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What is an electric bicycle? A beginner’s guide to electric bicycles

beginner’s guide to electric bicycles

Electric bicycles, or e-cycles as they are known in India, are becoming increasingly popular as more and more people look for eco-friendly, cost-effective, personal modes of transport. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll explore what electric bicycles are, how they work, and why they might be a great choice for your next ride.

What is an electric bicycle?

Within India, the definition of an electric bicycle is restricted to any 2 wheeler vehicle that has a motor power of 250 W and a motor top speed limited to 25 kmph. An electric bicycle is powered by an electric motor that is usually located in the hub of the rear wheel or in the middle of the frame. E-cycles can be pedaled just like conventional bicycles but they have the option of using the e-motor for additional pedaling power. This makes the ride more effortless and efficient. Unlike an e-moped, an e-cycle can be used by pedaling even after the battery is completely discharged.

How does an electric bicycle work?

The Motor
The Battery
 The Motor Controller

Any electric cycle has 3 main components – the motor, the battery, and the motor controller. The motor is the device that provides the final assistance to the rider. It is powered by the battery, for energy storage, which can be thought of as the heart of the electric cycle. The total range of an e-bicycle is determined by the energy storage capacity of the battery. The motor controller is the brain that decides how fast or slow the motor needs to rotate for the user. The user can provide inputs such as power assistance level.

Types of electric bicycles

There are various types of electric bicycles designed based on use case:

City electric bicycle
  • City e-cycles: designed for urban or city riding. Can be low on motor power but needs high battery capacity.
Mountain electric bicycle
  • Mountain e-cycles: designed for off-road and rugged terrain. Need high motor power and battery capacity based on the length of the tour
Cargo electric bicycle
  • Cargo e-cycles: designed for the delivery business. Need high motor power to be able to carry high weights and high battery capacity to go further for deliveries.

Benefits of electric bicycles

There are many reasons why someone might choose an electric bicycle over a pedal cycle and even motorcycles!

  • There are many reasons why someone might choose an electric bicycle over a pedal cycle and even a motorcycle!
  • They’re eco-friendly and emit zero emissions, making them a great answer to polluted cities.
  • They are great for saving the cost of travel at just ~20 paise/ km. Petrol prices are not expected to lower any time soon.
  • They are super convenient for tackling traffic congestion.
  • They keep you active and healthy, even when traveling to work, school, or while running errands.
  • E-cycles are amazing to experience nature without contributing to climate change.

Buying an electric bicycle

If you’re interested in buying an e-cycle in India, there are several factors that can be considered before making a decision. These include:

  • Budget: e-bicycles are available from ~INR 25,000 to more than INR 1 lakh. We recommend deciding on a rough budget and then looking for suitable options within that price range.
  • Range: higher battery capacities are always desirable but come at a higher price. Know your range requirement before making a purchase.
  • Service point: Reputable brands are always safer bets when it comes to buying e-bicycles. They provide a higher number of service points and easier resolution of service issues.
  • Warranty: As with any other electronic product, a longer warranty period provides peace of mind while using the e-cycle


Electric bicycles are a great choice for anyone looking for a cost-effective, eco-friendly, and convenient way to get around. With a wide range of models and features available, there’s an e-bike to suit every need and budget.

PedalX is an engineering company focused on developing electric components for the e-bicycles industry. Follow us on social media to keep up with our developments.

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