You always need to charge your ebike battery once it is discharged and you charge your battery with electricity through a charger. But can you charge an ebike while riding or pedaling or braking? Is it possible?
Yes, it is possible to charge the ebike battery while pedaling and braking but it’s not complete truth that’s why the majority of ebikes don’t charge while riding.
Then why do brands claim that their ebikes get charged while riding or pedaling? How you can charge your electric bike while riding, Is it efficient or not? We will explore this topic in detail in this article.
Let’s start with the fundamentals of electric bikes.
What is an E-Bike and How it Works?
Electric bikes have become more popular in recent years because of their innovative features over traditional bikes. A bicycle that uses an electric motor to help the rider run the bike faster and at a higher speed is called an electric bike.
In simple language, you can define an e-bike as a bicycle that is capable of using electric power to run. E-bikes are eco-friendly, as they don’t cause any harm to the environment.
These bikes assist a rider in the riding process and also benefit the rider’s health and fitness. E-bikes use rechargeable batteries, and these bikes give a good range of speeds of about 20 miles per hour to 28 miles per hour and more.
Can You Charge an Ebike While Riding?
Can you really charge an ebike battery while riding? The answer to this question is not simple because most ebikes don’t charge while riding. The only way to charge your ebike is to plug your battery with the charger and connect it to an electric socket, inverter, etc.
However, there are some brands that claim their ebikes get charged while riding using a regenerative braking system. Currently, this feature is found in a few electric cars but very rarely exists in ebikes.
Because this system is not worth it for electric bikes due to the fact that you need to apply the brake frequently in order to charge your ebike battery.
See, if you apply the brakes frequently, your bike will stop and will create more pressure on the ebike battery when you accelerate (restart) the motor. And hence, your battery is getting discharged instead of being charged.
Also, This feature only functions on ebikes that have direct-drive hub motors without gears and are not much effective to charge the battery during rides. According to a few manufacturers, it only increases the range of the bike by a small percentage of about 10% to 20%.
This regenerative technology can only charge the battery to a small percentage, not completely, so this is not a sufficient way of charging the bike for you if you are expecting to charge the bike completely or by a large percentage.
So what do you think, is it really worth it? Think again, if this system were successful, it could have been installed in all models of electric bikes available in the market.
In my experience, it’s a marketing strategy that ebike manufacturers do to attract more customers and increase their sales. That’s it. So beware of these kinds of advertisements.
If you really want to increase your ebike battery range by charging it while riding, you can do it by carrying another ebike battery with you or charging through solar panels while riding.
Pros and Cons of Charging an Electric Bike while Riding
As we discussed earlier, charging an e-bike while riding is possible, but only a few models of electric bikes allow this. No technology in the world is 100% perfect and effective, so this technology also offers advantages and a few disadvantages.
Let’s see what are the benefits and limitations of this way of charging:
- One of the biggest advantages of charging the e-bike while pedaling or braking is that it conserves energy and uses energy more efficiently.
- When you use the brakes on the bike, it forces the motor to put in extra hard work and helps the battery increase its power-delivering capacity.
- When you pedal and charge an e-bike, it gives a good workout to your body and muscles, improves your heart health, and gives good exercise to your lower body, including your feet and legs.
- When you charge an e-bike while riding, it helps you achieve a higher range of speed and makes your battery last longer on a single charge.
- When you charge an e-bike while riding, it only benefits you by charging a small percentage of the battery, but this can’t help you charge your fully depleted battery, so this is an inefficient way of charging.
- One of the disadvantages is that only a few e-bike models that have direct-drive motors are capable of charging the battery while riding, and this is the reason why very few bikes can charge while riding or offer this.
- When you charge an e-bike by braking, it usually decreases the lifespan of the brakes because of the frequently applied brakes.
- E-bikes with regenerative brakes are heavy as well as expensive.
Cost of Charging an Ebike While Riding
The cost of charging an e-bike while pedaling or braking depends on several factors. There are so many factors that affect and determine the cost of charging, including the rate of electricity.
You can calculate the cost of charging your e-bike by calculating the capacity of the battery in kilowatt hours and multiplying it by the cost of electricity per kilowatt hour.
What are the factors that determine the cost of charging an e-bike battery? Continue reading to learn more.
- The capacity of the battery is an important factor that affects the cost of charging. High-capacity batteries of 500 watts or more take longer to charge and cost more as compared to lower-wattage batteries of 250 watts or 350 watts.
- The cost of electricity in your local area is one of the most important factors. The rate of electricity where you will be charging the e-bike also affects and determines how much it will cost to charge your e-bike battery.
- How much time you spend charging an electric bike also determines the charging cost. If you are taking more time to charge, then it will cost more.
Learn how long does it take to charge 36v and 48v ebike battery:
- How long does it take to charge a 36-volt ebike battery?
- How long does it take to charge a 48-volt ebike battery?
Is It Safe to Charge an Electric Bike While Riding?
Yes, it is safe to charge an electric bike while riding by either pedaling or regenerative braking. As a rider, it’s your responsibility to understand the e-bike and take all the precautions necessary to ensure your safety.
Here are all the precautions you must remember when riding an e-bike.
- Understand your ebike and how it works by reading the e-bike manual so you ride it more safely.
- Always wear a good-quality helmet while riding your ebike.
- Be mindful of your e-bike speed, as e-bikes have much higher and faster speeds. Ride the bike at a speed you are comfortable with.
- Check and inspect all the e-bike parts before you take a ride to have a good and safe ride.
- You must follow all the riding rules that are given to ensure a safe and legal ride.
To conclude this article, I would say that the majority of ebikes in the market don’t charge while riding or pedaling, or braking. The only way to charge your ebike battery is to charge it with electricity or any means.
However, you may find some ebikes which may charge by a small percentage using regenerative braking. And I think it is not useful at all. It’s better to carry another battery when you are going long distances.
When it comes to the question of whether can you charge an ebike while riding? I hope you got the answer. If not ask your questions by commenting below.
FAQs: Can you Charge Ebike Battery while Riding
Can you recharge the ebike battery while riding downhill?
It’s possible to charge the ebike battery using your brakes but it’s not worth it at all because it charges the battery for around 10%. You can never charge your battery while riding more than 10%. Learn more about ebike battery charging when you go downhill.
Can you charge your ebike at charging stations?
Yes, you can charge your ebike battery on the go at charging stations using an adapter. Make sure your bike battery supports the charging stations’ power.
Why regenerative braking is not suitable for ebike charging?
Regenerative braking is not good for ebike battery charging as you need to pedal very hard and the charging percentage will be negligible. It’s better to charge your battery with electric power, a generator, solar panels, etc.
Can you ride an electric bike while charging?
Yes, you can ride an electric bike while charging. I’ve tried it myself and it’s a great way to keep my ebike battery charged while extending my ride time. Just make sure to choose the right charging method (Charge through Solar panels) and be careful while riding and charging at the same time.
- Can You Charge an Electric Bike at a Tesla Charging Station?
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Lithium-Ion Batteries in Electric Bikes
- Which One is Better 36v or 48v Ebike Battery?