E-Bikes: How They Charge and Where You May Want An Outlet Installed

E-Bikes, also known as electric bikes, are on the up and up in the transportation sector. There are many different types and brands of electric bikes on the market today, with varying speeds, rider assist technologies, pricing, tire sizes, etc. Today we will focus on what makes an e-bike an e-bike, talk about some of the different styles and brands, and explain how they charge and why it might not be a bad idea to get a dedicated line and outlet installed by a licensed electrician for where you’ll be storing/charging your e-bike when you aren’t riding it. Let’s begin!



What Is An E-Bike?

An e-bike is an electric bicycle. It has a battery to power the bike either while you are pedaling or while you aren’t pedaling, depending on the e-bike’s assist technology. The rider assist technology is how the bike is able to move with the battery power when the rider isn’t putting in all of the work to make the bike move. 


Different Types of E-Bikes

Just like regular bikes, an e-bike can either be a cruiser, hybrid, commuter, mountain, or a road bike, among some others. Other functionalities of the e-bikes may include foldable and cargo (racks and mounts for storage). Basically the different types of electric bikes come down to the body style and tire size, just like a regular bike.  


Different Classes of E-Bikes

Electric bikes come in 4 classes. The first three classes do not require a license and registration, and are “street-legal”. The typical three classes of e-bikes are class 1 (pedal assist), class 2 (throttle), and class 3 (pedal assist up to 28 mph without throttle). The class 4 e-bike is comparable to a moped and requires a license and registration.

Class 1 (Pedal Assist)

The class 1 e-bike works by using a pedal assist model, meaning as the biker pedals, an assist system engages and allows the bike to reach a top speed of 20mph. With this type of e-bike, you must pedal in order for the motor to engage. 

Class 2 (Pedal Assist with Throttle)

The class 2 e-bike works the same as class 1 with a pedal assist option for some but also includes a throttle. The throttle can be a push button or a twisting-grip mechanism on the handle bars. When a person uses the throttle, the motor kicks on without the need for pedaling. This type of e-bike typically goes up to 20mph just like the class 1 e-bike. Some like the Aventon Aventure E-Bike can hit a top speed of 28 mph while pedaling, and 20mph with the throttle.

Class 3 (Pedal Assist and up to 28mph)

The class 3 e-bike works like the class 1 e-bike with a pedal assist for the motor to engage, but can go faster than class 1 with a top speed of 28mph. This class does not include a throttle option.

Class 4 (no speed limit)

Class 4 e-bikes are considered to be more of a moped because they can go faster than 28 mph with no speed limit. This is why class 4 e-bikes require a license and registration to be ridden on the road. Class 4 e-bikes can be equipped with a combination of both throttle and pedal assist.


Popular Brands of E-Bikes

There are over a couple hundred e-bike brands on the market in the United States. The most popular brands of e-bikes in the U.S. include:

  • Aventon
  • Rad Power
  • Juiced
  • Blix
  • Cannondale
  • Lectric
  • Rad1Up
  • Trek
  • Specialized
  • VanMoof
  • Pedego

…and so many more!


How Does An E-Bike Charge?

Thankfully, e-bikes charge with your standard 3 prong 120V wall outlet. Depending on many factors, a typical full charge time for an e-bike is anywhere between 4 and 6 hours. You can charge your e-bike battery on or off your bike if the battery is removable. Light indicators on the battery and/or e-bike will determine when your e-bike is fully charged. When the light indicator is green, your bike is fully charged. Red is an indicator that the e-bike battery is getting low. Avoid extreme temperatures when charging your e-bike as well, and don’t keep it plugged in when it is fully charged. 


Where You May Want A Dedicated Line For Charging Your E-Bike (Best Places At Home To Charge Your E-Bike)

Think about where you will store your e-bike when you’re not riding it. It is best to charge an e-bike on its own dedicated line/outlet (meaning no other appliances or gadgets sharing the outlet), and away from flammable objects. DO NOT USE AN EXTENSION CORD FOR CHARGING YOUR EBIKE! Typically, the best environment is a cool, dry place with a moderate temperature that can be monitored, like a garage or basement. 


Dedicated Outlet Installation For E-Bikes

KB Electric LLC is your go-to electrician for installing an outlet and dedicated line for your e-bike. We are licensed and insured electricians serving the Collegeville and Pottstown, PA area as well as the surrounding counties of Montgomery, Bucks, Berks, Chester, and Delaware County, PA. We highly recommend charging your e-bike on its own dedicated line/outlet for safety. Call us today for your dedicated line installation! (267) 467-3178