eBikes with different voltages


Choosing the right voltage for your e-bike can be confusing. This comprehensive guide breaks down everything you need to know, from understanding voltage and its importance to the factors you should consider when choosing the best voltage for your specific e-bike setup and intended use.

My eBike has a 52-volt battery
My eBike has a 52-volt battery

Understanding eBike Voltage and Its Importance

Voltage is a measure of the electrical potential difference between two points in a circuit. In the case of an e-bike, it refers to the amount of electrical energy available to power the motor.

Higher voltage means more power for the motor, but it also increases the risk of overheating and damaging it. Therefore, it’s crucial to choose the right voltage for your specific e-bike setup and intended use.

Bafang Mid-Drive Electric Bike Conversion
Bafang Mid-Drive Electric Bike Conversion

Did you Know You Can Convert a Regular MTB to Electric?

Bafang a leader in DIY electric bike conversions has a mid-drive kit that will fit on most regular bikes. I’d recommend the BBSHD kit, it’s a complete setup with a huge capacity battery and a 1000 watt motor. Why this setup?

  • Heavy duty 1000 watt motor (built for cargo bikes)
  • +50 volt 17.5 Ah battery for speed and distance
  • Easy installation with provided tools.

If you’re considering a conversion, do what I’m doing get the BANFANG BBSHD 1000w eBike Conversion with Battery

Factors to Consider When Choosing Voltage

When selecting the voltage for your e-bike, consider these factors:

  1. Motor type and compatibility
  2. Intended use (commuting, leisure, off-road)
  3. Desired power and speed
  4. Range and battery life
  5. Safety
Selecting a battery system for an eBike
Selecting a battery system for an eBike

Benefits and Drawbacks of Different Voltage Levels

Different voltage levels have their own benefits and drawbacks.

24VAffordable and smooth rideLimited power and speed
36VBalanced power, range, and affordabilityMay struggle on steep hills or with heavy loads
48VHigher power and speedMore expensive and may require more maintenance
52VImproved performance over 48VHigher cost
72VExtreme power for off-road or racingExpensive, heavy, and may require additional cooling

Matching Voltage to Your Riding Needs

Consider your riding needs when choosing the voltage for your e-bike:

  • Commuting or leisurely rides on flat terrain – Lower voltage options like 24V or 36V
  • Steep hills or off-road adventures – Higher voltage options like 48V, 52V, or 72V
  • Heavy rider and cargo weight – Heavier loads may require higher voltage for better performance.  52V and 72V systems will probably be best.  Also, pay attention to the wattage of the motor and bike gearing.

Tips for Maintaining Your E-bike’s Voltage

To ensure optimal performance and longevity of your e-bike, follow these maintenance tips:

  • Keep your battery charged and don’t discharge extremely fast.  
  • When going up a big hill or carrying a heavy load, try to assist the motor and battery by applying some human pedal power.
  • Don’t use your battery in extreme heat or cold.
  • Store your battery in a cool, dry place when not in use

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I upgrade my e-bike’s voltage to get better performance?

It’s possible to upgrade your e-bike’s voltage for better performance, but you need to make sure it’s compatible with your existing motor, controller, and other components. Upgrading the voltage might require you to also upgrade the battery, motor, and controller to handle the increased power. This can be expensive and a bit complicated, so it’s a good idea to talk to a professional e-bike technician for advice and help with the process.

Is the voltage the most important factor for ebike distance?

No, voltage is not the most important factor for ebike distance. The most important factor is the battery capacity, which is measured in amp-hours (Ah). A higher amp-hour battery will provide more range than a lower amp-hour battery.

Other factors that affect ebike distance include:

  • The type of motor: A geared hub motor will provide more range than a direct drive motor.
  • The rider’s weight: A heavier rider will require more power to move, which will reduce the range.
  • The terrain: Riding on hills or other challenging terrain will reduce the range.
  • The weather: Riding in cold weather will reduce the range.

Does a higher voltage mean a longer range for my e-bike?

Not necessarily. Although a higher voltage provides more power and speed, it can also lead to increased energy consumption, which could reduce your e-bike’s range. The range is more directly influenced by the battery’s capacity (measured in amp-hours or watt-hours) and factors like your riding speed, the terrain, and the weight you’re carrying.

RIDE e MTB Pro Tip: With eBikes growing in popularity learning all the terms and definitions can be a bit overwhelming. Let me help with this comprehensive glossary. 👉 eBike Glossary

David Humphries Author at Ride e MTB

Hi David Humphries here the guy doing all the pedaling behind the scenes with this blog. I’ve been in the MTB world for a while and recently started getting into eMTBs. You can check out more about me HERE and on my other passion project – DIYMountainBike.com