Electric Bikes' Motors and Wattage
Electric bikes are available in a range of motor power outputs, from 250W up to and beyond 750W - but as per the law in the UK, eBikes are limited to a motor power of 250W.
This is not to say that British-legal eBikes are less fun or useful than an unrestricted eBike, as the assumption that more power makes for a better eBike doesn't necessarily hold true. There are far better indicators of what an eBike motor is like to use and ride with, like continuous power, acceleration, weight and torque.
Marketing teams for eBikes will often drop discussion of these specifications in favour of a motor's peak power rating - the maximum wattage achievable by that motor. What really matters, however, is if that wattage is sustainable over time without overheating.
A better rating is continuous power, which describes the sustained, maximum power a motor can handle over without fault - ARCC Bikes' 250W motors have been rated to this specification, giving a reliable and progressive power delivery over long trips.
Power delivery can vary widely between different eBikes - for our electric bikes, the acceleration curve is steep, giving the rider a big boost of power from the get-go - our unique launch mode feature takes advantage of this to get the user ahead of traffic at crossing and lights.
Torque is likewise very important when it comes to choosing an eBike - this is the strength of rotation emanating from the motor and what gives the sensation of having powerful legs when tackling hills and carrying weight on an electric bike.
You should consider torque rating when choosing between models, as a large wattage does not indicate a good torque - ARCC Bikes' motor implementation provides a strong torque, and its eBikes are fitted with a sophisticated torque sensor, which gives a more intuitive feedback on how much motor power is needed to assist your own cycling.
Lastly, an essential factor to take into account is the eBike's weight, as a more powerful motor will tend to be heavier, and will be paired to a heavier battery too (most 750W eBikes will tip the scales at 30kgs). If you need to carry it upstairs or take it off and on public transport, a heavier eBike will be cumbersome. Additionally, if the battery runs out, the bike will be much harder to ride if it's heavier.
ARCC Bikes' range of eBikes fall in the 14-18kg category, as our Intelligent Drive Pod only adds 3.9kg to the weight of the bike. Our batteries, Bosch powertool batteries, are also smaller, more durable and cheaper than conventional eBike batteries, and multiple can be easily carried.
When choosing an eBike, it is easy to overestimate how much power you need, but other factors apart from motor wattage should influence which eBike you ultimately decide. These are as listed above, but should also include the eBike's available specifications, need for maintenance and customer service attached to the brand.