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Electric bikes have been around for a while, but it wasn’t until lithium rechargeable batteries advanced that they were able to offer the power, energy storage, lightweight construction, energy-efficient brushless motors, and in some cases, regenerative braking systems that increased energy efficiency even further.
Though they may vary from state to state (or from nation to nation), the laws and regulations governing electric bikes are not the subject of this article.
There are a few key features to look for when purchasing an electric bike, including:
– Battery: Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries with voltages of 12 to 48 volts (or more) and capacities of up to 10 to 20 Ah (or even more) are the most common source of power for electric bikes.
Some electric bikes include batteries that have even greater voltages, which increases energy efficiency and allows the batteries to store more energy without needing extra parallel connections.
For instance, the 48V 10Ah LiFePO4 battery, made up of 32 3.2V 5.0Ah cells, uses 16S2P construction, in which 16 cells are connected in series and two sets of those cells are internally connected in parallel to produce a battery pack with a nominal capacity of 10Ah and a nominal voltage of 51.2 volts.
Despite being among the safest lithium rechargeable batteries available, lithium iron phosphate batteries have an internal Battery Management System (BMS) that keeps an eye on the cells and the entire battery and guards against undesirable events like overheating, overcharging, over-discharging, overcurrent, and similar ones.
BMS additionally guarantees the battery’s cell balance.
Rechargeable lithium polymer batteries, which offer superior discharge characteristics to lithium iron phosphate batteries, are even offered by some manufacturers with their electric bikes. Lithium polymer batteries shouldn’t, however, be left unattended when charging. Additionally, they must be kept and transported in fireproof bags; for me, this is reason enough to search for an electric bike powered by a LiFePO4 battery.
Although most models offer charging with currents between 0.25 and 0.5C, charging duration is dependent on the battery’s Depth of Discharge (DoD). In order to extend the battery’s lifespan, faster charging is not advised.
Recall that lithium polymer batteries are typically charged at currents of 0.5 to 1.0 C, but certain models support even quicker charging. Once more, when charging Lipo batteries, keep an eye on them.
Lithium batteries are widely known for their capacity to cycle, particularly when they are not fully depleted, when they are charged using the right lithium battery chargers, and when they are kept in cool environments.
Each battery has a different real charging/discharging cycle count, which should be verified.
The bike’s range is heavily influenced by the user’s weight and the terrain, but it is often stated for flat terrain and for lighter riders.
It’s great that certain manufacturers provide information about range when customers of different weights use the bike. Not all companies, though, do it!
Range varies according to riding mode, however it is often stated for full electric mode.
The existence of a USB charger, which enables the user to recharge any device with a USB charging connection, and safety keys, which enable the user to turn off the battery and so increase the safety of the electric bike, are additional features of a good battery.
In order to put it simply, look at the battery’s voltage, capacity, energy stored, supported number of charging/discharging cycles, bike range, chemistry, and other features.
– The weight of a bike varies depending on the type of bike, battery size, frame material and construction, motor type, and other factors.
The average bike weighs between 30 and 70 pounds (13 to 14 kg) for full-size mountain/commuter bikes and 60 to 70 pounds (27 to 32 kg) for smaller cycles.
– The User’s Weight, which consists of the rider’s weight plus any additional weight, is the bike’s maximum load capacity (backpack, for example).
The typical range for maximum load capacity is 200–400 pounds (91–181 kg), with the majority of bikes supporting loads up to 250–300 pounds (113–136 kg).
However, bike capabilities like maximum slope, top speed, range, and acceleration are weight-dependent; the slower the bike, the heavier the user, and the steeper the slope.
– Motor: The majority of contemporary electric bikes have maintenance-free brushless motors that use little to no energy.
The output power of electric motors, which typically ranges from 150W for tiny, lightweight bikes to 1500+W electric bikes intended for professional riders, is their most crucial attribute.
It should be noted that the top and lower motor power limits for electric bikes and motorcycles may differ.