With the huge increase in electric bikes many people are now looking at using them for touring. The main issue at present is the mileage that can be covered in a day without having to recharge the battery. An electric bike with luggage will have less range due to the extra weight.
Touring on an e-bike takes a little more planning than on a conventional bike. Things to consider include
what is the range of your ebike (this will be reduced if carrying luggage)
what is the terrain like (hilly routes will reduced range)
where can I charge en route
Luckily there are a number of options for charging your e-bike en route whilst touring. Cafes, restaurants and pubs will often let you charge your battery whilst having a coffee or lunch. There is a growing trend to install specific charging station on some popular long distance routes (see below). Some bike shops often have charging facilities. We have heard reports of being able to charge e-bikes from electric car charging points but havent been able to confirm this. Length of time needed to charge your battery depends on a number of factors such as battery size and charger rating.
UK E-bike charging points
In the UK Sustrans have partnered with Bosch eBike Systems to install e-bike charging stations on some National Cycle Network routes which are free to use for e-bike riders.
Up to now 6 charging stations (PowerStations) have been installed but there are plans for many more. The main issue at present is that currently, only Bosch batteries are compatible with these charging stations. Each of these PowerStations have six charging compartments which can be used simultaneously, each with a lockable door. Take the battery off your bike and connect it to the charging cable inside one of the lockers and then lock the compartment.
These can now be found in the following locations.
Devon – Coast to Coast
The Devon Coast to Coast cycle route connects the county’s north and south coastlines. Along the route are two PowerStations at the Barnstaple Bike Shed which is a cycle shop in Barnstaple and the other is at the Pump & Pedal at Okehampton. The Pump & Pedal is a cycle shop, café and pub.
Moreton-in-Marsh, Cotswolds – Cotswold Line
There is a PowerStation at Cotswold Cycles in Moreton-in-Marsh.
Caledonia Way, Scotland – National Route 78
The Caledonia Way is a long distance cycle route exploring over 230 miles of Scotland’s west coast and runs from Campbeltown to Inverness in the north, with waterside views aplenty. Along its route there are 4 e-bike charging stations
The first charging station can be found at West Coast Motors in the centre of Oban.
In Glencoe at the side of Loch Leven is another PowerStation at Glenachulish.
This charging power station is situated at the Ben Nevis mountain’s visitor centre.
This e-bike charging station is situated at the Caledonian Canal Centre.
St Philip’s, Bristol – Bristol and Bath Railway Path
This is a traffic-free route between Bristol and Bath. An e-bike charging station is situated at Cakesmiths which is a cafe and bakery.
Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire – National Route 6
The charging station is situated at Sherwood Pines Cycles. As well as a cycle shop there are a number of off road trails to try out at Sherwood Pines.
National Cycle Network Route 72, Hadrian’s Cycleway
Hadrian’s Cycleway is a 170 miles route from Ravenglass in Cumbria to South Shields in Tyne & Wear. It follows the ancient Roman frontier. There is an e-bike charging station situated at Carlisle Cathedral. The are also plans to install a charging station in Hexham during 2023.