Real World Battery Range Test
Real world battery range test results
How far can I go on a single charge?
We get this question a lot. The answer is quite complicated and can not be really distilled to one single number. Some manufacturers post very "ideal" range figures, so it is difficult to compare range from bike to bike.
Posting the "real world" range number might not appear impressive and could hurt sales. We aim to give a true picture of our bike's battery range.
The truth: Range depends on many factors including...
Total payload, rider + gear
How much you pedal
Type of battery
Age of the battery
So... how far can I go??
The range you can go is basically boiled down to this:
How much energy you have onboard
How much energy you need to go one mile
This is all great. But HOW FAR CAN I GO!?
Hang on, we will get there. To answer this question properly, we have conducted real-world test to find out how much energy you need to go one mile. We can then extrapolate the data to get a close estimate of how far you can expect to go on a charge.
How we did the range test:
The first thing we must do is to lock in a few factors and use throttle-only test. Then we did the same test but with pedal assist. The numbers will trend smoothly and be repeatable. Then we know we have real results.
Payload of the rider:
About 190 pounds, this includes some gear.
We use the stock tires at 60 psi. Higher pressure will result in more range but a harder ride, lower pressure will result in lower range but a softer ride.
The road surface is more or less normal with a few bumps. Bumps are basically small walls that crash into the wheels and slow the bike down.
The surface is more or less level, but the test circuit does go up and down somewhat.
It is difficult to find an area with absolutely no wind. The test circuit does have a little bit of wind, but it tends to blow in only one direction.
Warm temperatures of around 80 degrees or more. Cold weather will reduce the range.
Range testing on the test loop. Vehicle tracking using the onboard GPS.
Range: Throttle Only, No Pedaling
For these test, the speed limit is set to 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 mph and we run around a level ground loop. The pattern will emerge and we can clearly see how efficient the bike is at each of those speeds. The results are posted in the "Throttle Only / No Pedaling" row.
So for example if you have a 17.4 Ah battery pack and you want to average 18 mph without pedaling, if you set the cruise control to 18 mph you can expect to go about 50 miles on level ground without stops. If you drop the speed to 14 mph, you can expect to go about 65 miles.
Range: Assist Level 3 with Normal Pedaling
Any pedaling will decrease the workload of the battery and as a result increase the range. It is hard to calculate exactly how hard someone pedals as everyone is of different fitness levels.
For the pedal assist range test, we set the pedal assist to level 3 and the speed limit to 10, 12, 14 etc. up to 24 mph. The rider is instructed to pedal evenly and normally as if riding a normal bike.
The pattern will emerge and we can get a good idea of the pedal assist range for a given speed. The results are posted in the "Assist Level 3 / Normal Pedaling" row.
So for example if you have a 21.0 Ah battery pack and you want to average about 20 mph with normal pedaling, you can expect to go about 63 miles. If you drop the speed to around 14 mph, you can expect to go around 104 miles.
How far can I go in SPORT mode?
This gets even more complicated and we will follow up with more test to provide a clear answer. Sport Mode provides a lot of boost to get the bike up to higher speeds. Then it relies on a mix of pedaling and motor power to maintain the top speed.
As the bike goes faster and faster the motor is able to provide less and less assistance. At some point the forces pushing the bike forward equals the forces pushing the bike backwards and you settle at the top speed.
We expect the range in sport mode to be similar to Assist level 3 when riding below 24 mph. At the higher speeds, the wind becomes a huge factor and the results will not be so linear.
To maintain speeds of 28 mph and higher in SPORT mode, the rider will need to do more than a leisurely amount of pedaling. So the normal test cannot be conducted and this will throw off the numbers somewhat.