Electric Bike Motor Wattage Explained: Types, Range & Power

While you don’t need to understand everything about how your e-bike works, it can be helpful in certain situations. Plus, you might be curious as to how a small battery and motor propels you all over the countryside. When deciding between a 250-watt motor and a 500-watt motor, you will encounter some significant differences.

Your top speed, for example, will change depending on what ebike motor watt you own. At full throttle, without any pedaling, a 500-watt motor will take you to a top speed of about 20mph. A smaller, 250-watt motor, all things being equal, will take you to a maximum of about 15 mph. So, not surprisingly, a bigger motor gives you more speed.

In addition to speed, you will also notice an enhanced ability to climb hills with a bigger motor. Other things come into play here as well. A heavier person going uphill will definitely see the value in the bigger motor. A smaller person in many situations can get by with the smaller motor without much of a sacrifice in terms of speed and climbing power.

The Importance of Range

When comparing electric bikes, it is also worthwhile to consider the range your motor and battery can take you. After all, you want to be able to venture out to the places you love on your rides and spend some time enjoying the breeze in your hair. The range can be measured in both time and distance and is more a function of the battery than the motor, though they are related. 

With a 250-watt battery, you are looking at about 1.5 hours of riding time using electrical power. This works out to a distance of about 15 miles in full electric mode and 15-30 miles in pedal-assist mode. With a 500-watt battery, your bike will have these capabilities:

  • A full electric range of 18-40 miles
  • A pedal-assist range of 20-60 miles
  • A time range of about 1-2 hours

As with everything, the amount of time and distance you get on your bike will depend upon several factors: the terrain, the size of the rider, the wind speed and direction and the amount of stuff you are carrying. Once you have ridden the bike for a while, you will come to learn its abilities.

The Value of Knowledge

The more you know, the better you can enjoy your machine. You also might want to know how long do electric bikes last? When it comes to the regular components—brakes, tires, chains, seats, etc.—you can expect to get about the same wear and tear as a traditional bike. A quality motor, partially because it is not in use all of the time, should last at least 10,000 miles with proper care.

The battery has a lifespan of about three to five years. You can anticipate getting about 1,000 charges out of the battery. Eventually, though, the battery will become less effective in holding a charge and it will be time to replace it.  

The right e-bike is out there for you. It is the smart way to keep the momentum going on your bike rides.