We often have customers ask about electric bikes that recharge as they are ridden. Regenerative braking is marketed as the holy grail of electric bikes these days as people dream of infinite battery life. Theoretically, an electric bicycle with a regenerative mode could be ridden downhill to recharge itself without the need for a charger being plugged into a wall outlet.
But, while it is true regenerative braking can extend your range by up to 10 percent, the reality is that you would have to ride 200 miles downhill just to charge the battery enough for a 20-mile ride. Of course, it is a little hard to find a 200 mile stretch of continuous, steep downhill! I would argue that the additional effort expended riding a bike in regenerative/exercise mode is harder on the planet than plugging into recharge. Think about all that energy used to produce and package the food you eat to provide the calories need to overcome the resistance of regen mode! I’d love to hear your comments!