Santos-pendix-batterij

How far can I cycle with a full battery?
This question we hear most often in our store when customers come to a new e-bike. Rightly so, of course, the range of your battery largely determines your cycling pleasure. We went all the way to the Santos factory near Amsterdam and presented this question to founder Robbert Rutgrink.

What is the average range of a battery? Deliver us, Robbert.

Robbert: “Haha, that’s a classic of course. What is the exact range of a Santos e-bike? You may be disappointing, but in fact, you can hardly answer that question. Just because the range of your battery depends on a lot of different factors.”

We had a hunch. What are the factors?

Robbert: “The range depends on at least twenty different factors. How much wind is there and in which direction are you cycling? How hard do you kick yourself and how hard do you make the engine work? In addition, you have the resistance of the air and of the tires, the slope of the road, the type of surface. How big you are, how much you weigh. What clothes you wear, whether you drive around with one or two or no bags, and how full they are. All this determines the range.”

Fair enough, but how many miles do you get on average?

Robbert: “The question is: what does average mean correctly? That average is different for each person, just because of all those factors. In fact, if you take the same route twice, in the exact same clothes and conditions, you will still come up with two different results. Because you’re never going to fall for a constant force. It is therefore impossible to accurately predict the correct range.”

Is there so much difference?

Robbert: “Yes, definitely. Anyone who has driven with a power meter knows that the voltage that a human provides fluctuates enormously. Just watch the Tour de France on TV. There they sometimes show the voltage meter: 460W, 520W, 280W. That’s constantly changing. So the engine follows: it goes up, down and up again, … What does it deliver on average? You don’t know because there’s no constant. So you won’t know how far you’ll get on average.”

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However, there must be a way to estimate this range yourself.

Robbert: “Exactly how far you get depends on how much power you let the engine use. Your battery is the fuel tank. If you know how much is in it and how much can be taken out, it’s how fast it goes out. That’s how far you’ve come. But the speed depends on several factors. If a customer asks me how far he can cycle with his Santos PX and a battery of 500W, I estimate: somewhere between 25 and 100 kilometers. But more precisely it would be to say: between 10 and 125 kilometers.”

That's no small difference.

Robbert: “Not at all, no. I once put the question to a German company that makes test machines for the TÜV and other bodies that carry out tests for certification. They replied with a beautiful picture. How far do you get with an electric bike? Compare it to how far you get in an electric car when you put on a big sail. Then everyone will say: it depends on the way the wind is. Exactly. With a bike you replace that sail with the cyclist. How much wind there is, then means how hard you kick yourself and how hard you make the engine work. That together determines how far you get.”

Conclusion: everyone will have to estimate the range for themselves?

Robbert: “That’s the way to put it. Fully charge the battery and try it once or five. Then you know for yourself how far you get in the circumstances you’ve been driving. Of course, drive the same route: a flat ride on the coast is completely different from Alpe d’Huez. But even then it depends on yourself as a unique cyclist. For someone else, things are completely different. Because it is larger or smaller, kicks harder, or has less hard, tight clothing on or not. Headwinds or not, goes uphill or not, has a bag on or not. For everyone else. Test it out. That is, I think, the best way to determine exactly how far you get with the battery in an environment where you regularly cycle.”

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