The range of an electric vehicle is affected not only by the battery's capacity but also by the driving style and even the weather.
The range of electric modes of transport depends even more on the driver's habits than that of gasoline-powered ones. For instance, the battery really dislikes "flooring it"—truth be told, it can only maintain maximum power for a few minutes, during which the charge quickly drops.
Overall, if your goal is maximum range, consider these rules:
Start off slowly (and push off with your foot a bit)
Initially, the motor consumes the most electricity. Therefore, when starting, push off from the ground with your foot. Accelerate less abruptly. The electric motor also consumes noticeably more energy for rapid acceleration. This is easy to explain:
- at the start, the motor needs to set all the elements of the bicycle in motion, which requires effort, just like accelerating any wheeled vehicle
- but once moving, firstly, the principle of inertia comes into play, where an object rolling on a smooth surface will continue to do so until it encounters obstacles, and secondly, at peak speeds (depending on the mode you have chosen), the motor sometimes turns off if it cannot provide more speed than in the mode you've selected, thereby saving its charge
Reduce speed (to level 3, from 5)
The most effective way to save battery charge and increase range is to ride at low speeds in hybrid mode (motor + pedals). All kinds of friction in the components of the electric bicycle, rolling resistance, and aerodynamic drag quadratically depend on the speed of travel. If the speed doubles, the energy expenditure to overcome these resistances increases by four times. Sudden starts, high-speed riding, and abrupt braking irrationally use up the battery charge and significantly reduce the range.
Inflate the tires more (up to 3.5 atmospheres)
With increased tire pressure:
- rolling resistance of the wheels decreases;
- the contact patch of the tires with the road surface is reduced;
- the roll-over improves;
- the range of travel increases.
if the range allowed by the tire is indicated. A tightly inflated tire rolls easier.
Use regenerative brakes (if your bike has them).
Although it only provides a small saving, within the range of 2-3%, it allows for less frequent replacement of brake pads.
Avoid steep climbs where possible.
A climb always places a colossal load on the battery; if there's no possibility to go around it, but there is enough free space - move in a zigzag. This way, you will reduce the angle of the bike's ascent and help to preserve the battery's charge. And of course, don't forget about the pedals, they also generate additional charge for the battery, even if this is not directly stated in the bike's specifications.
Use only PAS mode
The Pedal Assist System (PAS), which is widely used on electric bicycles in Europe, allows economical use of the battery charge and helps to prolong its life. When using the assistant system, the operation of the electric motor is not regulated by a throttle but depends on the pedaling.
A special sensor reacts to the pedaling and sends a control signal to the controller at the start of active pedaling. As a result, the motor-wheel is set in motion and makes pedaling easier. When the rider stops pedaling, the sensor sends a signal to the controller to stop the motor.
Advanced models of PAS systems have a torque sensor. It measures the intensity of pedaling and transmits the information to the controller. As a result, the motor-wheel's rotation speed changes depending on the intensity of pedaling. The Pedal Assist System can be used in conjunction with a throttle. In such a case, it acts as an additional stimulating tool for the motor's operation.
The battery does not like the cold
Air temperature is another factor that affects the range. When the battery cools down, its capacity decreases.
This knowledge will come in handy if you plan a trip in advance and can choose the day.
The battery also does not like sharp temperature changes, so if you brought the bike into a warm room, let it "cool down" for 1-2 hours so that all the condensation inside evaporates. Only then take it back outside.
Install an additional battery
If the standard battery cannot provide the desired range, you can install a second battery in addition to it. Most often, one battery is mounted on the luggage rack, and the second is in the frame triangle.
It is better to buy an e-bike with the possibility of installing a second battery; this guarantees the quality of their joint work and will be covered by warranty. But there are also kits for installing additional batteries, without any guarantees of operation. The decision is entirely up to you.
Reduce weight load
Even when assembling an electric bicycle, it is necessary to think about its configuration in order not to create excess weight. For this purpose, you should choose a light and reliable bicycle, a small reduction motor-wheel for its electrification, and a lithium-ion battery of the appropriate capacity. When choosing additional equipment and accessories, analyze their real necessity, so they do not turn out to be excess baggage. We at Movin Mobility have chosen the maximum balance between battery capacity and its weight. You will be able to see for yourself on the test drive.
There are many ways to increase the range of your electric bike. The main rule is to choose a goal:
If you are looking for extreme thrills and bought a bike for this purpose, then the only way to increase the range is an additional battery, but of course, this will also increase the weight.
If you need a more convenient/faster/more ecological way to get to work (or even use the bike for work), then do not "overdrive" it and the battery range will definitely be enough for the values specified in the specifications for the bike and even more (because the specifications provide an average value).
Do you ride an electric bike or electric scooter? What do you do to increase the range? Tell us when you come to visit. And a nice bonus awaits you. We are locating at 654 College street, Toronto. Have a blessed day!