What are the differences between a 36V and a 48V e-bike?

In the current Singapore market, you will find two types of e-bikes: 36V and 48V. Many people wonder about the differences between them and how to decide which one suits them better. Here, we provide a detailed explanation of the pros and cons to help you choose your ideal e-bike.

1. Power

A 48V e-bike generally offers more power compared to a 36V e-bike. The higher voltage allows the motor to draw more current from the battery, resulting in increased torque and faster acceleration. On uphill rides, a 48V e-bike provides a more powerful boost, making it ideal for hilly terrains and upslope situations where extra power is needed.

2. Speed

In the context of Singapore, there is no difference between the two when traveling on flat roads, as the legal speed limit is 25km/hr. Both 36V and 48V e-bikes are powerful enough to reach the local speed limit on flat terrain. However, when riding on steep slopes, a 48V e-bike travels faster than a 36V one

3. Range

With the same battery capacity in terms of watt-hours (calculated as nominal voltage x Ah), a 48V e-bike offers a shorter traveling range compared to a 36V one. This is because the higher voltage consumes more energy to deliver the increased power output.

4. Cost

Generally, a 36V e-bike is slightly more affordable than a 48V one. 

5. Conclusion

When choosing between a 36V and a 48V e-bike, consider your riding needs, the terrain you'll encounter, and your desired speed. If you require more power and quicker acceleration, especially for off-road or uphill riding, a 48V e-bike would be a better option. On the other hand, if you prioritize a longer range and a gentler boost from the motor, a 36V e-bike would be more suitable for you

Note: all the comparisons made above assume the ebikes come with a hub motor and a cadence sensor. If you have a 36v mid-drive ebike with a built-in torque sensor, it definitely can travel faster than a 48v hub motor ebike with a cadence sensor when going up a steep slope.