June 26, 2023

What is an electric bicycle and how does it work?

Long time protagonists of sustainable mobility, e-bikes are pedal-assist bicycles that combine the propulsion of humans with that of an electric motor. They have a smart system that activates when we are pedaling, providing us with an extra push, and deactivates automatically when we aren’t pedaling. E-bikes are perfect for urban mobility where they represent an alternative to traditional two and four-wheeled vehicles, and they are available on the market in various versions depending on the use. From urban to sports to competition, they even allow participation in events such as the Giro-E, the Giro d’Italia with electric bicycles, which is now in its fifth year.  

How long does an electric bicycle battery charge last?

Batteries come in 200, 300, 400, 450, 504, 600, 625, 630, 700, 900 and more Watt-hours (Wh). Battery capacity is measured in Amp-hours, while the energy output is measured in Watt-hours. The higher the Watt value, the longer the duration of the battery, but the autonomy of the electric bicycle depends on more factors than just its capacity. It depends on the weight of the person, the itinerary, the speed, the type of asphalt, the tire pressure, the state of the battery and the remaining charge. A bicycle with a 300 Wh battery, for example, can assist with pedaling up to 55 km, which become just 35 km if the itinerary has several climbs or up to 75 km if we are talking about a flat route.

How can I know the charge level of an e-bike battery and how can I recharge it?

To know the battery charge level, you need to check the LED display located on the handlebars. This does not provide a precise assessment of the remaining autonomy but is simply an indication of the battery status at that moment. For a more precise reading, the bicycle must be at a standstill, avoiding fluctuations due to electricity absorption by the motor, although there are next-generation bicycles that have a digital indicator capable of quantifying the remaining distance. Recharging an e-bike is simple: the majority of batteries are removable from the frame and require a special charger that plugs into a power outlet in order to recharge.

How long does it take an electric bicycle to charge?

Depending on the type of battery, the charge time for an e-bike can vary from 3-4 hours to 7-8 hours. It takes two hours to reach about a 60% charge. The first time the battery is recharged it is advisable to leave for a longer duration than normal in order to maximize the battery’s potential.

Is pedaling easier on an electric bicycle?

Electric bicycles allow you to reach and maintain a higher speed in an easier way compared to traditional bicycles. With electric bicycles it is possible to take on more difficult itineraries, even including steep climbs, with less effort.


The electric assist in e-bikes is divided into different levels that assist in a different way depending on the model. A higher number corresponds to a wider and more nuanced choice of energy supply, which makes it possible to optimize consumption.


In fact, a lower level will contribute less, but will extend the duration of the battery. On the contrary, a higher level will reduce the number of assisted kilometers. Therefore, electric bicycles allow even amateur riders the ability to be able to tackle medium-difficulty climbs, they are however not recommended for more complicated itineraries or climbs of significant steepness or length.

What are the incentives available for buying electric bicycles?

The Mobility Bonus, also called the Bicycle Bonus, is one of the national subsidies provided for in the 2022 Relaunch Decree consisting of a tax credit for a maximum of 750 euros. The Mobility Bonus can be requested only by those who purchased bicycles, electric scooters, e-bikes, public transportation passes, or shared/ sustainable electric mobility services from August 1 to December 31, 2020.


As of today, the bicycle bonus isn’t available to everyone. Within the Italian regions, the forerunner is Friuli Venezia Giulia, which introduced a bicycle bonus that will allow citizens to receive a discount of up to 300 euros for the purchase of a new bicycle.

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