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Can You Take An Electric Bike On A Plane? Is it really possible? The quick answer is Yes, but certain limitations do apply. The biggest challenges you are going to run into are the battery restrictions the hassle of checking in your electric bike at the airport.
Can You Take An Electric Bike On A Plane?
Yes, you can take your e-bike on the plane only if the battery size is in the range of 100 to 160 watt-hours. But you don’t have to worry, even if your e-bike’s battery exceeds this range we have some solutions. There are some other alternatives that you can opt to take your e-bike on the plane when your battery size does not fit the recommended range.
Battery capability, or Watt-Hour
Battery capability, or Watt-Hour (Wh) rating, is generally limited to less than 100Wh to be allowed on board. It is possible to board with a higher watt-hour battery with prior permission from certain carriers. The problem is most e-bikes come standard with a 300Wh to 600Wh battery which would take you out of the approved range for the plane. Dont give up yet. We have some creative options for you.
Alternatives to Flying with an Electric Bike:
Here are some alternative solutions for traveling with your e-bike.
- Rent A Battery Once You Arrive
The most popular and unchallenging option is to just remove the battery from the bike and fly with the bike only. As soon as you reach your destination, you can just rent a battery for your bike. However, there are certain aspects that will need some research. The first hurdle in your path to flying with an electric bike without a battery would be finding a battery lender for your bike at your desired destination. For this reason, the person needs some prior research on the area that whether he is going to find a lender or not.
You don’t need to worry if you are flying to a popular cycling destination, as these places have greater chances of having battery lenders. The second problem is the battery size. There is no “one size fits all” concept in electric bikes. After you find a lender, you need to make sure that the battery is compatible with your electric bike. This also requires some research. All these things might sound like they will require a lot of effort, but all your efforts are going to be fruitful. Renting an entire e-bike is way expensive than carrying your own with you. Since biking trips can even take weeks, so renting electric bikes will cost you a fortune.
- Use Another Form Of Transport
The second best option would be to choose an efficient and effective form of transport for the travel. For instance, taking electric bikes on ferries have no restrictions. So, a ferry can be taken from the UK to places like Belgium, France, or Europe. Though this can limit the number of destinations, this option is going to save you some money and time.
These are just regulations and you should not let these hurdles discourage you from the electric bike experience. We believe firmly that many parts of the world are well aware of the usage of electric bikes and can provide the necessary assistance and services needed for electric bikes. The advancing technology has led to the formulation of Furo X electric bikes which can be folded for easy transportation and have a battery of 314Wh.
- Bringing Smaller Batteries At The Destination To Make A Bigger Battery
For air travel, there is a restriction of 100Wh battery capacity. Keeping this in mind, a company has designed a battery of electric bikes under the limit of 36V x 2.7Ah = 98Wh. The battery module by LiGo can be reassembled into a larger and usable battery once you reach your desired destination.
These batteries can be stacked in both ways: Series and parallel. When stacked in parallel, these batteries provide higher battery capacity and maintain the voltage of 36V. When stacked in series, the voltages are 72 V. This depends on the requirements and specification of the electric bike. A single module(98Wh) of the battery has a range of 5-6 miles(8-10km). For this reason, the company suggests bringing 4-5 modules per person on a flight so that extra scrutiny could be avoided. You can have these batteries with you throughout the journey and then these batteries can be re-used at home and other trips after you return from your first trip. However, this needs to be understood that these batteries may not be compatible with every type of e-bike.
- Shipping Your Lithium Battery To Your Destination
The shipping of lithium batteries for e-bike will result in your shipping package being classed as Dangerous Goods that need to be labeled and handled properly. As a result, you will have to pay additional charges for shipping dangerous goods and these will be $80-100 + the regular shipping charges applied to any goods shipped from source to destination.
The battery should not be a DIY, it needs to be a fairly common product. The battery should have general performance and manufacturing testing records for the type(of battery) you are carrying with you. According to the shipping guide greater than 100Wh will result in the requirement mentioned below. You can check these with your local company for a better idea of certification, packaging, and cost requirements.
What Are The Packaging And Shipping Instructions For E-Bike Lithium Batteries?
- There should be protected against a short circuit for each cell and battery and then the battery should be placed in an inner packaging that encloses the cell or battery completely. This should then be placed in strong packaging.
- For CAO(Cargo aircraft only) the maximum per package net quantity is 35kg.
- The SOC( State Of Charge) needs not to extend 30 percent of rated capacity in the case of stand-alone batteries.
- UN Specification Packaging is required.
- The battery needs to be fully regulated.
- The good needs to be declared dangerous by the shipper.
- Waybill should have the statement “Dangerous Goods as per attached DGD,” and if applicable,
- There should be a statement of “Dangerous Goods as per attached DGD,” on Waybill and also “CAO” or “Cargo Aircraft Only”
Required Labeling For Dangerous Goods:
It should be kept in mind that if a person plans to ship his battery to the desired destination, he also has to make an arrangement to ship the battery at his home safely with the same shipper at the destination. This can get difficult if another language is involved. Under UN3481, shipping Lithium-ion batteries contained in equipment and a whole bike will be classed as “Dangerous Goods”. This is more expensive than flying with your bike without a battery as you will have to pay the shipping for both the battery and bike.
Preparing The Rest Of Your Electric Bike For Air Travel:
So you’ve got this far and you still need to pack and prepare your e-bike for air travel. If you’ve never flown with a bike before, here are a few tips to keep this process as easy as possible. Most airlines require that a bike is in one of the following packages:
No matter what the restrictions and regulations, as an adventure admirer you will still love to pack and prepare for your e-bike travel. If you have flown with a bike earlier, here are some tips for you in the process that can save you from some problems. Firstly, most airlines require that the package needs to be in any one of the following packages:
- Cardboard Box:
Advantages: The boxes are cheap or we can say that they are almost free. So these boxes can be used to put additional gears.
Disadvantages: These boxes can cause damage as they are more likely to be stacked over one another. From being bent, the derailleur and, front chainring need to be protected as a measure for using cardboard boxes. Also, you need to look for another box on your return from the trip.
- CTC (Clear) Plastic Bag:
Advantages: These bags are cheap and easy to carry while traveling. The advantage is that these bags are not stacked on one another.
Disadvantages: These bags provide a lesser amount of protection for bikes and have a higher risk of damage when dropped accidentally.
- Soft Bike Bag
Advantages: These soft bike bags consume less space.
Disadvantages: You need to keep these bags somewhere else during the trip. This means that you cannot carry these bags with you all the time. For saving the front chain ring and derailleur from being bent, they need to be protected in the bag.
- Hard Bike case
Advantages: They are the most secure of all types of packaging and boxes when it comes to the protection of your bike during the trip. Additional gears can be placed in the case.
Disadvantages: The Hard bike cases are costly and you need a place to store these cases during your trip. This type of packaging also increases the overall weight of the package.
When it is said that you have to place your bike in the packaging of your choice it means that you have to take your bike parts apart. Generally, this involves removing the derailleur, seat post, handlebars, bottle cages, wheels, and pedals. It would be better to put some forks or bolts/spacers between the drop-outs of the frame to prevent the parts of the bike from being bent. Never forget to bring the basic tools with you as they are used to take your bike parts apart.
How to Calculate The Watt-Hour (Wh) Rating Of A Battery:
For bringing your battery on a plane, you will need to find the watt-hour rating of the battery of your electric bike so that the limitations for bringing it on a plane can be determined. To calculate the watt-hour rating of your battery you will need two main pieces of information, which are Amp Hours(Ah) and Voltage(V) of your battery. The general formula for finding the watt-hour rating is given as:
Watt-hours (Wh) = Volts (V) x Amp hour (Ah)
This was all about taking your e-bike on the plane. The best recommendation is to choose a battery that is under 100 watt-hours. If not, then you can choose the alternative options. In case you have any further queries regarding this topic, feel free to ask us in the comment section below. We will love to help. Good luck with your next flight along with your e-bike.