How to optimize the autonomy capacity of an electric bicycle?

The electric bicycle is increasingly present in large cities. City dwellers choose this mode of transportation for its convenience, speed and cost effectiveness, not to mention its ecological aspect, compared to the internal combustion engine car. However, to enjoy the benefits of this mode of urban travel, it is essential to ensure the proper maintenance of the electric bike.

All the components of an eBike (battery, motor, brakes, chain, cables, tires, etc.) must be regularly maintained. The maintenance of the battery of an electric bicycle is based on the optimization of the life span of this component (recharging, storage), but also on the optimization of the autonomy capacity of the bicycle. The range of the EAB determines the distance that can be covered before the battery needs to be recharged. Discover the factors that influence the autonomy of the electric bike.

Comment optimiser l’autonomie d'un vélo électrique ?-1

Choose an electric bike with a quality battery

The autonomy of the bike is not only dependent on the user's behavior. It depends in part on the battery itself. It is then necessary to choose a quality battery, from a reliable and recognized manufacturer.

The battery is one of the main components of an electric bicycle. It contributes to the storage and restitution of the motor's energy, thus making the EAB work. Modern electric bikes are most often associated with lithium batteries(Li-ion batteries) because of their high performance. This is due to their low weight, high energy capacity and rather long life span.

The power of the battery (expressed in volts) determines its autonomy capacity, and therefore the autonomy of the electric bicycle in a more general way. Secondly, the autonomy capacity of the bike influences the distance that cyclists can travel without recharging the battery. The choice of an EAB model must therefore be made according to the user's preferences and habits, depending on the distance and frequency of the trips he or she must make.

Adopt a smooth ride to increase the bike's autonomy

The user has a major role to play in optimizing the range of his or her electric bicycle, starting with the adoption of a smooth riding style. This driving style is often associated with car use, yet it also applies to motorized personal mobility devices (MPMDs) such as electric bikes. Smooth driving contributes to :

  • the sharing of traffic space (bicycle paths or roads) ;
  • respecting the Highway Code: MPTs (including electric bicycles) were officially recognized by the Highway Code at the end of 2019;
  • slowing down the wear and tear of bicycle components (especially brakes and tires);
  • optimizing the autonomy of the EAB.

This style of cycling refers to a smooth start, maintaining a stable and reasonable speed (under the authorized limit of 25 km/h), as well as smooth travel.

Preserving the autonomy of the EAB with electric assistance modes

Electric bikes are generally equipped with several assistance modes. Users can then prioritize the bike's range or performance according to their needs. It is preferable to choose the riding mode most adapted to their route and to favor a rather low level of assistance as soon as possible, in order to preserve the autonomy of the bike. Some electric bikes even allow you to ride without electric assistance.

Among the levels of assistance most commonly offered on electric bikes, we can distinguish :

  • a fast mode: it is then possible to reach the maximum speed of 25 km/h in a few pedal strokes, thanks to the use of all the power of the battery at the start;
  • an intermediate mode: the electric assistance is then rather balanced, allowing to limit the physical effort to be provided;
  • an eco mode: the assistance is regulated in order to preserve the autonomy of the bicycle.

Theuse of gears is essential in addition to the choice of assistance mode. It must allow for a good pedaling rate so as not to overtax the battery or the motor. It is therefore necessary to adapt the gears to the inclination of the terrain, the relief, the weight carried by the bike or the weather (especially the wind).

Comment optimiser l’autonomie d'un vélo électrique ?-2

Use the bike's connectivity to optimize its autonomy

There are models of connected electric bikes that allow users to enjoy easy and comfortable rides, thanks to the various features offered. Smart bikes can have digital features built into a screen on the bike frame, but also a mobile app. From their device, users can, for example, lock and unlock the bike, set the anti-theft alarm or use GPS guidance.

Among all the features offered by electric bikes, it is possible to find the programming of the battery, including its automatic standby. The owner of the EAB only has to set the time of the battery standby according to his habits of use. He can then put the battery in "sleep mode" as soon as he does not use his bike anymore, in order to optimize the performance and the autonomy of the battery and thus of his EAB.

Make sure the bike is in good condition to preserve its autonomy

The autonomy capacity of an electrically assisted bicycle can also be optimized by taking care of the general condition of the machine. Proper maintenance of the bike involves having it serviced by a specialist at least twice a year. It also implies repairing components as soon as an anomaly is detected: the connectivity of electric bikes facilitates this process thanks to maintenance alerts.

To optimize the autonomy of an EAB, it is then necessary to :

  • monitor the tire pressure: they must be sufficiently inflated to facilitate pedaling and not overload the battery and the motor;
  • oil the chain as regularly as possible: this allows a smoother and more energy efficient pedaling;
  • keep the system updated: updates to the electric bike are normally automatic, but it is better to check this information in the settings of the mobile application of the connected bike;
  • avoid overloading the bike: the weight of the EAB requires more energy to move the bike forward.

In any case, it is recommended to ask for advice from your bike manufacturer or dealer on how to optimize the autonomy of your electric bike. The recommendations may depend on each eBike model.

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