Updated: May 26, 2020
Imagine: it’s a beautiful day, the sun is shining and you’re cruising down a wide open path on a e-wooden bicycle. You and your ebike crest a hill and begin the descent as the whoosh of a gentle breeze rustles the leaves around you. The weather is fantastic and so you decided to take a longer scenic route. The birds are singing in the trees, admiring the wooden bike as you cruise off towards the horizon.
Then disaster strikes! Your battery gauge flickers and then the lights abruptly go out. The battery is empty and there’s not an outlet in sight!
You gasp and awake abruptly in a cold sweat. It was a nightmare, just a dream. But a scary dream nonetheless. That fear of running out of battery before you’ve reached your destination is known as “range anxiety” and it affects thousands of electric vehicle owners.
Range anxiety and electric bicycles
Electric bicycles have one big advantage over other electric vehicles when it comes to range anxiety: pedals. If your battery ever dies in the middle of a ride, you can always pedal to your destination. However, depending on where you are this can be easier said than done.
For many people, pedaling either isn’t an option. For others, pedaling still isn’t a very convenient option.
The wooden bikes are heavy and use direct drive motors which can make them extra hard to pedal without any motor assistance. When I pedal my electric wooden bike, I have to keep it in low gear and go slowly if I’m not using any motor assist. It’s great exercise, but if I’m on my way to work or running errands then I’m usually not in the mood for some strenuous aerobic fitness.
Electric bicycles also allow people to travel to places they normally wouldn’t think of visiting on a regular bicycle. With increased range, speed and power, ebikes open up a whole new world of possibilities. I love climbing big hills on my ebike and then flying down the other side. This often takes me to new places in Crete that I never would have seen on a regular bicycle. The problem is that running out of battery here would mean I’m far away from home and in terrain that is very unfriendly to pedaling a heavy wooden bike.
A lot of people use their electric bicycles for errands around town. Running out of battery can be a huge inconvenience when you’re trying to get somewhere on time or have a full load of groceries.
There’s no two ways about it, range anxiety can have a big effect on people who use their ebikes regularly. But don’t worry, there are things you can do to calm yourself and better prepare both yourself and your ebike.
Beat range anxiety, know your limits
One of the most important ways to remove the worry of running out of battery is to know exactly how much battery you have left.