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The components of a VAE

The battery

For short distances, a battery of 8 Ah is enough.

Lockable and removable, it fits under the luggage rack or shim under the saddle. As it represents almost half the price of an electric bike, it deserves a particular lighting.

Amps, volts, watts...

The capacities are expressed in amperes, watts and volts, which is not always very clear. A little technique : the amperage matches the power available in your battery, and the voltage at the voltage of your electric motor. By multiplying amperage by voltage, you get the power of the battery, expressed in watts. For example, a battery of 10 amperes (10 Ah) and 36 volts delivers 360 watts/hour theoretical, which corresponds to the power of a professional cyclist. In practice, the power on which you can rely really with a battery pack 10 × 36 is instead of 250 watts/hour. It is sufficient to climb any side without effort. In summary : the higher the amperage, the higher the autonomy is important and the higher the voltage, the higher the driving will be " easy ".


Manufacturers serious give ranges wide, type " 50 to 95 km." It is not very precise but it is honest. It is impossible to say exactly what distance covers a battery given. Too many parameters to be taken into account : your weight, your strength, the wind, the inflation of the tyres, the terrain, etc To give an order of magnitude, let's say that a battery 36 V-10 Ah new, you can browse several tens of kilometers at a pace between 15 and 25 km/h, pedaling. With time, performance will degrade, but you can count on several hundreds of cycles of charging and discharging if you have a battery of well-known brand : Bosch, Yamaha, Panasonic, Sram, Shimano, Giant... The cost of the charging sector is negligible, of the order of a few cents to 50 km.

Energy recovery

Some manufacturers put in front of the devices to recover energy for the battery on descents and braking. The idea is attractive but the performance is disappointing, especially on flat routes, where a large fraction of the energy expended is used to overcome the resistance of the air, and will not be recovered.

Levels of assistance

A simple support makes it easy to start.

The bikes offer 3 to 7 levels of assistance to choose from depending on your fitness and the terrain at the touch of a lever similar to a gear lever.

The engine

In the front wheel (to the right), the engine can make steering a little unstable ; in the bottom bracket (to the left), the balance will be better.

It can be located in the rear wheel, the front wheel or in the pedal, which is ideal because the bike is so well balanced. Placed in one of the wheels, the motor can interfere with the repair in case of puncture. If it is installed in the hub of the front wheel, it will tend toweigh down the steering and make the bike a little unstable