When it snows in the UK, everything grinds to a halt. Especially in the West Country, where we're more used to our precipitation coming as rain, and lots of it. Anyway, when it does snow it's always fun to try and get out in it, and an e-MTB is a great tool for the job. So we dragged a Mondraker Crafty XR+ and a Giant Full E+ out of the bike store, stuck on a Cycliq Fly12 front camera and a Fly6 rear, and filmed the result. Which was mostly slipping and sliding around, and some soft landings.
And what did we learn? Mostly that riding in snow is hard, and a lot of fun. Some of the drifts in the back lanes were taller than us, and there was no choice but to push at that point. But the motor assistance made a lot of stuff rideable that genuinely wouldn't have been without assistance.
The Mondraker is a more aggressive bike with big, heavily treaded downhill/freeride tyres. That turned out not to be an advantage: the tread cut the snow too much and sent you slipping and sliding around, whereas the less pointy tyres on the giant gripped the snow better without churning it up so much. Ideally you'd want a big chamber tyre with a fairly shallow tread; the Giant's tyres could have done with being a bit wider.
The batteries lasted pretty well considering we needed quite a lot of assistance. I've had a Bosch 500Wh battery last for 45km and 1,200m of climbing in the sunny, warm alps. On the freezing lanes around Bath it still managed about 38km and 800m, so I'd say there's a noticeable reduction in range in the cold but you can still get a decent ride out of a charge. The Giant outlasted the Mondraker by about 4km; the higher overall weight of the Crafty and the increased drag from the more aggressive tyres would probably explain that.
Anyway, we had a blast, and we can recommend a bit of snow e-biking next time you get the chance, which down here will probably be in about a decade. If you live up north I expect it's like this all year round, or something.