Winter Battery Care for your electric bike.

Keep * It * Warm -

Battery range decreases in winter. 

Most batteries will have a reduced performance during colder months. This means for electric bikes the mileage you can get out of your battery will also drop.

Why does this happen?

The chemical reaction required to produce the electrical power works better above 15˚C. Under this temperature there is an increase of internal resistance which makes it harder for the battery to perform.

Your lithium battery produces electrical power for your electric bicycle via a chemical reaction inside the battery cells. This chemical reaction works best at certain temperatures with 20˚C being pretty ideal. You can actually benefit from improved performance in warmer climates (above 20˚C) thanks to a resultant drop of internal resistance however you may pay for it with increased degradation and a lower cycle life.

What can I do about it?

The good news is that you can take steps to minimise the performance drop and performance will return with the warmer weather.

Try and keep the battery in a warm place when not in use. Bring it indoors overnight, don't leave it in a cold garage or outside. 

What if I don't use it during Winter?

If you park your electric bicycle up during winter then it is best to store your battery somewhere cool, charge it for an hour every month.

Cyclist Fined for Drunk Riding

 

A cyclist had an unpleasant surprise recently in Spain when he was found by traffic police officers to have been consuming excessive alcohol before riding his bicycle.

Once a bicycle is being ridden it is classed as another vehicle, and the rider is therefore equally responsible for complying with all relevant traffic laws, including not using a mobile phone, not wearing headphones or mobile phone hands free headsets, not speeding, not riding on the pavement, and many more, including not consuming excessive alcohol before riding.

Guardia Civil traffic officers stopped the rider on account of him riding in the middle of the road in a dangerous position.

A breathalyzer test was conducted twice which revealed 0.96 and 0.92 mg/l of expelled air, when the maximum limit is 0.25 mg/l.

This is the first time that recent changes to the law have had to be applied to a cyclist. If you are over the limit then the fine is €500, but when you are over 0.50 mg/l in the breathalyzer test it is treated as a more serious offence and you are subject to a fine of €1,000 and the loss of points from your license.

If the driver was over 0.60 mg/l then it would have resulted in arrest and would be dealt with as a criminal offence, but this applies to vehicles with an engine/motor.

There is a 50% reduction in the event of prompt payment.

Legal changes recently approve and legalise 250W e-bikes in the UK!

 

A Statutory Instrument came into force recently, amending the existing UK e-bike regulations to formally permit 250W motors and to remove weight and wheel-count limits. Throttles? It's complicated. And more changes are coming in Jan 2016...

 

 "The Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (Amendment) Regulations 2015"  was approved in the final days of the last parliamentary session, has recently come into force: 

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/24/pdfs/uksi_20150024_en.pdf 

The key points are:

  • With effect from (6th April 2015), electric bikes can officially have a rated motor power of 250W rather than 200W, in line with mainland Europe. This anomaly had lingered for years, and while it seems to have caused few problems, it was a cloud hanging over the industry (which largely sells 250W bikes from Europe).
  • Previously, e-bikes had to be bicycles or tricycles - four wheelers were not included, which is an issue for cargo bike makers. Now e-bikes just need to have "two or more wheels" - so quads are OK.

More changes from 1st Jan 2016

The Statutory Instrument above is an interim measure, preparing the way for the formal integration of EU regulation 168/2013 into UK Law, and this will take effect on the 1st January 2016. This will apply on new bikes and will mean that:
 

  • As before, 'pedelec' bikes with 250W motors and 25 km/h cut-off speeds remain treated as bicycles and need no further paperwork.
  • Bicycles with a throttle which are otherwise pedelecs WILL need type approval to be classed as e-bikes. 
  • Nameplates will need to be fitted to e-bikes, specifying the max motor power and cut-out speed.



Existing throttle-equipped bikes

Any existing bike with a throttle will be permitted to be used under 'grandfather rights' - the legislation is not retrospective. If you are the cautious type, it might be worth keeping proof of purchase for any throttle-equipped bike bought before 1st January 2016, so that you can show if challenged that it predates the most recent rules... 

Note
I am not a lawyer, so please don't rely on the above for legal advice. I would welcome any corrections or clarifications from those who may understand the legal side better than I do!

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All you need to know about E-Bikes  (The page will open in a few moments)

Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPC)  Current legislation, likely to change in 2016
The use of electrically assisted pedal cycles is covered by the EAPC Regulations. 
There are a few basic requirements;
1.The bicycle must not weight more than 40 Kg if it is solo or 60 Kg if it is a tandem or trike.
2.It must be fitted with pedals that can be used to propel it,
3.It can only be fitted with an electric motor.
4.The electric motor cannot have a maximum power output of more than 250 watts.
5.The motor must not propel the cycle when it is travelling faster than 15 mph.
The unit must conform to the relevant regulations (most proprietary units will comply) and should show the manufacturer’s name, nominal battery voltage and motor power output, this means ‘type approved’. Otherwise a Cortificate of Conformity (COC) must be held.
Another important point is that the power control switch must ‘default to off’. Simply put, if you let go of the control it immediately goes to off in the case of twist grip throttles.
In most areas of the EU the motor can only legally work when the pedals are turning forward.

This means twist grip/throttles are illegal in the EU.

This is not the case in the UK where the twist grip throttles are legal. (Currently). 
You can ride your cycle on a cycle path or road, in fact anywhere where normal cycles are allowed. You do not need a driving licence nor does it need to be registered and taxed.
You do not need to wear a helmet but you are strongly advised to do so. In some EU countries helmets are compulsory in certain areas.
You do not need to be insured but, you are strongly advised to obtain effective insurance.

There are risks in all sorts of areas, not just theft, but personal injury, damage, etc.
Take care if you use your bike on a pavement, this is an offence. Obey oneway street signs.
Finally, if you attach your bike to the rear of your motorhome ensure it is secure and does not cover the number plate and lights. If these are obscured then a trailer lighting board should be fitted to the rear. A  Fiamma red/white stripe marker board is also advisable suitably attached to the rear overhanging bikes. (A metal version is compulsory in Italy).

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