What is the best voltage for an electric bike? These are the kind of questions customers ask when buying electric bikes. How fast will the bike go? You need to understand various terminologies like voltage, amps, and watts.
Buying an e-bike is not as simple as buying a traditional bike. You need to understand how electric bikes work and how these electrical measurements affect performance.
In this post, I’ll discuss the basic electric power systems and what they mean.
Electric Bike Voltage Voltage, AMPS and Watts: What Do They Mean?
The three terms refer to units of electricity. So, what do these terms mean?
Electric bike wattage explained
Wattage is the power output of the electric bike motor. This is the amount of power the motor can handle on a continuous run. Most e-bikes list both peak watt power and nominal watt power.
However, the continuous watt power rating is different from peak motor power. Peak watt rating can be achieved in short runs. However, most bikes cannot sustain the same energy continuously.
Most bikes tend to reach their peak watt rating when climbing steep roads. When shopping for an electric bike, be sure to differentiate between peak power rating and continuous power rating.
For example, 750 watt electric bikes for continuous power are common in the market. However, the same bikes hit a peak power rating of 1000 watts.
Generally, the continuous watt rating is 75% of the peak watts rating. You can use watts to know how long your bike will last on a specific motor. A watts-per rating gives you the hours your bike will last in relation to a specific motor.
This enables one to know when to recharge the battery and the ideal speeds to maintain. You can also know the top speeds your bike can hit on the road. The watt rating will tell of the bike’s horsepower.
- A 250 watts e bike has a horsepower of 0.33
- A 500 watt e bike has a horsepower of 0.67
- A 750 watt e bike has a horsepower of 1
- A 1000 watt e bike has a horsepower of 1.34
When it comes to electric bikes, more watts equals more power. And, more power equals more fun on the road. For conventional bikes, riders can produce 400 watts on continuous use and up to 1000 watts on short bursts.
There is no direct relation between horsepower and speed. How fast can a 750 watts electric bike go? The question is common among cyclists. However, there is no direct conversion from watts to miles per hour.
Electric Bike Voltage Explained
Voltage is used to measure the electric potential. In simplest terms, volts are measurements of tension. How much tension can the electric bike battery contain?
The voltage on a specific electric bike solely depends on the battery. Lithium batteries are the best offering some of the best voltages. The voltage will tell you the amount of power that can be sent to the bike’s motor.
Think of voltage as water pressure in a hose pipe. Higher pressure in the hose pipe is equivalent to the higher voltage from the battery to the motor. However, in the case of the battery, it’s the electrons flowing and not water.
Voltage is usually listed on the battery exterior. Most premium e bikes offer 48 volts to 52 volts. You can boost the bike’s performance by getting a battery with a higher voltage. However, most bikes have a listed voltage average to use with their motors.
52 volts remains the highest voltage listed for electric bikes. Bikes with higher voltages than 52V will change the definition of bikes.
Voltage impacts a bike’s performance. When selecting a battery for your electric bike, there is a range you need to consider. Batteries with a higher voltage operate more efficiently than lower-voltage batteries.
In addition, high voltage batteries offer a longer battery range. They need less current while producing the same amount of power as low-voltage batteries.
Generally, higher voltage batteries come in handy when climbing steep terrains with heavy cargo. The higher voltage will give your bike the extra push it needs to climb.
You can watch the video below to learn more about electric bike voltage.
Electric bike amps explained
Amp is a measure of the electric current. It is the volume of electrons flowing through a circuit. When you think of the water in a hose pipe, think of amps as the volume of water flowing through the hose pipe.
Amps will tell you about your battery capacity. How long will an electric bike battery last? When you think of it, think of amps listed on the battery. Amps will measure the battery output.
In the simplest terms, think of amps as the fuel tank of your electric bike. A 40 amp circuit has more electrons flowing through it than a 10 amp circuit.
A small size hose pipe can only allow small volumes of water to pass through. The same applies with amps where wirings and circuits have a maximum amount of current they can allow before they heat and burn. You’ve probably seen electric wiring get hot.
A 20-amp battery will last you 20 hours producing 1-amp per hour. However, if you draw 2 amps per hour, the same battery will only last for 10 hours.
Electric bike batteries
As you can see everything about an electric bike revolves around the bike’s battery. The batteries remain the most expensive component of your electric bike. Batteries consist of cells with each cell producing a specific voltage.
Most lithium batteries produce 3.6 volts per cell. The output from each cell varies as the battery discharges. When the battery is fully charged, the output is higher.
At full capacity, lithium batteries discharge 4.2 volts. At 80% battery percentage, they discharge 3.6 volts. When the batteries are close-dead, they produce 3.4 volts.
Heavier loads on a bike force the motor to work harder drawing more current from the battery. This eventually reduces the battery voltage making the bike go slow.
You can watch the video below on how lithium batteries work.
Well, that’s it from me! Buying an electric bike should be easy once you understand these terminologies. Think of amps as the bike’s gas tank and volts as the flow of the gas. The two parameters can tell you how long a battery will last when operating at different capacities.
Comparing different electric bikes models can be confusing when you don’t understand the terms and what they stand for.
Last Updated on February 22, 2022