Range anxiety on an electric bike?
Added: 30 June 2020
Riding on 15% - Range anxiety on an electric bike?
Most of us have an opinion about the validity of range anxiety in electric cars, which is nothing new. Some reach unfounded conclusions whilst others are genuinely fearful as to whether they will become stranded somewhere on 0%. So, can this happen with an e-bike too? Recently one morning when preparing for work I walked up to my VanMoof S2, and sensing my presence it sparkled into life, delivering the news via my connected VanMoof app that human error had occurred; I had forgotten to plug in the bike. To be fair it was very polite, in fact it simply showed I had 15% charge and that despite this, Moof (sorry, I’m very attached to my VanMoof S2 and it has a name, but this is only for my own entertainment – the bike doesn’t respond to me calling it this. Maybe the next VanMoof perhaps?), despite this, the bike was journey ready.
I must admit, I was unsure whether to commit to the ride at this point. What would happen if the charge hit 0%? Answer, the e-bike would instantly become a ‘bike’, and I would keep pedalling, and I would continue to propel across the landscape. Despite this logic making perfect sense, for some reason on that morning I still wondered whether I would take the bike out. Looking at Moof inspired me to go anyway, just to see what would happen.
This is what happened: I took my usual route, which involves a great many hills and varied terrain, with many junctions where the torque boost assistance (thank you ‘button on the left hand side’) enables me to safely pull away effortlessly whilst I visualise people watching on in awe. Honestly, I didn’t think 15% power would be sufficient for the duration, but then whilst on my journey I had the realisation that actually, thanks to the world-class tech on the S2, I was in control. You see, you can decide when to ‘ask for a boost’, thus saving power. You can set the pace, free wheel as required, again saving power. Obviously, I did none of this and instead powered onwards as usual, throwing caution to the wind, accepting the massive risk that I might have to do all the hard work myself. I know what you’re thinking right now, the same thing my partner said, and I didn’t want to hear it then either.
Anyway, the truth is that on that windy morning, the VanMoof S2, Moof, gave 100% all the way down to the last 1%. Ok, I’m not entirely being accurate there, as despite the double digit kilometres, frequent hills, headwind, and my enthusiastic use of boost, there was still 3% left on my arrival but I’m going for impact to hold your attention. Another admission here is that I have actually used the S2 without any charge, and I discovered this; due to the relative lightness of the bike and its gear ratio I was able to ride perfectly normally, just not as far or as efficiently. Indeed, let’s just say I arrived somewhat late with a clear visual indication as to my true level of fitness, and we’ll leave it at that.
So, what do we learn from this? 1) The range of the S2 is incredible - between 60km and 150km depending on whether riding at full power or in eco mode (read as, you doing some of the work). I should mention here that you can achieve 50% charge in just 80 minutes, or reach 100% charge in four hours, so in just over an hour you could be ready to ride nearly 80km, electrically assisted all the way. 2) The component quality which enables the VanMoof to behave the same at 1% as 100%, is admirable, no, mind-blowing, it really is. And 3) I need the VanMoof because I am a human who forgets things like charging my e-bike, my phone and my lapto ..
On a serious note, this e-bike really has become an essential part of my life, not just for commuting but leisure also. In fact, I’ve shared my thoughts on why you too may need the VanMoof S2, which can be read here.
Visit vanmoof.com/harwoods to take advantage of our amazing and exclusive partnership offer: your own S2 at a significantly reduced partnership price and delivery to your door within just 2 weeks.
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