Because “How much range do you get?” is a very common question when people see me charging. Here is a somewhat quick overview based on my experience here in Belgium over a total distance of 20.000 km in all conditions, all year round for 1,5 year.
Speed is your biggest enemy
Here in Belgium we have 4 main types of roads with the following speed limits:
- 50 km/h in cities/towns
- 70 km/h as a default speed in Flanders
- 90 km/h default in Wallonia
- 120 km/ on highways.
Speed has by far the biggest impact on consumption so that is the first thing we need to take into account here. Important note here is that I’m talking about real speed, so I ride 99 km/h on 90 km/h roads and 77 on 70 roads because of the 10% devation on the speedometer of my Energica.
For 50 km/h roads I have no clue. I rarely ride in the city and if I do it’s for very short sections. Not because the bike is too heavy to handle on low speeds. I do ride enough in between traffic at 30, max 50 km/h to know that it’s mostly the ease of control from an electric drivetrain that helps here. But I can’t give any sensible answer related to city use consumption. According to Energica range should be somewhere around 420 km. From my own experience I’ve never seen less than 50 Wh/km displayed for average consumption so that would be closer to 320 km (=16.000/50).
For 70 km/h it’s also a bit harder for me to explain from my own experience. I live in Wallonia so I have to remember the few times I go into Flanders or when I’m riding during peak hours where heavy traffic limits speed. When I do so I see consumption numbers between 60 and 70 Wh/km. I’ll explain later why, but if we count with 16 kWh available again that gives us a range of 228 – 266 km (=16.000/70 & 16.000/60).
I do ride a lot on 90 km/h roads here in Wallonia. I do know for sure that whatever I do I almost always end up with an average consumption of 90 Wh/km. Note that this is measured over distances of at least 50 km. Energica is pretty accurate in what it shows on the dash, I’ve seen other manufacturers presenting numbers that only make sense once you go over 50 km in distance. Anyhow a 80 – 90 Wh/km consumption gives you a total range of 177 – 200 km (=16.000/90 & 16.000/80).
And then there is highway use, here in Belgium speed limit is mostly 120 km/h still except for some regions around bigger cities like Brussels and Antwerp. In the Netherlands it’s way more common to have highway speeds limited to 100 km/h during the day, only allowing 120 km/h in the evening and during night time. A good way to reduce pollution and to give EV owners extra range for free. In my 120 km/h speed limited world consumption jumps to 110 – 120 Wh/km. This results in a real world range of 133 – 145 km (=16.000/120 & 16.000/110).
Why is this calculated with 16 kWh and not 21,5 kWh
Because that 21,5 kWh battery only lets you use around 16 kWh. All above range numbers would run your battery from 100% to 0%. At that point you could still ride with very limited output in order to reach a charger. When it completely stops you can even toggle the key to reboot it and get another go.
The only reason this is possible is because they have huge margins both at the top and bottom end of these batteries. This is done to protect it’s durability and is part of the reason they can give you at least 80% capacity left after 2.000 cycles. And 2.000 might not look like much but if you can ride around 200 km for each charge session that is a whopping 400.000 km !!!
Back to the available capacity though. On my bike that depends on the ambient temperature (or rather battery temperature) during a charge and sits somewhere between 15.400 and 16.400 Wh. I’ve seen 16.800 Wh myself but only a few times on older firmware and when the bikes was almost new. Hence my calculations with 16.000 Wh available capacity.
If you’re wondering what your bike is giving you there are some options to retrieve this; You could ride your bike empty (or not and compensate for the displayed %) and use a wattmeter to see how much electricity goes into the bike. Downside to this approach is that it also counts the lost Wh. So the real number will always be a bit lower.
A better way is to get my app and check what the number is reported by the system when the bike is fully charged to 100 % SOC. It’s free and easy to use.
What about influence of temperature and weather conditions
I already explained that the ambient, or better the battery temperature is what dictates how much charge can go into your battery. So naturally you would think that the weather plays a huge role in the range you get. And that is true to some extend.
If you would store your bike outside for example and have it charge during a cold night it would for sure give you a lower end result. I myself store my bike always inside and always have it charging indoors. It doesn’t get much lower than 15 °C here. Plus these bikes don’t leak any fluids and don’t smell so you could even put it inside the living room.
The ambient temperature doesn’t change much in my experience because the battery heats up a lot by just riding. I’ve been riding on highway speeds in freezing winters sitting on a battery that didn’t drop below 25 °C. So as long as you can keep it warm while charging you should be fine. And if you really need the range you could always heat the battery up by DC fast charging, but that is another story.
The only weather related range reduction I’ve seen is heavy rain. I suspect that it’s the added drag from rain that causes this higher consumption. And it’s not something specific to Energica. I’ve seen it on other bikes and on other EVs.
How does that compare to Zero gen 3 motorcycles with 14.4 kWh battery
Before this Energica I had a premium Zero SR/F with 14.4 kWh battery. That one would allow me to discharge it for around 12 kWh. That number was also easy to get from the console on the bike using the OBDII port.
What wasn’t very easy to get a proper reading for was it’s consumption. The app and dash can display a value but then this value was wrong because of a unit conversion bug for a very long time. And once resolved it was still just very difficult to get a reliable number.
All time average showed me 70 Wh/km and with 12.000 Wh available that would result in 171 km total range. In my experience I would always calculate with a max range available on 90 km/h roads of around 150 km. And often that is also what it turned out to be. So a consumption of 80 Wh/km makes more sense anyway.
On highway use I would get around 100-120 km range, that is a consumption of somewhere beteen 100 and 120 Wh/km so very similar to Energica but just with a smaller battery.