Real, real-world battery endurance - Level

Brockrock

Member
Region
USA
I'm trying to understand the Energy Bar readings that I am seeing on my new Level. I have taken three, approximately twenty-mile rides on what were fully charged batteries using only PAS 2. I weigh approximately 220# and have ridden moderate to steeply hilly routes each ride, all ending with a steep climb up my road to my driveway at the top...

On some of the steeper hills, after passing the 5 to 8 miles mark of these rides, the Energy Bar would drop during hill climbs by a bar - and then two or three - and the lowest I have seen it drop was to about 50% when I have climbed my steep road heading home. Then, when the bike has leveled out at the top of the hill near my driveway, the Energy Bar returns to indicating 100%. As such, I am wondering what is really left in the battery, as I will be wanting to do longer rides as I get into better shape.

I am guessing that each of my rides have ended with about 50% of usable battery based on Aventon's 'real-world' numbers, which means that I could probably do another 10 miles of similar terrain and still have a bit of reserve for the unforeseen. I do not want to have to push my new eBike up my road at the end of a good ride...

So, how are folks reading their Energy Bar? As of now, I am understanding it to suggest that the 'under-load' reading is the actual percentage, and should be monitored. Maybe there is a better way to set the monitor to show actual voltage - which is where the Energy Bar probably gets its data - but I have yet to find that option.
 

Tom@WashDC

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Loudoun County, VA
Hi Bockrock

From my experience, I judge that it takes time to get to know your battery and its' relationship to your display meter, combined with your riding style and average terrain. I have about 1100 miles on my Level. I purposefully ran my battery down to were it would provide no more PAS. I observed that once the battery is run down to where it no longer provides pedal assist, If I restart the electrical the system, it would generally not provide any PAS, but it did provide low power throttle assist for a few more miles. I have replicated the exact same phenomena on my DIY Mid-drive Fat Bike with a 1500W Bafang motor, and 48V battery.

It appears to me that on the Levels' display, the battery meter is somewhat dynamic in that the meter level will drop quickly if you are consuming power in the PAS levels between 3-5, or aggressive terrain. If you cut back on the PAS to level 1 or 2, the battery meter will increase a few bars to a higher percentage. I get essentially the same effect on my DIY Fat Bike display, but rather than the Battery Meter fluctuating, my Range estimator will recalculate. I don't know whether the Level controller/display system was purposefully designed as such, but my two bike systems act similarly and they are not similar controllers, batteries, motors, or displays. On my DIY, the display has a dynamic Range estimator that continually recalculates based upon my riding demands. The Level display "appears" to do the same, utilizing the battery meter as the visual representation of your assisted riding potential. On my DIY Bafang system, the battery voltage meter consistently drops over time, while the Range projection can fluctuate widely as it continually recalculates my range potential based on riding demand, PAS level, throttle use, etc.

My riding buddy has a DIY 750W Bafang Mid-drive without a Range Estimator on the display. When we ride together with our mid-drives (3X weekly), we routinely compare our voltage drop over time and we find that our systems compare fairly equally, though our systems have different controllers, displays, motors, and batteries. While his system does not have the Range estimator on the display, His battery meter fluctuates and recalculates. The two bikes perform similarly in terms power consumption and range when being ridden in the same style, over the same terrain.

After 1100 miles on my Level, and 600 miles on my DIY mid drive, I've gained an intuitive understanding of how to ride my bikes and get the best range out of the systems. On some days I ride either bike very hard and can see that I am only going to get 15-20 miles out either system. When I ride with my wife, and ride mostly in PAS 1-2, I can see that am going to easily get 40-50 miles out of the system.

To get the most out of your bike, I recommend that you run the battery down to where it no longer provides PAS, and check to see what the Voltage reading is on the display. That will be your low limit, with a few potential miles (1-2) under low throttle power. A 48V battery should have an internal low limit cut off of 41-42 Volts The low level voltage cut off is built into the battery, but it may also be fixed at a higher number by the controller software. As you ride your bike, use the Voltage reading in the display as your guide to understand how much voltage/range you've got, before your battery shuts down. The voltage reading should be more consistent, and you'll better understand when you are nearing battery shut down.

Not withstanding a defective component, As you accumulate miles on your bike, I think you will quickly understand how much range you will get out of your system based on your terrain and riding style.

Of course, YMMV :)

Hope this helps.

~Tom
 
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Brockrock

Member
Region
USA
Tom - Thank you so much for your reply. Very informative. Yes. This monitoring system is its own unique animal, and I think you are very right about it eventually becoming intuitive. I think I am also underestimating this bike’s endurance with active and steady pedaling. I have been purposely riding hilly routes to put the bike through its paces and see what its limitations are, and I am still getting 20 mile rides with plenty of battery left it would seem. I am now looking forward to getting down to the shore soon where the terrain is more generally flat.

I rode another 20 miles today and have not charged the battery. I plan to head out tomorrow with whatever is actually left and run it right down like you suggest via my hilly routes. I’ll update with my results.

Thanks again!
 

Tom@WashDC

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Loudoun County, VA
Tom - Thank you so much for your reply. Very informative. Yes. This monitoring system is its own unique animal, and I think you are very right about it eventually becoming intuitive. I think I am also underestimating this bike’s endurance with active and steady pedaling. I have been purposely riding hilly routes to put the bike through its paces and see what its limitations are, and I am still getting 20 mile rides with plenty of battery left it would seem. I am now looking forward to getting down to the shore soon where the terrain is more generally flat.

I rode another 20 miles today and have not charged the battery. I plan to head out tomorrow with whatever is actually left and run it right down like you suggest via my hilly routes. I’ll update with my results.

Thanks again!
From your previous post "Maybe there is a better way to set the monitor to show actual voltage... but I have yet to find that option.
Brockrock, were you able to find the Voltage reading in your display?
 

Brockrock

Member
Region
USA
In Post 3 above, I mentioned a recent 20 mile ride that ended with what I assume to have been an approximately 50% battery. I never had a chance due to ever changing New England weather to ride the rest of that battery to see what was actually left, but I did do another ride today with a fully charged battery, and it was the hilliest yet. The ride was 22 miles in PAS 2, and as mentioned, I began with a fully charged battery showing 53 volts on the monitor. Does the static voltage of this 48 Volt battery really indicate 53 +/- volts when fully charged? Anyway, after mapping the ride via onthegomap.com, it indicated that this ride involved 2100' Ft worth of hill climbing... When I arrived home, the Energy Bar was again showing full with the bike on the kickstand, but the battery voltage was now showing 49 V. I am fairly sure now that I am way underestimating this bike's potential endurance when active and constant pedaling is involved, and I will be adding several mile segments to this route over time in order to see what my voltage results are, and ultimately, exactly how far I can ride this bike in this type of very hilly terrain. I have to say, I am very impressed with this bike.
 

Tom@WashDC

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Loudoun County, VA
I concur that under average riding conditions, the Level has excellent battery range. A48V battery when fully charged should read 53-54V.

Interesting thread about battery levels/usage
 
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Catalyzt

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
There are so many variables to this! Took my first ride ever with a friend-- I have two bikes, he rode my Trek/Hiltopper kit bike with a 12-mile battery (that can do 16 miles with 13,000 feet of vertical if you do everything JUST right) and I took the Moto which already had 16 miles on the odo, but the route was 12.4 miles and has over 1,500 feet of vertical and it was pretty chilly this evening. My buddy is two years younger and incredibly fit, I was sure we'd have no problem.

WRONG -- his battery died 2/3 of the way up the second-to-last hill! He was a very good sport about it-- the guy is a serious athlete and is always looking for ways to work out when he's out of town. I tried to keep his spirits up for the last 300 feet of vertical-- I shut off my motor, hollering, "It was my error! I mush share your pain as penance!" as I tried to grind the 49 pounds Moto up the hill, but eventually I had to go back to Eco. Offered to carry his dead battery or switch bikes, but he insisted on riding it the whole way.

Then I get home and I have to give him a beer, obviously... and my wife has only two left! Fortunately, she only had a one-beer kind of a day, but I got a stern talking to from the missus, even after I explained the terrible misfortune that had befallen us and the urgent need for Bill to have the beer (which she agreed he had to have, it was only I that was to blame for not making sure we had more beer in the fridge.) So tomorrow, I will run out and grab another six to further atone for my range estimation error even though it's impossible to accurately estimate range when there's significant elevation involved!

One interesting note: Normally, I charge up that 300 feet in HIGH on the Motobecane at about 9 MPH or whatever, and watch the range estimate drop like a stone. But to avoid leaving Bill behind in the dark, tonight, I dropped to first gear and rode the hill in ECO at about 4-5 MPH. The range estimate on the cycle computer actually showed an INCREASE in range at the top of the hill. So on a really long ride with lots of elevation, I think that dropping the assistance as low as possible and just puttering along at 4 MPH might result in way better range... it's actually much less work than going 10 MPH in HIGH, not at all strenuous. Seems like a strange way to get up the hill, but if it really saves that much juice, might be worth it for longer rides.
 

Catalyzt

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Whoa, sorry I didn't realize I was in the Aventon forum! Didn't mean to hijack the thread! I just can't do anything right today....
 

Brockrock

Member
Region
USA
I concur that under average riding conditions, the Level has excellent battery range. A48V battery hen fully charged should read 53-54V.

Interesting thread about battery levels/usage
Thanks Tom! I read that linked thread in full. Very useful info. It seems I am not the first to have the questions that I do. Now that I understand these voltage readings a bit more, and that they are normal, I will continue my efforts to discover this bike’s potential endurance while riding the hilly terrain that I enjoy.