As a PEV retailer, this is one of the most commonly asked questions, and for good reason, since the battery is the most expensive component of these electric-powered goodies, and what makes them go. However, this is also one of the most challenging questions to answer.
The most obvious way to answer is to just state the range provided to us by the device's manufacturer, this is called the "nominal range." It is what we and other retailers advertise online and in our marketing materials. So, that's it then, the question has been answered, blog post over.
Actually, we are not quite finished here. Nominal range isn't necessarily lying, but it can be misleading, as no one can actually achieve those ranges in real life scenarios. A lot of the time, those numbers are calculated using theoretical values instead of real range tests. Even when conducting range tests, they would be under ideal conditions, meaning a light rider traveling at a slow speed, maybe even on an indoor track so there's no wind, stop-and-go, or slopes. All of which are huge battery drainers. The central problem is that there is no standard for range testing in our industry, so as result, some nominal ranges are closer to reality than others. As a rule of thumb, real range is about 50%-60% of nominal range for most PEVs, but outliers do exist.
So what should you do to figure out how far you can plan your trip or which PEV you’ll need if there’s a minimum distance you must cover?
The most reliable way is to actually range test a device. You may borrow it from a friend or find a local store that allows you to. This way, you can gather the most accurate data based on your own riding style, weight, and terrain. Just remember to always use a GPS to log your range, as the speedometer on your PEV could be off.
If this cannot be practically done, another way we suggest is to base it off of a different PEV that you own or owned and compare their battery sizes. For example, I've ridden the Kaabo Wolf King GT Pro from full to empty, and it got me 86 km. The battery was 72V x 35Ah = 2520 Wh. Now, if I want to estimate the range of say the Dualtron Victor Luxury Plus, its battery is 60V (57.6V in reality, but that's a topic for another day) x 35Ah = 2016 Wh, so that's 80% of the Wolf King. Therefore, the Victor will probably get around 69 km of range.
If you use this method, the more similar the products you are comparing, the more accurate your outcome will be. You can also make adjustments to fine-tune your estimate. For instance, the heavier the device, the less range you'll have. The faster you plan on traveling, the less range you'll have due to wind resistance. If it has a sine wave controller and the device you are comparing to does not, sine wave will be more efficient, so you can add some range.
Lastly, if you don't have a previous device as a point of reference, check out reviews and YouTube videos. If it's a popular PEV you are looking at, chances are someone else may have done the range test for you already. Just be aware to check what speed and conditions they may have done their tests under and consider if it would be similar to how you plan on using the PEV.
Have fun riding, and we sincerely hope this blog post will help you avoid the dreaded "walk of shame" or "Uber of shame."