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Distance on battery

Posted: 1 Feb 2018, 3:48pm
by Monkey28

I am wondering if anyone out there could give me some advice. I have recently bought a Volt Pulse and I absolutely love it apart from the fact that I have to charge it up every night. When looking around for which bike to buy I was drawn to the Pulse as it stated that a rider could go for up to 60 miles on one charge. I have since read the small print relating to the settings and conditions etc but I still feel my battery could be under performing. I am a 12 stone woman, I commute 19 miles a day and I have the bike set at Assisted level (A). At the end of the ride when I arrive home, I only have one bar showing and need to recharge. My trip to and from work is quite hilly but I do have several miles where it is flat and my motor does not cut in as travelling in excess of 16 mph.

Am I expecting too much from my battery? Is this pretty normal for this bike or should I be complaining to the manufacturers?

Please advise. Thanks


Re: Distance on battery

Posted: 2 Feb 2018, 12:15am
by hemo
60 mile range quoted is like car mpg range quoted feasible but often not.
60 mile range quoted is possible it needs ; flat terrain , no wind, lowest assist level and 50/60 kg rider who has very good cadence. Hills sap energy from batteries which will reduce range by quite a bit.
You haven't mentioned the battery capacity we know it's 36v but need to know the ah of wh according to it's specs.
Also to add ambient temperature will also be a factor, range can be 10 - 20% greater in milder/warmer conditions. Lithium is best charged inside where it is warmer, although batteries will charge up in the cold they don't hold voltage as well and will discharge quicker.

Re: Distance on battery

Posted: 2 Feb 2018, 7:21am
by Monkey28
Panasonic 36v Standard Lithium Polymer Battery (60+ miles)
This is what it states in the specifications.
Hope this helps in answering query as not really sure what other info I could provide u with as I am a complete technophobe at heart.
Look forward to your responses.

Re: Distance on battery

Posted: 2 Feb 2018, 7:37am
by Cyril Haearn
Just read about range problems with electric buses
The capacity quoted by manufacturers is based on 'perfect' conditions and has nothing to do with real conditions

Re: Distance on battery

Posted: 2 Feb 2018, 9:41am
by hemo
Monkey28 wrote:Panasonic 36v Standard Lithium Polymer Battery (60+ miles)
This is what it states in the specifications.
Hope this helps in answering query as not really sure what other info I could provide u with as I am a complete technophobe at heart.
Look forward to your responses.

There is no standard battery it is only a name used by a bike brand to describe their range and means absolutely nothing.
Often the there will be a label of some kind on the battery stating it's capacity in the case of the Panasonic it could be anything betwen 300wh & 500wh.

Re: Distance on battery

Posted: 2 Feb 2018, 10:24am
by Monkey28
Learnt a lot about batteries this morning.
Battery is 12 AH. After a bit of research I was able to work out the Wh by doing a calculation of 36 volts x 12 Ah = 432 Wh.

So in your opinion is my current 19 ish miles then only having one bar seem about right? I have my 6 week check coming up with the bike shop and wanted to know if I should flag this issue or not.

I look forward to your reply once again.

Re: Distance on battery

Posted: 2 Feb 2018, 12:10pm
by hemo
12ah battery range sounds a bit low but it is cold and winter plays a part in its range, the battery chemistry will also play a part the Volt looks like it uses li-pol pouch cells and not li-ion cylindrical cells. Li -pol tends to offer a little less range like for like then li-ion does. I would say 25 -30 miles should be possible but we don't know your route or the terrain it takes.
The assist level will also play apart along with head winds and terrain it is used for, as I mentioned lots of ascent will take it's toll on range. The battery is best if it is charged before every use though only if it has done a few miles to allow enough discharge in the first place, if the bike is not being used for a few days then only charge to about 75% full or known as storage level and then fully charge the night before a ride. A fully charged battery is like a bull waiting to get out of the pen, the cathodes the negative end don't like to sit at full voltage all the time.
Storing keeping a battery in the cold is good but using one in the cold isn't so good, charging is best done at warmer room temps.

Re: Distance on battery

Posted: 2 Feb 2018, 12:20pm
by hemo
To get a better idea of how much voltage is left in a battery best to check it after use with a cheap digital multi meter available for a about £5, only then can you tell it's real state of charge. Handlebar battery level indicators and battery indicators aren't always linear and can often give a false view of a battery charge state.
If your route is very or excessively hilly then that will be the main reason for your reduced mileage.

A side from your hilly commute try and find a flatter route of a similar mileage and go for a bimble around at a similar pace as your commute ride then compare how many indicators are left on your battery. There should be a voltage difference and you should use less battery to confirm all is ok and as with any battery it is climbing that has an effect on range.

Being a new ebike rider it takes a while to get used to how far and how much range you can expect, trial and error with assist levels and rider input will take a bit of time. Once milder temperatures arrive you should see a 10 - 20% improvement on range and battery levels.

Re: Distance on battery

Posted: 2 Feb 2018, 5:40pm
by kwackers
60 mile range, 19 miles, charge up once a day.
Mine also claims 60 miles range, I do 21 miles (each way) and charge it up twice - so very similar to you (as in 21 miles then charge on a 60 mile battery).

My ride isn't hilly. On a 'good' day I can get to work and it'll show half battery - although I think it's lying.
If it's a bad day and there's a strong head wind then the bottom battery indicator will flash (only happened twice in 3 months).

I tend to use the assist pretty much all the time, I treat it more like the stoker on a tandem and I reckon the real world range is nearer 30 miles with assist.
I think with a strong tail wind it would be nearer 40 and a strong head wind nearer 20.

My best estimate of battery comes from how long it takes to charge. It's supposed to charge fully in 8 hours, normally it takes 6 for a typical run.

Re: Distance on battery

Posted: 4 Feb 2018, 4:06pm
by Eric the Red
Having just gotten into electric bikes, after 50+ years of riding, I can observe as follows:-
My 5.6 Ah battery is good for 20 - 25 miles, my 9 Ah is good for 35-40 miles. This is for a 100kg rider using a low level of assist on flat to moderately hilly tarmac. :)
Hope this helps.

Re: Distance on battery

Posted: 5 Feb 2018, 9:53am
by hemo
The problem with giving a guide to possible range is dependant on so many variables that it is impossible to give any accurate figures. All that can be done is to try and give a bare minimum and a possible max.

Also the quality and chemistry of the cells used is one of the biggest factors.
My Samsung celled 11 (396wh) & 13ah (468wh) batteries with very mediocre cells low amp rated cells for the first 12-18 months would get me approx 40 &45 miles each, however as the cells are low amp rated they have lost some 40% capacity. Now that I know more about cell statistics I look up their test reaults and now only buy high amp rated tops cells.

Re: Distance on battery

Posted: 5 Feb 2018, 2:24pm
by Audax67

Re: Distance on battery

Posted: 21 Feb 2018, 2:01pm
by Mark R
It might seem like a lot of faff but charging everynight after 19 miles will make your battery last a lot longer than if you were wait until the bike had covered 38miles.

Known as 'depth of discharge' - this has a big effect on the useful lifespan of lithium batteries.

Re: Distance on battery

Posted: 21 Feb 2018, 6:00pm
by davidgibbon
I think you're getting a good picture of real battery range from the various answers here. We run a Shimano Steps equipped tandem with an 11.6 Ah battery. It has quite an informative display with predicted range for all 3 assist levels, which vary according to previous use, but are typically something like low-93km, medium 84km, high 77km. (57/52/47 miles). It also has a % consumption indicator, and riding on the flat with low assistance it goes down by 1% per kilometre, so it would give you just about 60 miles on a hypothetical flat road. In real life, of course, things are different. We recently toured Austria, doing an organised tour divided into scenic 35-40 mile stages. Most days we finished with something to spare, but on the most undulating day we ran out at 34 miles and struggled up the last hill :D. A lady on a Bosch equipped single also ran out, so we weren't too unhappy.

Re: Distance on battery

Posted: 26 Mar 2018, 7:43am
by brianleach
Silly question I know but are the figures shown just the time using the motor or the total distance travelled.

I ask because I have had my bike converted recently and using a fairly low level of assistance I would think I am lucky to get 15 miles on power but that is about 1/2 to a 1/3 of the total distance.

I was hoping to use it for touring but the range just isn't enough.