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What Size Battery is Best for Electric Bike

Black Ebike battery

Electric bikes are a popular form of transport due to their eco-friendly nature, cost-effectiveness, and convenience. If you are thinking about purchasing an e-bike, a vital element to consider is what size battery is best for your needs.

How Does Battery Size Affect Range?

Battery size impacts the range of an electric bike. Larger batteries typically have higher energy densities, which means they can store more electrical energy and supply it to the motor for a longer duration. Consequently, electric bikes equipped with larger batteries can cover greater distances before requiring a recharge. 

On the other hand, smaller batteries have limited energy storage, leading to a shorter range and necessitating more frequent charging, especially for extended rides. When choosing an electric bike, considering the battery size is crucial in determining how well it aligns with the rider's intended usage and range requirements.

Choosing the right battery size is critical for maximizing the range and ensuring optimal performance. However, several factors can affect the range of your e-bike:

Battery Capacity

Battery capacity is measured in watt-hours (Wh). This unit represents the energy a battery can hold and provide to power an electric device, such as an electric bike. The capacity of a battery is determined by multiplying its voltage (V) and ampere-hours (Ah) ratings.

For example, if you have an electric bike battery with a voltage rating of 48V and an ampere-hours rating of 10Ah, the battery’s capacity is Wh = 48V × 10Ah = 480 watt-hours. The average e-bike provides one mile of travel for 4-35 Wh of energy. So 480/4 = a range of 120 miles.  

The typical battery size for electric bikes is between 300 Wh and 750 Wh. Higher-end or long-range e-bikes can have batteries exceeding 750 Wh. For casual commutes and city rides, a battery capacity ranging from 300 Wh to 500 Wh is ideal. 

For longer and more intense rides, such as off-road adventures or hilly terrains, electric bikes with battery capacities of 500 Wh to 750 Wh, or even larger, are recommended to ensure sufficient power and range. These larger battery sizes offer the advantage of extended riding times without the need for frequent recharging.

Weather Conditions

Extremely hot and cold temperatures can affect battery performance and range. In cold weather, the chemical reactions inside the battery slow down, resulting in a decreased capacity and reduced range. High temperatures can cause the battery to degrade faster, leading to a shorter lifespan. 

When not in use, it is essential to store your electric bike in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. Avoid leaving the bike exposed to harsh weather conditions, as this can negatively impact the battery's performance and overall health. If you plan to store your e-bike for an extended period, consider removing the battery and storing it separately in a cool environment, as extreme temperatures can accelerate battery degradation.

Riding against strong winds requires more motor power, which reduces the distance that can be traveled on a single charge. Wet roads due to heavy rain can increase rolling resistance, and the rider may use more power to compensate for the slippery conditions, leading to a slightly reduced range.

Battery Age and Condition

Over time, the battery capacity may degrade, leading to a shorter range than a new battery. The typical e-bike battery ranges around 500 charge cycles before experiencing noticeable range loss. This translates to approximately 18,000 to 31,000 miles of travel. The lifespan of a battery typically ranges from 4 to 6 years.

Determining Your Battery Size Needs

Different types of electric bike batteries, such as lithium-ion or lithium-polymer, offer varying capacities. To determine the appropriate battery size for your electric bike, consider the following:

Your Riding Style
If you rely on electric assistance and prefer a more powerful ride, you’ll need a larger battery size with a higher capacity to get the most mileage out of your ride. 

The Terrain You’ll Be Riding On
Use a larger battery if you often ride in hilly or challenging areas. Riding uphill requires more power from the motor, which can drain the battery quicker.

Your Weight
Heavier riders put more strain on the motor, which consumes additional energy. A larger battery can accommodate the extra power needed to support your weight.

The Weight of Your Cargo
If you frequently carry heavy loads, consider a larger battery size to ensure your cargo e-bike has sufficient power to transport the additional weight without reducing the range.

The Power of Your Motor
Higher-powered motors and advanced electric bike systems, such as mid-drive or hub motors, consume more energy. Match the battery size with the motor’s power rating to ensure efficient energy utilization. A higher-capacity engine will match the increased consumption of high-power electric bike systems.

How to Choose the Right Battery Size for Your Needs?

Most e-bike models come with a battery included as part of the system, so you need to choose an electric bike that offers the battery size you need. When shopping for an e-bike, consider the following guidelines:

For Flat Terrain and Light Riders
A 10-14 Ah battery capacity may be sufficient if you ride on flat terrain and are lightweight. E-Bikes from brands like Urban Arrow are ideal for short city commutes along flat terrain. 

The Urban Arrow Cargo Flight Case Electric Bike is a powerful, eco-friendly e-bike for efficient cargo transportation. It features a high-performance Bosch motor and a 500 Wh battery, providing swift transport over short and long distances. With a strong frame, hydraulic disc brakes, and smooth-shifting gears, this urban cargo bike offers ease and agility for moving goods through city streets.

For Hilly Terrain or Heavier Riders
If you frequently encounter hilly or challenging terrain or are a heavier rider, opt for a 14-20 Ah battery capacity. This ensures you have enough power to tackle the inclines. Bikes from Riese and Muller are ideal for navigating hills and hauling cargo or additional passengers. 

The Riese and Muller Load 75 Vario HS redefines urban mobility. With a powerful Bosch Cargo Speed motor and a substantial 1000 Wh dual battery system, this cargo e-bike offers high-speed assistance for all your hauling needs. Its large load capacity, easy-handling Vario continuously variable hub gear system, and full suspension make it a practical and efficient choice for transporting goods around town.

For Long-Distance Riding
A 20-25 Ah battery capacity or more might be necessary if you need an extended range without frequent recharging. Electric cargo bikes for heavy loads are ideal long-distance bikes due to their comfortable, relaxed geometry and powerful motors.

The Blix Packa Genie Dual Battery Electric Bike is a versatile and powerful e-bike perfect for city, leisure, and cargo rides. Equipped with a long-range 1228 Wh dual battery system, you can enjoy extended rides without running out of power.

How Long Does it Take to Charge an Electric Bike?

How long does it take to charge an electric bike? On average, charging an electric bike with a standard charger from empty to full can take 2 to 6 hours. However, keep in mind that this can vary based on the following factors:

Battery capacity: Bigger batteries take longer to charge. Higher-capacity batteries, such as 500 Wh or 600 Wh, will generally take longer to charge than smaller batteries.

Charger output: Higher output means faster charging. Some bikes have optional faster chargers for quicker battery replenishment, reducing full charging time from hours to minutes. However, chargers with outputs beyond the battery’s capacity can damage it. 

Current battery level: If the battery is only partially depleted, it will take less time than an empty battery.

Charging habits: Some electric bikes allow you to charge the battery partially, for instance, up to 80%, which can be faster than charging it to 100%.

Battery health: As batteries age, their charging speed may decrease. Regular maintenance and care can help maintain battery health and charging efficiency.

To get a more accurate estimate for your specific electric bike, refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines and specifications, as they will often provide information about charging times based on the battery capacity and charger provided with the bike.

Travel Further With Upway

If you’re asking yourself, “Should I get an electric bike?” The answer is yes because e-bikes are a cost-effective means of transportation that reduces your carbon footprint and promotes a healthier lifestyle.

At Upway, we offer a wide selection of high-quality used electric bikes for every budget. Our skilled technicians thoroughly review, test, and certify each bike to ensure they meet our rigorous standards.

Whether you’re searching for a basic commuter bike or a versatile electric cargo bike for family outings, Upway has the perfect option. Our range of affordable electric bikes caters to every rider, allowing you to make a conscious choice without breaking the bank.

Ready to choose?

Upway offers the widest range of certified pre-owned electric bikes, reconditioned by professional mechanics. Thanks to Upway, you'll get a great electric bike at a price that's 20-60% off retail, with a one-year warranty!