Beyond Oil Electric Bikes FAQ's

Will I need a licence to ride my electric bicycle?

No. The maximum allowable power is higher in some other countries. In Australia, a licence is required to ride a vehicle on the road with a power output of more than 200 Watts of power, or 250 Watts for a Pedelec.

Will I need to register my electric bicycle?

No. The maximum allowable power is higher in some other countries. In Australia, a bicycle with no more than a 200 Watt power output, or 250 Watts for a Pedelec, is classed as an ordinary bicycle and does not require registration.

How fast will my bike go?

With a 200 Watt power output the bicycle will cruise on flat road at about 25 kph with minimal pedaling. The Pedelec standard specifies a maximum motor assisted speed of 25 kph. With a 500 Watt power output you could expect to reach 35 kph with minimal pedaling and 32 kph with no pedaling on a flat road.

Will I need to pedal?

The PAS (Pedal Assist System) is designed for safety so the motor does not work until the pedals are turned. You are not allowed to use the throttle above 6 kph on a Pedelec. For people who use their bike on private land and want a fully functional throttle, we provide a solution.

Our bicycles have buttons on the handlebar to select how much pedal assistance you want: LOW, MEDIUM, and HIGH.

Also, our bicycles have a red button on the hand throttle which you can momentarily press to enable the throttle to work and momentarily press again to disable the throttle. However, if the key is ON, we suggest you disable the throttle in case somebody twists the throttle when there is no rider on the bicycle.

Warning: don't forget to raise the inside pedal when turning.

You can choose when and where you want extra exercise reducing the pedal assist or by turning off the battery.

What does it cost to run an electric bicycle?

Each time you charge it the electricity cost will be about 20 cents and about 30 cents towards future battery replacement.

Does the battery recharge when I pedal?

The option of charging when rolling is called regenerative braking. It would make the bicycle significantly more expensive and usually only provide a small increase in range. Charging when pedaling cannot happen because the rotating part of the motor does not revolve with the pedaling.

Can you tell me about your bikes?

Our bikes have excellent Lithium batteries which are the lightest type of battery commercially available (you can tell if a bike has lead acid batteries: "They weigh a tonne!"). The low weight means that you can ride up steeper hills and go further on a charge. According to government motor power regulations the speed is limited to about 25 km per hour (or whatever your country allows).

The acceleration is also very good. The battery is rated at 800 charge cycles in normal use. The remaining charge is indicated on the handlebar and there is a warning light to warn you when the battery is getting too low in charge to use. However, as with most batteries, it is best to recharge it as often as convenient and keep it topped up. The battery does not have a "memory effect" and must not be discharged before recharging! That only applies to some NiCad batteries. If you keep the charger with you on longer trips, you can easily top up the battery if you stop for a while.

Can you tell me about the Lithium batteries on your bikes?

Older technology batteries have a bad environmental reputation due to some containing lead or cadmium which are toxic. Lithium itself is rated as low to very low toxicity. As the technology has improved a general consensus has grown that lithium iron phosphate LiFePO4 (LFP) and NMC batteries are best for electric vehicles. NMC batteries have a higher energy density than most other types of lithium batteries. Both LFP and NMC batteries have a long life span, are very safe, and have a much lower cost for the amount of energy they store over their long lifetime. They can also be charged and discharged quickly. Lithium batteries will be increasingly recyclable in the future because lithium is a valuable resource.

LFP batteries do not have safety concerns such as overheating and explosion, have long cycle-lifetimes, have 8 to 10 times higher discharge power enabling an instant high current, and have a wide operating temperature range. [Wikipedia,"Lithium Iron Phosphate"]. They are particularly environmentally friendly and perfect for solar charging. NMC batteries are lighter and well suited to electric bikes.

Where do I get a new battery when my lithium battery dies?

Your battery will last 800 charge cycles and possibly many more if it is kept topped up and not left without recharging for more than 2 months. Eight hundred charge cycles means if you discharge it (80%) everyday with a lot of riding it will last about 800 days or more. That is well over 2 years, 7 days a week! So don't expect to be replacing your battery in a hurry. When you do need a new battery we can deliver one to you within 2 weeks for a very low price... just like all our prices. If you are an intensive rider you could consider buying a spare battery when you order your bicycle.

Is it best if I run the battery flat before I recharge it?

No! That rule is for NiCad batteries only! All other re-chargeable batteries can get a reduced life span if you run them flat. On our bikes, the motor controller cuts out when the battery charge gets low. Then you can pedal on without power until you get the chance to charge it. If you only discharge your battery 35% most of the time then it is possible it can last thousands of charges!

What are sensible precautions with lithium batteries?

Lithium ion batteries including lithium polymer batteries are not as stable as LFP mentioned above. You should treat lithium ion batteries like you would treat your fuel tank or a can of fuel... with great respect! Unlike fuel, lithium reacts with water as well oxygen, or can create a substantial flash fire if there is a short circuit, or if over-charged. Usually the electrolytes are also inflamable. The charger provided is designed to stop charging when that battery is full. Hence it is dangerous to use a charger other than the charger supplied with the bicycle. The case of the lithium battery is water resistant, but not water proof. If the case of the lithium battery becomes physically damaged you should stop using it and have it inspected by a battery technician. You wouldn't mess around with a can of fuel... so don't mess around with a lithium battery.

Note that Beyond Oil ebike lithium batteries are protected by several special safety electronic systems inside the battery, so there is no safety concern unless they are seriously abused.

LFP (LiFePO4) batteries are the only exception to these warnings. For example it is possible to charge an LFP battery from a solar panel in a safe manner. An LFP battery can be identified by observing an "F" printed in the slide channel on the aluminium shell of the battery or on a label. Warning: NEVER attempt to charge a lithium battery with anything other than the recommended charger. Precautions must also be taken to ensure that an lithium battery is never over-charged. In particular DO NOT attempt to charge an ordinary lithium ion battery with an LFP charger because an LFP charger goes to a higher voltage which is unsafe for ordinary lithium ion batteries.

The bicycle electrical system operates at 36 to 42 Volts. That is very low and cannot create any dangerous electric shock in a dry environment (even phone lines are higher at 50 Volts). However people wearing medical electronics should take appropriate precautions.

Can I ride an electric bicycle in the rain?

The electrical wiring is not completely sealed - they must NOT be submersed in water. The battery, controller, motor, and throttle are water resistant but not water proof. That includes the hub motor, and the controller which is just behind the pedal axle. Never ride through puddles deeper than 10 cm.

If you live in a high rainfall are you can reduce the risk of battery damage due to water ingress during rain by running plastic tape along the seam of the battery case. However, we advise against riding in heavy rain. Having a large raincoat or poncho to cover both you and the bike is a good solution if you live in a wet region. We provide a specially designed rider's raincoat free with each bike. While taking great care that it cannot tangle in the wheels, Isadora Duncan, you can use it to cover the battery and handlebar. That being said, I have only seen a two or three cases of water damage in ten years.

Is an electric bicycle good for health?

We stumbled upon this comment on the web and thoroughly agree with it:

An Australian, or New Zealand, study some years ago compared cardiovascular activity with a car, regular pedal bike and an electric bike over the same public road course that had some tough hills. Of course the car was null on cardio help, the pedal only bike rider had abnormally high heart rate (not recommended at that level) on the big hills, and the electric bike rider had a higher, but acceptable, heart rate. So an EB is TRULY good for your health. So the EB is the winner in the helpful cardio category. On safety--have you ever tried to pull away from a dangerous situation on a pedal bike when you were in harms way--I have, and it is hard and dangerous at times. On an EB, you just instantly accelerate with the flick of the accelerator switch or by pedaling hard on a Pedelec that kicks in the motor for a quick start. I rest my case.