Here Are the Top 3 Ways To Maximize Your E-Bike's Range: You're Not Going To Like Them

Riese & Muller Cargo E-Bike Towing MTB 10 photos
Photo: Axel Brunst
Engwe L20 ThrottleL20 (Removable Battery)Urwahn Platzhirsch (Integrated Battery)Urwahn PlatzhirschUrwahn PlatzhirschEngwe X26 BatteriesEngwe X26 BatteriesVanpowers City Vanture MotorVanpowers City Vanture
I've been testing an array of e-bikes over the past few years, and I've learned a whole lot about how to properly use one, so today, I'll be sharing a couple of tips on how to get the most range out of your EV. Grab a helmet, and let's ride.
Due to the recent e-bike wave rolling across the globe, it's quite possible that you've got one sitting in your garage right now. That said, you know the feeling of seeing a manufacturer bragging about some insane range on a single charge, but once you're on the darned thing, the story changes; bummer.

Well, there are reasons why that happens, and it mainly has to do with the testing parameters that the industry and manufacturers use to give us those digits. For the e-bike industry, often, that's a 60-70 kg (132-154 lbs) person riding on flat ground in Eco mode, with no wind resistance or cargo whatsoever; the real world is entirely different, filled with ups and downs (hills), wind, cracks in the road, closed streets, other drivers, you name it.

So, what can we do!? Don't worry; there are solutions. However, you might not like them as they include burning more calories. But, you're the one who went out and bought a bicycle - even though it's electric - so listen up if you really want to make the most of it and reap the complete health benefits possible with such a trinket. I could get into all about who an e-bike is best suited for, but that's not what we're here for today; this one's all about getting the most range out of a full battery and keeping it pumping for as long as possible.

Urwahn Platzhirsch \(Integrated Battery\)
Photo: autoevolution
Now, all this starts off with us in front of our houses, with helmets on, batteries at 100%, and everything powered on and ready to go. You can even bring your backpack or other cargo along for this ride; we do live in the real world, after all.

First, let's talk about assisted drivetrains and approach throttle use later. Considering e-bikes are heavier than your average bicycle, these babies tend to be a bit more difficult to get moving, especially if you're riding some fat tire monster. That said, this is a stage in your ride where you'd want to use some electrical juice. Put it in gear, and push down on your pedal.

If your e-bike is equipped with a torque sensor, you'll feel your motor kick in right away; cadence sensors often have some light lag before you feel the motor. Nonetheless, this is when you'd want to use some electric juice.

Engwe X26 Batteries
Photo: autoevolution
Safety tip: If you often ride in traffic, be sure to leave adequate space between you and the riders or cars in front of you when taking off from a stop. E-bikes have a kick, and if there isn't enough space between you and those in front, your motor will work its magic, and, well, you can imagine the rest.

Once you've taken off, get up to speed, and are now cruising at your motor's top speed, stop supplementing your motor with energy, find the right gear, and cruise under mechanical strength. This is the best way to maximize your range, as every mile covered by the calories burned from your lunch is a mile where you didn't tap into your lithium power source. I told you you might not like the solutions, but it is a bicycle, after all.

Riding along, you're bound to interact with some unlevel terrain; after all, city terrain is rarely just flat. So, when you see a hill coming up, turn the motor back on, find the right gear once again, and get up there! If you're like me and like a good burn, you can use lower speed settings and work out a little bit. At the top, get up to speed again and then tone it down to zero motor output; work those glutes! You get the idea.

Vanpowers City Vanture Motor
Photo: autoevolution
Another way to get the most range out of your battery is to do absolutely nothing; I'm talking about not tampering with motor top speed settings that manufacturers have set. Think about it: the more you use your motor, the more it'll eat up, and to reach a higher top speed is, well, just simple math if you ask me.

This brings me to throttle functionality. Unless you're someone who has a health or mobility issue or are a motorcycle rider who's lost his or her license (kidding), then throttle functionality is something you should limit. Why? Simply because it solicits nothing but the motor to get you moving, and that will suck the juice out of your battery like a kid with a Capri-Sun. I'm not saying don't use it, but keep in mind what I mentioned.

Now, we can talk about proper recharging and battery maintenance, different mechanical drivetrain setups, and all that, but honestly, those subjects require entire articles on their own, so the takeaway here today is e-bikes: use them, don't abuse them, and always wear a helmet when riding.
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Editor's note: Images in the gallery showcase an array of e-bikes tested by autoevolution.

About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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