Vado 5.0 SL EQ Battery Optimization?

BikeOn

Member
After about 3400 miles (which is really huge for me) on my Vado SL 5.0 EQ; 2100 miles which were put on in 2021, I'm enjoying the ride and preparing for some longer Rails to Trails rides this Spring/summer. I have two Range Extenders. Trying to find the sweet spot on battery life, overall mileage and time. For some reason it has't occurred to me to reset my Mission control presets, since the first month or so of riding. I have also discovered I just love that ZOOM of 100% Turbo.... going fast is grand. But it also sucks battery... as I'm sure you all know. It finally occurred to me to reset my Eco and Trail settings. Turbo was already set for 100%. Starting at 150% battery On a cold day, depending on wind, etc... - I could get about ten miles on Turbo before the battery level was about 104% or so. (starting the transition to turn off) Trail was set to 65% assistance which I rode at for a very long time - until I discovered the zoom of turbo; LOL - then going back to trail was tough. So I decided to set trail at 85% to see if that speed would make me happy, get me there at somewhat the same reasonable time and see what would happen with the battery. At 85% assistance it took the battery from 150% to 102% at 15 miles. Average speed went from about 17.5 mph to 15.5mph. (+/-). So basically I got about 5 more miles off the R.E. going from 100% to 85% assistance; or 1/3 more distance. I was surprised to see that much. I'll try different settings, and see if I can find the sweet spot. I'm wondering if others have tried different settings, (completing the ride without changing the setting) and what results they have seen. My goal is to get the most amount of miles in the least amount of time but keeping enough battery to finish a long ride. (70+/-) miles and to know the highest level of assistance I can squeeze out.

Thanks for Your thoughts?
 
Last edited:

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Very interesting subject! And very hard to quantitatize. It is because riding a lightweight mid-drive motor e-bike is non-linear, and it depends on factors of your own power input or winds on a given day. Also, even if my area is pretty flat, I cannot tell you anything about the effect of elevation gain: as very small hills tend to accumulate on long rides even in the plains. Here's my data collection for Vado SL:

1642226500053.png

Note that the only dependent parameter that makes sense is the energy consumption per distance unit.

1642226721207.png

Non-linear, and hard to get a consistent data set. No data for very high assistance level.

Now, let us assume you could get the energy consumption at 10 Wh/mi for 70% assistance (I mean, 70/70% as it is how I set up my Vado SL: the same Max Motor Power as Support %). With the 320 Wh battery that would make 32 miles, with one extra extender that would be 48 miles, and it would be 64 miles with two range extenders. All with the assumption there are no significant hills on your way.

Now, I could make 72 miles on the main battery + a single RE. Yes but that was at 55% of average assistance, and the average speed was only 12.7 mph for that ride!
 

BikeOn

Member
Thank you Stefan - you are a smart guy who exceeds my battery capacity. (LOL - that's a joke). :) Could you say a few words about your axis? I don't know what WH/KM and Wh/mi means. That would better help me to understand your graph.
My total ride this day was 36 miles, which is longer than normal for me at this stage. Average speed was 14.9mph, started with 150% battery and came home with 49% battery left on the main battery, using only one RE. Just going by numbers, one could assume at 85% assistance I could get another 18 or so miles from the 49% remaining main battery, and another 15 miles from a 2nd RE. Minus some for battery conservation and shut down so that's about 67 miles or so. Of course, for me and my fitness level that would be effected by fatigue, lunch stop, etc. My plan is to try the exact same route at a few different assistance levels: 80% and 75%, and 70%. I think the most telling number will be the amount of miles I can go on a typical ride before the first RE is depleted.

I do understand variables, including strengthening muscles balanced by each day a day older. But based on where I live my rides tend to be pretty consistent except for wind speed and direction, when I say pretty consistent I mean 9 X out of ten, on 100% turbo my RE is pretty depleted after 10 miles. That I have seen this so many times, is a big part of why I decided to run an experiment. In my case wind speed TENDS to be balanced by out and back rides.... however - I am really just trying to get a "most of the time" picture. I know there are many surprises along the way. I am short with old legs - five knee surgeries later and a herniated disc in my back - I can definitely tell that daily riding and pushing it hard has increased my strength and ability. I am riding further and longer than I was even six months ago. I've had my bike about 18 months. However my sit in the saddle time is not ever going to reach more than probably four hours a day... even with a lunch break. So my goal is to figure out a "most of the time" assistance level that get's me the furthest in that amount of time. Once I have that figured out, I can adjust up or down based on expected variables.

It's fun to learn and improve on skills and better understand the best way to use this bike.

All the best and Bike on!
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Could you say a few words about your axis? I don't know what WH/KM and Wh/mi means. That would better help me to understand your graph.
It is watt-hours per kilometre or per mile. It is how much of energy is consumed on average from your batteries on the ride. If you ride on the main battery only, your battery capacity is 320 Wh, and each Range Extender adds 160 watt-hours. When you know how much of energy you have for your Vado SL, just divide the total capacity of the batteries by the consumption factor Wh/mi and you can estimate for how many miles you could ride.

Generally, assistance levels below and up to 50% give you long range at the cost of low average speed. Increase the assistance to 70% and you will see the range dramatically drop. Go for 100% Turbo, and you will notice the range has become ridiculous. It is because the faster you ride, the more energy is used but it is not linear! It is the third power (cube)! Meaning: need long range, ride slowly :)