How to Transport an eBike


If you are bored of riding your eBike along the same route over and over, it may be time to begin some exploring: a biking route further away from your house or a vacation where you get the most out of the new scenery. 

However, eBikes are pretty heavy, and transporting them may be a daunting thought. Fortunately, rack manufacturers, like Thule, presently provide several safe and secure ways to transport your electric bike within your city, across the country, and even internationally.

In this article, I discuss how you can transport your electric bike from one place to another, regardless of the distance. So, let’s get transporting!

5 Different Ways of Transporting Electric Bikes

There are various transportation solutions available in the biking market that allow you to transport your eBike without damaging it or injuring yourself. Depending on how far you want to move your electric bike, you choose between the five ways of transporting the vehicle.

1. By Car

When transporting an electric bike via car, a few factors come into play, like the weight of the bike, your car type, and the bike tire width. Keeping your vehicle’s compatibility in mind, you can choose between three kinds of car racks.

  • Hitch Bike Racks

Often touted as the safest option for transporting electric bikes, the hitch rack can be mounted to the receiver hitch in your vehicle. Hitch racks attach to the receivers of various widths, but I recommend the 2-inch mount since it is much safer.

Hitch-mounted racks often come with a ramp, making fixing your electric bike in the place a breeze. If you wish to commute with more than one bike, double-check the equipment’s weight limit to ensure you can do it safely.

  • Roof-Mounted Bike Racks

Roof-mounted car racks are another option for transporting your electric bike, but one that I wouldn’t usually recommend; the reason? Well, for roof racks, you need to be able to lift your bike onto your car’s roof. Additionally, you have to ensure the roof rack is rated to hold the weight of multiple electric bikes (most aren’t). So, in my opinion, it’s not worth risking an injury.

Red bicycle mounted on roof rack
Roof-mounted bike rack
  • Boot-Mounted Bike Racks

A boot-mounted bike rack is another option when transporting electric bikes. As the name suggests, it is a strap-on rack that can be mounted on the boot or the rear window. While this electric bike transportation option is universal and budget-friendly, it is not the sturdiest choice. In addition, such a bike rack can often not hold much weight (definitely not for multiple eBikes), which is a security concern.

  • No Bike Rack Option: The Back of Your Car

Most cars will have enough space in the back to place an electric bike once the front wheel has been removed.

This is a low-budget option where you do not have to worry about securing eBike to rack. Instead, all you need to do is remove the front wheel of the electric bike, place it in your car’s back, put a thick blanket to protect the bike’s exterior, and then put the removed tire on top.

2. By Van

If you have a van or a pickup truck, you will have more than enough space to haul your electric bike without using racks. Load your bike into the back of the car, front-wheel first, after wrapping it in a thick blanket. Secure the bike to the van’s side with the help of bungee ropes.

2 bicycles mounted on top of 2 vans
Don’t transport your ebike like this

Alternatively, if you have to transport multiple electric bikes, you can invest in a truck bed (in case you have a pickup truck). This enables you to haul numerous bikes from place to place. This rack secures eBikes either to the side or behind the cab.

3. By Train

It’s common practice for many eBike owners to use a train to transport their eBikes to different parts of the city at some point in their commute. Usually, the only requirement to onboard an eBike is to buy a bike ticket in addition to your own. However, there may be a weight limit, so it is prudent to check beforehand with the railway company.

bikes mounted on subway train rack

4. By Air

Generally speaking, it is usually not a good idea to travel with your eBike by air. Since electric bikes use batteries, they are mostly not allowed on an airplane per safety protocols. The reason is that the eBike battery capacity is much higher than what you can bring on a plane.

cargo aircraft in flight

But, if you HAD to take your eBike along, you can take multiple batteries (within the allowed capacity range) and reassemble it once you reach your destination. You could also rent a battery for your eBike later on or choose to have it shipped separately.

However, all these options are either inconvenient or costly. A practical solution would be to rent an electric bike whilst on holiday.

5. By Ship/Courier

Shipping your eBike is the final option for transporting your bike. This is more for those who are permanently moving to a new country, rather than those just trying to enjoy some new trails. It’s a pretty convenient way to ship a bike especially when off to college, for example.

FedEx & UPS, as well as other logistics companies can help with that. It usually enter disassembling your eBike, packing it in a box and shipping like a package. No frills or hassles!

Shipping vessel on the move showing shipping containers

Check out this FedEx page for all you need to know to ship your bike. FedEx can also pack your ebike, pick it up from your location and take lithium eBike batteries too for an extra charge.

Shipping costs can range from $50 to $250 depending on box size, weight, distance etc. You can also check out specialized bike shipping services like Bikeflights.com for lower fares.

Tips to Make Transporting your eBike Easier

While various mounting racks have revolutionized how you can transport an eBike, here are three top tips that make the journey even more manageable.

  1. Removing the battery will not only make the eBike lighter but will also protect it from wear and tear due to harsh weather.
  2. Remove the eBike wheels when you can for easy transport; Look for bikes with a quick-release system.
  3. Mount the heaviest eBike closest to your car to reduce pressure on the less supported parts of the rack.

Best Type of Electric Bike For Travel/Nomads

If you are a frequent traveler or need to use an EBike with other forms of commute on a daily basis, then a folding bike is the best eBike type for you. Here’s why:

Folding eBike

A Folding eBike can swiftly switch between a portable and full-size thanks to hinged parts and quick-release clamps. Their ability to collapse to a smaller size makes them super travel friendly as they occupy less space. 

folding bicycle on wooden bridge

Fortunately, over time, folding bikes have adopted better technology that does not ask the rider to compromise between quality and practicality. 

As a result, modern folding bikes are not only easy to transport but also provide a similar level of support and biking capabilities as their fixed counterparts.

The Final Word

Modern innovation in mounting racks has made it quite safe and convenient to transport eBikes via cars. From a hitch rack to a strap-on to a roof rack, you have plenty of high-end and budget-friendly options to take your eBike wherever you want. 

Of course, you can also use courier, vans and trains to haul these bikes from one place to another; however, you may have to purchase an extra ticket for the latter option. As for taking eBikes on a plane: the hassle is just not worth it!