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E-Bike battery life and range explained

One of the most often asked questions at Dyson Bikes is, "What's the range on this bike?", quickly followed by, "How long will the battery last?"

Let's take a look at each one of these questions as neither is totally straightforward to explain. Firstly we have the range issue and while it is impossible to answer it definitively, we can certainly take a look at what factors play a part in it. Firstly it is important to remember that e-bikes are for the most part what we call 'pedal assist'. This means the rider does some of the work and the bike puts in some effort to make the riding experience more enjoyable. The harder the rider pedals, the less power the motor uses and subsequently the range will be greater.

Most e-bikes also have the ability to select the amount of pedal assist - for example our Dyson Bikes Hard Tail Evo has a range from '0' at no assist to '1', through to '6'. If you are mostly riding at a modest pace on level ground on assist level '1' then you're going to get the longest range out of your battery as the motor merely provides gentle assistance. The exact opposite of this would be to tackle a long climb on assist level '6', whereby the motor will be at full power at all times to help you with the load. Strong consistent headwinds will also have a negative impact on your battery range as the motor will have to work constantly due to the bike's inability to coast into a headwind.

In all reality, for the most part we have some uphills and some downhills, which then average out your battery usage, especially when using assist level '3' or thereabouts. It is what you might call the 'sweet spot' between having a good amount of pedal assist and a decent range. Our current Hard Tail bikes have a choice of 11Ah (Amp hour) or 15Ah batteries, so it stands to reason the 15Ah battery will have a range of around 35% greater than the 11Ah battery. Suffice to say that riding in that 'sweet spot' our 15Ah battery equipped bike should give you approximately 50-80 km range. 

Don't forget that having a clean and well lubricated drivetrain (chain, chainring and gears) will also increase your ride range as there is less friction to overcome. The same goes for tyre pressures as low inflation causes your tyres to sag and make your pedalling and pedal assist system work harder. As a side note, this will also cause your tyres to wear out before their time.