In most cases, the watt rating on an electric bike, e-scooter, e-vehicles’ motor means how much energy the motor can consume continuously. This continuous watt rating is different from a peak watt rating that describes how much energy the motor can consume in a peak or in short periods of time.
An electric bike/scooter motor might reach its peak watt rating when accelerating, climbing a steep hill or similar.
So, when you are choosing your new e-bike/e-scooter make sure continuous or peak watts are being reported separately. Let’s take one of our superb Skywalker e-scooter as an example, its motor is rated for 250 watts of continuous power but has a peak rating of 500 watts, meaning you’ll feel 500W only when accelerating or more power needed.
While the wattage rating shows how “powerful” an electric bike feels like, the wheels power could be different for the same watt rating on a hub-drive or mid-drive bikes configuration.
“A hub motor is situated in the hub of one of the bike’s wheels, providing propulsion by spinning whichever wheel to which it’s attached. As electric bikes first began gaining popularity, these were the most frequently used type of motor,” explains chapter five of “The Complete Electric Bike Buyer’s Guide.”
In contrast, “mid-drive motors drive power to the bike’s drivetrain, typically at the crankset. By directly powering the bike’s cranks, mid-drive motors work in tight coordination with the bike’s already existing gears, amplifying the mechanical advantage they provide. This becomes particularly helpful when it comes to climbing steep hills or navigating extended inclines,” according to the buyer’s guide.
Therefore, an e-bike with a mid-drive motor 350W of continuous consumption may have more “power” than a 500W or even 750W hub-drive electric bike.
“batteries usually have volts in sequences of 12 such as 12, 24, 36, 48,” explained Michael Geurts, adding, “volts pretty much mean power — how powerful a battery can be, but it also lends to top speed.”
“A 48V battery will not likely propel an electric bike 80 Km/hr because it simply doesn’t have enough pressure to rotate a wheel that many revolutions. If you climb up steep hills, a 48V battery will outperform a 36V because the 36 [volt] system will be working harder to produce the same results,” Geurts said.
Amp hours indicates the capacity of the electric bike’s battery. You might even think of amp hours as the fuel tank or the range for the bike.
“A battery with a capacity of 1 amp-hour should be able to continuously supply a current of 1 amp to a load for exactly 1 hour, or 2 amps for 1/2 hour, or 1/3 amp for 3 hours, etc., before becoming completely discharged,” wrote Tony R. Kuphaldt in the “Lessons in Electric Circuits” textbook available on All About Circuits.
“In an ideal battery, this relationship between continuous current and discharge time is stable and absolute, but real batteries don’t behave exactly as this simple linear formula would indicate. Therefore, when amp-hour capacity is given for a battery, it is specified at either a given current, given time, or assumed to be rated for a time period of 8 hours (if no limiting factor is given),” according Kuphaldt.
For an electric bike “higher amp hours generally means higher range,” said Geurts. But it “is not an exact mathematical formula for volts and speed and amp hours and distance…bikes and especially riders are not that precise.”
Each battery type has its own life span, e-bike battery life expectancy is mainly determined by the battery type. The most commonly used batteries are:
lithium batteries: tend to become widespread and may hold up to 1000 charge cycles, or even more for the latest Lithium Iron Phosphate models ( this is a theoretical indication)
nickel batteries: expect around 500 cycles
lead batteries (on first-generation electric bicycles): expect around 300 cycles
Throttle mode is similar to how a motorcycle or scooter operates. When the throttle is engaged the motor provides power and propels you and the bike forward.
A throttle allows you to pedal or just kick back and enjoy a “free” ride! Most throttles can be fine-tuned like a volume dial between low and full power.
Pedal assist, also called pedelec, will provide you power only when you are pedalling. If you are used to riding a traditional bike, the pedal assist mode has a more intuitive feel compared to the throttle mode.
Since you have to pedal, the pedal assist mode will generally give you more range when compared to the throttle mode, the feeling will be like riding a conventional bike but easier. They come with different levels of assistance, generally they come with 3 levels of assistance, more levels are available also.
Low pedal assist, you’ll feel a little assist while you provide more pedal power and get more of a workout.
Medium pedal assist, you’ll have a nice tailwind everywhere you go.
High pedal assist, it will give you the speed feeling with a little effort.
The pedelec or pedal assist, could be a great tool to keep you fit without the stress, knee pain. Also good, for the adventurous ones taking the journey beyond the limits of a conventional bike.
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According to VicRoads definitions:
“Definition of a power assisted bicycle
A power assisted bicycle is identical to a pedal powered bicycle, except it has an auxiliary motor. Power assisted bicycles have two definitions in Victoria:
A pedal cycle with one or more auxiliary propulsion motors attached which has a combined maximum power output not exceeding 200 watts.
A bicycle certified as a Pedalec (compliant with European Committee for Standardization EN 15194:2009 or EN 15194:2009+A1:2011 Cycles - Electrically power assisted cycles - EPAC Bicycles). This bicycle features an auxiliary power producing no more than 250 watts and specifies this as a continuous rating. It also restricts the top power assisted speed to 25 kilometres per hour and requires the rider to pedal to access the power”
Note that all our e-vehicles are in compliance with VicRoads regulations and hold EN 15194:2009+A1:2011 Cycles