With everyone’s costs rising right now, we’re all keen to save where we can. If you’re the owner of an electric bike, you’ll know how cost-effective they can be, especially as an alternative way to commute.
However, if you’re keen to make your money work for you even more, there are ways to maximise the range of your e-bike to help you travel further on a single charge.
Increasing the range of your battery
Check your tyre pressure
Making sure that your tyre pressure is correct is well-known to improve your handling, comfort, and grip, but it can also impact your battery’s range.
The right tyre pressure will minimize rolling resistance, which reduces any wasted energy spent trying to get the wheels turning. By keeping your tyres topped up to their optimum level, you can reserve the extra battery power – and your own energy – for extra riding distance.
It’s worth noting that on a mountain or adventure bike, lower tyre pressure is likely to be more efficient, as you’ll be able to absorb any bumps or jumps in the terrain to keep moving smoothly.
Avoid extreme temperatures
Just like car batteries, your e-bike’s battery will be influenced by the weather. Extreme temperature fluctuations, both hot and cold, can limit your battery’s capacity, and minimise its maximum distance on one charge.
Colder temperatures slow down the chemical reactions in the battery which reduces its ability to hold a charge. Likewise, hotter temperatures can cause the liquid inside the battery to evaporate, which leaves the internal cells vulnerable to damage that limits their charging capabilities.
So, to maximise your battery’s range, try to stick to milder temperatures for extended rides, and be sure to store your bike inside a garage or other sheltered area in the winter to protect it against any temperature dips.
Choose an economical mode
Most e-bikes will offer different modes of assistance to let you tailor your ride to your needs and environment – these will often include a faster ‘turbo’ mode, a ‘sport’ mode, and an ‘eco’ mode.
Naturally, the higher the assistance mode, the more power the motor is having to supply, and so the faster your battery will drain. While riding in these higher assistance ‘turbo’ modes can be good fun, it’s often not necessary, and won’t give you the long-lasting ride you’re after.
To extend the range of your battery and prolong your ride, try riding in a lower assistance mode. The ‘eco’ mode is designed to conserve power, so using this more often will help to increase the distance you can travel on one charge.
If you’re willing to sacrifice convenience for an increase in range, then try leaving some belongings at home. Heavy bags and other items will increase the strain on your battery, meaning that it’ll take more battery power to cover the same distance with less weight.
Plan your route
The terrain that you’re riding over will have a big impact on the range of your battery, so plan your route carefully if you’re trying to conserve power.
Steep hills and inclines will require more battery power than flat stretches, as the motor is providing more assistance to help you climb. To increase the range of a single charge, pick a flatter, longer route as opposed to a shorter, steeper one. Even though you’ll cover more miles, the easier terrain will improve your range.
Charge up before a ride
This may sound like an obvious one, but it’s the key to a long-lasting ride and one that people often neglect!
If you know that you’ll be heading out on an extended journey, be sure to fully charge your e-bike beforehand. That way, you’ll know that you’re getting the longest-possible ride out of a single charge.
Prolonging the life of your battery
Of course, another way to increase your e-bike’s range is to keep it well cared for – a battery that’s looked after and regularly maintained is much more likely to hold its charge well. It’ll also last longer overall, so you won’t need to replace it as often.
There are several ways to keep your battery in good health long-term:
Store in the right conditions
In the same way, storing your e-bike in cold conditions over the winter is likely to damage the battery and impact its ability to hold a charge. Storing it at room temperature can help to protect the battery’s cells and keep it working as it should. You shouldn’t have to worry about making space indoors either – just remove the battery to keep inside and pop the bike in the garage!
Don’t charge right after riding
If a long ride has drained your e-bike battery, it may be tempting to put it on charge as soon as you get home in preparation for the next adventure. However, recharging right after a ride can put a strain on your battery and may lead to premature damage.
A long ride where you’ve frequently engaged the bike’s motor will have caused the battery to heat up as it works. To protect your battery and keep it from degrading quicker, try to avoid plugging in until the battery has had a chance to cool down.
Keep it partially charged year-round
If you’re not keen on cold-weather riding, then it may be tempting to leave your e-bike untouched in a garage or shed until the spring, but this can actually be harmful to your battery.
Leaving the battery empty can leave the internal cells vulnerable to damage, while keeping your battery fully charged when you aren’t using it can put the cells under more pressure, meaning the battery will degrade quicker. The best option is to leave your battery at around 60%, to protect the cells without straining them.
Implementing these changes to improve the range of your battery will help keep your rides on track and save you money on recharging, meaning that your e-bike will be more cost-efficient.
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