One of the most commonly asked questions about electric bikes is “how fast can I go?”
The legal power output for a road-going electric bike in New Zealand is 300 watts. A 300 watt electric bike will typically reach speeds of 32-35km/hour unassisted. Beyond that, it’s up to you and the power of your legs, or gaining extra momentum on a downhill stretch.
In Europe, the legal power output is 250 watts, which will assist an ebike to a maximum of 25km/hour. If you’re buying a European brand of ebike in NZ, it will most likely have a 250 watt motor and be limited to 25km/hour.
Can I change the factory speed settings?
On some makes and models of MeloYelo electric bikes, the answer is “Yes.” And it is quite easy to do. Bear in mind however that a 300 watt motor is 0.4 horsepower, so even if you override the factory settings to say 40km/hour, a 300 watt motor is still going to max out its assistance at around 35km/hour.
About the author
Rob McEwen is founder and CEO of MeloYelo ebikes, a NZ company with sales & service agents throughout the country. He Is also founder and a director of EVolocity, a charity which runs a programme in NZ high schools in which teams of students design, build and compete in electric vehicles. McEwen was formerly founder of the Association for the Promotion of Electric Vehicles (now Drive Electric) and a founder of the NZ Clean Energy Centre in Taupo.