If you are planning to invest in a new ebike or convert your bicycle into an electric one, you need to decide the wattage of your ebike motor. Why? Because the motor of an electric bike is responsible for your speed & performance.
Higher wattage ebike motor provides more speed than a lower-wattage motor. You know most electric bikes are equipped with 250w, 350w, and 500w motors. We have already compared 250w vs 350w ebike motors.
Today in this article, we are going to compare 350w vs 500w ebike. Both the ebikes are excellent but which one should you go for, how fast both the motors are, how much power do they need and related faqs.
Once you read this article to the end, you will be able to decide whether a 350w or 500w ebike is perfect for you. Let’s begin with the basics.
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What is an Electric Bike?
An Electric bike is a bicycle with an added electric motor and lithium battery for powering the motor. However, Pedals are still used when riding it. Yet, the electric motor makes the ride simpler when climbing hills or needing a boost.
An electric bike, sometimes called an ebike, has an e-bike engine or motor to help you in pedaling. An installed rechargeable battery on the bike will provide power to the motor.
There are many types of ebikes with different frame designs available in the market for various purposes such as commuter ebikes, electric mountain bikes, cargo bikes, etc. And each ebike comes with different battery capacities and motor wattages.
An ebike with a 350-watt motor is called a 350w electric bike. Similarly, an ebike with a 500-watt motor is called a 500w electric bike, and so on.
How does an electric bike work?
An electric bike often has a motor on the front or rear hub or in the middle of the bicycle (commonly called the mid-drive motor, powered through the cranks).
The installed motor on the rear or front hub assists in pedaling. The motor’s output depends on how hard your pedaling is and the assistance level you have chosen.
When you push the pedal, a torque sensor gauges your exertion and compares it to the motor’s power output. It is intended that the motor will not assume full control; rather, you should experience steady power delivery that prevents the bike from lurching forward.
One of its numerous advantages is that you still need to peddle and gain exercise when using an electric bicycle. It is feasible to use an electric bike for training & exercise.
You can also use full throttle mode as well but it will consume more battery power resulting in less distance range. The ebike battery, which may be housed inside the frame or attached on the outside, provides power.
While some batteries could be removed for recharging, others can’t be removed for charging. If so, you must have a place to store the bike near a power outlet.
What is Wattage in an Ebike Motor?
The watt ratings on an electric bike motor typically indicate how much power the ebike motor can manage or continuously consume.
There are two types of watt ratings on an ebike motor i.e., peak watt ratings and continuous watt ratings. Peak watt rating means how much power an ebike motor requires to climb steep hills or tough terrains like this.
However, continuous peak ratings mean how much power the ebike motor consumes in an hour. Most of the time brands report only continuous watt ratings of an ebike motor.
Here is the formula to calculate the watt of an ebike:
Ebike wattage = Battery Voltage (V) x Amp of the controller (A)
For example, A 48v ebike battery with a 20-Amp controller would give a maximum power of 960 watts ( 48V x 20 A).
How much wattage do you need on an ebike?
The performance of an ebike depends on the battery’s capacity and motor wattage. So the main question is how much wattage do you need on an ebike i.e., 350w or 500w? It depends on your purpose.
You must have heard, “Higher ebike wattage gives more power, torque, and speed than a lower wattage ebike”. Well, this statement is not always true.
You must also know that the higher-wattage ebikes are expensive and need higher voltage batteries which again increases the charging cost. Whereas, low-wattage ebikes are lightweight, affordable, and need less electricity for charging.
So, If you are going to ride an ebike mostly on plane roads, go for a lower-wattage ebike. And If you are going to ride on hills and indulge in ebike racing, go for a higher-wattage ebike.
You must consider the controller ratings and battery’s voltage and Amp-hour (Ah) while purchasing an ebike. Because the battery provides the power to the motor but the controller decides how much power to transfer to the motor.
So, a controller with higher Amps provides more power to the ebike motor and vice-versa.
For example, a 48V battery with a 15 Amp controller would provide 720 watts of output power whereas the same 48v battery with a 20 Amp controller would provide 960 watts of output power.
So make the decision wisely.
350w vs 500w Ebike: 5 Major Differences
As you know that the higher-wattage e-bike motors will provide the following:
- Quicker acceleration.
- More power while climbing hills.
- Better performance for larger riders.
As the old age question goes: Is more really better? But, electric bikes typically aren’t as economical as your typical runabout, just like an elevated car isn’t always as efficient.
A battery will discharge more quickly from an engine with a greater watt rating, reducing the rider’s range.
Here are the 5 major differences between 350w and 500w electric bikes.
|Components||350w Ebike||500w Ebike|
|Motor||A 350w ebike motor is not capable of climbing hills because of less resistance.||500w ebike motor provides more resistance and can easily help in uphill climbing.|
|Battery||It needs a lightweight battery that also lasts for long hours and distances.||It needs a heavy battery that easily discharges because the motor needs 500 watts of output.|
|Controller||A 350w ebike comes with a basic controller i.e., 10 or 15 Amp.||A 500w ebike needs more power output, therefore, it comes with a high power controller i.e., 15 or 20 Amp.|
|Suspension||Less shock absorbing or sometimes without suspension.||Feature a premium quality suspension fork since this ebike is heavy and made for heavy riders.|
|Top-Speed||Up to 25 mph (40 km/h)||Up to 28 mph (45 km/h)|
So, A 350W e-bike motor will offer sufficient power for the typical cyclist going slowly on a generally level surface. However, a 500w ebike is more powerful and can be ridden on all types of surfaces by any type of rider.
Let’s learn more about 350w and 500w electric bikes.
350W Electric Bike Features, Top Speed & More
An electric bike with a motor output power of up to 350 watts is known as a 350w ebike. And legally, they are considered class 2 ebikes in the United States.
There are two types of 350-watt motors i.e., Mid-drive motor and Hub motor. A Mid-drive motor with 350 watts is more powerful than a 350w hub motor, It can deliver up to 60NM torque and 500-watt peak output power using pedal assistance mode. Results may vary from person to person.
So, climbing uphill with a 350w mid-drive motor is easy as compared to a 350w hub motor because a mid-drive motor provides 10% more power & acceleration.
Talking about the speed of a 350w electric bike has a speed somewhere between 20-25 mph (30-40 km/h). This speed can go up to 30 miles per hour while riding downhill.
When it comes to battery, A 36v or 48v battery is enough with 10Ah or 15Ah capacity as a 350-watt rating motor needs at least 350 watts of power input from the battery.
A 36v 10Ah would provide up to 360 Wh, a 36v 15Ah would provide up to 540 Wh, a 48v 10Ah would provide up to 480 Wh, and a 48v 15Ah would provide up to 720 Wh.
Related: What is AH in an ebike battery?
Pros & Cons of a 350W Electric Bike
- A 350w ebike is safe and legal to ride in the USA.
- It offers excellent power and a speed of up to 25 mph.
- Best for beginners riding on plane roads and uphill.
- A 350w mid-drive motor is almost equivalent to a 500w hub motor.
- 350W electric bikes are cheap and lightweight.
- Doesn’t need a high-powered battery, 36-volt is fine.
- Not perfect for mountain biking, because the motor gets heated.
- A 350w electric bike is not suitable for heavy-weight riders.
- Most brands don’t manufacture ebikes with 350-watt motors.
Is 350 watts enough for an ebike?
Yes! 350w is enough for an ebike as it can achieve a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour on plane roads and it can go up to 30 mph on downhill terrains. Riding an ebike on plane roads with a speed of around 20 mph (32 km/h) is fair enough.
You must remember that the ebikes are lightweight so it needs to be balanced carefully, avoid riding at maximum speed if you are riding an electric bike as a beginner.
A 350w electric bike is also capable of climbing hills but for a short period only. So, you can ride this bike in your city while climbing on flyovers and bridges.
500W Electric Bike: An Overview
A 500-watt electric bike has a motor that can operate up to 500w of output power. It’s a very powerful motor that can provide 65NM torque and a maximum speed of up to 25 mph (40 km/H) on plane roads.
Electric bikes with 500 watts motor need a heavy battery for longer distances and more speed. Therefore, 500w electric bikes are expensive
These ebikes are perfect for climbing hills, for ebike racing, and for adventurous ebike riding experiences.
Upgrade to a 500W e-bike for quicker acceleration, more power uphill, and better support for bigger riders. A 500W e-bike motor should be sufficient for individuals who want to pedal less forcefully and want to go faster than 20 mph.
Pros & Cons of a 500W Electric Bike
- A 500w electric bike is safe and legal to ride in the USA.
- It provides more torque and speed making this ebike suitable for hill climbing.
- The top speed of a 500w ebike is around 30 mph.
- A 500w ebike is perfect for all purposes such as commuting, touring, hill climbing, and loading goods.
- A 500w ebike is expensive because of the heavy battery and motor.
- An ebike with a 500w motor is not lightweight because of the heavy frame and heavy battery.
- Battery discharges more quickly on a 500w ebike.
- It’s not suitable for beginners as it offers more speed and torque.
- It takes more electrical power to charge which increases the charging cost.
Final Verdict: Which is Better 350w or 500w Ebike?
When it comes to choosing between a 350w vs 500w motor on an electric bike, The ideal power for an electric bicycle ultimately comes down to personal preference. While some riders would only ever consider the highest Watt rating, others might be more than content with a 350W motor.
A 350W motor will provide more than enough kick for seasoned cyclists. A higher-wattage motor (500w) might be a preferable choice for less experienced bikers seeking immediate acceleration and quick hill performance.
Ultimately, nothing beats taking an electric bike for a test drive before you part with your hard-earned money!
FAQs on Electric Bike 350w vs 500w
Is a 500 watts motor good for an ebike?
Yes! 500 watts is good for an ebike as it can be ridden on plane roads, can carry some loads as well climbs hills. This type of ebike is considered a class 2 electric bike in the USA.
Can a 500W ebike climb a hill?
Yes, a 500w electric bike can easily climb hills with the help of its powerful motor which offers excellent torque & speed.
Can you go uphill on a 500w ebike without pedaling?
No! It’s not possible to go uphill on a 500w ebike without pedaling. It’s not a good technique for climbing hills on an ebike and if you do so, your ebike battery and motor performance will be affected negatively. So, you must be pedaling along with the throttle while climbing hills.