining. So it looks as if cycling around the lake on a single charge will be possible. I will know for sure however over the Easter holidays when I put this to the test!
Watch this space.