One of the most common questions we get is whether electric bikes are waterproof or water-resistant. This makese sense, since the last thing you want to do is short circuit your new expensive ebike, or fry its electronic components.
Here's the good news. Most of the electrical components on an ebike, including the motor, controller, battery and cabling, have an Ingress Protection (IP) rating of IP-45.
IP Code or Ingress Protection Code is defined in IEC 60529 which classifies and provides a guideline to the degree of protection provided by mechanical casings and electrical enclosures against intrusion, dust, accidental contact, and water. It is published in the European Union by CENELEC as EN 60529.
The standard aims to provide users more detailed information than vague marketing terms such as waterproof. For example, a cellular phone rated at IP67 is "dust resistant" and can be "immersed in 1 meters of freshwater for up to 30 minutes".
Similarly, an electrical socket rated IP22 is protected against insertion of fingers and will not become unsafe during a specified test in which it is exposed to vertically or nearly vertically dripping water. IP22 or IP2X are typical minimum requirements for the design of electrical accessories for indoor use.
An IP rating is usually a two-digit grading system that’s applied to the enclosure of a mechanical or electrical item, giving customers a clear indication of the item’s resistance to various types of unwanted intrusion.
In the case of an IP-45 rating, the first digit “4” indicates “protection against solid objects larger than 1mm (fine tools and wires, nails, screws, larger insects and other potentially invasive small objects)” and the second digit “5” indicates “protection against low-pressure jets (6.3 mm) of directed water from any angle (limited ingress permitted with no harmful effects).”
You can ride ebikes in the rain or snow without risk of damaging the electronics. Likewise, there should be no problem if you were to ride through puddles and get water splashed onto the motor, battery or controller. The casings of these components have an IP-45 rating, which means they are water-resistant and protected from water infiltration from a low-pressure water jet.
On the other hand, if you were to dunk your ebike into a water body, there is a risk that you could damage the electronics. If this occurred, you would definitely want to let everything dry out overnight in a warm room.
Riding in the rain on an electric bike can be a fun experience, but you need to be very cautious of slick roads. It is easy to apply brakes and slide out if you are not careful. The rain itself will not harm the bike, but you should always make sure to wipe down your bike after every ride.
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