Electric Bike & Electric Scooter Specialists

How Electric Bikes Work

Posted on September 06 2017

Relative to the cylcist, electric bikes overall aren't too dissimilar to a regular push bike. They look, feel and handle much the same, with one not so subtle difference, they're a dream to cycle by taking the strain out of doing so.
Using our Impulse II folding electric bike, we'll explain how rear hub motor electric bikes function.

Impusle II

Impulse II Folding Electric Bike

The system

The system that drives every electric bike is comprised of 6 core components;
  • Controller
  • Control Panel
  • Pedal Sensor Set
  • Motherboard
  • Battery
  • Motor
Each of these components plays a key role in the operation of an electric bike, without any of these they simply would not function.

The Controller

Electric Bike Controller

The controller is essentially the brains of the operation, this device processes signals from each other component and outputs accordingly.

The Control Panel

Electric Bike Control Panel


The control panel is the link between you and your electric bike, it handle both input from you and output from the bike. Using the control panel you power it on/off, dictate what speed you want the electric bike to do, control the lights and can read the current battery level remaining.

Pedal Sensor Set

Electric Bike Pedal Sensor Set

The pedal sensor set is comprised of two devices;
  • The Disk
  • The Sensor

The disk is attached to the pedal crank on the electric bike and will turn when the ebike is cycled. It has a series of magnets around its circumference.

The sensor picks up when the disk is moving by detecting the movement of the magnets on the disk. This signal is sent to the controller.

The Motherboard

The mother board handles a number of inputs and outputs and runs them through the controller. It handles the lights and the electric brakes.

When the control panel sends the signal to turn on the lights a signal is sent to the controller to send power from the battery to the lights.

When the brakes are pulled, aside from the mechanical braking system, the electric brakes also kick in, sending a signal to cut power from the motor, despite any input from the pedal sensor.

The Battery

Electric Bike Battery

The battery is the power source for everything, this can be charged at any mains point using the charger supplied with your electric bike. These need to be maintained correctly if you wish to get a long lifespan from them, you can learn more on this here.

The Motor

Electric Bike Motor

The motor is the driving force behind every electric bike, on average they have a power output of 250W and reach a speed of 25km/h. Rear hub motors give the cyclist a pushing sensation as they cycle and are the most commonly used motors for their functionality.

You can learn about  and compare the different motor types here.

How It All Works

Once you power on your electric bike with the control panel, you'll be able to see your current battery level and judge how far you can get with the charge that's left.

When you select a speed setting on the panel the motor will output a speed according to this setting.

When you start to cycle, the pedal sensor set detects the movement and sends a signal to the controller, which in turn reads the speed setting sent from the control panel and sends a signal to the battery to supply the motor with X amount of power.

When you stop pedaling, the signal ceases to be emitted and the motor stops moving, the same also happens when you pull on the brakes, as the electric brakes send a signal to cut out the power even if the ebike is being pedaled.

This network of communication constantly operates while you breeze along blissfully enjoying your easy cycle.


Learn More: Electric Bike Maintenance

Learn More: The Benefits of an Electric Bike

Learn More: Bike Helmets | How to Wear Them

Learn More: Motor Hub Comparison

Learn More: FAQ

Learn More: Cycle To Work Scheme

Join our Mailing List

Sign Up To Receive Special Discount Offers