Do e-bikes charge while you’re riding them? The answer to that question might surprise you! Most people think that the battery on an e-bike only charges when it’s sitting idle, but that’s not always the case. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how e-bike batteries work and explain how they can be charged while you’re riding them!

The battery on an e-bike is what powers the motor. Without it, the bike wouldn’t be able to move. The battery is made up of cells that store energy, and these cells can be recharged by plugging the battery into a power source. However, the battery can also be recharged while you’re riding the bike!

Do all e-bikes charge while riding?

The answer to that question is a bit more complicated. Some e-bikes are designed to charge while you’re riding, but others are not. Different kinds of e-bikes also may offer different types of recharging while riding.

If you’re in the market to buy an e-bike, make sure you look at the product information provided by the manufacturer before making a purchase. If you already own an e-bike, then you can either look in your owner’s manual or reach out to the manufacturer to find the answer.

Is it efficient to charge an e-bike while riding?

You might be reading this article because you hope that you can recharge your e-bike battery simply by riding your bike. Unfortunately, this is not a very likely result. Generally speaking, you might gain around 10% more power by charging your e-bike battery by riding, but again, this is only possible if your bike is equipped to charge while riding.

Here are a few different factors that will also impact the efficiency of recharging an electric bicycle while riding it:

  • Type of Battery & Motor: First and foremost, it depends on the type of battery your e-bike has. Some batteries and motors are designed to be charged while riding, but others are not.
  • Speed: It depends on how fast you’re riding. If you’re pedaling slowly, then it’s not going to be very efficient to try and charge the battery. The faster you pedal, the more energy you’re able to create (if your e-bike is equipped to charge by pedaling).
  • Power: Finally, it also depends on how much power you’re trying to generate. If you’re only trying to generate a small amount of power, then it’s not going to be very efficient to charge the battery while riding. It would probably be faster to take a quick break and plug your battery in for a recharge. If you don’t have an outlet anywhere near-by, consider a portable power bank. Just make sure you have one that is compatible with your battery’s needs.
Electric Bike

How to recharge an e-bike while riding

One way that e-bikes can charge while riding is through regenerative braking. This essentially uses the energy that is created by braking and turns it into energy that the battery can use.

This feature requires different technology than most e-bikes come with currently, so it’s certainly a special feature you’ll want to look for. Essentially, the type of motor needed for regenerative braking is a special technology. The regenerative braking requires a direct drive motor, as opposed to a standard geared motor.

One of the bike manufacturers that has this technology in some of their bikes is Rad Power Bikes.

How can you expand your e-bike’s range?

If you’re looking for ways to increase the distance or range that your e-bike can go, there are a few things you might want to consider.

Bring a second battery. If you’re going on a long trip with your bike and know that you will need extra power, you might want to consider bringing a back-up battery. This could essentially double your range, if you buy a second battery with the same range. You can buy additional batteries from the manufacturer.

Use less power. On most e-bikes, you can choose the level of power assistance that you want to use. If you need to stretch your range, you can simply lower the power assistance level, meaning the bike will give less assistance and you will need to pedal harder to go faster. For example, Wing Bikes allow you to select a range from 1 to 5 of how much assistance you want. They can get you up to 24-25 mph with pedaling, or 20 mpg with just the throttle. You can see by this example that pedaling can make quite a bit of difference.

Upgrade bike components. There are many things that you can do to e-bikes as well as regular bikes to make them lighter. Consider things like tires, accessories, and even what you pack for your ride.

Use regenerative braking. This type of braking is something that certain manufacturers add to their bikes that allows the braking to transfer some energy back into the battery. While this is a feature available on certain bikes, it probably won’t double your range, so keep in mind that it will only be a small increase in range.

Keep in mind that if push comes to shove, you can always pedal your e-bike manually. So you likely won’t completely get stranded somewhere if your e-bike runs out of battery power. Check out our Guide to Riding an E-Bike Manually for all the details.

How long does it take to charge an e-bike battery when plugged in?

As you can see, trying to charge your e-bike battery while riding will likely only give you a small bump in range, so it’s still best to plan to plug your battery in to charge regularly. To completely charge an e-bike battery when plugged into an outlet, you should expect it to take anywhere from 2 to 6 hours.

This, of course, depends on the bike and battery that you purchase. Since each bike’s battery and thus range are unique, it’s best to take a look at your bike’s specs.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it! Now you know that it is possible to charge an e-bike battery while riding your bike; however, not all e-bikes are created equal, so you need to check your specific bike’s specs to see if it is indeed possible. It’s also pretty unlikely that you could recharge your e-bike battery fully when riding, so you should still plan to charge your battery properly to be able to get the most out of your bike and battery.