How to increase the wooden ebike's range
So you love your wooden electric bicycle, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could go just a bit farther on a charge? Ebike batteries are constantly being improved as new technology is developed, but it seems that no matter how far you can go, a little more ebike range is always better.
The good news is that there are a number of simple things you can do to improve your ebike range and get every last electron from your battery. While we always upgrade parts on our wooden electric bicycles to increase the range, simple riding behavioral changes can also have a huge impact on ebike’s range.
Each time you accelerate you are using comparatively way more energy than just standard cruising. By taking a few seconds longer to get up to speed, you keep the amount of power used by your battery much lower. This not only leaves more energy in the battery for a longer ride, it also helps keep the battery cooler, which lets it use that same energy more efficiently. And better efficiency = better ebike range.
Coasting drastically increases your ebike range
When you know you’ll be coming to a stop ahead, such as before a traffic light or stop sign, let off the throttle in advance and coast to the stop. Riding full throttle until the moment you start braking is wasting precious battery energy.
Slow down a bit (and enjoy life)
If you aren’t in a hurry and you aren’t trying to keep up with traffic for safety reasons, try slowing down just a tad. Even a couple kilometers per hour will make a significant decrease in the amount of energy you are using to maintain that speed.
Energy use vs speed isn’t linear, so dropping your speed by just 5% is actually saving a good deal more than 5% of your energy. In other words, slowing down a couple miles per hour can have a big affect on your ebike range.
Keep your tires pumped up
Tires that are kept at their maximum air pressure rating have less rolling resistance, meaning your battery wastes less energy getting you moving. I’m still trying to find a study of bicycle tire pressure vs energy usage, but similar studies conducted using car tires have consistently indicated an increase in range of about 3%.
If this data holds true for bicycles as well, that means if you have a current ebike range of 30 kilometers, keeping your tires maxed out could add an entire kilometer to your range. Who wouldn’t take an extra kilometer for free?
Keep your battery fully charged whenever possible
Lithium batteries, like any battery, will obviously get the most range when they are completely topped off at 100% charge. You aren’t going to go as far on half a tank, so to speak.
Some people get by with just charging their battery once a week if they are only making short trips throughout the week. The problem with this method is that the battery sits in a partially discharged state for much of its life. This means that if you suddenly want (or need) to make a long trip, you could be in trouble.
My rule of thumb is “if you used your bike that day, charge it that night”.
When I come home from a ride, my battery generally goes right on the charger. This also helps me not forget to charge the night before and end up waking to a mostly discharged battery in the morning. That feeling isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it’s close.
Keep a second, smaller charger on your ebike
I like to use a powerful charger with a big cooling fan at home (even though my wife hates the noisy fan…) but I sometimes take a smaller charger with me if I know I’ll be out somewhere with a place to charge after a long trip. This just helps me keep my battery topped off. Even putting 10-20% back into your battery during the day will help keep the health of your battery up, not to mention adding 10-20% to your ebike’s range.
All of these tips should help you increase the range of the wooden electric bike.