Watts, Volts, and Amp Hours - the power behind your eBike

Whatever the purpose of your ride, eBikes provide an efficient and eco-friendly way to get from one place to another. Still, different purposes require eBikes of different performance capabilities. It’s one thing to leisurely cruise around town, and another to commute over long distances or climb hills.

While you likely won’t need a high powered eBike for a leisurely ride, you might want to be able to understand their technical specifications. This is especially the case if you’re looking for endurance or extra assist. In order to make an informed choice based on electric bike power consumption, you need to understand how watts, volts, and amp hours affect eBike batteries and motors. No matter how many Watts the battery has, it also has certain amounts of Volts and Amp-hours inside.

Let’s start by taking a closer look at how electrical measurements like Watts (W), Volts (V), and Amp Hours (Ah) effect pedal-assist eBike power.

How Watts Impact eBike Performance

The first thing you will need to determine is the Watt rating you want for your eBike. eBike’s power levels are measured in Watts, and the Watt rating represents the way to measure an eBike’s performance. The higher the wattage, the faster and further an eBike will perform. Watt ratings can be continuous or peak, and it is important to know which one you’re considering when you’re looking at specifications.

Continuous Watt rating refers to the amount of energy the motor can consume over a short period of time. Peak Watt rating is reached when an eBike is used more intensely, such as when climbing a steep hill. Motors with the same Watt ratings may have a completely different amount of power, depending on the eBike’s configuration. This is due to the fact that commuter eBike’s controller and battery have a greater impact on the riding experience than wattage does.

In case wattage isn’t listed on the description, an easy way to find this measurement is with a simple mathematical equation: Amps(A) x Volts(V) = Watts(W).

How Volts Affect eBike Performance

Volts are the second measurement to consider when you’re looking at the technical specifications of eBikes. Volts represent power, meaning the more volts you have, the more power you have.

Volts are also a way to describe how much pressure can be contained in a battery. Battery power is often measured in sequences of 12V, 24V, 36V, and 48V. The most common voltage for an eBike is 24 Volts - just enough for cruising around town. Hilly terrains require a bit more power, which makes 48V eBike battery (or stronger) the best choice for high-performance eBikes.

Volts are also used to measure eBike’s responsiveness, or put simply: how fast the electricity is being pushed through from battery to motor.

How eBike Amp Hours Affect Performance

Electrical current is measured in Amps or Ampers. Amp-hours describe the battery capacity - the amount of power an eBike’s battery can hold. Depending on its capacity, amp hours vary in size.

The number of amp-hours in a way represents the amount an eBike’s “gas tank” can hold. eBike amp-hours affect the range or mileage of how far an eBike can go, as well as how much charge it can operate.

There are many factors that affect the range. For example, things like hill climbing, strong headwind, or heavy cargo decrease the range. Other factors that affect eBike’s mileage include the rider’s weight, starts, stops, as well as pedaling and overall speed.

Similar to purchasing a car, it’s important to factor in the purpose and ways in which you will ride your eBike. Understanding all the things that can affect battery or motor is just as important as understanding how these measurements impact eBike’s performance.

eBike Volts VS Amp Hours

Amp-hours and voltage both determine the total amount of energy an eBike will provide. Higher voltage means higher power, or that an eBike will perform better, at higher speeds, and with more endurance. Higher voltage also requires an eBike to use more energy in the process.

On the other hand, the higher the amp hour rating is, the higher the range will be. Having higher amp hours means that the battery can hold more energy. It also determines the power rating of the battery pack.

Put simply, the higher the measurements, the more powerful an eBike will be. If you’re after an eBike that can accelerate quickly, climb steep hills, and reach longer distances, the one you should be looking for should have a high voltage as well as high amp hours.

How Much Power Does An eBike Need

Now that we’ve explained what watts, volts, and amp hours are and how they affect an eBike’s performance, it’s time to go for a ride! The simplest way to figure out what type of electric bike you need is to go on a test ride if possible.

If not, the rule of the thumb is - 10 amp hours are just enough for a leisure ride and will take you as far as 20 to 40 miles. Things like cargo, rider’s weight, weather, and speed determine whether it’s going to be closer to 20 or 40 miles.

In other words, hills, heavier stuff, stronger winds, and faster speeds will make the ride shorter. In case you already know you should factor these in, consider bumping up the power just to be on the safe side.

Check out our Fat Tire eBike as well as one of our Cruiser eBikes and find your perfect ride!