Bicycles had always been a true companion to human beings until they were replaced by petrol and diesel-run cars and motorcycles. Though they are still found commonly in some European nations, most of the world has denounced their usage in modern times. So what is an electric bike?
However, with fossil resources depleting day by day we are again seeing a rise in the demand for bicycles especially, Electric Bikes.
People often get confused when they hear the word – Electric Bike. They picturised it to be a heavy bike that runs on Electricity and feature characters similar to that of a Tesla car.
However, in simple words, an electric bike is like a normal bicycle equipped with an electric motor, and other essential accessories.
By and large, they are simply meant to assist human power and not replace it. In fact, they are only here to enhance our travelling experience, augment our day to day commuting and for some of us as mood rehabilitator.
In this article, we have illustrated this exceptional electric revolution that is going to stay with us for a very long time.
Components of an Electric Bike
Well, there are mainly 3 necessary components- an electric motor, a battery and a drivetrain that transforms our normal bikes into Electric bike.
All these components work together in unison to give you the best experience of riding an electric bike.
Do you want to understand in detail how each of these components works? Read ahead!
- MOTOR: The electric motors for the e-bikes come in different power ratings that can vary from 200 watts to 1,000 watts or more. Also, depending on the model of the bike our motor could be a front hub, rear hub or mid-drive motor. The main function of an electric motor is to provide propulsion by spinning the tyre.
- BATTERY: Today batteries can last long for up to 100 KMs in a single charge depending upon the mode in which you are operating your bike. Batteries play a huge role in the proper functioning of the bikes and how it looks. It goes on without saying the bigger your battery, the heavier is the bike and longer will be your ride. Predominantly, there are two types of batteries available in the market – Sealed lead-acid batteries (SLA) and Lithium-Ion batteries. However, Lithium-ion batteries are more common due to their lightweight and longer durability.
- Drive Train: This component is mostly present at the rear end of the bike and is responsible for providing the essential torque to turn on the wheel of the bicycle. It also helps the rider to shift the gear, making it easier for him to pedal.
How Does An Electric Bike Work?
Generally, there are three modes in which you can operate your bikes. A thing you should note here is that electric bikes, though electric, are not completely free of pedalling.
Let us now understand how do the three modes of an e-bike actually work:
- Pedal Only Mode: This mode allows you to operate your e-bike as a normal bicycle. The best part is that the motor doesn’t add up any resistance hence, saving you from exhaustion. Depending upon the model of your bicycle, there could be anything from 3 gears to 8 gears or a special drivetrain mode that provides you with unlimited gear options. This mode is highly useful when you are low on charging however, your speed is limited as it completely depends on the strength of the rider.
- Pedal-assist/ Electric-Assist mode: This could be simply comprehended as a semi-human pedalling mode. Much of the work in this mode is done by the electronic motor only. You can select from the various assistance levels provided to you: Low (30%), Medium (60%) and High(100%). The percentage here indicates how much assistance is provided to you by the motor.
- Electric Only Mode: This mode allows the motor to kick in and take the charge from your legs into its own hands. This mode’s purpose is to allow you to take a rest and enjoy yourself while you are heading forward in the journey. This mode can be operated with the help of the throttle present at the handlebar. All you need to do is to twist the throttle and relax.
Advantages of Using an Electric Bike
With time the sales of e-bike have been trending upward only. This is due to their advantages over normal bikes and other vehicles.
Here we have highlighted some of the most alluring advantages of e-Bikes that will make you buy one:
- E-bikes are way too economical: Compared to petrol and other vehicles, E-bikes are way too economical and save you a lot of fuel. Unlike an expensive electric car, they fit well in the budget.
- E-bikes are fast: Unlike some of us think, e-bikes are faster, however, up to a certain limit. Though you can’t go as fast as 100kmph; they are suitable for the city lifestyle and shorter commutations.
- Enhances your fitness: Pedalling cycles is a good form of cardio. We suggest you ride your bike whenever you go out to pick up the groceries.
- Environment Friendly: With zero emissions, e-bikes don’t leave any carbon footprint.
Disadvantages Of An Electric Bike
Though electric bikes are surely a thing for the future, however, under circumstances it is bound to limitations and constraints.
The foremost thing is the cost of the batteries. Batteries of the e-bikes are slightly expensive ranging from Rs 20000 to Rs 3 Lakh depending upon the model.
Also, if you haven’t seen an electric bike you may be in for a little shock. Electric bikes are slightly heavy due to the additional components that make their handling and carrying a bit of a task.
Is Licence Necessary To Ride An Electric Bike?
Generally, electric bikes don’t require any special registration, insurance or any other form of documentation. You can ride it without a licence as well.
According to CMV Rules, battery-operated vehicles less than 250 watts power rating and speed less than 25kmph don’t require any driving license.
However, this may be a subject to state rules and you must confirm with your nearest transport authorities.