Whether it’s a lengthy commute, a mountainous trail, or the desire to explore your surroundings, an ebike’s range is important.
Too short, and the battery voltage (and speed) will drop off, leaving you underpowered and in the dust. How do we prevent that?
By looking at the longest range electric bike and some other fantastic picks!
These ebikes aren’t exactly cheap, but they do come in with the perfect punch of performance from frame weight to motor efficiency, aerodynamics to battery life, and of course: insanely long ranges on a single charge.
Raleigh Centros 2019 Model
140 miles. You get a whopping 140 miles of range, which is far more than it sounds. It’s enough to commute for most people for up to an entire 7-day span without having to even charge the battery, which is pretty intense when you think about it.
The Raleigh Centros has a 500Wh battery, however, it’s extremely expensive. If we look at the frame design and the battery housing, we can see that it’s relatively thin, and the housing over the wheels isn’t that thick either.
Riding this thing is like walking on a cloud, because the electric assistance is so intuitive that you don’t even really feel that it’s there. However, because of its lightweight design, you’ll be able to push this for more than 140 miles of range if you treat it well.
This isn’t official, since Raleigh Centros specifically states it’s capped at 140 miles, but you’ll be able to push this just a little bit further under the right circumstances. Charging times take a while, but for what you’re getting, it’s worth it.
The QWIC MN7 VV Premium Edition
You want a massive range on a single charge?
You needn’t look any further than QWIC. Electric bikes are still up-and-coming, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t manufacturers trying to push the limits and innovate on a near daily basis.
QWIC is manufactured in Amsterdam, an area that sees a lot of innovative design. The reason this is such a steal is because these products are only going up, and only getting better. You get up to 130 miles of range on this entire thing.
Coming in with 110 miles of range, QWIC isn’t done just yet. While this is an older model for sure, you’re still getting their excellent frame design.
You can see the battery housing is relatively thin, which usually meals less cells in a smaller battery, but they’ve managed to fit a lot in here and really pack a punch.
This is one of two of their RD11 models, because their secondary goes up to 28 MPH, while this version actually caps out at 15.5 MPH. We believe it’s to compensate for the battery size and not put too much pressure on the battery.
The only downside to going with the 28 MPH version is that you can feel when the wattage starts to tone down, but the 15.5 MPH model will generally feel on-point until the last 15 minutes of battery life before you get that noticeable drag.
Riese and Muller Supercharte GT HS
This pushes the envelope in terms of legality since it can host a 1Kwh battery, but the good thing is it’s a beast of a machine even if you just use the 500Wh battery. However, this is going to run you a high cost, similarly to Raleigh Centros.
You can get these in USD prices, but they’re also available in other countries where the conversion may not make sense (in your favor).
It’s not uncommon for people to buy one of these in another country and then use an electric conversion kit in the United States for their adapters.
What About Delfast?
A quick search will show that the brand Delfast from the Ukraine has made the “fastest electric bike with the longest range,” but that’s not exactly true. By US standards, their electric bike would actually be classified as a motorcycle.
Not a moped or anything, but a motorcycle. It’s partially because of the battery bank, but also due to the speed.
Even if you made a DIY version of your own electric bike and added extra cells to reach this same whopping 230+ mile range, it’s still not going to be legal because it will go over a certain wattage.
It’s a slippery slope, but Delfast just doesn’t make the cut.
What Makes These the Best Electric Bikes for Range?
There’s a lot that goes into this level of efficiency. As of right now, we’re not exactly looking at the golden age of electric vehicles.
We’re getting there, but until it’s a clear choice for 90%+ people to switch to electric because of the benefits to them, they’re not going to do it.
However, the only other option for full-auto on something like this would be a motorcycle, and electric motorcycles are surely struggling right now. There are plenty of adults who want to commute, but don’t realize an electric bike is an option. It tends to be thought of as just a toy for kids.
But as you can see from the prices and the serious design choices of these electric bikes, that’s clearly not the case. We’re looking at some top-tier designs, and we can take away the following from each of these in terms of maximizing range:
Weight: The weight of the bike will directly relate to its range. If the bike is too heavy, it won’t go as far, if it’s too light, it won’t be able to hold enough momentum to move forward without slowing down relatively quickly. This is perhaps the trickiest part of making an effective, long-range ebike apart from the battery.
Frame Material: The frame is arguably the most important part of any bicycle in the world. It’s basically the spine of the bike to hold everything together. When you use a lightweight frame for an electric bike, you have to focus on the materials and make sure they’re dense and durable enough to withstand any and all stress that the rider puts on it.
Quality Parts Sourcing: These brands are either making their own parts, or sourcing them from companies who know what they’re doing. No top-tier brands like these are going to just use any parts they find without inspecting them personally and watching the entire production and testing process. They care about the quality that’s going from their factory floor to your door.
Ergonomic for Riders: When you’re riding, the weight distribution from the seat placement to the handlebar width, down to the smallest details, can all make a big impact. Basically, you have to think about all the different ways that stress will affect your bike, how much the motor has to pull it, and what the bike itself can do to optimize that weight distribution. Because of that, the entire experience needs to take the rider positioning into account, making it ergonomic for them to ride how they please without sacrificing performance for the bike.
Testing: These manufacturers have a lot of competition as the electric vehicle industry continues to grow, so you’re not going to see them slow down any time soon. They have to test these bikes and put the pedal to the metal on pulling every mile out of every battery charge that they can, because at this level, people are buying with range in mind. For that, they need to vigorously test their batteries, how many charges they can withhold, and put their bikes under different stressful circumstances to see how it performs. When you go for top-tier brands like these, they all but 100% ensure that their bikes are tested to withstand stress. The last thing they need is to be labeled as an expensive brand that doesn’t deliver expensive quality.
There are also legal limitations in place. We mentioned having a 1 Kwh battery isn’t technically legal, and that’s because the US federal rules state that a battery must be under X amount of watts.
Other countries will have different laws around speed and battery capacity, so if you see certain ebikes being sold for different prices, don’t be alarmed or think it’s instantly illegal: it all depends on where it’s made and where it ships to.
You Can Go the Distance
If you can’t afford one of these fantastic ebikes, you can always DIY your own, add extra cells, and see what you can do with speed controllers and hub motors.
It’s a ton of fun, and you could conjure up some Frankenstein creation to help you hit further ranges than ever before.
Your electric bike range is subject to a lot of things, but with the right optimization, you can even stretch the range out of a lot of the bikes we’ve mentioned here today and push the envelope. It’s time to go the distance.
Noel Joseph has been in the world of motor vehicles for a long period. Currently, he is enthusiastic about Electric & Hybrid Motors and is an independent researcher. He advocates for a clean and sustainable future and envisions utilizing his years of experience in mechanical engineering. His new venture here at CompactPower.com is to organize and simplify knowledge on Electric vehicles. He wants to build a space where people can talk about EVs and associated technologies with freedom.