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Do Electric Bikes Charge When You Pedal?
October 21, 2020
Do Electric Bikes Charge When You Pedal?
Generally, you have to charge your electric bike before going for a ride to utilize its benefits.But are there any electric bikes that charge when you pedal them?

Do Electric Bikes Charge When You Pedal?
No, electric bikes don’t charge when you pedal.However, there are electric bike models that charge a small amount when you brake or go downhill.

How Most Electric Bikes Work
Electric bikes are becoming more common as the demand for them increases. They are also becoming more energy efficient as technology evolves.Conventional electric bikes need to be charged before you ride them. This involves plugging them in at home or somewhere with a power source.Charging them beforehand allows electric bikes to utilize their important features. Electric bikes make pedaling easier, especially for uphill and long-distance rides.When you are pedaling your bike, you create kinetic energy. This energy is what makes you move and is created by your body.Electric bikes make that easier for you with a battery-powered motor.New bikes, however, are becoming even more efficient. They add to the battery’s charge as you ride them, either with braking or with downhill riding.

Self-Charging Electric Bikes
Self-charging electric bikes have begun emerging in the last few years. They aim to be more energy-efficient than conventional electric bikes.Self-charging electric bikes work by redirecting the kinetic energy you create when you pedal. The energy is redirected when you apply the brakes or ride downhill.Normally, the kinetic energy created from pedaling is transferred to the brake pads as heat. Electric bikes instead redirect that energy to the bike battery.This is similar to car batteries, which are recharged by the motion and braking of the car. However, the process is not nearly as effective with electric bikes.So there are two main types of self-charging electric bikes. Ones that use regenerative braking, and ones that use downhill energy recapturing.

Effectiveness of Regenerative Braking
With electric bikes with regenerative braking, you can expect to get 1% to 15% energy back. This variation is dependent on where you ride.For example, if you live in an area with little traffic, the effects will be limited. Consistently riding without engaging the brakes will not activate the recharging feature of these bikes.On the other hand, if you ride somewhere with plenty of stop-and-go points, this changes. Stopping frequently will cause you to utilize regenerative braking more.So this type of self-charging electric bike is great for people living in cities. Having to break at stop lights often will give you the most out of that recharging potential.The RadCity 4 electric commuter bike uses regenerative braking to self-charge as you ride. Engaging the brakes converts the motor into a generator.This means that each time you brake on the RadCity 4, the kinetic energy from your riding goes back into the bike’s motor. The bike essentially transfers your momentum into its battery.Again, this is most effective in situations involving frequent braking. But even a 5% energy return can make a big difference over long rides.Additionally, regenerative braking has already seen great improvements since its inception. It will likely become more efficient and less noticeable compared to normal braking as it evolves.

Effectiveness of Downhill Energy Recapturing
The second prominent self-charging technology for electric bikes uses downhill energy recapturing. This emerging technology has similar effectiveness to regenerative braking.The main difference is this type of self-charging works best with frequent hills and slopes. An environment with many downhill routes especially will get the most charge.The Eahora X6 Snow electric bike uses this type of self-charging. The bike’s E-PAS system stores some energy from going downhill into the battery.The company claims the bike is able to save over 50% of its power, but reviews are not as generous. However, this again depends on the environment the bike is ridden in.If frequently ridden downhill at speeds of at least 15 miles per hour, that claim is entirely possible. On most average terrains, you can expect a less substantial amount of charge.That being said, even small amounts of energy recharged add up over a long trip. So you do not need a bike route with massive hills to make this type of electric bike beneficial.Like regenerative braking, this technology is also improving. The Eahora E-PAS system is just one design that is evolving. Others will follow and improve upon it.
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