Electric Bikes

E-Bike Voltage: Do Volts Matter? (36v VS 48v VS 52v)

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The Short Answer

E-bike voltage determines power and performance. Common voltages are 36v, 48v, and 52v, with 48v being most common. Higher voltage offers better performance and range, but comes with increased charging costs. Choose based on budget, riding preferences, and desired performance.

You may be looking at electric bikes wondering what the big deal is with the battery voltage, what the differences are between the different voltage options, and how it can benefit you and your bike.

It can become a little overwhelming to consider which voltage you may want when looking for an electric bike!

But rest assured, we’re here to make it a little more straightforward, in order to help you navigate this important feature of an e-bike.

What Does Voltage Mean on an E-Bike?

The voltage (shown as a number followed by the symbol v) on an e-bike refers to the voltage of the battery that is fitted to the e-bike. Voltage itself measures the potential. 

Therefore, the most important thing to understand about voltage on an e-bike is the higher the voltage, the higher potential power of the bike. Or, the quicker it can go, although e-bikes are legally limited to assist you up to a certain speed which is dependent on the country you purchase it in.

This can change the way the e-bike feels, in theory the higher the battery voltage, the better the performance and longer the range. The range is how far you can travel on the one full charge, which is of course important, as it means you can ride for longer with your motor assisting you.

What Voltage Are E-Bikes?

If you were wondering what voltage e-bikes are, then first off it’s important to know that they can come in a range of different voltages. When looking through the description run-down of an e-bike, the voltage will be signified by a number followed by v, for voltage.

You will often find that more expensive e-bikes will use one of the higher battery voltages, and as with all things, the better the item is at something, the more expensive the product is.

However, although there is a range of different voltages, the most common and popular voltages for electric bikes on the market at the moment are: 36v, 48v and 52v. Arguably, 48v is the most common.

SOURCE: Canva.com

36v Electric Bike

The 36v electric bike, although the lesser in terms of current and efficiency in comparison to the 48v and 52v, is a really great option for anyone who is new to e-bike riding. They still offer a decent range, thus can be a great pick for commuters who tend to have less demanding routes to ride.

They also tend to be cheaper, meaning you aren’t forking out for a more expensive bike with a higher voltage battery. They are also cheaper to charge due to being less powerful, which is another solid reason to purchase one.

48v Electric Bike

The 48v electric bike is one of, if not the, most common options. In comparison to the 36v, the 48v offers a better range and an overall greater current.

But when compared to the bigger, 52v electric bike, it does lack with regards to efficiency and range. Using more electricity for the same power. But this option is still a good middle ground and will be cheaper than a 52v battery to charge.

52v Electric Bike

A 52v electric bike out of the three most common voltages will give the most power for an electric bike, potentially allowing for faster acceleration. It will also give a longer battery life, allowing you to ride further for longer.

This voltage option would therefore be arguably most useful for people wanting a higher end bike who are looking for high end performance. With this being said, a lot of modern e-bikes are built using 52v batteries due to their benefits. 

E-Bike Battery Voltage Chart

Below, the table shows the battery voltage chart of the three different e-bike batteries from 100% charge, down to 10% charge.

Battery %36v48v52v

What Size Battery is Best for an Electric Bike?

The size of battery that is best for an electric bike does really depend on a couple of factors. The first being your budget: there’s no point in going over budget if it’ll be a push for you financially because you like the look of an e-bike with a higher voltage.

Not to mention, the higher the voltage of the battery, the more expensive the battery will be for you to charge. Which in the current climate is of course super important to consider as a thirstier battery will increase your energy bills

Next, another important factor to consider is the type of riding you will be looking to do. If you don’t want performance and just care about leisure riding then a 36v or even 48v would be more than adequate for you.

However, if you were wanting out and out performance from an e-bike, coupled with an increased range, then the higher voltages will suit you better. Thus, it really just depends on your own personal needs.

Best Electric Bike Voltage

The best electric bike voltage in terms of performance, power and range will be any with higher voltages, more specifically 52v and up.

This is because it will feel more responsive, quicker and offer a greater range thanks to the improved efficiency overall, in comparison to the lower voltage batteries. However, they will be more expensive to charge, which is and important drawback to keep in mind.

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