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What Is Electric Bike Regenerative Braking And Do All Bikes Have It?

Are you looking to increase the life of your electric bike? A regenerative braking system in electric bikes is the solution.

Regenerative braking for electric bikes is an energy conservation or recovery mechanism. Electric bikes with this feature can convert kinetic energy into electrical energy, which you can while riding or store in the battery for later use.

Electric Bike with Regenerative Braking

Regenerative braking electric bikes are safer and more comfortable to ride. These bikes have a shorter stopping distance and a faster reaction time due to these select brakes. Regenerative brakes are one step ahead of standard or hydraulic brakes in terms of safety and convenience.

Why the Regenerative Braking System for Electric Bikes?

The traditional braking system causes much wear and tear on the brake pads and the disc rotors. This is because while applying brakes, this braking system’s hydraulic pressure converts kinetic energy into heat, damaging the entire braking system.

On the other hand, regenerative braking for electric bikes converts this kinetic energy into electrical energy and transfers it to the battery. This entire process causes no damage to the braking system and also enhances the battery range.

Difference Between Conventional Braking System And Regenerative Braking System

Conventional braking systems serve only one purpose: to stop the car. These braking systems do not concern themselves with any type of energy conservation. However, these braking systems do have a great potential for storing and utilizing the energy they waste.

Most of the excess energy created using friction in conventional systems is wasted as it converts into heat. On the other hand, regenerative braking systems conserve and store this energy. These braking systems use the force applied for stopping the vehicle in charging the battery of the electric car.

The principal idea of regenerative braking systems is relatively easy to comprehend. Electric bikes with regenerative brakes capture the energy lost while braking. Then these brakes use this energy to feed to the high-capacity battery installed in your electric bike.

Prevalence Of Regenerative Brakes In Electric Bikes

Regenerative Brakes are not very commonly available in electric bikes. Although the concept of regenerative braking is fascinating, you will find that there are hardly any manufacturers that use these brakes in their electric bikes.

The primary reason behind this is that there is not much energy available for capturing in electric bikes. An electric bike and rider’s weight is significantly less than the car’s weight, so even when you apply the brake, you don’t lose a lot of energy due to the slowing down.

For instance, 90% of our entire effort while riding an electric bike goes into pushing the bike. The main resisting force that the rider and the bike encounter is air resistance, only about 10% of the effort is used while braking. Applying regenerative brakes on this case can not benefit us, as we will only cover 10% more distance using these brakes.

Regenerative braking for electric bikes is not very useful as you can only improve your mileage anywhere between two to ten percent when riding on flat roads or surfaces. This type of brakes is a bit better while climbing up or down on terrains or mountains.

You can improve your mileage by twenty to thirty percent by using these brakes on hilly areas or steep terrains. People living in such regions can go for a bike that has this feature.

What is the need for Regenerative Braking in electric bikes?

Every year vast amounts of energy go to waste due to cars; we can generate enormous amounts of power if the transportation industry adopts the principle of regenerative braking. This system is useful for developing usable energy out of waste.

Regenerative Braking

Vehicles like electric bikes, cars, and motorcycles that don’t have this feature waste this kinetic energy created by braking in the form of heat. Heating Vehicle parts while traveling contributes to increasing global warming and reduce parts’ longevity in our vehicles.

An electric bike with regenerative braking has a potential increase in its mileage. If you or your relatives live in a place with hills or mountains in an open region, you can benefit a lot by using these brakes. Another significant advantage of this braking system is that they are safer than the frictional brakes and the hydraulic brakes.

Electric Bikes That Have Regenerative Braking

Radpower bikes are among the few electric bikes with regenerative braking, and we are going to mention some of these models with their specifications.

Radcity4

This electric bike is a commuting bike that is especially suitable for urban locations; it has a fixed frame size of 18.5 inches to be accessible to a broader user range. This electric bike uses a 750-watt powerful electric motor with a hub drive.

You can travel more than 45 miles on this electric bike as it uses regenerative braking. This bike also has swept-back handlebars to ensure that you have a comfortable long drive so that you can maintain a relaxing gait while riding on it.

The price for this electric bike is quite steep, and it has a 48 volts battery capacity and a high payload capacity of 275 pounds. You can drive this electric bike with regenerative braking on all types of terrain and surfaces as it has puncture-resistant tires.

Radcity Wagon 4

The Rad wagon 4 is one of the most robust and most reliable electric bikes available in the market. This bike has a patented design that provides you with extreme adjustability. You get a telescopic seat post along with adjustable handlebars on this electric bike.

This electronic bike also uses special tires that lower the center of gravity of this bike so that you get a safe riding experience. This bike has a gear-hub motor with a power output of 750 watts. You can easily travel and cover more than 45 miles on this electric bike.

This electric bike is exceptionally suitable for overweight or obese people as it has a high maximum load capacity of 350 pounds. You can either throttle or pedal this electric bike depending upon your choice. This electric bike with regenerative braking has a high distance coverage than other electric bikes in the same price range.

You can even climb up steep terrain with this electric bike as it has a freewheel that provides you with multiple gear options—the headlights and backlights on this electric bike work along with the braking system. As soon as you apply the brakes, the brake lights would switch on.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do electric bikes with regenerative braking charges while pedaling?

No, electric bikes that have a regenerative braking system do not charge while you pedal your bike. This system only converts the kinetic energy into electric energy created while applying your bikes to stop it.

Depending upon your electric bike’s design, this converted electric energy directly reaches the battery and the motor or is stored up in the battery for later use. The primary purpose of these brakes is to improve your mileage naturally without using any external resources.

Do regenerative braking systems turn on the brake lights in your electric bike?

Your brake lights do turn on in your electric bike regardless of your braking system. Whether you use a conventional braking system or a regenerative braking system, the moment you press your brakes, your tail lights will turn on, your electric bike will start to decelerate and then eventually stop depending upon your speed.

The major difference between these systems is that the regenerative braking system would store up all the kinetic energy produced while stopping while the conventional system would not store it.

Why do the majority of electric bikes don’t have a regenerative braking system?

The majority of electric bikes don’t possess this feature as this braking is not very effective on electric bikes. You will find this system can significantly impact your mileage if you have some other vehicle than an electric bike.

The weight of the electric bike is significantly less in comparison to a car or motorcycle. Moreover, the major force or resistance acting on you while driving an electric bike is air drag or air resistance.

The amount of energy created when you stop your bike is very low as the amount of kinetic energy produced is less.

Conclusion

Electric bikes with regenerative braking are an outstanding concept for the future, but this feature is not very effective with the present technology. We can see this technology as very prominent if we can maximize kinetic energy while stopping an electric bike.

People would start demanding electric bikes with these features as it will allow them to travel for a longer period with a single charge to their battery. This braking system will then also prove to be safer and economical.

We hope that this will be the case very soon!

 

Written by Lee Hill

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