Electric Bike

The bicycle is just as good company as most husbands and, when it gets old and shabby, a woman can dispose of it and get a new one without shocking the entire community. ~Ann Strong
Look...no feet!

Electric Bike - FAQ

This page is dedicated to providing answers to frequently asked questions about electric bikes in general. However, a great deal of this page provides additional information specifically related to OPTIMIST Electric Bikes in Australia.

Where can I buy OPTIMIST Electric Bike in Australia?

OPTIMIST Electric Bicycles were first introduced to Sydney, Australia during the year 2011 as a small batch. It has since proven to be growing in popularity, mainly due to its aesthetic appeal and build quality. ANTRON is a wholesaler of this Taiwanese brand of electric bikes in Sydney, NSW. Our warehouse is located in the Sydney Metropolitan suburb of Campbelltown. We have distribution outlets located near the inner Sydney as well.

ANTRON carries three models of electric bicycles made by OPTIMIST. These include:

Our ebikes can be easily purchased online via an email order confirming the model and colour of the electric bike you're after. Our sales team will issue you an invoice straightaway and you can arrange to pick up the bike from our Campbelltown warehouse or in the Sydney city outlet. Alternatively, we can organise to have it shipped to you if you're located interstate. Shipping cost varies between $50 to $80 by door-to-door courier service. There are also a growing number of retail bicycle shops that stock the OPTIMIST brand of ebikes.

How long can the e-bike battery last?

For a good quality battery such as the premium lithium battery supplied as part of our OPTIMIST ebikes; the range can be anywhere from 25km to 50km on a full charge. This will likely depend very much on the load and the terrain. For example, if you don't pedal at all, then the ebike can travel around 25km. However, if you choose to put some effort into pedalling by using the Pedal-Assist mode, then it is not unusual for the range to increase quite a lot, say 50km.

In addition to factors such as load and terrain, the physical capacity of the battery in your motorised bike makes a big difference too. There are two characteristics that matter; these are the amperage, and voltage. The higher the amperage rating the longer it can power your electric motor, and therefore, the longer the distance you can travel. For example, a 9Ah (amp hour) Li-ion battery included in our Electric Mountain Bike model will last longer than an ebike with a 7Ah battery.

The second characteristic to consider for an electric bike battery is the voltage. Put it simply, the higher the voltage, the harder it can drive your electric motor and therefore can provide more torque for your e-bike. The cheaper electric bikes are powered by a 24V battery and will most likely be less costly than an electric bike that uses a 36V Li-ion battery.

All electric bikes supplied by ANTRON comes with at least a 9Ah rated 36V premium quality Li-ion battery. The only exception is the Ladies Step-thru Electric Bike model which comes with a 10Ah 36V Li-ion battery mounted on the rear rack behind the seat post.

Do I need a license to ride the electric bike in Australia?

Riding an ebike in Australia does not generally require a license. For safety reasons, it is recommended that you are familiar with the Australian road rules as it is most likely that you will be riding on the road. In fact, you can take our OPTIMIST electric powered bicycles anywhere an ordinary bicycle can go. The only other requirement is to wear a good helmet as required by Australia law even for an ordinary bicycle.

There are slight differences in the road rules for electric assisted bicycles that apply to different states. For example, riding an electric bicycle in Sydney, NSW is legal as long as the power output from the electric motor does not exceed 200 watts. Vehicles such as motorised foot scooters, mini-bikes, Segways, etc. are prohibited from roads or public areas. However, the road rules in Victoria does not specifically mention the different types of vehicles as long as they are less than 200 watts. So motorised bikes or motorised scooters can be ridden on VIC roads if the motor is less than 200 watts.

The European Standard (EU Standard) stipulates a power limit of up to 250 watts. A draft legislation is currently being considered and we believe this will be adopted as the standard in Australia in the near future.

This is our opinion only. Please conduct your own independent research.

Do I have to pay insurance for the electric bicycle in Australia?

Public indemnity insurance, and third party property insurance are generally not required for electric bikes in Australia. Again, there are slight differences for individual states. Electric bikes in Sydney, New South Wales are exempt from registration provided the maximum engine output does not exceed 200 watts.

This is our opinion only. Please conduct your own independent research.

How much does it cost to run an ebike?

Charging up the Lithium Ion electric bike battery is usually a straightforward task and a low cost one. Whilst fully charged, the battery can power the electric bike motor through at least 25km of distance and definitely more if you decide to put in some pedalling effort as well.

Let's do a bit of math... Considering the capacity of the rechargeable batteries supplied to the electric bike for sale at ANTRON, we're looking at replenishing 36V x 9Ah Li-ion batteries. This equates to 324 watt hour of stored electricity. Let's assume, for the purpose of this calculation, that electricity at the mains costs 20 cents per kilowatt hour (20c per kwh), then it will only cost roughly a third of a kilowatt hour, i.e. 7 cents to fully charge up a 36V 9Ah ebike battery. That is peanuts!

More over, our OPTIMIST electric bicycles can generally reach a distance of 25km based solely on battery power alone. This equates to an efficiency of 28c / 100km. [I don't want to even try to compare with a petrol motor car.]

Does an electric power bike defeat the purpose of exercise in a bicycle?

Absolutely not! Remember, an electric bike bicycle is a dual purpose machine where it looks and acts just like a normal bicycle with the added advantage of a powered electric motor. If you really want to do exercise in the electric bike just simply switch the ebike controller or onboard battery off and pedal away (unless you can't control your temptation to use the motor). All OPTIMIST electric bicycles have multi-geared derailleurs. For example, the folding ebike model (Pronto) has 7-speed Shimano gears, and so does the step-thru ladies ebike (Bondi). The mountain electric bike model Elite Sprinter is the premium model and it has a 24-speed Shimano Acera derailleur gear system. All this equipment means you can go through varying terrain and up hills without hassles. To make it even better, flick a switch to turn on the electric bicycle motor and you can climb those hills with minimum pedalling effort. Just switch it back off afterwards so you can continue your exercise regime.

Do I need to register the electric bike in Australia?

According to our interpretation of the road rules, registration of an electric bicycle is generally not required in Australia as long as it is at a certain power rating. Anything over 250 watts equivalent power is required to be registered according to the Department of Infrastructure and Transport. Similar rules are being endorsed by the RTA in NSW.

An electric bike is regarded as a pedal cycle with an attached auxiliary propulsion motor having a continuous rated power not exceeding 250 watts. This is good news as all of our OPTIMIST Electric Bicycles meet this requirement.

How fast can my ebike go?

The electric motor built into your electric bike assists the manual effort during pedalling. How fast your bike can go depends on how fast you can pedal. There is no legal speed limit that applies to a pedalled cycle. However, there is a speed limit that applies to the electric motor fitted on an electric bike. This speed limit is 25km/h. In other words, the motor can provide output to drive your motorised bicycle up to 25km/h. Therefore, all of our OPTIMIST electric cycles are electronically speed limited to 25km/h. This does not actually stop you from pedalling beyond this speed though, so it is possible to go faster.

Does the battery recharge during pedalling?

It would be great if the electric bike controller can recharge the onboard lithium battery when you put effort into pedalling. Well, I get asked this question a lot and it is a good question. The short answer is no, it doesn't and I'm not shy is giving this answer either. The simple explanation is that the energy generated by manual pedalling effort is not sufficient to power the electric bike and its load as well as have enough left over to recharge the battery.

An electric motor fitted to a e-bike is very efficient in converting stored electrical energy (the battery) to mechanical energy. This is unlike a petrol powered engine where it is only about 30% efficient (more or less). In other words, approximately 70% of the energy in the petrol is lost as heat during combustion.

In order to recharge an e-bike battery, one must fit other devices onto the bike such as a dynamo or equivalent device (plus other accessories) in order to convert the mechanical energy into electricity for the battery. All of this will add unwanted weight to the bike. So there's a lot of reasons why recharging the ebike battery whilst on-the-go is not practical.