Cost-Benefit Comparison: High vs. Low Octane Electric Bikes

Mike leroy

Active Member
An approach to optimize the same electric bicycle for both power and range is explained. You can apply this technique to any bike.

A "battery tank" is the ideal storage compartment. Battery packs of different capacity and NMC chemical ratios optimize the tradeoff between speed and range to match the purpose for a given day.

The best analogy for NMC battery chemistry is gasoline octane ratings. High speed is achieved with 91 octane battery packs with a greater ratio of nickel. Higher manganese proportions increase distance -- 87 octane battery packs. "Fuel units" is a more succinct term to describe battery octane packaged in different battery pack sizes.

"Methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT) is a gasoline additive used to replace lead compounds for unleaded gasolines, to improve the octane number in low octane number petrol distillates."

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An efficient battery delivers higher performance, greater range and reduces total weight. Lithium-ion NMC is like three scoops of ice cream. The chemical flavors are vanilla(energy), chocolate(power) and strawberry(purpose).

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Batteries are similar in shape and size to bullets. Imagine different battery pack sizes are gun ammunition magazines -- "fuel units". A small magazine of 5 Amp-hour bullets are large caliber for power, like a .45. The longer magazine holds many more smaller caliber .22 sized bullets to achieve long distance.

The ratio of Nickel, Mangenese and Cobalt in a NMC battery dramatically alters battery electrical characteristics. Nickel is known for its high energy power. Manganese has low internal resistance that facilitates large storage. Cobalt facilites high capacity. Combining the metals enhances each other strengths: NMC (NCM, CMN, CNM, MNC, MCN).

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"Since 2000, dollar coins, for example the Sacagawea dollar and the Presidential $1 coins, are made from a brass containing 7% of manganese with a pure copper core.[43] In both cases of nickel and dollar, the use of manganese in the coin was to duplicate the electromagnetic properties of a previous identically sized and valued coin, for vending purposes. In the case of the later U.S. dollar coins, the manganese alloy was an attempt to duplicate properties of the copper/nickel alloy used in the previous Susan B. Anthony dollar."

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The following star plot illustrates relative advantages of NMC batteries compared to traditional lithium batteries. Low risk is indicated with a score of 1, on a scale from 1 to 5. The ratio of energy to power can be adjusted for different purposes. Bias is rated 4 to indicate my predisposition towards NMC over other Lithium cells.

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I will buy a large 26Amp-hour (i.e., two, 13 pound) MCN battery to maximize range -- 87 octane rating. To power larger devices, such as electric cars, connecting many small batteries in a parallel circuit is more effective[85] and more efficient than connecting a single large battery.... Some batteries based on carbon anodes offer more than 10.000 cycles.[98]"

The smaller, lighter NMC battery chemistry generates greatest power -- 91 octane rating. A six Amp-hour battery weighs only a few pounds. For short neighbor trips like commuting, or grocery shopping only a small battery is necessary. The short trips climb steep hills with significant weight, so a NCM battery designed for power will be used.

I will buy a second six Amp-hour battery to leave at work for commuting. If possible, I will recharge a battery with a solar backpack.

I deliberately avoid manufacturer locked-in batteries (e.g., Bosch) for flexibility reasons. Some motors are only compatible with a single battery chemistry. Some manufacturers have special connectors that are only available from that company, i.e., brand lock-in.

The following graphic is explained in a BatteryUniversity article. Sanyo is a Panasonic company that manufactures rechargeable batteries.

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A friend traded his eBike for a 10kW Honda PCX150 scooter. I want to avoid his mistake. His primary reason was poor uphill performance on 10% to 18% grade hills. Second, ten mile trips on flat land in traffic were too difficult.

My requirements are a minimum top-speed of 35mph on a 10% grade, 90Nm of torque and at least 48V electrical system. Your requirements may vary, but the general optimization technique applies to many personal situations. Substitute your favorite bike, motor and batteries.

The 13 pound frame accepts different sized battery packs, up to a 26 Amp-hour battery pack. Each Amp-hour weighs one pound. The frame can handle up to 6000 Watts. Scale the motor power and battery for your needs. The 3,500W, 26Ah HPC Revolution best matches my purposes. 35+ mph top-speed. I have not yet worked out all the details. Many battery pack sizes and weight combinations are available.

The legal California classification is a "Moped" vehicle, but not a motorcycle. This configuration is my starting point and may be revised as my knowledge grows.

Battery Management System (BMS) is critical. In a battery pack, one rotten battery can spoil the entire barrel of batteries. Brammo is used as example because Polaris owns Brammo. Polaris sells electric bicycles, motorcycles and other vehicles. Two BMS systems are used "Active Cell Balancing" and "Module Balancing Capability". Software to manage the BMS sensirs is "Real Time Analysis and Equalization".

Li-ion battery cells with built-in protection are "19670" not "18650". The official name is "protected 18650".

The 15/90 is an example of electric motorcycle battery that matches my need for low power, longer distance travel.
The 44/70 is an example of electric motorcycle battery that matches my need for high power, shorter distance travel.

"2015 study by Andreas Gutsch of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology found that lithium-ion storage battery lifetime could vary by a factor of five, with some Li-ion cells losing 30% of their capacity after 1,000 cycles, and others having better capacity after 5,000 cycles. Specific manufacturers were not named, but in general the performance of cells from Japan and Germany was best, followed by South Korea and the US, with cells from China performing worst.[99] The study also found that safety standards for some batteries were not met. "

For more information, please contact me via a private conversation, rather than appending a post to the end of this thread. I want to exclude all the people who have spammed this post.




Note: I must apologize to my readers for the poor behavior from @Brambor and his gang. I decided to leave his disgraceful trolling here because I want the entire Internet to know him better. Another example can be found in this post. If you prefer to read @Brambor best work, I suggest this work of literary genius post. Discerning readers need only pay attention to creativity, composition style, originality and grammar in the first paragraph to understand the mindset.
 

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Mike leroy

Active Member
800 posts of technical assumptions and you haven't yet tested riding an ebike.

The reality is that you will not want to pedal a 30 lb ebike without a battery because it sucks (it does not pedal the same as a 30 lb regular bike)
That's funny. I did pedal an old 30 pound bike for 10 years until it stopped working. I live in California. You live somewhere on the east coast.

Do you know me? How can make such presumptions?

Why do you flame me in red colors? Will new visitors think this is hostile territory ?

Most importantly, the 29 pound Felt Compulsion 10 was rated one of the top 10 bikes for 2015.

Please show some self-control and etiquette.
 
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jazz

Well-Known Member
My reality is that I peddle around my 53 pound ebike often with no power just to push myself--even off road. Of course that doesn't include big hills but it can also be a motivation factor and it is nice to be able to turn on the power when and if I need it.
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
My reality is that I peddle around my 53 pound ebike often with no power just to push myself--even off road. Of course that doesn't include big hills but it can also be a motivation factor and it is nice to be able to turn on the power when and if I need it.
Exactly! I run two miles to the store. I carry 35 pounds of groceries back up an 18% grade every week. I do this marine-like workout because I feel great -- afterwards.

Until my recent encounter with a mountain lion, the hike through the park to the store just made my day. Now I have serious problems because the mountain lion knows my sweaty scent. No more park runs, which totally bums me out.

Believe me, if you are in cougar territory, know what a "screech-growl" sounds like. We were so damn confused, it only antagonized the cougar. A screech-growl means cease and desist. Like Boone Smith told me pay attention to the squirrels and birds.
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
good for you. I have two ebikes, 2 fat bikes, 3 hybrid/road bikes. One of the fatbikes is 30 lbs. I could not imagine WANTING to pedal either of our ebikes while I quite enjoy riding the fat bike off road.
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
I did not flame you in red colors. I used red on one word to make a point (you know like with charts and spreadsheets... you're good at that)

I did say that pedaling normal 30 pound bike is OK but not 30 pound ebike. It's not the same. They don't pedal the same.

Jazz says he does it all the time. - fine - apparently I'm an exception to that opinion.

You're not a new visitor. You got 800 posts. Grow a thicker skin, tiger.

While we are at it, I think it should be OK to disagree with someone on internet forums and express an opinion, so here goes:

I think many of your virtual assumptions about ebikes are wrong yet the amount of content you produce and (as you bragged about it) the prominence in google search of the content you generated is dangerous to newbies looking to get an educated opinion.

I think the fact that you are wrong so many times about ebikes while you berated another member about their IQ puts you in a 'tool' category.

I see many more reserved members here are ignoring you ... I need to do better in that territory myself but I just hate seeing junk posted by someone who has 0 knowledge.


That's funny. I did pedal an old 30 pound bike for 10 years until it stopped working. I live in California. You live somewhere on the east coast.

Do you know me? How can make such presumptions?

Why do you flame me in red colors? Will new visitors think this is hostile territory ?

Please show some self-control and etiquette.
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
I did not flame you in red colors. I used red on one word to make a point (you know like with charts and spreadsheets... you're good at that)

I did say that pedaling normal 30 pound bike is OK but not 30 pound ebike. It's not the same. They don't pedal the same.

Jazz says he does it all the time. - fine - apparently I'm an exception to that opinion.

You're not a new visitor. You got 800 posts. Grow a thicker skin, tiger.

While we are at it, I think it should be OK to disagree with someone on internet forums and express an opinion, so here goes:

I think many of your virtual assumptions about ebikes are wrong yet the amount of content you produce and (as you bragged about it) the prominence in google search of the content you generated is dangerous to newbies looking to get an educated opinion.

I think the fact that you are wrong so many times about ebikes while you berated another member about their IQ puts you in a 'tool' category.

I see many more reserved members here are ignoring you ... I need to do better in that territory myself but I just hate seeing junk posted by someone who has 0 knowledge.
Please provide the one link to your single best piece of work, the one that you are most proud of.
 
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Mike leroy

Active Member
I did not flame you in red colors. I used red on one word to make a point (you know like with charts and spreadsheets... you're good at that)

I did say that pedaling normal 30 pound bike is OK but not 30 pound ebike. It's not the same. They don't pedal the same.

Jazz says he does it all the time. - fine - apparently I'm an exception to that opinion.

You're not a new visitor. You got 800 posts. Grow a thicker skin, tiger.

While we are at it, I think it should be OK to disagree with someone on internet forums and express an opinion, so here goes:

I think many of your virtual assumptions about ebikes are wrong yet the amount of content you produce and (as you bragged about it) the prominence in google search of the content you generated is dangerous to newbies looking to get an educated opinion.

I think the fact that you are wrong so many times about ebikes while you berated another member about their IQ puts you in a 'tool' category.

I see many more reserved members here are ignoring you ... I need to do better in that territory myself but I just hate seeing junk posted by someone who has 0 knowledge.
You are distorting reality. He repeatly told me to stay away from mountain lions, without asking about my background or the context. The response had absolutely nothing to do with bikes -- of any kind.

You know me no better than he does. Relax. Use your energy wisely. Go for a ride on all of your bikes.
 

Cameron Newland

Well-Known Member
I see many more reserved members here are ignoring you ... I need to do better in that territory myself but I just hate seeing junk posted by someone who has 0 knowledge.
I personally ignore Mike leroy because all he does is ask strange questions (and too many of them, at that). I wouldn't be surprised to see him post something like "What's the best e-bike with rocket propulsion that can safely carry Miley Cyrus sitting on the handlebars eating a watermelon????" :D

I intend no disrespect to Mike here, but rather hope that he might start to ask more sensible questions, or perhaps spend more time finding answers and less time asking the community to do his work for him, though I understand that this is a Q&A forum and is hence subject to many questions (of varying quality) being asked. Surely I've done something on this forum that might've annoyed someone, so I'm hardly innocent.
 

Cameron Newland

Well-Known Member
A 30 pound electric bicycle with a 20 pound battery seems ideal. Pedaling a 30 pound bicycle without a battery is an acceptable compromise. I am willing to pay $9000 for the ideal bicycle-to-battery-weight ratio.

The M1 Spitzing carbon frame eBike is a 58 pound eBike with an 18Amp-hour pound battery. I assume the battery weighs about one pound per amp-hour, or approximately 18 pounds. The 40 pound bicycle is too heavy to pedal in my hilly area.

The Spitzing top-speed is over 40mph, which suits the 35mph traffic in the share lane (i.e., no bike lane). I enjoy noiseless pedaling in scenic, low-traffic areas. Running or hiking provides an even greater solitude feeling. I need a eMotorBike to compete with car traffic. However, I also appreciate the freedom to detach from electric power when the mood suits me.

The 60 pound, $3000 Polaris Appex is second closest match. But the battery is too underpowered -- only 6Amp-hours, or one-third the M1 Spitzing energy capacity. The Appex weighs 50 pounds without a battery. M1 bicycle weighs 10 pounds less! The M1 is the superior bicycle, by a long margin!

The M1 Spitzing provides 120Nm of torque versus the Polaris Appex wimpy 50Nm.

Polaris has NMC li-ion battery chemistry. Tesla, BMW and most EV car manufacturers use NMC batteries. Polaris only recently acquired Brammo electric motorcycle NMC chemistry. Too late for a 2015 NMC Appex.

NMC is capable of reducing battery weight by half and doubling power. My feeling is the ideal bicycle-to-battery-weight ratio will be achieved by Polaris in 2016.

Can you suggest the best bicycle for my aim?
I honestly think that at the present time, the ideal bike for you would either be the Stromer ST2 or the Focus Aventura Impulse Speed 1.0. The Stromer is heavier at 70lbs but has an 800+Wh battery which gives it a lot of range, and the Focus weighs ~20lbs less but still offers a 612Wh battery, offering a range of up to 127 miles on the lowest pedal assist mode. Both will only take you up to around 28-30mph, though, and it seems like you want something faster, and if that's the case, then unfortunately I don't have any good recommendations -- you should look for a 72V 1000+Wh e-bike, and those aren't really the most widely-available ebikes nowadays.
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
I honestly think that at the present time, the ideal bike for you would either be the Stromer ST2 or the Focus Aventura Impulse Speed 1.0. The Stromer is heavier at 70lbs but has an 800+Wh battery which gives it a lot of range, and the Focus weighs ~20lbs less but still offers a 612Wh battery, offering a range of up to 127 miles on the lowest pedal assist mode. Both will only take you up to around 28-30mph, though, and it seems like you want something faster, and if that's the case, then unfortunately I don't have any good recommendations -- you should look for a 72V 1000+Wh e-bike, and those aren't really the most widely-available ebikes nowadays.
Cameron,
Thank you. Are you familiar with Li-ion battery chemistry? I have just a basic knowledge. Evidently, LFP is better for higher power, e.g., used by Mercedes and Cessna Planes. NMC has less power, but greater capacity, e.g., Tesla, BMW and other EVs.

Can you recommend LFP, NMC or another Li-ion chemistry?
 

Bike_On

Well-Known Member
I honestly think that at the present time, the ideal bike for you would either be the Stromer ST2 or the Focus Aventura Impulse Speed 1.0. The Stromer is heavier at 70lbs but has an 800+Wh battery which gives it a lot of range, and the Focus weighs ~20lbs less but still offers a 612Wh battery, offering a range of up to 127 miles on the lowest pedal assist mode. Both will only take you up to around 28-30mph, though, and it seems like you want something faster, and if that's the case, then unfortunately I don't have any good recommendations -- you should look for a 72V 1000+Wh e-bike, and those aren't really the most widely-available ebikes nowadays.
Well, we all want the *ideal* bike that does not exist. If I had to choose only one, it would be the Optibike 1100R, **IF** it had a pedalec mode + twist throttle. (912 Whrs, 48V, can average 28-29mph for over 22 miles - I've done that) hill climber, not too noisy either, just no pedalec. I suppose the M1 should be in there too.

My second al-around pic in the Thron Impulse Speed. Two Full susp, mid -drive, fast bikes with big batteries, and quality components that work and last....that needed for all-around IMO.
For road and bike path only, then the ST2 , Turbo and other quality dd Hubs with larger batteries come to play.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I want to know the best article @Brambor has written on EBR.
I'll try to help you Mike. Read these 11 pages about a year in the life of an e-biker: Commuter Log

It's one of the better threads here. I don't think you will find many members here that will toot their own horn by saying "look what I've done".

Good luck Mike, I hope you find what you want;) Try one of @motostrano demo days in your town.
 
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Mike leroy

Active Member
I'll try to help you Mike, I hope Brambor doesn't mind. Read these 11 pages about a year in the life of an e-biker:
Commuter Log (link)

In my opinion it's one of the best threads here. It will give you an idea what it's like to live the life of a cyclist. I don't think you will find many members HERE that will toot their own horn by saying "look what I've done".

Good luck Mike;)
Since you recommend Monostrano in my home town of Redwood City, I will certainly not purchase from them. You are an awful promoter of business. Please recommend more businesses for me to avoid. Guilt by association.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Since you recommend Monostrano in my home town of Redwood City, I will certainly not purchase from them. You are an awful promoter of business. Please recommend more businesses for me to avoid. Guilt by association.
Now you are truly getting ugly and insulting with your posts. I won't take the bait and get into a war of words with you. I even edited my last post prior to your response in an attempt to soften it because I was trying to help. Then you saved my first draft in an attempt to antagonize me. I've seen you edit posts after a response has been posted to make yourself look better. So now you insult me and an industry member. Wow! You are very dishonest and disingenuous in your posting, I'm out!