Electric Bike Range, Explained

Your Guide to Decipher eBike Distance Claims

"How far can this eBike go on a single charge?" This is one of the most common questions we hear at Bakcou. We get it. It can be very confusing when you look at all the distance claims by the different eBike companies out there. For example, one eBike ad will show 80 miles range and another company, with what looks to be a similar eBike, will say 50 miles. Well, who is telling the truth? To be honest, they both are kinda telling the truth. Still confused? Let's see if we can help.

When it comes to eBike battery range, there are a lot of variables at play. Here are the top factors that impact distance:
  • Battery Size – In simple terms, think of your battery as a gas tank. The bigger the gas tank, the farther you can go. So when considering which eBike to go with, make sure you are looking at the battery size. We explain this in more detail below under Crunching the Numbers
  • Riding Assistance – This is one of the biggest factors that impacts how far you can go. There are two ways the motor on an eBike can help you. The first is pedal assistance. If you are riding most of the way with a high level of assistance, the more battery juice you are consuming. Want to go farther, pump those legs a bit more and use a lower pedal assistance. Second is throttle assistance. Sure it's great to use the throttle when the legs are getting tired or you hit a steep incline. Just remember that the more throttle you use, the less distance you will get out of your battery.
  • Weight – We won't ask about your weight here but keep in mind that the heavier you are and the more equipment you have on you, the more your eBike motor has to work, which will decrease your potential range.
  • Terrain – Are you riding on flat hills, or tackling tough mountain roads with steep inclines? The tougher the terrain, the more battery power is needed, which will impact the distance.
  • Weather & Temperature – Maybe the last thing you would consider, but know that colder temperatures can decrease your battery range by up to 15%. Good thing Bakcou offers battery jackets to keep things cozy and increase your cold weather range. 
  • Motor Type – Mid-drive motors might offer better range than hub drives because they gel well with gears. 
  • Other factors to consider – motor size, tire pressure, battery cell quality, how often you start & stop

Crunching the Numbers

It's not just about a powerful motor. It's the battery capacity that tells you how far you can go. eBike battery capacity is measured in Watt-hours, which is calculated by two things: voltage and amp-hours. Let's look at how those two things combine for different results. 

Example 1

- eBike A: 24V - 20Ah = 480Wh
- eBike B: 48V - 10Ah = 480Wh

They both have the same Watt-hours and will perform similarly. However, eBike B with the higher voltage has more zip and climbs better, but at the same time, uses more energy.

Example 2

- eBike A: 24V - 20Ah = 480Wh
- eBike B; 24V - 6Ah = 144Wh

Both have the same voltage, but eBike A has a higher amp-hour capacity, which equates to a larger gas tank and that means more distance. 

If you are looking for an eBike that's speedy, climbs like a champ, and goes the distance, then you'll need a battery with a high-voltage and high amp-hours. Featuring the biggest single battery on the market at 48V - 25ah, Bakcou eBikes will get you where you want to go and, more importantly, get you back.