Batteries are regarded as one of the greatest innovations ever made. Even you would find it difficult to envision a world without batteries. One of the best applications of batteries is on electric bikes.
There are many different types of ebike batteries in the market such as 36v, 48v, 52v, and so on. But right now the most popular ebike batteries are the 36-volts and 48-volts.
Most people get confused between these two batteries (36v vs 48v ebike battery) while purchasing a new ebike or converting their normal bike to electric. And look for the answer to the main question i.e., which is better 36v or 48v ebike battery?
You will get the answer after reading this article till the end as we have discussed the major differences between 36v and 48v batteries as well as some most frequently asked questions that you may have later.
Fundamentals of Electric Bike Battery Terminologies
Let’s start with the meaning, What is an electric bike battery and how does it work?
To put it simply, an e-bike battery is made up of far smaller battery cells but the arrangement of these is in such a way that results in maximizing the power.
The batteries are designed in a way that they produce electricity through chemical reactions which happen in them. Most e-bike batteries are made up of lithium ions.
The range of these e-bike batteries can be compared to that of a car’s mileage. If you want to get a perfect e-bike, You must know some basic terminologies of a battery such as volts, ampere-hours, watts, and range.
Let’s understand them in detail:
1. Battery volts
As simply said, voltage refers to the quantity of electrical potential that your battery has. Therefore, in general, higher voltage leads to better power production. Therefore, it is advised to utilize a higher voltage battery for greater speed and range.
As less energy is required to create the same amount of power for the bike as one with a lower voltage, the same can be considered more efficient. A battery with 36 volts has low electrical potential as compared to a 48-volt battery.
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2. Ampere hours
SI unit of electric current is “Amperes”. Ampere hours measure how much energy is required to create current for an hour. An e-bike battery typically uses 10 Amp hours to 20 Ah. In essence, the better range is determined by the amp hours.
The word “watt” refers to the power unit. The bike’s watt rating is an effective way to determine how much power the motor is capable of handling. When ascending a steep incline, an e-bike may exceed its wattage capacity.
By multiplying volts by amps (volts x Ah), you can easily calculate watts. Watt-hours display the watts that the e-bike battery can produce for one hour, similar to how ampere hours do.
The range of an e-bike is the greatest distance you can ride before your battery runs out on a single charge. Larger batteries provide e-bikes a greater range meaning that, a 48v battery gives more range than a 36v battery.
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Difference Between 36v and 48v Ebike Battery
The simple distinction between a 36V e-bike battery and a 48V e-bike battery is that both the batteries have got different voltages and this difference in the voltage of batteries would refer to the difference in the production of power supplied.
It is obvious that a 36V e-bike battery would give out less power than a 48V e-bike battery. Above, we discussed the important terminologies that you should be acquainted with in order to make a decision.
So what’s better: a 48V e-bike or a 36V e-bike? We will list the differences and the pros and cons of both with the foundation of the above-mentioned terminologies.
Factors to consider while selecting a 36v vs 48v ebike battery:
1. Battery volts
A 36V e-bike battery produces a current of up to 15 amperes. Whereas, a 48V e-bike battery produces a current in the range of 10 to 40 amperes which is higher than a 36v battery. So, a 48V e-bike battery allows a better speed than a 36V e-bike battery.
Even though it sounds like achieving the same speed with a 36V e-bike is not possible, that is not true, apparently, an extra amount of exertion would be required to achieve that with it. But, this can exhaust and overload the battery.
Also, the battery heats up too fast because more heat is produced by a 36V motor than by a 48V one and this will affect the battery life and efficiency.
2. Ampere hours
The ampere-hours produced by a 36V battery is around 10-15 amp-hours. Whereas, a 48V battery has around 10-40 amp-hours. The maximum amps on a 36V system will be 10% less than those on a 48V system.
The maximum number of amps that may be drawn from a battery is known as a peak amp. and on a 36V system, it is around 5% less than on a 48V system.
The continuous amp rating, which determines the size of wire you should use to wire your e-bike, is the most crucial amp rating. A 36V system has constant amps that are roughly 5% less than a 48V system.
Based on the information about the watts and ampere-hours provided the watts produced by the 36V e-bike battery range somewhere from 360- 540. In a similar pattern, a 48V e-bike battery produces around 480-1920 watts.
When there is a comparison of range between the two a 48V e-bike battery produces about 25% more range than a 36V e-bike battery. The power difference between the two lies at 10-15%.
A 48v battery has more Ah and watts than a 36v battery. As a result, an ebike with a 48v battery offers a greater range as compared with a 36v ebike on a single charge.
So if you want a greater range with more speed, go with 48 volts ebike battery. And if you are purchasing or converting your ebike for the daily commute, going with a 36v battery would be a wise decision as it would save you money.
Also, The maximum speed a 36v battery offers is around 20 mph. whereas a 48 volts system is capable of 28 mph top speeds.
So, these were the major differences between 48v and 36v ebike batteries that you must consider while purchasing or replacing an ebike battery.
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36v Vs 48v Ebike Battery: How Do They Compare in Terms of Performance and Price?
When it comes to weight, there are two factors i.e., the rider’s weight and the battery’s weight.
If the rider’s weight is heavy (above 200 pounds or 100 kg), a heavy battery (48v battery) would be required to supply greater power to the motor. And if the rider’s weight is normal i.e., less than 200 pounds or 100kg, a 36v battery would be enough for commuting on flat roads only.
Whereas, a 48v ebike battery is heavier than a 36-volt battery but this extra weight is negligible because a 48v battery provides more power, speed, and range than a 36v battery. Also, It is capable enough for climbing uphills. So choose wisely!
2. Compatibility with surfaces
You would get two types of surfaces while riding ebikes i.e., flat roads and mountainous (hilly) surfaces.
If you live in a city and want an electric bike for daily errands, commuting, or just for traveling then an ebike with a 36v battery would be enough for you and give a range of around 30-40 miles on a single charge.
However, If you live in a hilly area where you face mountainous terrains to ride, you would need a heavy battery on your ebike that fulfills your need with a maximum power supply i.e., a 48v battery. This battery is most suited for off-road riding since it is constructed to withstand pressure.
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We think you wouldn’t be let down by even a 36V e-bike. But, It can be used a few times only because It would cause the 36v battery to drain more quickly over time and might potentially endanger the bike’s lifetime efficiency due to the strain.
As a result, The battery would run out faster than it would on a 48V e-bike, which would be the sole drawback in this situation. Therefore, It is advised to get a 48V e-bike battery when riding on rough terrain, because it is more practical and wiser.
Also, you wouldn’t need to do as much maintenance as you would with a 36V e-bike, the bike would require less of you.
3. Purpose of riding an electric bike
Knowing the reason for riding an ebike makes things a lot simpler as It is one of the best methods to evaluate the features and options that come with the ebike and allows for the best customization.
So try to answer the following questions:
- Why do you need it?
- Do you plan to use it frequently?
If your purpose is to commute in the city or enjoy the cycling experience without hurting your legs much. Then, an ebike with a 36v battery is enough for this as it offers outstanding speed, power, and range without costing you much.
However, If you want to accelerate quickly and have a longer riding range and do some delivery work then a 48V e-bike battery would be perfect for you, or maybe a higher voltage one depending on the slope and the amount of weight you are carrying if you want to ride your e-bike on uneven surfaces.
So, making a plan for oneself to compare and contrast the usage and purpose of the purchase makes the process simpler since it would be a wise purchase.
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4. The Controller
One of the crucial components of an e-bike is the controller. E-bike’s speed is controlled or maintained by it. Keep in mind that the e-controller bike’s rating is a crucial consideration. It would release less electricity if the controller for your e-bicycle had fewer watts than the battery.
It wouldn’t assist you to even raise the battery voltage. As a result of a greater and quicker current flow when the controller has a higher voltage, the battery will overheat and sustain irreparable damage.
Consequently, The controller rating should be as close to the battery ratings while buying an ebike battery (you must take this in mind).
There is a difference in the quality that each of the two e-bikes offers despite the fact that they are both built of essentially the same material. You would pay more for a 48V electric bike than a 36V electric bike.
A 48V e-bike would cost more by at least 15%, according to this estimate. A 15% difference can be really significant when you consider that an electric bike might cost you hundreds of dollars.
The 36V electric bike is cheaper than the 48V electric bike, which is the key factor. But you have the freedom to choose if a 48V e-bike is what you can afford.
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Which is Better 36v or 48v Ebike Battery: Conclusion
As you have seen, there are a number of variations between the 36V and 48V e-bikes. Sadly, there is no obvious victor. Whether you select a 36V or 48V e-bike battery will depend on your needs and your budget.
But after reading the above information, you will be aware of the major distinctions between 48v and 36v electric bike batteries and which one you ought to choose.
So to conclude this article on 36v vs 48v ebike battery our simple and subjective answer is:
Both batteries are good in their own place, they are widely used on the majority of electric bikes. But when it comes to choosing one between them, it depends upon the person utilizing the bike and the reason for the purchase is the determining factor.
If your budget permits it, choose the 48V battery if you’re interested in an electric bike that offers you superior speed and range. Otherwise, choose the 36v e-bike.
FAQs: 36v vs 48v Electric Bike Battery
Can I use a 36v battery with a 48v motor ebike?
Yes, you can. But the speed of the motor will reduce because the 36v battery will provide lesser current and power to the motor as compared to a 48v battery. Also, a 36v battery has fewer amp-hours so the range will reduce and the battery may get heat because it would have some extra load from the motor.
Can I replace a 36v battery with a 48v battery?
Yes! You can replace a 36v battery with a 48v one. But you need to regulate the controller to 36v otherwise the motor will run hot and catch fire because a 48v battery provides higher voltage and amp-hour as compared to a 36v battery.
Will a higher voltage battery make my ebike faster?
Yes! The speed of an ebike motor is also dependent on the battery’s voltage. It means higher battery volts make an ebike faster as compared to a battery with low volts. Generally, the top speed of an ebike with a 36v battery is around 15mph Whereas, a 48v ebikes have a top speed of around 25mhp.
What is the main difference between 36v and 48v electric bikes?
Higher battery voltage provides more electric power. As you can see there is a difference of 12 volts between these two batteries. It simply means a 36v battery has less power (around 15 amps) whereas, a 48v ebike battery has more current 9 (around 10-40 amps).
Is a 48-volt battery better than a 36 volt?
Both the batteries are good. But it depends on the type of ebike and where you are going to ride on. Generally, Ebikes with 36v battery is perfect for city riding, and normal commuting as it is less expensive and lightweight too. However, ebikes with 48v batteries are good for rough terrain, cargo loading, and long rides.
Can I use a 48v battery on a 36v ebike motor?
Yes! You can use a 48v battery on a 36v motor. For this combination, the controller of the ebike should also be compatible with a 48v battery.
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