Ebike Battery Range Calculator: Can My Ebike Really Go Farther Than A Tesla?
We know which one goes faster, and looks much cooler. But, are the longest-range electric vehicles on the road today equipped with 4 wheels, or two? While Tesla may be better at squeezing range out of lithium-ion batteries in electric cars, are 400 miles really out of the question for your ebike?
First, let's attempt to better understand how Lithium-ion batteries work. When the battery is charging up, the lithium-cobalt oxide, positive electrode gives up some of its lithium ions, which move through the electrolyte to the negative, graphite electrode and remain there. The battery takes in and stores energy during this process. When the battery is discharging, the lithium ions move back across the electrolyte to the positive electrode, producing the energy that powers the battery. This animation from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, shows what happens during the charging and discharging processes.
So, how do we calculate battery range? Under typical demands, 1 mile costs about 20 watt-hours (Wh). What is a watt-hour, you ask? A battery's Power Density, the amount of power that can be generated by the battery with respect to its mass, is measured in watts per kilogram (W/kg), while the Energy Density, the amount of energy a battery can store with respect to its mass, is measured in watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/kg).
To calculate the watt-hours of your ebike battery, multiply the voltage (V) by the amp hours (Ah). Using Rad Power Bikes 7.5 lb. Lithium Ion battery as an example: 48V x 14 Ah = 672 watt-hours (Wh), which garners you an expected range of between 25-45 miles on a single charge. When attempting to calculate the range of your ebike battery on a single charge, many factors should be considered: speed, terrain, bicycle weight, level of pedal assist, usage of throttle, rider body weight, cargo weight, wind, cadence, regenerative braking capabilities, but most importantly - battery size.
Compared to the Bosch Ebike Range Assistant, our ebike battery calculator uses several of these factors to help you determine how far your ebike battery will take you on a single charge:
Can any of the ebike batteries represented in our calculator tool really get up to 400 miles on a single charge? Obviously not, unless you're willing to pedal the remaining 300+ miles on your journey. While Tesla's may be way cooler, they don't perform very well on trails. So, if you're serious about adding more riding time to your bucket list in 2021, start with understanding what will be required from your battery, your ebike, and you.