Any experience with EV charging network for eBikes, like evgo.com?

CdnShaun

Active Member
BikeMike:

Seeing now your other thread for the 100 Mile Challenge under 4.5 hours is really impressive. I only hope my post above might help a little here and there with real life perspective of someone going long distance as well.

Good luck!
 

CityExplorer

Well-Known Member
......

On a last personal note, a goal I have set this year is to start enjoying 3 day bike camping trips. My plans it to tow behind me a small trailer (Burley Coho XC) with full camping setup and ride out to a destination somewhere around 100-200kms away (building a new bike for longer range riding is part of this summer's plan as well, currently in progress).

Set up camp for the night at a site with hydro. Charge the bike overnight. Enjoy a full day of camp site activities and let my legs/back fully recover. Day 3 with fully (90% or 100% depending on the distance home, lol) ride back to my home and get ready for the work week ahead.

Knowing I will only be able to operate at most (safely) 2 x 300 watt chargers off the shared power at a camp site, I will need the 12-18 hours of overnight (minimum) to be sure I can recharge my batteries if they are mostly depleted.

....

Sounds exciting!

With 2x 300W chargers running for 12 hrs that's 7200Wh. I think conservatively 3500Wh should be enough to get you 200km even with the heavy load, but I guess terrain could be a big factor with that weight. At 100km distance it seems you would be way more than covered. Since you plan on spending the day, recharge time seems somewhat unimportant, and you may even want to consider a solar setup. Or if you are packing 7-8kWh in batteries you may not even need to recharge.

Am I missing something?
 

BikeMike

Active Member
Hello Mike,

I will try to help you at least a little bit with some of the questions you have here from what I have learned and real world experience.

In no particular order:

-I come from the world of conversion bikes, not OEM builds and continue to work with these manufacturers/resellers of said equipment. Just wanted to mention that up front.

-Cycle Analysts from Grin Technologies is well known for not only being very customize capable but giving loads of information. I'm about to install CA's on two of my bikes for reference. A key data point I look forward to is the CA calculating in retail time the Wh/Km (or WH/Mile) consumption of the ride. Here's a link to this product for review:


Not sure if you could adapt such a unit into your setup but wanted to let you know of it being in the market for reference.

-From Grin's website they have a wonderful tool for calculating equipment's performance (and combinations of equipment with ride details, rider power input and so on) which really opened my eyes to what I have been using (Bionx D500 motors and batteries) and what equipment I'm considering. It's known as their motor simulator:


Here I was able to select my legacy Bionx Motor and rider/equipment weight details, input power from rider, grade of the ride, etc. It gave me Wh/Km estimates, optimal riding speed for each situation, estimated range, etc.

I can confirm from real world riding the simulator is quite accurate and using what I learned from it has helped me better plan my rides and usage of my batteries.

-I am a heavier rider (270lbs). The bike and motor I ride is 65lbs, add on 45lbs of batteries (5 x 11.6Ah (557 Wh) batteries) and 20lbs of fluids, food and tools comes to my 400lb total riding weight when I go out currently for long rides.

The 5 batteries = 2,785 Wh officially. I estimate I am able to use approximately 500Wh per battery as I do not run them right to empty but close to it. My Strava/Polar bike computers estimates I am outputting around 150-180 watts of power - how accurate that is I do not know but wanted to mention it.

Currently my real world experience is with my 400lb total riding weight, 2,500 Wh of capacity to a 500W (nominal)/50nm Hub motor with my input at 150-180 watts = 135-150km (83-93 miles) rides with 900-1,300M of elevation change typically in my riding area.

-Charging times - the fastest charger I have seen in my research is the Grin Satiator which can safely push 8 Amp/360 watts into a 48V battery. There may be slightly higher capable chargers - I have seen 10 Amp and 12 Amp @ 48 Volt options from China websites like AliExpress but no confirmed details on them.

Again, my knowledge is limited but wanted to share. At 360 Watts the charger would of provide 360Wh per 1 hour of charge time. Once you know how many Watts your charging system is inputting to your battery you would then be able to calculate your charging time for XXX Wh - i.e. roughly 2 hours for 720 Wh if your charger can input 360 Watts for example.

-My experience with lithium batteries, even at my heavy total riding weight and typical 5-8% grade hills (at most I have seen 12-14% grades in my area) the Voltage 'Sag' really impacts my ability to hill climb once I'm below 30%. Below 15% I'm climbing at 1/2 (or less) the speed I would be with a more charged battery.

Knowing my routes fairly well now I will keep going on a battery below 20% right down to 5% if there is no significant hill climbs, squeezing out those extra few kms/miles, extending my ride as far as possible. Once below 20% (I have 48V batteries to mention) and I see a big hill climb ahead - I will typically swap batteries at this point if possible.

-Charging 'speed' of lithium batteries from what I have read is steady from 5% to 90% for sure. From 90% to 100% the experience of lithium batteries is you're 'packing the last bit in' and perhaps may slow the charging (not sure but worth looking into) - and as you will see in other threads - if you can charge batteries to 90% versus 100% you extend their cycles/lifetime to your benefit. Just something to keep in mind for all you are calculating.

-I typically ride at 25-42kmph, 15-26mph for reference.


On a last personal note, a goal I have set this year is to start enjoying 3 day bike camping trips. My plans it to tow behind me a small trailer (Burley Coho XC) with full camping setup and ride out to a destination somewhere around 100-200kms away (building a new bike for longer range riding is part of this summer's plan as well, currently in progress).

Set up camp for the night at a site with hydro. Charge the bike overnight. Enjoy a full day of camp site activities and let my legs/back fully recover. Day 3 with fully (90% or 100% depending on the distance home, lol) ride back to my home and get ready for the work week ahead.

Knowing I will only be able to operate at most (safely) 2 x 300 watt chargers off the shared power at a camp site, I will need the 12-18 hours of overnight (minimum) to be sure I can recharge my batteries if they are mostly depleted.

Staying the full extra day lets my body itself recharge as well and of course actually enjoy the camp site life for a day, not just ride out and ride back.

Long term (2021, perhaps 2022) I am considering multi-day bike camping trips going from site to site, recharging each night I stay over. The challenge will be deciding to pack up and ride every day or double the length of the trip by staying at each camp site for the extra day every time I stop - either way I know I would enjoy such trips when I'm ready for them. My hope is to reach 1,000, maybe even 2,000kms on a single trip out from home when I do.


Hope this helps. Look forward to your thoughts/reply.

Cheers
Shaun
The vast difference in charging speeds between Specialized's "Extender" (external) and internal batteries is vast. I read more about fast charging. Battery chemistry plays a big role. I suspect my situation is compounded by the fact that the two batteries are fundamentally different chemistries. I cannot find another explanation.
 

BikeMike

Active Member
Sounds exciting!

With 2x 300W chargers running for 12 hrs that's 7200Wh. I think conservatively 3500Wh should be enough to get you 200km even with the heavy load, but I guess terrain could be a big factor with that weight. At 100km distance it seems you would be way more than covered. Since you plan on spending the day, recharge time seems somewhat unimportant, and you may even want to consider a solar setup. Or if you are packing 7-8kWh in batteries you may not even need to recharge.

Am I missing something?
My goal is speed. I want to get as close to 25mph as possible. I am willing to accept 22mph as a minimum. My current estimates are based on ideal conditions. The north wind can be quite strong at times.

As you point out, some leeway exists. I think I could squeeze a 100 mile ride in, if I did everything perfectly. I'm not a big risk taker, though. I prefer to be realistically accurate. I am willing to ride without power for ten miles. Basing my plans on unpowered riding is the most realistic approach.

I need to understand more about the battery packs. So far, I think I have identified one major issue -- battery chemistry. The charging time is vastly different between the internal and external battery packs. The Battery Management Systems are most likely the same or similar. I think the issue here is about cost and profit. I do not see why such a huge charging time difference would exist.
  • 2.5 hours for 340Wh
  • 3.5 hours for 170Wh
 

CityExplorer

Well-Known Member
My goal is speed. I want to get as close to 25mph as possible. I am willing to accept 22mph as a minimum. My current estimates are based on ideal conditions. The north wind can be quite strong at times.

As you point out, some leeway exists. I think I could squeeze a 100 mile ride in, if I did everything perfectly. I'm not a big risk taker, though. I prefer to be realistically accurate. I am willing to ride without power for ten miles. Basing my plans on unpowered riding is the most realistic approach.

I need to understand more about the battery packs. So far, I think I have identified one major issue -- battery chemistry. The charging time is vastly different between the internal and external battery packs. The Battery Management Systems are most likely the same or similar. I think the issue here is about cost and profit. I do not see why such a huge charging time difference would exist.
  • 2.5 hours for 340Wh
  • 3.5 hours for 170Wh
My response was to CdnShaun because he has all his personal metrics worked out, and is now working on extending his range.

That said 22-25mph average speed would be very fast, so yes you’ll need a fast bike with appropriate gearing to maintain that speed. You are going to have to do some shorter test runs and figure out your personal Wh output or W output that you can hold For some time. If your bike display does not have a simple Wh/Mi calculation, CdnShaun has a good suggestion of first connecting up the Grin Cycle Analyst which can get you very precise metrics.
 

BikeMike

Active Member
My response was to CdnShaun because he has all his personal metrics worked out, and is now working on extending his range.

That said 22-25mph average speed would be very fast, so yes you’ll need a fast bike with appropriate gearing to maintain that speed. You are going to have to do some shorter test runs and figure out your personal Wh output or W output that you can hold For some time. If your bike display does not have a simple Wh/Mi calculation, CdnShaun has a good suggestion of first connecting up the Grin Cycle Analyst which can get you very precise metrics.
I agree with the strategy. Until I figure out the primary factors at play, I would only ride until the battery discharges to some level. Turn around and head home. Eventually, I will make the entire 100 miles at a decent average speed.

I am learning more about the battery from the Specialized Levo forums, rather than Creo. Levo is the mountain bike model. Levo riders seem to stress the battery more than Creo riders.

I am learning that the battery pack configuration, series and parallel, affects charging rate. I am also learning that certain cell characteristics such as chemistry also affects charging rates. Battery chemistry and cell construction is a fairly technical topic, so progress is slow.

I am not convinced that the Specialized SL battery pack is the tool for my goal. I am under the impression the electrical system is designed to make the bike as easy to ride as possible, rather than to make it go as fast as or as far as possible. An excellent balance of compromises is difficult to achieve.

Venn2.png

I use a Venn diagram to analyze compromises:

A - Battery Capacity
B - Battery Charging
C - Battery Convenience

You can name the intersections to understand your needs.

S - Symmetry a 1:1:1 ratio of equally balanced factors

AB - Practical, Highly Inconvenient, Typical charging rate.
  • The internal Specialized SL Battery Pack seems positioned inside AB.
  • Battery pack can only be removed by first removing the bottom bracket motor

BC - "Touring Battery"
  • Fast charging rate, Small battery capacity, Convenient
  • My need
  • The perfect solution is the Extender with a 6A charger.
    • 3.5 amp-hour battery will charge in 30 minutes.
  • Recharge battery frequently (several times) during a single ride, while taking a break, e.g., food or drink.
  • Specialized in Boulder could not tell me whether the Extender battery will charge at 6A.
SC - Highly convenient, low capacity, very slow charging rate
  • Specialized SL "Extender"
  • External bottle cage

My conclusion:
  1. The internal battery is acceptable at AB.
  2. The external battery is unacceptable.
    1. The opposite of my needs.
 
Last edited:

CdnShaun

Active Member
Sounds exciting!

With 2x 300W chargers running for 12 hrs that's 7200Wh. I think conservatively 3500Wh should be enough to get you 200km even with the heavy load, but I guess terrain could be a big factor with that weight. At 100km distance it seems you would be way more than covered. Since you plan on spending the day, recharge time seems somewhat unimportant, and you may even want to consider a solar setup. Or if you are packing 7-8kWh in batteries you may not even need to recharge.

Am I missing something?

You nailed it. A little more details to share.

I do own a Grin Satiator 5 Amp/High Voltage unit. I wanted something that could charge all the way up to 72/84V (I believe it can go as high as 100V) and be my one 'do anything' charger for myself, for friends and my plans to possible build bikes for others. That unit can push 300 Watts into a 52V and up battery.

But, it's expensive, so I only have one, lol.

The chargers I'm looking at for the batteries I'm looking at are 4 Amp at 50.4V nominal or approximately 200 watts. Two of these will push 400 Watts per hour into my batteries when I do recharge away from home. Why only 2 at a time?

My best friend taught me the rules of R.V. Parks/Campgrounds. He has ran into situations that even for the R.V.'s with a 15 Amp connection (he prefers 30 Amp but many parks are 15 Amp only) that drawing over 800-900 Watts would trip the breaker to his camp site (he put a meter on the line when it happened).

I suspect those paying for hydro at tent sites could be even less. I want to be a good tenant whenever I stay so hence I will limit myself to 400 watts to the bike and a little more to my cell phone/laptop if needed.

I am planning to build out a carrying frame on my new bike that will accept multiple batteries. I will need to do some considerable testing to find the best configuration/options - but I know from my current bike I can carry 45lbs of batteries (laugh if you like, I do when I think about it, lol) plus everything else.

So yes once I know the typical riding distance per Wh I am achieving (per weight depending on how many batteries I have slotted in) will determine ahead of time how many batteries I take with per ride. Naturally if all the batteries I'm buying can be comfortably carried I may just leave them on all the time in case I extend rides unexpected. Time will tell.


My current 5 battery/2785Wh @ 45lbs can be stretched to 150kms if I manage the ride properly, which is awesome. The new build will possibly have...a lot more <grin> but I don't want to say until it's built and operational.

So yes, even now with my current bike can also go 100-120kms with the camping trailer on behind and a couple chargers in the bag to recharge overnight/next day before I ride home. I have started to look for camp sites within this range to consider.


On the topic of Solar - I did look into it - The world famous Sun Trip each year where competitors go 6,000-13,000kms on bikes with 1kw (max) battery and 400-550 watts of solar is beyond inspiring and does give one thoughts to build such a setup for yourself.

But, without a large panel setup on the trailer (or overhead of my bike) the most I could be looking at is 150-200 real world Watts of charging, always managing the direction of the panel(s), what happens on cloudy days, etc.

Just didn't work out for me in the 'math' whenever I thought of designs I could build.


Instead, I have committed to building a big heavy bike with All Day battery capacity. Yes it will be a tank of an ebike, but so am I, lol. Right now I limit my rides to 150kms because of the limits of my battery capacity.

The new bike I have in progress is to have more battery life onboard than I would ever need for a single day ride and then charge overnight (minimum) and typically I take a full day off for proper rest/recovery between each long ride.

Cheers!
shaun
 

CdnShaun

Active Member
The vast difference in charging speeds between Specialized's "Extender" (external) and internal batteries is vast. I read more about fast charging. Battery chemistry plays a big role. I suspect my situation is compounded by the fact that the two batteries are fundamentally different chemistries. I cannot find another explanation.

Interesting and thank you for sharing!
 

CdnShaun

Active Member
I agree with the strategy. Until I figure out the primary factors at play, I would only ride until the battery discharges to some level. Turn around and head home. Eventually, I will make the entire 100 miles at a decent average speed.

I am learning more about the battery from the Specialized Levo forums, rather than Creo. Levo is the mountain bike model. Levo riders seem to stress the battery more than Creo riders.

I am learning that the battery pack configuration, series and parallel, affects charging rate. I am also learning that certain cell characteristics such as chemistry also affects charging rates. Battery chemistry and cell construction is a fairly technical topic, so progress is slow.

I am not convinced that the Specialized SL battery pack is the tool for my goal. I am under the impression the electrical system is designed to make the bike as easy to ride as possible, rather than to make it go as fast as or as far as possible. An excellent balance of compromises is difficult to achieve.

I use a Venn diagram to analyze compromises:

A - Battery Capacity
B - Battery Charging
C - Battery Convenience

You can name the intersections to understand your needs.

S - Symmetry a 1:1:1 ratio of equally balanced factors

AB - Practical, Highly Inconvenient, Typical charging rate.
  • The internal Specialized SL Battery Pack seems positioned inside AB.
  • Battery pack can only be removed by first removing the bottom bracket motor

BC - "Touring Battery"
  • Fast charging rate, Small battery capacity, Convenient
  • My need
  • The perfect solution is the Extender with a 6A charger.
    • 3.5 amp-hour battery will charge in 30 minutes.
  • Recharge battery frequently (several times) during a single ride, while taking a break, e.g., food or drink.
  • Specialized in Boulder could not tell me whether the Extender battery will charge at 6A.
SC - Highly convenient, low capacity, very slow charging rate
  • Specialized SL "Extender"
  • External bottle cage

My conclusion:
  1. The internal battery is acceptable at AB.
  2. The external battery is unacceptable.
    1. The opposite of my needs.


You have shared a ton of insight and calculations here. I'm humbled and appreciate all you have shared.

My approach as I have already shared, since I'm heavy to begin with (the rider) and my bikes start out heavy (current bike is 50+ lbs of just bike before batteries, fluids, food and well - me at 270lbs, lol) - is to add batteries and go farther until I found the maximum carry weight I could manage - which was 5 batteries for 2785 Wh (current bike).

Like you suggest I initially rode out until I reach ideally the distance I can go on the first 2 batteries (1114 Wh) and have 3 batteries (1,671 Wh) for the return. I have stretched until I was 1/3 into the 3rd battery, roughly 47% of my total Wh's, before turning back - this is what taught me the 80 mile range I initially had.

In the last 2 weeks I have learned a few things to share:

-My ideal cruising speed even at 400lbs total riding weight on flats with no headwind/some tailwind is 26mph. This is using my 44T chainring to my smallest cog, a 11T, at 81 rpm.

-I was killing my batteries when I went 'too fast' up hills and into headwinds, making the motor do excessive effort. By simply gearing down and climbing (4% to 10% grade) at 18mph and (10% to 15% grade) at 12 mph, I have extended my ride capacity to 96 Miles - noting I typically have 800-1,200M of elevation change.

-If I was to find a route (already looking, lol) that was mostly flat, I could achieve 100 Miles at an estimated 22-24 mph with my 2785 Wh capacity, at 400lbs riding weight.

-By slowing down my climbs and into headwind riding my overall riding average speed has been 20-23mph.

-Today on a windy day out with 1,000+ M of elevation I did 85 Miles in 4 Hours 22 Minutes moving time with an average speed of 21 mph.

-Doing math on my best single battery usage the math says the 24 Miles I rode using approximately 500 Wh (still had 10% left before switching) is 21 Wh/Mile. Other sections of my ride work out to roughly 30-35 Wh/Mile due to wind/steep climbs. My 85 Miles did leave around 10-15% of the 2785 Wh capacity I carry available - but I was home and happy to be there.


I share all of the above as simply some real world experience from someone who is currently riding much heavier equipment/rider than you, older/used battery technology and is achieving close to your target of 22-25mph average for 100 Mile rides, hoping it might help give you some perspective and additional thoughts to calculate for.

And yes, what I have now simply grew out of opportunity - bought lots of bikes with the same motors/batteries plus used batteries off of Kijiji, grabbed some pannier bags and started riding longer and longer. It's not pretty (but wouldn't say ugly) and it works for me.

My next build, learning from everything I did right and wrong on this first build, will be much much better. That will be my last thought to share, while all your planning and research is amazing, always keep as flexible approach and mindset to this as you can as you will find once you are actually riding and working with the equipment your plans may change slightly or new concepts will come into play.

Good luck!
Shaun
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Nevada City, CA & Paradise Valley, AZ
I agree with the strategy. Until I figure out the primary factors at play, I would only ride until the battery discharges to some level. Turn around and head home. Eventually, I will make the entire 100 miles at a decent average speed.

I am learning more about the battery from the Specialized Levo forums, rather than Creo. Levo is the mountain bike model. Levo riders seem to stress the battery more than Creo riders.

I am learning that the battery pack configuration, series and parallel, affects charging rate. I am also learning that certain cell characteristics such as chemistry also affects charging rates. Battery chemistry and cell construction is a fairly technical topic, so progress is slow.

I am not convinced that the Specialized SL battery pack is the tool for my goal. I am under the impression the electrical system is designed to make the bike as easy to ride as possible, rather than to make it go as fast as or as far as possible. An excellent balance of compromises is difficult to achieve.

I use a Venn diagram to analyze compromises:

A - Battery Capacity
B - Battery Charging
C - Battery Convenience

You can name the intersections to understand your needs.

S - Symmetry a 1:1:1 ratio of equally balanced factors

AB - Practical, Highly Inconvenient, Typical charging rate.
  • The internal Specialized SL Battery Pack seems positioned inside AB.
  • Battery pack can only be removed by first removing the bottom bracket motor

BC - "Touring Battery"
  • Fast charging rate, Small battery capacity, Convenient
  • My need
  • The perfect solution is the Extender with a 6A charger.
    • 3.5 amp-hour battery will charge in 30 minutes.
  • Recharge battery frequently (several times) during a single ride, while taking a break, e.g., food or drink.
  • Specialized in Boulder could not tell me whether the Extender battery will charge at 6A.
SC - Highly convenient, low capacity, very slow charging rate
  • Specialized SL "Extender"
  • External bottle cage

My conclusion:
  1. The internal battery is acceptable at AB.
  2. The external battery is unacceptable.
    1. The opposite of my needs.
Oddly similar post to yours on this thread; https://electricbikereview.com/foru...-minutes-with-a-6a-charger.35322/#post-297316 . Hoping for different engineering/physics?
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
Here is some encouraging news regarding solar-powered charging stations for EBikes and scooters.


swiftmile-solar.jpeg


Swiftmile builds solar-powered charging stations that riders can use for free to charge their electric bicycles and scooters. The charging stations are also built locally in the US. The startup uses a few different business models to make the concept work. Public charging stations are open to all users, free of charge, with the company earning revenue from digital advertising billboards on the station. Cities can have them installed for free and only need to provide the infrastructure access; Swiftmile handles the rest.US cities currently operating Swiftmile’s charging stations include Austin, Phoenix, San Francisco, Tampa, and Washington D.C.
 

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