Electric Bike FAQ - All your eBike questions answered!

Electric bikes have seen a surge in popularity lately, and it’s for good reason. Not only are eBikes a fun way to get around, they are also eco-friendly and definitely still count as exercise! They are also the perfect option for those of us that live in the city, as they are compact and easy to store, and have far less running costs that a car.

If you are completely new to the world of electric bikes, then this blog post will explain how they work and why we love them so much here at Bike Otago!

electric bike FAQ

What exactly is an eBike?

An eBike or electric bike looks much like your regular bike except that it is equipped with a battery. This allows the bike to be propelled both by pedal power and battery power, making going up hills much easier! You can choose how much battery assist you would like to benefit from as you ride.

How fast can they go?

Depending on the brand and model of eBike, some can reach speeds of 35km per hour.  Generally a bike with a 300kw motor, like the eCity 300, will go between 25-30kph.

How long does the battery last and how long does it take to charge?

This does depend on varying brands and models, as well as factors like the weight of the rider and the amount of assist given. Typically a bike can go anywhere from 50 to 200kms before it needs to be recharged. Your average battery charge will take between 3-6 hours, depending on the bike.

If the battery runs out, what happens?

Never fear, if the battery runs out while you are out riding, you won’t have to push your bike! Your bike will still function like a normal pedal power bike. 

Are the bikes waterproof? Can I ride them in the rain?

Electric bikes can definitely be ridden in the rain and are deemed to be splash proof. While you won’t have any issues riding in the rain, we wouldn’t recommend riding your eBike through any significant amount of water like a river etc, as they are not completely waterproof.

Do I need a motorbike or car license to ride one?

No, as long as the bike is under 300 watts, you do not need a license. Anything over 300 watts is required to be registered as a moped here in NZ.

What brands are available?

At Bike Otago we stock Smartmotion, Lapierre, and Giant and Liv brands. Come in store and check out our range and we can find the perfect eBike for you. We also offer a free demo on some models, so you can ride the bike home and try it out before you buy!

If you have any other questions about eBikes, feel free to get in touch with our team here at Bike Otago. We are Dunedin’s electric bike experts!


Sarah Burlingham
Sarah Burlingham

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