How many kilometers with an electric bike?

The autonomy of an electric bike is a first question that new users ask themselves. As much to tell you immediately, there is no ready-made answer. In general, plan for 60 to 100 km. But, as with a car, many factors will influence your consumption.

If you don't feel like reading, a link to a customizable autonomy simulator is available in the FAQ !

Electric bike: 10 elements that affect battery life

Battery capacity of an electric bicycle

To put it simply, battery capacity is like the size of a car's gas tank. The larger it is, the longer you can travel. Most often, this information is expressed in Watt-hour (Wh), with a value between 300 and more than 700 Wh. The higher this data, the more kilometers you can drive with the help of your electric motor.

It sometimes happens that battery producers highlight the capacity in Ampere hour (Ah) and on the voltage of their product.

But all this information is linked.

The capacity in Wh corresponds to: voltage ( V) X the amperage ( Ah).

Concretely, a battery of 36 V 16.7 Ah will have a power of 36 V × 16.7 Ah = 602 Wh.
The voltage (V) determines the strength of the motor and which varies most of the time from 24 to 36 V. It is also called voltage in Volt.
The amperage (Ah) expresses autonomy. The amperage/hour is between 5 Ah and 18 Ah.

The best known battery brands are Bosch, Yamaha, Panasonic, Shimano, Samsung to name a few.

Level of electric assistance

Electric bikes have several assistance modes to facilitate pedaling. There are regularly 3 to 4 modes: Eco (for "economic"), Normal, Sport, Turbo.

The impact will be very significant on autonomy, going from single to triple depending on your driving. It is for this reason that manufacturers announce a mileage range for range. Nothing complicated: the more your engine helps you, the more energy it consumes.

Evolution Number of kilometres Electric bike according to assistance1 1
Evolution of the number of kilometers traveled by electric bike according to driving mode, with a 500 Wh battery (source Bosch)

Impact on autonomy : very important. Between assistance in eco mode and a Turbo mode (or sport at Yamaha), energy consumption goes almost double.

Elevation of the route

Even when using your bike in an urban way, you may encounter hilly terrain. Here in Lyon, the ease of use offered by e-bikes has seduced the inhabitants of the Croix Rousse or Fourvière districts located on the hills of the city.

My bike ride
Here is the difference in altitude that I do in the morning with my electric bike (Lyon center ⇒ Croix Rousse). The climb consumes about 5 to 8% of my battery depending on the assistance mode selected, on a 500 Wh battery.

The most powerful models make it easy to climb to an average speed of more than 15 km/h. On the other side of the coin, the battery will drain at high speed.

Impact on autonomy : in urban areas, the number of kilometres travelled can vary by 10 to 20% depending on the type of terrain.

Towing weight

Accustomed to transporting your children on cargo bikes, your work belongings, shopping for dinner: the extra pounds obviously reduce the autonomy of your electric bike. And of course the weight of the cyclist also plays a role!

Between a streamlined electric racing bike with an approximate weight of 17 kg and a cargo bike that can reach up to 60 kg, the difference is noticeable.

Cargo bike with 2 children
Source: Addbike, which makes excellent cargo bikes.

Impact on range: according to Bosch, the distance covered will be reduced by about 5 km of range for every additional 10 kg . This difference in weight seems important, nevertheless, it can quickly be reached: a bag with your professional belongings + a padlock + a child seat quickly brings you to this figure.


More than the cold or the rain, the worst enemy of cyclists is the wind. The gusts will force you to multiply your efforts or rather to switch to the higher assistance mode. Therefore, your autonomy will drop on the days of the great Mistral or Tramontane (and all other local versions!

via Giphy

Impact on range : in case of strong wind, you will most likely increase the assistance mode. The consequence will be significant, with 20 to 30 km less with a load. So really, we don't like the wind on our two-wheeler.


If you've just gotten back on a bike, chances are you'll rely more on electric assistance. After a few weeks of practice, reaching the ceiling of 25 km / h will no longer have any secrets for you: it is at this speed that only muscle energy is used, which certainly does not affect your autonomy.

In addition, your breath and your driving being more relaxed, you will adopt an eco-driving on your cycle that will also allow you to do more kilometers.

Impact on autonomy : quite variable. With a little habit, the speed of 25 km / h will have no secrets for you. Your calves will thus help to travel many more kilometers on a flat path, without using the available energy.

Outside temperature

In winter, your battery will lose a few kilometers of autonomy because of the cold. Indeed, the optimum temperature of use is around 15 °: it needs more energy to function properly in these conditions. To do more kilometers with your electric bike, store the battery warm and then install it at the last moment on your trusty steed.

Impact on range : based on the Bosch simulator, the impact is 5 to 10 km for a 400 Wh battery. Nevertheless, at this time of year, we sometimes tend to ride with a lower level of assistance, because to warm up, we pedal more!

Battery status (number of cycles)

A lithium e-bike battery is designed to perform approximately one thousand charging cycles. This corresponds to a full charge and discharge.

To give you an idea of the impact on capacity, a battery cell manufacturer (Samsung) communicates on a decrease of:

  • 10% for 300 cycles
  • 30% over 700 cycles

These data should be taken with great caution. A bike used very rarely, stored with an empty battery and in the cold may see its number of kilometers reduced considerably.

According to a test by Adac, a German automobile club, a Bosch battery has been recharged more than 1500 times, which makes it possible to achieve more than 55,000 km. So even in intensive use, you potentially ride at least 3 to 5 years without worry.

Impact on range : impossible to determine, it depends on the history of use of the bike and its battery. If the bike is used and stored under normal conditions, the battery will retain more than 80% of its original capacity beyond five years.

Personally, I have driven more than 6,000 km in two years with the engine on (not counting those made with the engine off).

A Giant application allows me to know the health of my battery and the number of charges: after 2 years, I have completed 66 cycles (I do about 100 km with a full cycle).

Capacity battery electric bike after 6000km
The health advertised is 96%. Excellent after 2 years and 6500 km!

Pneumatics: having the right pressure and profile

Between a mountain bike tire, with big studs and a racing tire, very smooth, the grip is totally different, but also the rolling weight and therefore the energy required to turn the wheel is mechanically more important. Generally, we find on city bikes or VTC (mountain bike) anti-puncture tires that weigh around 700 g each. For a mountain bike, each wheel will be equipped with a rubber that weighs more than 1.25 kg, ideal in paths, a lot for the bike path that takes you to work!

As for the pressure, a higher level will reduce frictional losses: concretely, this means that an inflation pressure at four bar consumes less energy than at two bars. Remember to check it regularly, knowing that with the habit, you will feel that your tires start to be a little more "soft". It's a good time to get your pump out.

For an urban electric bike, the pressure recommendations are generally around 3 bars, to be checked according to your model and the type of tire used.

Impact on range : about 5 km. Yes, buying this fatbike is not the best idea to get around Paris or Lyon. Ideally choose a city bike or a VTC, more adapted to the urban environment. Remember to do regular maintenance, checking the tire pressure.

The autonomy simulator for electric bike

Bosch has put online a very easy calculator that adapts to your use, your routes and your bike. In a few clicks, you know the number of kilometers you will potentially travel with your electric two-wheeler.
3 key elements are considered by the calculator: the cyclist, the e-bike and the environment. Of course, it is average, it's up to you to refine to customize the different factors offered (pedaling cadence for example).

The opinion of Toutpourmonvélo : the distances announced are relatively reliable. You can serenely rely on this tool to choose from different electric bikes. Nevertheless, do not focus only on the power of the motor (they are all legally in 250 watts, it is the torque that will change) or the capacity of the battery.

FAQ about the autonomy of an electric bike

How long does it take to recharge a bike's battery?

The charging time for an electric bike battery depends on two parameters:

its capacity
The charger

For capacity, it's childish, the higher it is, the longer it's going to take. As if you had to fill a 40L tank of gas or 80L, it will obviously take longer. As with your phone or an electric car, it's relatively fast to reach 80% charge. Then, the 20% will take longer to be reached.
Taking the example of Bosch batteries, with the "Compact" charger, the estimated time to charge a PowerPack model 300 Wh to 100% is 5 hours compared to 7.5 hours for a 500 Wh version.
If you charge the same references, but with the "Fast Charger", the charging times increase to 2.5 hours for the 300 Wh and 3 hours for the 500 Wh.

Can I pedal if there is no more battery?

If your battery is completely drained, no problem to return pedaling normally. Finally, almost usually, let's keep in mind that your electric bike often weighs more than 25 kg.

In any case, there is no blockage. The latest versions of the motors create little friction when you use only your calves.

Can I recharge my electric bike battery while riding?

The vast majority of electric bikes do not charge while riding or downhill. It also does not recharge by pedaling. Unlike a car, which has a significant inertia, this type of system is not viable for an e-bike. Technological developments may one day make it possible to benefit from this phenomenon.

How much does it cost to charge an electric bike?

For a 500 Wh battery, count less than 0.20 € per recharge, which ensures up to 100 km in the city. While a car would have rather cost 15 € of gasoline over the same distance. Even if the price of electricity is exploding, the cost of charging remains extremely competitive.

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