Last modified on April 28th, 2022 at 2:30 pm

How do Electric Bike Motors Work?

Over the years, e-bikes have offered a great deal to commuters. These two-wheelers help increase your pedaling power with an engine. But do you really know how electric bike motors work?

Your electric bike motors convert electrical energy into mechanical energy, and thus it works mostly. Instead of brushes, brushless DC motors or BLDC motors are used in e-bikes, used in previous motors to switch the direction of current flow.

Here in this write-up, we’ve thoroughly researched the e-bike motor to give you all the essential information. It will help you interact with your electric bike and understand its needs accurately.

How Do Electric Bike Motors Work?

Close of e-bike motor

The best electric bike under 500 can offer considerable performance, speed, and durability. Though it looks like a simple thing, what it does to your e-bike is critical. Here’s the explanation:

The battery power of your e-bike flows immediately into a wheel which is driven by the rear motor. If your motor is attached in the middle of the bike, it can engage your drivetrain.

Also, it can engage your drivetrain when you sit in the middle of your bike. The power you create passes through the chains at the back of your bike to engage. And this is called parallel pedaling.

Modern e-bike motors don’t have any brushes; it does the spin with a little chip. Three large power wires are connected to the motor, and each wire energizes one-third of the motor.

The motor controller contains the microprocessor that delivers a pulse of DC current across the wires in the order of 123, 123, and 123. The controller switches the magnetic polarity of the coils repeatedly in this way, and the activated coil is continuously attached to the next magnet down the row.

Three tiny switches known as hall sensors are located inside the motor. Those sensors notify the controller when as well as which electricity wires to energize next.

The throttle determines the speed and is located on the handlebars. A screen shows your speed and distance, as well as the battery capacity, power usage, and speed limit level.

The speed limiter allows you to pick less than full power whenever you need optimal efficiency. Then there’s the electronic braking system. The brakes do not electronically pause you. Instead, they detect whenever you pull the brake levers and signal the controller to stop the motor if the throttle is stuck. Because once you let go of the throttle, it usually springs back, but if it doesn’t, the brakes will block the motor from pushing.

The same cord that activates standard bike brakes is also present on the e brake handle. The energy is stored in the battery and delivered when you request it. Lithium batteries are small, powerful, and endure for a long time.

Even though lithium batteries are heavier, they can still be a good option. Especially when the electric bike is used for quick rides regularly. If you’re using a lead battery, make sure it’s always entirely charged by recharging it after each ride.

If you plan on driving a lot of kilometers, a lithium battery will always be the most cost-effective option. A lithium battery can be left half-charged overnight with no negative consequences. But even so, charging it after each ride is still an excellent habit. When storing the battery for winter, charge it fully and unplug it to store. Then keep it in a temperate, dry place.

How Long Do Electric Bike Motors Last?

Side view of the seat and rear wheel of an electric bike. The bike is light blue. and has two batteries.

The motor of your electric bike is the one component that will outlast the rest of your bike. If you take care of the motor properly, you can extend the lifespan.

When you use your e-bike, the motor doesn’t automatically run. Instead, your motor will work when you pedal to propel the e-bike forward.

Regretfully, the motor doesn’t do all the work; instead, it provides help to the work that you have already put out when you pedal. Because of this, the motor of your electric bike will last a minimum of up to 10,000 miles.

If you ride your electric bike ten miles per day, it’ll serve you approximately three years without replacing the motor. On average, you can use your motor for three to five years without any significant technical issues.

Electric Bike Motor Types

As broadly said, there are two kinds of e-bikes: power-assist and full power:

  • Power-Assist

Pedal-assist bikes are the cycling counterparts of hybrid cars: they’re made to be pedaled for most of the time and then powered by electricity when you’re weary or need a little extra help like if you need some extra power when you’re climbing up a hill.

Power-Assist e-bikes don’t have hub motors but instead a separate electric motor is positioned near the back wheel. Power-assist motors turn effortlessly with little or no resistance while you pedal. This will give your bike a range of 80-145km, which is more than you’ll get with a full-power hub motor.

  • Full-Power

These bikes are meant for short trips with minimal pedaling. They are massive, solid, and heavy with large batteries. But have the most powerful hub motors. Bikes with hub motors are hard to pedal without any power because you’re converting them into a generator.

This type of bike is for folks who enjoy riding but not pedaling. The range is limited, which is about 16–30 km or 10–20 miles because, on the trip, you’ll constantly run the battery.

How Can You Make Your Electric Bike Motor Last Longer?

Side view of person, from the waist down, riding tan-coloured e-bike down a city street. The person is wearing a black t-shirt, grey pants, black socks and grey sneakers.

As we said before, your motor will most likely be the last piece of equipment for the electric bike that needs to be replaced. It must be properly cared for and cleaned to ensure that it lasts as much time as possible. Here’s some ways to keep your e-bike in tip top shape:

  • Don’t allow your electric bike to be regularly exposed to extreme temperatures. If you live in a hot climate, keep your bike in the shade.
  • Oil the moving parts, – the chain, gears, and bearings, etc. – on a regular basis.
  • Bring your e-bike to the pros for regular maintenance and servicing.
  • You shouldn’t let your motor get wet.
  • Keep your motorcycle’s engine and the whole bike clean.

Wrapping Up

The e-bike engine is permanently attached to the frame and cannot be easily replaced like other parts. Your motor will most likely out-survive the rest of your bike’s components including the tires, brakes, chain, and batteries.

If you remember to keep the bike well-maintained you should be able to get a lot of use out of your electric bike.