Less is More: 6 Reasons Your E-bike Motor Should be 500W or Less

A man rides his electric bike at speed
  • In Canadian provinces, most e-bikes are limited to 500 W output and cannot travel faster than 32 km/h (20 mph) on motor power alone. However, limiting the wattage of ebike motors doesn’t necessarily limit how powerful they can be. Even though a motor is marked as 250 watts anyone could connect it to a 48V battery and run 20 amps through the motor to achieve 1,000 watts of power.
  • Using a bigger motor means using a bigger battery to travel the same distance. With the battery being the most cost heavy part of an e-bike, this translates into additional savings.
  • Overheating issues can arise when the motor exceeds 1000W. This is seen mostly on long uphill rides, which is one of the reasons people opt for higher watt motors.
  • Motors under 500w have been extensively tested and mass produced. These motors have not only proven to be efficacious but due to the research, they are extremely reliable.
  • The excess power provided by motors exceeding 1000W has negative consequences in the event of a crash. Severity and risk of injury increases linearly with motor power and speed.
  • 750W, 1000W, 3000W and 6000W motor are too heavy for the average street bike, and can cause downstream problems yielding in unnecessary repairs.

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