Electric Bike Range Test
How far can I go on a single charge?
We get this question a lot. Finding an e-bike's exact range is quite complicated and can not be really distilled down 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: E-Bike range depends on many factors including...
- Total payload, rider + gear
- Average speed
- Tire pressure
- Hill grade
- Road Bumps
- Riding position
- Outside temperature
- How much you pedal
- Tire type
- 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 on-board vs. 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 a real-world test using our e-bikes 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.
Controls: Payload of the rider: About 190 pounds, this includes some gear.
Tire Pressure: We use the stock tires at 60 psi. Higher pressure will result in more range but a harder ride, lower pressure will result in a lower range but a softer ride.
Bumps: 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.
Hill Grade: The surface is more or less level, but the test circuit does go up and down somewhat.
Wind: 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.
Temperature: Warm temperatures of around 80 degrees or more. Cold weather will reduce the range.
Range testing on the test loop. Vehicle tracking using a GPS.
E-Bike 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.
E-Bike 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 boosts 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 backward 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.
Factors That Affect Range
There are several different characteristics of electric bikes that affect how many miles you get per charge. Like miles per gallon in a car, the range is there for a reason — there's no guaranteed, magical number of the number of miles or the number of hours you can ride per charge.
These are some traits that will affect the range of your bike:
- Battery size: A bigger battery gives you more power and takes you farther with every charge. Juiced Bikes use 52V batteries in all of our e-bikes.
- Battery age: As batteries get older, they won't hold a charge as well as when they were brand-new. With this in mind, you may want to replace your electric bike's battery if you find that it isn't getting very good mileage anymore.
- Pedal capability: Different classes of electric bikes have different pedaling capacities. If you have a model where you can pedal, like with a pedal-assist bike, you can combine your own power with the power coming from the battery to save juice while you're out. If you're relying solely on power from the battery, it might run out quicker.
These are a few more traits of your bike that can affect the range. Like with a car, there is no specific answer on how many miles or the amount of time you can ride with one charge. While you're out, it's important to keep track of your time or miles spent so you don't run out of juice at the wrong time.
Average Range of an Electric Bike
The average range of an electric bike varies. Your average electric bike battery will typically range between 20 to 35 miles. But, as the battery scales up, you can get higher ranges out of every charge.
Bigger batteries give higher ranges not only because of the charge but from the speed. As we mentioned before, bigger batteries are more powerful. With that power, you could ride up to 40 miles per hour. Even if two batteries' charges last around the same length of time, the bike with higher speeds will have a higher range.
The average range is a number not to be taken too seriously. Two people with the exact same model could find that they get different average ranges out of each charge. At the end of the day, your range really depends on where and how you are riding your electric bike.
Improve Range With Juiced Bikes
At Juiced Bikes, we saw these average ranges and knew that we could improve it. To make that happen, we had to re-engineer the electric bike battery. Our work paid off — many of our batteries achieve ranges that are nearly double that of average e-bikes.
When you can get more distance out of your electric bike, you can do more and avoid the hassle of recharging. If you feel tired after a long trip and forget to plug in your battery or can't get where you want to go on one charge, upgrade to a model from Juiced Bikes!