E-bike basics: Everything about electric motorcycles

E-bike basics: Everything about electric motorcycles

E-bike lexicon

Terms to have a say

It doesn’t matter whether electric motorcycles are the future or a zeitgeist phenomenon. A little basic vocabulary never hurts.

battery pack
Kacronym for accumulator ("Accumulator"): the energy storage device of an electrically powered vehicle. It can be helpful if the battery can be removed from the vehicle for charging.

A booster briefly calls up more power, for example to cope with an incline. Continuous use of the booster would damage the battery, which is why well-programmed electronics do not even allow it.

A force that acts via a lever – which is the case with all rotary motors – creates torque. In contrast to internal combustion engines, the torque in an electric motor is constantly high, i.e. independent of the speed. Because torque is directly responsible for acceleration, e-bikes accelerate particularly well from a standing start, at least in theory. In practice, some manufacturers limit the starting torque of their vehicles for safety reasons.

E bike
Once a vague generic term for every single-track vehicle with an electric drive, be it a bicycle with an additional electric motor, a hybrid scooter or a pure electric motorcycle / light motorcycle.

Eco fashion
Some vehicles offer an Eco-Mode, with which a longer range can be achieved. This is done primarily by limiting the top speed, so it’s something of a reverse booster.

Electric vehicles up to 4 kW and 45 km / h are considered small motorcycles ("50s", Driving license class M), up to 11 kW as light motorcycles ("125cc", Driving license class A1), above as motorcycles (driving license class A).

Helmet compulsory
All two-wheelers that can be ridden without pedal assistance are required to wear a helmet in Germany.

In the narrower sense, a vehicle in which a combustion engine and an electric motor work. In a broader sense, anything that connects two different concepts. The frame of the current Ducati Monster series is z. B. a hybrid frame: The front part consists of a tubular space construction, the rear part is cast

The amount of charge a battery can hold. Is specified in ampere hours (Ah) or kilowatt hours (kWh). 48 Ah capacity means that the battery e.g. Can supply a current of 12 amps for 4 hours.

Charging time
Vehicles with combustion engines can be refueled in a few minutes. Depending on the type of battery, its capacity and the charger, e-bikes need significantly longer, sometimes up to 8 hours, until they are fully charged again. Batteries that allow quick charging are still quite expensive, as are the associated quick chargers.

Charging efficiency
A measure of the efficiency of a battery: When charging, not all of the energy supplied is stored, some of it is lost as heat, for example. The ratio of stored and supplied energy is the charging efficiency. For example, if a 48 Ah battery requires 64 Ah to be fully charged, it has a charging efficiency of 75 percent. (48/64 = 0.75). Lithium-based batteries achieve a charging efficiency of up to 90 percent, classic lead batteries around 60 to 70 percent.

The made-up word "pedal" and "Electric" describes it aptly: The driver can only enjoy the electric motor as long as he is pedaling. Pedelecs whose average power is limited to 250 watts and whose motor only supports up to 25 km / h are considered bicycles. You therefore do not need an insurance license plate and can be driven without a helmet. Faster and / or more powerful pedelecs up to 45 km / h are used like mopeds ("50s"): You need an insurance license plate and the driver must have a moped driver’s license. Nevertheless, helmets are not compulsory.

Hub motor
A hub motor is built directly into the wheel, thus avoiding power losses due to power-transmitting components (chain, cardan, belt, gear, etc.). Electric motors are particularly suitable for this because of their design and because of their constant torque. However, the motor makes the wheels very heavy ("unsprung masses"), which worsens driving comfort.

How far an e-bike can travel on a single charge depends primarily on the battery capacity. In addition, driving at high speed, inclines and low temperatures significantly reduce the range. Driving resistances play a less important role at the often low speeds.

"Recovery": When braking or going downhill, the kinetic energy is converted into electrical energy and stored in the battery, similar to a bicycle dynamo.

Fast charge
Some modern lithium-based batteries can be fully charged much faster with special chargers
are called lead batteries.

Because e-bikes often have a heavy battery on board, the permitted payload decreases. To be approved as a 2-person vehicle, it must be at least 150 kg.

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