36 Volt 12 AH Lithium Battery. 12v e bike battery

Volt 12 AH Lithium Battery

in combo with our complete motor kits

Lithium-ion Rack Mounted 36V 12 AH Battery Pack

The 36 volt electric bicycle lithium battery with NCM Li[NiMnCo]O2 12 AH Cylindrical Cells and a 2 amp charger provides the absolute best in quality and price. At 420 this makes for simply the best Electric Bicycle Kit battery, at the best price, on the market today! Longest lasting, most cost effective, battery solution on the market. Complete with an 18 month warranty!

36V 12Ah Lithium Battery Rechargeable Pack Integrated BMS with cell balancing function. BMS cutoff current: 40 amps Recommended max continuous discharge: 30 amps Dimension: 14″L x 5.875″W x 2 3/4″H Weight: 9 lbs Connectors: Anderson Powerpole Includes FREE 2 amp charger

GoCarLite Price: 420.00 with 2amp charger. PayPal account not required to order with credit card, Click here to go to purchase page.

Contact Doug, the owner of Electric Bike Solutions, at the numbers and email below. Email: [email protected] Office/Cell: (707) 290-9764

Additional Information

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Can I Charge an eBike Battery in My Car?

Before asking “Can I charge an eBike battery in my car?”, you might wanna check out our Best Electric Bike Solar Charger Options article first. There you’ll find much better and easier ways to charge an electric bike on the go.

People are going on holiday with their e-bikes so they can explore their destination on two wheels. The fact that so many tourist spots now cater to e-bikers as a potential target group isn’t a coincidence, with specially marked routes and tour suggestions.

That’s why more and more campers are taking their own eBikes. That’s no surprise: your own pedelec is safer than renting a local bike. Easily transportable in a car or on a bike rack. Once you get there, it broadens your holiday options.

But what happens when the battery runs out? You have a few options. A campsite pitch is obviously the most obvious: it’s easy to hook up, it’s easy to use, and you rarely have to worry about the charging infrastructure.

When you want to charge your e-bike through your car, things get a little more complicated. In a car, for example, the standard 12 V connection is no longer sufficient for charging a phone or laptop since e-bike chargers almost always require 230 V. So make sure your car is prepared for e-bike charging. “Inverter” or voltage transformer is the key word here.

Can I charge an eBike battery in my car?

So, can I charge an eBike battery in my car? The quick answer is yes.

You can charge your ebike battery using a 12-volt car socket if you’re on the go or driving out of town. Typically, 12 V car cigarette/accessory sockets can only handle about 150 watts of power (12 V Car battery x 15 A fuse = 150-180 Watts).

Use an in-car inverter if your battery charger is lower voltage and amperage. An 18 V 2-amp cigarette socket will draw about 90 watts of power, compared to a typical 150 watt cigarette socket. You’ll probably blow the fuse in your car if you use a higher amp charger or higher voltage battery.

Remember that even a small inverter will drain a car battery pretty fast, so you should run your car/truck to keep the alternator going, which keeps the car battery charged. You’d be right if you thought this was a bad way to charge an electric bike battery! But if you’re in a bind, or if you’re driving long distances anyway with your ebike, this might help.

How to charge ebike off a car?

You can charge your ebike battery in your car by plugging it into the 12-volt socket inside. You’ll need a standard 600W car inverter for your ebike if your battery charger has low power and voltage.

Around 150 watts of power comes from a 12V car socket, while 90 watts comes from a 36 Volts 2-amp ebike battery.

What size inverter to use to charge an electric bike?

To charge an electric bike, a 350-watt inverter should be enough. Those inverters are great because they charge an eBike without damaging anything inside.

I hope these tips have helped dispel some range anxiety you may have had with your electric bike, whether it was just a quick charge to get home or a trip across the country. Happy riding!

Nick Ylac Gutladera — Lead Writer

Nick got his start by stealing his father’s dirt bike and riding it around the neighbourhood at the tender age of 11. These day’s he’s got a full license, so the cops mostly leave him alone. On weekends, he races pit bikes, enduro bikes, and anything else with a motor. Nick’s been a journalist and professional writer since 2017.

Beauty Blog was launched in dec of 2017 as a comprehensive beauty blog covering trends, tips and tricks, insider secrets, and weekly must-haves.

Can I Charge My E-Bikes in a Motorhome When Camping?

It seems no matter where you camp these days, you’ll see an e-bike whizzing by your campsite. Riding the bike is the easy part, but dealing with charging an e-bike in a motorhome can be difficult. It brings on a whole new element when it comes to your electrical system.

Let’s look at whether or not you can charge e-bikes in a motorhome or when camping.

Can You Charge an E-Bike in Your Motorhome or RV?

Yes, if you’re at a campsite with electric hookups, it likely won’t be a problem. It’s easy to charge e-bikes in motorhomes or RVs after a long day of using them. By the next day, your e-bike will be ready to go.

If you’re not camping with hookups, you can still charge your e-bike with your motorhome or RV. Most e-bikes are pretty efficient, just sipping power instead of gulping it. Many e-bikes also have an automatic shut-off installed, so they don’t continue charging after full. That way, you can set it and forget it.

If you want to charge from solar power you might need to make some adaptations, such as using an inverter to convert DC voltage to AC, so keep that in mind before heading out.

How Much Power Do You Need to Charge Your E-Bike?

The amount of power you’ll need to charge your e-bike is primarily determined by how powerful of an e-bike you have. Larger e-bikes that can go longer distances, faster speeds, and carry more weight require more power to charge them.

Typically an e-bike battery will require 500-800 watt-hours for a full charge. Many e-bikes use lithium-ion batteries, which can charge incredibly fast. A fully depleted lithium-ion battery can take anywhere from 3.5 to 6 hours to recharge.

But if the bike uses lithium-ion batteries, you don’t always need to recharge to 100%. The battery charges to 90 percent capacity very quickly, and the last 10% takes much longer because it charges at a lower wattage. So, depending on the lithium battery size, your e-bike could be at 90% after approximately 2.5 hours and is ready to use!

How Can You Charge Your E-Bike When Camping

Camping with an e-bike can be both practical and incredibly fun. However, not all campsites will gift you access to unlimited power. If you prefer off-grid camping, you’ll have to find your own means of charging the battery. Let’s look at a few popular ways to charge your e-bike when camping.

volt, lithium, battery, bike

Use a Power Outlet (Shore Power)

This is one of the most common ways RVers charge their e-bikes while camping. If you’re plugging your RV into a power pedestal, you likely won’t have to worry about a power source. There are rare circumstances where the power is out to the campground, but for the most part, you’ll practically have an unlimited supply of power to charge your e-bike and other electronics.

Solar Panels

Charging things with solar power is super cool. Solar panels can create significant power that RVers often use to charge their RV’s battery bank on a clear day. However, you could use this same technology to charge your e-bike.

You’ll need a solar panel, a charge controller, RV battery bank, inverter, and, of course, an e-bike battery. This charging method is excellent if you’re at your campsite, but it won’t do much good if you’re out and about. You likely won’t want to carry a solar panel and charge controller around with you, and it will take several hours to get a sufficient charge from it.

→ Read RV Solar Panels: A Guide For Beginners to get started with solar power!

RV Battery Bank (Off-Grid)

You can use your motorhome battery bank to charge your e-bikes when off the grid. You will need an RV battery inverter to be able to do this and convert your battery’s 12V power to 110V AC that your e-bike battery charger needs. However, not all RV battery banks will be able to fully charge a 500-800 watt-hour e-bike battery without fully draining themselves or even causing damage.

For instance, two 12V lead-acid batteries have about 1200 watt-hours of usable energy at a low draw (less for high-powered appliances). They should not be drained below 50% capacity. This means that charging an e-bike battery in an off-grid motorhome would mostly drain those batteries if they were fully charged. Depending on how fast the e-bike charger draws, you could experience even less lead-acid battery capacity due to the Puekert effect.

volt, lithium, battery, bike

Conversely, two 12V Battle Born lithium-ion batteries have about 2600 watt-hours of usable energy and can be drained 100% without damage. They also can handle heavier power draws without the Puekert effect.

Using batteries to charge batteries enables using “buckets” of power that can pass energy from one to another. Usually an RV battery bank has alternative energy sources like solar and generator to provide energy. Many times you want to charge an E-bike overnight and use it during the day. Using an RV battery bank can store solar energy from the day to charge the bike at night.

Car Battery Inverter

If you don’t have access to power but have a 12V system in your vehicle with an inverter, it could be an excellent option for charging your e-bike. Many newer vehicles include a 110V electrical plug for users, which can charge laptops, phones. Keep in mind that many of these inverters are too small for an E-bike. You might need to

It’s important to note; these systems can quickly drain a vehicle’s battery. You must keep the vehicle running while using this charging method. If not, there’s a good chance you’ll have a somewhat charged e-bike and a completely drained vehicle battery.


The loudest (and often most annoying) option is a generator to charge your e-bike. This is a popular method because generators are relatively inexpensive and can produce significant power. Many generators rely on gasoline to keep their engine running, but there are also diesel and propane generators.

Many inverter generators will include electrical outlets on them so that you can plug your e-bike battery directly into the generator. This will quickly charge your battery, and you’ll be back on your e-bike in no time.

volt, lithium, battery, bike

How Often Should You Charge Your E-Bike?

Get in the habit of regularly charging your e-bike battery. If you charge it after every ride, you should be set. While you could fully discharge your e-bike’s lithium battery without causing permanent damage, try not to let it sit below 30% capacity. You don’t want to find yourself stranded because your e-bike’s battery couldn’t make the distance. Many e-bikes encourage users to rotate between charging at 30% and 60% to help increase an e-bike’s battery life and keep you safe on the road.

The most important feature of an e-bike is that it’s ready to go when you are. You don’t want to be waiting around for your e-bike to charge, so having a plan for keeping it charged will set you up for success.

Will Leaving Your E-Bike Charging Overnight Damage the Battery?

Most electronics these days can shut down charging once a battery is full. If your e-bike has a lithium-ion battery, you should verify that you can leave your charger plugged in overnight. Overcharging any type of battery can cause serious damage to the battery, so make sure yours will automatically stop charging at full if you’re going to leave it plugged in overnight.

If you have any questions regarding your specific e-bike battery, consult your e-bike’s documentation or call customer service.

Is Bringing Your E-Bike Camping Worth It?

Yes, bringing an e-bike camping is definitely worth it. Whether you want to go for a relaxing ride around the campground or to scout out a potential boondocking spot, it’s a great tool to have on hand. Even if you see your e-bike as more of a toy than a tool, it can be a great way to enhance your camping experience.

You should check any local campground regulations regarding e-bikes before bringing one with you. You don’t want to discover that your campground prohibits riding e-bikes on the premises. As speeds increase with e-bikes, some campgrounds will have e-bike rules or even bans, so check the campground rules before you ride.

Overall, an e-bike can be a great way to get around a campground, travel into town, or go for a relaxing bike ride. E-bikes are flying off the shelves, and more and more RVers have found room for them in their storage bays. Having a solid plan for efficient power usage will take all the stress out of using your e-bike.

Electric Bicycle Batteries: Lithium Vs. Lead Acid Batteries

When it comes to electric bicycle batteries, you’ve got two main options: lithium batteries and lead acid batteries. Sure, there are a few other types of ebike batteries out there, but the main two types you’ll see all over the place remain lithium and lead acid. Of course lithium batteries and lead acid batteries each come with their own distinct advantages and disadvantages, and knowing the difference will help you decide which is best for your ebike.

Lithium ebike batteries

There are many different types of lithium ebike batteries to choose from. I’ll give a short summary of the different types of electric bicycle specific lithium batteries here, but you can get a more detailed description as well as the pros and cons of each type of lithium battery in my article Not All Lithium Batteries Were Created Equal.

Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4)

LiFePO4 batteries are some of the heaviest and most expensive lithium batteries, but are also the safest and longest lasting.

Lithium Manganese Oxide (LiMn2O4) and Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (LiNiMnCoO2)

LiMn2O4 and LiNiMnCoO2 batteries fall into the mid range of lithium batteries in terms of size, weight, safety, lifespan and cost. They are a good middle ground in nearly all regards.

RC Lithium Polymer batteries (RC LiPo)

LiPo’s are the smallest, cheapest, lightest and most powerful lithium batteries. Their disadvantages include short lifespan and propensity to combust into giant fireballs if not cared for correctly (I’m not kidding, check out the short video clip below).

Benefits of lithium batteries

Now that we’ve got the summary of different types of lithium batteries out of the way, lets look at how these lithium batteries stack up as a whole.

One of the first advantages of lithium batteries is their small size. You can fit a lot of lithium on a bicycle frame. This alone can give your ebike some seriously impressive range. Two or three mid to large capacity lithium batteries could easily fit on one ebike, giving potential ranges of 100 miles (160 km) or more. I guess this would be great for people that don’t mind sitting on their bike for three to five hours at a time, or that for some reason don’t want to charge up for weeks (hey, when riding your ebike through a zombie apocalypse, the last thing you want to be doing is searching for an outlet).

Lithium batteries made specially for ebikes often come with specific bicycle mounting points making them easy to bolt to the bike frame, seat post or rear rack. If you go with a different type of lithium battery without ebike specific mounts, you’ll likely have to put it in a bag on the bike, which is still a good option, and one that I even prefer sometimes. (Link to blog post of mine about center frame triangle batteries).

Lithium batteries are also small enough to allow you to place your batteries pretty much anywhere on your bike. This is especially true for people who want to assemble their own pack or use heat shrink wrapped lithium batteries instead of hard case lithium batteries with prefabricated bicycle frame mounts. This can help spread the weight around or hide the batteries to make a stealthier bike.

Lithium batteries (with the exception of RC LiPos) last much longer than lead acid batteries. LiPo batteries are usually only rated for a few hundred charge cycles but LiFePO4 batteries keep going after thousands of charge cycles. Every manufacturer rates their batteries differently, but most LiFePO4 ebike batteries will be rated for between 1,500 to 2,200 charge cycles.

Disadvantages of lithium electric bicycle batteries

A big downside of lithium batteries is that they are much more expensive than lead acid batteries. vary depending on the voltage and capacity of the lithium battery, but standard ebikes usually have lithium batteries starting in the 300 range and rising quickly from there. Most bikes I build have lithium batteries in the 400-500 range.

However, when you factor in the shorter life cycle of lead acid batteries, they become comparable to lithium batteries over the entire life of the electric bicycle. For example, a lithium battery may cost five times the price of a lead acid battery, but it could easily last five times as long as well, making the price about the same over the life of the lithium battery. You’d have to buy at least four replacement lead acid batteries (maybe even more) by the time your lithium battery finally kicks the can.

One other disadvantage of lithium batteries that isn’t talked about often, but should be, is their potential for theft. Lithium ebike batteries have become huge targets by bike thieves as a result of their combination of small size and high price tags (the same factors that keep shaving razor cartridges behind lock and key at the drug store). Thieves see an easy target and ample resale market, meaning you have to be extra careful about locking your ebike up and leaving it alone in public.

Lithium ebike battery partially removed from rack

Most lithium batteries that are designed to mount to ebikes also come with some form of locking system. These have varying degrees of effectiveness. The type with a little pin that slides into a thin sheet of steel are the easiest to steal by mangling the thin steel locking plate. Just take a look at your battery and ask yourself “how easily could I steal this battery if I had some basic hand tools and a 60 second window of opportunity?”

For this reason I like to either add a second lock specifically through the handle of my lithium battery (if it’s a removable style battery) or permanently secure it to the bike so it isn’t removable at all. The second option is less convenient because it means you have to bring the charger to the ebike, but it’s a much more secure option if you find yourself locking your ebike in public often.

Lead acid ebike batteries

When it comes to lead acid batteries for ebike use, you’ll generally be looking for what’s called a “sealed lead acid” or SLA battery. SLAs come sealed in a hard plastic case and can be turned in any orientation safely without leaking acid. This makes them appropriate for ebike use. Wet cell lead acid batteries, like many car batteries, would leak dangerous acid if turned on their side or upside down, making them a bad idea for use on an electric bicycle, which is a lot more likely to get knocked over than a car. Remember to stick with SLAs – not wet cell lead acid batteries – for electric bicycle use.

Lead acid batteries are much larger and heavier than lithium batteries, limiting their placement on ebikes. They almost never come packaged with ebike specific mounting hardware which means that they generally have to go in a bag on the rear rack or in panniers on either side if the rear wheel. Mounting them up high on the rack isn’t a good idea either because it will negatively affect handling. Generally speaking, you want to mount your batteries as low as possible to keep the center of gravity of the ebike lower towards the ground. This will significantly improve your ebike’s handling.

Advantages of lead acid batteries for ebikes

The biggest advantage of lead acid batteries is their price: dirt cheap. Lead acid batteries can be purchased from many different online retailers and local stores. Purchasing SLAs locally helps save on shipping and makes them even cheaper. Many hardware and electronic stores carry them. Even Radioshack has them, though you’ll pay more there.

Another advantage of lead acid batteries is their high power output potential. Lithium batteries generally don’t like to handle too much current. SLAs, on the other hand, can provide huge amounts of current. If you are planning a very high power electric bicycles, SLAs might be a good option for you.

Disadvantages of lead acid batteries for ebikes

One of the main disadvantages of lead acid batteries is their weight. There’s no beating around the bush here, SLAs are HEAVY, as you might guess by the inclusion of “lead” in the name. You’ll need a strong mounting solution on your ebike to handle the extra weight of SLAs. You should also be aware that lugging that extra weight around is going to negatively impact your range. The best way to improve the range of any electric vehicle is to reduce weight, and SLAs are kind of going the opposite way in that regard.

Another disadvantage of lead acid batteries is the shorter lifespan. Most claim to be rated for over 200 cycles, but in practice I usually find many SLAs start showing their age at around 100 cycles. They’ll still work as they get up in years (or charge cycles), but you’ll begin seeing your range quickly decreasing. If you were traveling 15 miles per charge when the SLAs were new, a year later you could find yourself barely getting past 10 miles.

SLAs come in 6V or 12V increments, meaning you have to build your battery pack by combining these smaller SLAs in series and/or parallel to get the specific voltage and capacity you’re aiming for. This can be both an advantage and disadvantage; it gives you more room for customization but requires some work to combine the individual SLA batteries together into a larger pack.

Who wins? That’s up to you

(…but it’s actually lithium)

When I’m experimenting with some new ebike parts and want to test different battery voltages for different speeds, I often use lead acid batteries because I can try many different voltages using very cheap batteries. Then when the results of my lead acid battery tests show me whether I want to go with 36V or 48V or 60V, for example, I then commit to buying the appropriate lithium battery.

There are only three instances where I recommend to use lead acid batteries instead of lithium

  • You are absolutely trying to build an ebike on a very tight budget
  • You are building an electric tricycle, which can easily carry SLAs without balance or stability issues
  • You want to test out different battery voltages on your system (make sure your controller can handle the voltage range)

For any other case, lithium batteries’ advantages greatly outweigh SLAs. Of course, for your specific ebike you might have other reasons that could sway you either way. At the end of the day, your ebike is all about you. I hope this information helps you make the right choice for your own battery needs.

About Micah

Micah is a mechanical engineer, tinkerer and husband. He’s spent the better part of a decade working in the electric bicycle industry, and is the author of The Ultimate DIY Ebike Guide. Micah can usually be found riding his electric bicycles around Florida, Tel Aviv, and anywhere else his ebikes wind up.

Комментарии и мнения владельцев

I have a GIO PB710/350w/500w bike. Is it possible to upgrade with a lithium battery? I mean Lithium battery will work with this or now?

Yes, you can upgrade a GIO PB710 with a lithium battery. You just want to make sure your battery is the same voltage as the original lead acid battery and that it can handle the current demanded by the bike’s controller.

Hi Micah, Do you have any charts showing the different weights by voltage for lead acid vs lithium? It would be good info to be able to see the penalty paid for cheap lead acid in a mid level build when compared to the equivalent lithium setup. I would prefer to go with lithium, but I have a couple of 75 volt (i think) cells from a UPS that are brand new. They are built from regular 12v (sixteen total) sealed lead units and would make the initial investment in an ebike that much more reasonable. One huge downside is that I hope to use the folding ebike in my homebuilt aircraft. As with ebikes, excess weight is to be avoided! As you sugested in one of your articles, using lead acid is a great way to prototype the build, so if I am happy with the performance if not the weight of the lead-acid, I can convert to lithium in the future and save some big weight. Thoughts? Jon

Yea lead acid is a great way to cheaply get into ebikes and test new motor/controller combinations. Keep in mind though that your performance will increase when you switch to lithium. It’s easy to do though, as the bike doesn’t care what chemistry it receives, it just sees volts and amps. Good luck!

Micah, I am new to the ofrum and to the ebike world so I would like to seek some advice please. I have recently bought a sondors fat bike to the UK and want to make some tweaks, I would like to upgrade the battery on a budget, I was thinking of 4 x 12v 5ah lead acid batteries in series, would this give me 48v 20ah or have I got this totally wrong? I want to replace the stock contoller for a 48v 25amp one, would this suffice? lastly it comes with a stock 350w bafang motor, if I make the battery and controller upgrades will the motor handle the increase in wattage? could I drill venting holes in the case cover to expell some heat? Your thoughts and advice would be most welcome, Regards, Wayne.

When you wire in series you only increase voltage, not amp hours. So you’d have a 48V 5AH pack in that setup. Not enough range, in my opinion. If you want my advice, the single best upgrade you can do to that bike is to replace the battery and controller for 48V units. It will give you about 30% more speed and power. You won’t need to drill vent holes or anything, that motor can handle 48V as long as you aren’t riding up any 5 mile long uphills with a 250 lb rider. Shorter uphills and flat land will be fine all day long.

Hello My friend I am having 36v lithium battery with 4.4 Ah(segway.balancing wheel battery pack ) but i want to convert this battery in to 36v with 9 ah is it possible to add one more 36v lithium 4.4 ah battery with this and i can use as 36v 8.8 ah battery. please help me iam not getting lithium battery in india for my e bike if am using SLA battery the distance coverage is very very less iam having 24v 250 watts brushless hub motor and 36v 500 watts hub motor please suggest me how and what battery i shoud use to cover atleast 25km thanks

You can certainly use a second 4.4AH battery in parallel to double your range, but you’ll want to make sure the batteries are at the same state of charge when you connect them in parallel, or use a diode in between them, to keep one battery from discharging the other if the charge states are unequal. The exact amount of range you’ll get per battery and motor varies greatly and depends on factors like terrain, speed, weight, etc. Suffice it to say though that if you double your current battery capacity, you’ll see an approximate doubling of your range as well.

Electric bike FAQs: your top ebike questions answered

If you’re wanting to ride further, take more exercise or avoid using public transport, but want more control over the effort involved in cycling, an electric bike could be the perfect solution.

An ebike provides electric assistance as you pedal, via a small motor and battery. You can also tailor the amount of assistance you receive, depending on your desired speed, your fitness or the length of your ride and the terrain. There’s an increasing range of ebike models out there that will cater to everyone from the casual rider to the more serious mountain biker, road rider or tourer.

As with any emerging technology, buying an electric bike can be a confusing process. How can you make sure you’re getting the right bike for you and what are the key things to look out for? We’ve answered 14 of the most important ebike questions in this electric bike guide. Use one of the links below to skip to your question or read on for the full FAQs. Otherwise, check out our buyer’s guide to the best electric bikes.

How fast can an electric bike go?

In the UK, the EU and Australia, the motor on an ebike has to stop providing assistance at 25kph (15mph). Above that speed you’re required to pedal by your own steam. But if you live in the US, the motor can legally keep going up to 32kph (20mph).

If you’re fit enough to keep up a pace beyond that speed under your own pedal power, or you’re maybe going downhill, there’s nothing to stop you going faster, although you’ll want to make sure that you’re fully in control because an ebike’s extra weight can increase stopping distances compared to a regular pedal-powered bike.

Some ebikes are designed with this in mind. Canyon’s Endurace:ON AL has longer chainstays and disc brakes with 160mm rotors in an attempt to help keep it more planted when descending.

Some ebikes are designed to travel faster than 25kph (15mph) and have more powerful motors, while some designs have motor output controlled by a twist-grip ‘throttle’ on the bars, but these are legally considered to be mopeds.

In the UK and EU, you need to have a licence and insurance to ride them, and you must wear a helmet and have paid relevant vehicle taxes.

Do I have to pedal to get assistance on my electric bike?

We’re sorry to have to break it to you, but yes you do. An ebike assists your pedalling rather than taking over completely. If you don’t need to pedal, it’s classified as a moped – see the next question below.

An ebike will have a torque sensor built into its drivetrain, to measure how much effort the rider is applying to the pedals. Then the motor’s output will be regulated to match this, so it doesn’t take over and provides power in a measured way to reflect how you are riding.

You have control over how much extra push the motor is providing. On Canyon’s Spectral:ON e-mountain bike you use a controller on the left side of the handlebar to select from three different levels of assistance. So you might select a higher level of support to get you to the top of a trail, then drop it back to conserve your battery and enjoy the ride down the other side.

The motor means there’s a substantial reduction in the effort you need to put in. Select the highest assistance level and you should be able to keep up a reasonable pace without working up a sweat, meaning that you won’t arrive at the office a damp mess if you’re commuting.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for more of a workout or want to extend the range of your ride, selecting a lower assistance level will mean that you’re putting in more effort. And you can always use the controller on the bars or frame to switch between levels mid-ride to match your mood, the terrain or how fit you’re feeling that day.

volt, lithium, battery, bike

Do I need a driving licence to ride an ebike on the roads?

If you’re over 14 in England, Scotland and Wales, you can ride an electric bike on the road without tax, insurance or a licence, although it’s always a good idea to have insurance against personal accident and third-party damages. You don’t need to wear a helmet by law.

All that applies to a ‘standard’ electric bike or EAPC (electrically assisted pedal cycle), where you need to pedal, which has a motor that provides up to 250 watts of assistance and where motor assistance is speed limited to 25kph (15mph).

An electric bike doesn’t have a throttle. Instead, the amount of power that the motor delivers is determined by how hard you are pedalling and the assistance level chosen.

Any ebike that doesn’t meet EAPC criteria is classified as a moped or motorcycle. You need to tax it and have a licence and insurance to ride it, and you also need to wear a crash helmet.

If you live in Northern Ireland, ebikes were previously treated like mopeds and required a licence. You also needed to register, tax and insure them, and display the registration mark before you can ride them on public roads.

However, as of 13 May 2020, those regulations have been changed to bring Northern Ireland in line with the rest of the UK – tax, insurance or a licence is no longer required.

There’s a range of different rules in other countries too, so it’s best to check local regulations.

How long will a charged ebike battery typically last?

All bike brands will offer an estimate of how long a particular model’s battery will last. Real-world battery life depends on a range of factors, however. Canyon

That depends on the type of bike, the battery capacity, the ambient temperature and how you use it: a fit rider on flattish roads or trails may be riding without assistance a lot of the time, whereas a less fit rider on hilly terrain is likely to be calling on the motor to help a lot more.

With a legal cut-off of assistance at 25kph (around 15mph) in many countries, road riders could easily exceed this without using the motor, whereas mountain bikers on technical trails will be calling on their motors more.

In short, it depends on your fitness, riding style and the terrain. However, as an example, Canyon claims its new Endurace:ON AL road bike and Grand Canyon:ON cross-country mountain bike will both cover up to 100km on a single charge.

The Roadlite:ON hybrid commuter bike’s battery will last for up to eight hours, according to Canyon, while the Pathlite:ON e-trekking bike with the optional second battery will carry you up to 150km, it says.

How do I charge my ebike?

Your ebike will be sold with a power adaptor and power cable to plug into the mains. There’s a socket on the battery that you attach it to. With some electric bikes you need to remove or partially remove the battery to plug it in, but on others there’s a socket built into the frame too.

If you don’t have a power outlet where you park your ebike, many systems let you quickly and easily remove the battery and take it indoors or somewhere closer to a mains socket.

How long your ebike takes to charge up will depend on the battery capacity and the charger used. Canyon says you can fully charge the battery on its new Endurace:ON AL electric road bike in 3.5 hours.

The Neuron:ON alloy eMTB charges up in 7.5 hours, with an 80 per cent charge taking 4 hours. You can halve those numbers by using a fast charger, often sold separately.

Are electric bikes heavier than normal bikes?

An electric bike needs to have a motor and a battery. These will always make it heavier than a standard bike. In addition, it’s likely to be built more substantially, with more robust components than a standard bike, to handle the extra power from the motor.

While ebike technology is developing quickly, and the bikes are becoming lighter all the time, an electric bike will typically be at least several kilos heavier than a standard bike. Canyon’s new Spectral:ON full-suspension carbon mountain bike in its top spec weighs 21.4kg, compared to the flagship (non-electric) Spectral at 12.70kg. Remember, however, that you have the motor and battery, and the assistance they provide.

The Canyon Pathlite:ON trekking ebike weighs between 21kg and 27kg, depending on the spec, whereas the standard Pathlite without a motor weighs 11kg upwards.

Some ebikes are not much heavier than a standard road bike, though: top-end carbon ebikes such as the Ribble Endurance SLe and the Wilier Cento1Hy weigh around 11kg, while the £2,999 alloy Canyon Endurace:ON AL weighs 15kg.

Why are ebikes so expensive?

Most ebikes will have high-end hydraulic disc brakes to provide the necessary stopping power. Canyon

If you’ve looked at the of electric cars against fossil fuel-powered models, you’ll know that they’re significantly more expensive. A lot of that cost can be attributed to the batteries and technology used.

The same is true of ebikes which, like electric cars, are powered by rechargeable lithium ion batteries. The minerals used to make batteries, particularly lithium and cobalt, are expensive and supply is limited.

It’s not just the batteries. You’re also paying for the motor and its controller, display hardware and the greater complexity of the machine.

Plus, with the extra power from the motor, bike brands often use more robust, pricier components such as heavier duty drivetrains and stronger wheels. And you need to be able to stop effectively given the bike’s extra weight, so most ebikes will have high-end hydraulic disc brakes.

Why are some electric bikes so much cheaper than others?

The clue is in the question above. A larger battery will be pricier than one with more limited range.

For example, Canyon’s Pathlite:ON is available with either one or two batteries as standard. The step up from the Pathlite:ON 7.0 to 8.0 doubles your range but also increases the price from £2,800 to £4,100.

Some inexpensive models will also have much smaller batteries, limiting their range.

There are also likely to be differences in components between ebikes, with pricier models having higher quality parts from name-brand makes such as Shimano, Fazua and Bosch (the three big players when it comes to ebike systems).

It’s worth buying an ebike from a reputable manufacturer too, because they’ll have thoroughly tested their designs and worked with manufacturers of the electric components to iron out any problems before bringing them to market. You’ll also get the support and warranty cover expected from a big-name brand.

Can I travel with my ebike?

As usual, that depends: there’s a patchwork of regulations, depending on how you’re planning to transport your electric bike.

Train operating companies will mostly treat an ebike like a standard bicycle. In some cases, you might need to book a slot for your bike; other train companies have restrictions on carrying non-folding bikes at peak times.

Also bear in mind an electric bike weighing around 20kg or more will be hard to lift on and off trains, and some trains have hanging racks for bikes, which will be difficult to use.

Buses can be tricky too. Some buses have external bike racks on the rear, but most don’t and you probably won’t be able to take an ebike onto a bus, unless it folds.

Air flight is also likely to be banned because there are international regulations on the size of batteries that can be carried. The general regulation is up to 100Wh, although batteries up to 160Wh may be allowed with pre-authorisation.

Electric bike batteries usually have a greater capacity than this. Even if you think you might be okay, it’s vital to check with your airline before flying.

An increasing number of cycling hotspots are offering battery rental, meaning you can fly with your ebike and leave your own battery at home, picking up a loaner on arrival.

If you’re planning to drive somewhere with your electric bike, be careful not to leave it in a hot car because heat can degrade battery performance.

Should ebikes be considered ‘cheating’ or motorcycles?

Electric bikes are designed to make riding a bike more enjoyable, allowing riders to venture further and providing a helping hand when required. Canyon

For most ebike riders, the extra assistance provided by the motor isn’t going to turn them into pro-level performers. Instead, it will make riding a bike more enjoyable, letting them ride further and helping out on hills when needed.

Many riders will want to use their electric bikes for shopping or commuting, where lowering the effort level needed to carry loads or for starts from traffic lights will make for a more comfortable (and less sweaty) experience. Others may want to ride with friends who are fitter than them, and an ebike will help them keep up better.

With assistance limited to 250 watts of extra power and 25kph (15mph) maximum speed, an ebike doesn’t have the performance of a moped or motorcycle, so it’s right that they’re treated differently.

Can an electric bike be ridden with a flat battery?

Yes, you can ride your ebike home if the battery runs out during a ride. Systems such as Fazua’s have software that limits output to preserve battery life if they’re running low on juice, which should help keep assistance going at a diminished level to help you get home.

Even if your battery still has plenty of charge, the controller on the bar or frame will usually have a setting allowing you to turn the motor off as you ride. So, if you’re willing to ride without help, that’s another way to preserve battery level.

Bear in mind that an ebike will be substantially heavier than a normal bike, though, so it will be harder to keep going using pedal power alone, both on the flat and particularly if you hit an upward grade.

With that in mind, it’s always wise to make sure your electric bike has sufficient charge for the ride you’ve got planned. Many systems will also provide a range estimate figure based on the bike’s battery status, which can then be used to plan your journeys appropriately.

What is the lifespan of an electric bike battery and can ebike batteries be recycled?

Lithium ion batteries can be charged and discharged hundreds of times. Shimano says that its Steps system, as used on the Canyon Spectral:ON, can be charged and discharged more than 1,000 times with no degradation in its performance.

Over longer periods, an ebike battery may lose a bit of capacity, which could reduce your bike’s range somewhat, but for most users that’s not likely to make a significant difference.

The amount of push the battery and motor can give shouldn’t change though, so the battery should last longer than many mechanical components of the bike.

Since the metals in the battery – particularly the cobalt – are valuable and there are increasing numbers of larger lithium batteries being used, especially for transport, there’s an emerging recycling industry. With their larger capacity, electric bike batteries are a more attractive proposition for recyclers than batteries in, for example, mobile phones.

What are watt hours (Wh) and what do they mean in real life?

Watt hours (or Wh) refers to the energy capacity of your bike’s battery and provides an indication as to its likely range.

A battery’s Wh will also show how many watts it is able to continuously provide for an hour: for example, a 250Wh battery can provide 250 watts of assistance for one hour, 125 watts for two hours, and so on. Of course, real-world riding means you are very unlikely to place such a consistent demand on your ebike’s battery.

Ultimately, how far an electric bike will go on a single charge depends on where you’re riding, the weather, how much of your own effort you are putting in and the assistance level you’ve selected.

A fit rider who selects a low assistance level on flat roads will get a lot more range than a less fit rider on a hilly route carrying luggage and selecting the maximum motor assistance. All of this has an impact on how much load you are putting on the battery.

Canyon estimates that the Pathlite:ON’s range with one 500Wh battery is around 75km, for a rider weighing around 75kg pedalling at 45rpm and travelling at a speed of 22kph.

How can I secure my ebike?

Many electric bikes feature removable batteries with a lock to secure the battery to the frame. Canyon

You need to take all the precautions you would to keep a standard bike safe. That includes a sturdy, ideally Sold Secure gold rated, lock through your wheels and frame and attached to an immovable object. Given the value of most ebikes, you should store your ebike somewhere secure.

Some ebike systems come with a companion mobile phone app that often lets you track where your bike is and may detect unauthorised movement too.

Your ebike’s battery is also an attractive item for thieves. Most models with a removable battery, like those from Canyon, will include a lock and key to secure it to the frame.

With their high value, unfortunately ebikes are often targeted by thieves, so it’s worthwhile paying for a good lock, being careful where you lock the bike, and buying insurance.

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