Electric bikes are becoming more and more popular in the UK, and people are eager to learn the ins and outs of operating one. It’s ideal for a family ride in the park, a pleasant commute to work, or a journey off the beaten track.
But one problem that cyclists often face with e-bikes is charging them. Not having enough ‘juice’ to continue the journey is a pain, so you need to prepare in advance.
Here is how to charge your electric bike on the go and make the most of your waiting time.
What’s the average time it takes to charge an e-bike?
Electric bike batteries are not the typical AA batteries that can easily be replaced. Rather, electric bikes use lithium-ion batteries, which have a huge capacity and are very efficient in terms of power consumption, operating through a combination of battery power and manual pedalling.
Generally, it takes about six hours to fully charge an e-bike battery. Nevertheless, this may vary depending on several factors, including the size of the battery, how much charge it has, the recharge rate of the battery, and the age of the battery pack.
To optimise your battery life, make sure you take good care of it. The battery is the most important part of your e-bike and isn’t cheap to replace. Don’t overcharge it, charge it regularly from bottom to top, and store it in warmer conditions.
In terms of the cost, charging an electric bike is extremely cheap. For example, a 10-amp battery in an area where electricity costs £0.09 per Kilowatt-hour will cost about £0.0015 per mile.
Ways to charge an e-bike
The last thing you want to happen to you on the road is to be left without ‘juice’. This can completely ruin your day, whether you’re commuting to work or enjoying a pre-planned bike touring journey. Luckily, there are a number of ways you can charge your electric bike while on the road.
The easiest and most common way to charge an e-bike is by bringing along a charger and plugging it into a standard wall outlet at a permitted spot. Cafes, restaurants, bike shops, libraries, and picnic pavilions in parks are all ideal for that. It’s best to plan one or more stops in advance before you set off.
Alternatively, you can charge your e-bike at purposefully built e-bike charging stations, through solar-panel charging, or by using a car.
The best cycling cafes in the UK to charge e-bikes
Whether you’re out and about in the city or are enjoying a peaceful bike ride in a beautiful park featuring woodland trails with stunning views, planning a stop to charge your e-bike is a must. While doing so, you don’t want the waiting time to feel like a waste. Hence, it’s best to choose a nice café where you can enjoy an indulgent brew in the meantime.
Cycling UK has ranked the best cycling cafes in the UK in their 2020 Cyclist Café of the Year awards. The ranking includes places where you can charge your e-bike but also feel part of the biking community, so definitely consider adding these stops to your map.
The headliner for England is Look Mum No Hands!, in London, which is one of the UK’s first cycling cafés. In Northern Ireland, visit Picnic Delicatessen in Killyleagh, where warm and delicious food welcomes you after riding for miles. Velocity Café and Bicycle Shop is Scotland’s pride, located in Inverness, and has been a winner for the second time due to its welcoming cycling hub and amazing food. In Wales, plan2ride Bicycle Café is the perfect stop in Tongwynlais, Cardiff, along the scenic off-road route, where you can charge your e-bike in the company of delicious cakes and also take a hot shower to wash off the mud while waiting.
One café has won a lifetime achievement – Capheaton Tea Room in Capheaton Village, Northumberland. The family-run café has been operating for over 25 years and has turned into a beloved community for cyclists.
Ellie Patterson, tea room manager, commented: “We first opened as a way to raise funds to maintain our village hall and for many years our tea room was a perfect stop to replenish while on a ride, but now we are very proud to have become a “destination” with a thriving community of cyclists covering all abilities. No matter what, we try to be open, ready to serve any cyclist who has battled the hills and Northumbrian weather!”
Now that you know about all the different ways to charge your electric bike while on the go, you can carefully plan your route and stops to have an awesome day on your bike!