An electric or an electrically-assisted bicycle?
Over the last few years, electrically-assisted bicycles (‘EABs’) - often referred to as electric bikes - have become increasingly popular. Electric bikes are equipped with an intelligent motor and a battery. The motor assists the cyclist while pedalling, and is only switched on when the cyclist is in fact pedalling.
The maximum speed depends on the type of bike chosen but, generally, an electrically assisted bike will reach a maximum of 25 k.p.h. Once this speed is reached, the motorised assistance will stop. It also cuts out when you stop pedalling. The level of assistance will vary depending on the cyclist’ preferences: the selected level or the provided effort.
An electric bike will enable you to travel longer distances while making less effort than with a conventional bike. It will also help you when you take up the sport, and for as long as you are actively involved in it.
What are the different types of electric bike?
There are many different types of electric bike. Here is a non-exhaustive list of different models:
- City bike: this is the most popular type of bike in Europe.
- Folding bike: there are two types, a compact bike which takes up less space, and a folding bike which - as the name suggests - folds up to make it even more compact (for trains or air-planes);
- Cargo bike;
- Mountain (or ATV) bike;
- Road bike;
- Touring bike;
- Speed Pedelec: this is a bike which can go up to 45 k.p.h. It is treated like a moped and requires a license, registration and insurance.
Every bike has its own characteristics and is designed to suit the use you make of it.
Despite their cost, there’s a waiting list for electric bikes
Their popularity is currently at a peak. Despite their price, demand for bikes practically doubled in 2020. Today, it may be difficult to find one straight away. Indeed, for some brands the bike must be ordered in advance for delivery in, at best, a few months ... or even in 2022 for the latest models.
Electric bikes cost, on average, about EUR 1,500 with prices ranging from EUR 800 up to EUR 3,000. The price will depend on the type, the materials and the accessories for the electric bike you choose.
Likewise, be careful when buying a second-hand bike because the battery won’t be new, and its condition and range will no longer be at their maximum.
What subsidy is available when purchasing an electric bike?
he Luxembourg government has introduced a subsidy of up to 50% of the price of a new electric bike, with a maximum of EUR 600. It is therefore possible to benefit from this subsidy, on certain conditions (1), namely you must:
- Be resident in Luxembourg;
- Be an individual;
- Buy the bike for personal use;
- Buy a new bike;
- Buy an electrically assisted bike limited to a range of 25 km;
- The subsidy is granted to the owner of the bicycle;
- Buy the bike before 31 March 2022.
How to maintain the battery of your electric bike?
Whether you have chosen a new or a used bike, you need to take care of your bike and especially its battery. You mustn’t forget to keep it maintained. A new battery can last about 200 km per recharge, so you must do everything possible to maintain this.
Electric bikes have lithium-ion batteries which generally have a useful lifespan of five or six years. This will vary, depending on the total number of recharging cycles, which is usually somewhere between 500 and 600 recharges.
Over time, the battery will wear out, so here are some tips for making it last:
- During lengthy periods of non-use keep it between 30% and 60% charged;
- Store it in a cool and dry place;
- Use a neoprene cover to protect it from extreme temperatures (2);
- Let it run down completely once or twice a year in order to reset its electronic circuit board.