Size Matters (What Size E Bike Battery Should I Get?)

May 16, 2019

Riese & Muller Culture GT Vario e bike

The battery for your electric bike is your fuel tank. Without it your e-bike will not work and if it runs out then you have a heavy bike to pedal home. E Bike batteries are the single most expensive component on your ebike and the bigger the battery, generally the higher the cost of the bike. So, what size battery is the right one for you? 

All the ebikes that we sell at Electric Bikes Brisbane have high quality lithium ion batteries (the cells are from a global manufacturer). They come in many shapes and sizes depending on the design of the ebike, ranging from 250Wh (7Ah) to 1,125Wh (31Ah). 

Does Size Matter? (E Bike Battery Size)

Riese & Muller Packster 60 cargo e bike 

Does e bike battery size matter?

Yes. There is no point in getting an ebike if you are going to run out of battery every time you ride it. 

When you come to buying think about these two questions: 

1. How far is your longest expected trip, and how likely will you want to have high power settings at your disposal to use?

For example, if you plan on carrying loads and / or live in a hilly or windy area you will probably want to have higher power at your disposal. If so, think about getting a bigger battery.

Are you planning on going touring? If so, you definitely want the biggest 'fuel tank' that you can. Access to a power source to recharge is not always guaranteed and you also want some contingency if you strike terrain that you weren't expecting to need so much power for. 

2. If your ebike purchase is going to be a long-term investment, think about how many kms you want to be riding in two years time when your warranty expires?

The range in your battery will reduce by 60%-80% by the end of two years so if you still want good range by then we recommend you consider getting the bigger battery. 

How Far will an E Bike Battery Take Me?

Orbea Gain carbon road e bike

How much range – or how many km’s you can ride under power before going flat – depends on a number of factors and is often different for each rider.

Three general rules:

The more sophisticated the technology, the further the battery range

In our experience an ebike with a simple rear drive motor and a 11Ah battery will allow you to comfortably travel between 30 – 60km. Contrast this to an ebike with a Bosch mid-drive motor which could take you as far as 120km on that same battery size.

More recently, electric road bikes have arrived on the scene and people are astounded by how small their batteries are. What is more astounding though is that most of our customers are easily riding the long distances that roadies are renowned for on the standard battery. It's all about the technology!

Power junkies beware - Using higher power settings means less range

Bosch Kiox Display

Riding in higher power levels will reduce your range. Most range estimates are quoted in the Eco or the lowest setting so you will need to adjust the range estimates for the riding you are likely to do. Riding in higher power levels may be necessary due to headwinds, lots of hills or if you are carrying heavier weights/ loads. Or if you just love riding as fast as you can, but it is something to factor into your choice if this is your likely ride.

Battery age - the older the e bike battery the less range

As your battery ages the range that you can expect from it will decrease, like your phone and computer which also have batteries made with lithium ion. Most manufacturers warrant their batteries for two years and a reduction to 60% - 80% capacity at the end of two years is expected, depending on the brand.

All batteries accompanying our electric bikes are new however this is something to be aware of if purchasing second hand, or if you intend to be riding long distances in a couple of years. If this is the case perhaps consider getting an e bike with dual battery capacity like a Riese & Muller or a Focus.

The range that you can get on an e bike can depend on many factors. Rather than focusing on how many kms the seller quotes - think firstly on what range you need. Ask the salesperson, who should understand how efficient the overall system is, to nominate a couple of options that will meet that need.

You may not need to pay for that expensive battery upgrade after all.  Or you may avoid being disappointed that your ebike doesn't do what you hoped it would if you decide to go for a larger one. 

Back to the E Bike Buyers Guide

Also see Electric Bike Battery Care

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