How to measure the energy consumption of E-Bikes

An investment in an E-Bike has to be carefully chosen. With the careful choice and selection of the brand according to ones own desire one can already decrease the travel costs. The Swiss Touring Club has defined three user profiles in order to councel better future buyers of an E-Bike and to show how much cost will the buy create over a decade.

A growing number of people are convinced by the popular E-Bikes and do want to make use of this environment friendly and easy to care vehicles. The relatively high initial costs of such purchase is composed of three components: The purchase price, the maintenance and the recharging. To facilitate the right choice of potential buyers, TCS has designed three user profiles and the kilometre/mileage cost for each case calculated.

The most sportive riders pay the least per kilometre

The first category consists of  bikers who love long strolls on roads or cross country and who reach around 4000 km per annum. These sportive users pay between CHF 0.30 and CHF 0.50 per kilometre. TCS advice such bikers to pay particular attention to the choice of the E-Bike tyres.  Various E-Bikes equipped for dirt roads, others with tyres that make sense for long journees on asphalt. For use on the latter, TCS recommends a fast racing bike that runs without pedal support, when the battery is halted. Other models can be equipped with a second battery to extend the range, respectively to extend the duration of the trip without the electrical pedal support.

For commuters the simple maintenance is top

Commuters who ride around 2000 kilometres per year are in the second category. For those a kilometre costs between CHF 0.50 and CHF 0.70. For their use they select a slow or a fast E-Bake. Both models respond to the desire not to take care of the connections in public transport, and allow the possibility to exercise physical activity on the way to work. For this case, TCS recommends also light folding-up E-Bikes that can be transported in the trunk of a car or taken aboard public transport systems. This type of E-Bike was mainly develped for women, they offer comfort and the possiblity to wear working clothes. However, the buyer of such an E-Bike needs to think of what clothes he wears daily.

The little drivers select easy to handle models

TCS has definde this third category for people using their E-Bike only for short holes, e.g. to go shopping and covering only around 1000 kilometre. Their E-Bike would cost on average between CHF 0.60 and CHF 0.90 per kilometre. These users want to keep their mobility as seniors and/or they live in a region without a regular public transport system. TCS recommend for these user type a slow and light E-Bike that can be easily transported and parked at home or near the office. The biker has to move the vehicle without effort, even when loaded with shopping items. This requires a special adapted basket or a special load trailor to transport the goods. Another important equipment is a bike lock and an insurance policy in case of theft, in order to park the E-Bike  without to having to worry.

Additional information on E-Bikes

An E-Bike is combining the energy of an engine with the pedal activition of the biker. Without pedal support, the slowmodels are equipped with an engin of 20 km/h and reach with mussel power a speed of 25 km/h, whereas those E-Bikes with a 30 km/h engine allow a speed of 45 km/h, if the biker presses the pedal accordingly.

This difference of speed is also reflected in the Road Traffic law. Theslow E.Bike is defined as light motorcycle, the fast one as motorcycle. To drive a fast E-Bike at the age of 14 a special driver’s licence is needed, whereass this permit is needed also for 14 and 15 years old for the low speed E-Bikes. For the fast E-Bikes a left rearview miror and the wearing of helmet are compulsory, according to Swiss Road Traffic Law.

The battery is the central element of an E-Bike with a reach of 50 to 150 km. A fûll charge needs three to six hours. The lifetime of a well maintaned battery is four to five years. The TCS recommend that in case of non use of the vehicle to take it off the bike and to store it frost free with a charge of at least 60 %.