How should I charge my e-bike?

Do you want to enjoy riding your e-bike? You can enjoy a leisurely ride around the neighbourhood or hit the challenging bike trails on your daily commute. To be able to achieve this, your e-bike components must be in perfect working condition. There is one main component that you need to take proper care of to enjoy your e-bike – your e-bike battery.

As an e-bike owner, charging the most crucial component of your e-bike should be a top priority to you. This is because the battery determines how fun your riding experience will be and the range at which you can go with one charging cycle. If you want to keep your e-bike’s battery in good shape, keep reading this article.

So, how do you charge your e-bike? To charge your e-bike battery, detach the battery pack from your e-bike, and make sure it is switched off.  Then connect the e-bike’s original charger to the mains outlet; plug the charger to the battery, and switch-on the plug.

As easy as it may seem, there are factors to consider for the proper charging of your e-bike battery. Also, there are ways you can improve the battery’s lifespan and efficiency with little but consistent effort.

Related article: Tips for Electric Bike Beginner

 

Charging Your E-bike’s Battery

Charging most e-bike batteries vary depending on the battery itself and the manufacturer. Nonetheless, there are some guidelines you can follow, which will help you get the most out of your battery.

Every e-bike comes with a battery pack. The battery pack can be described as more like a battery house. Also, your e-bike comes with a port through which you can slot-in the charger for easy connection with the battery. The port attachment can vary from one place to another, depending on the manufacturer’s choice. However, the ports are usually attached to the back of the e-bike seat or in the middle of the e-bike.

Generally, electric bikes often come with a charger consisting of a two-cable power supply port. One end is attached to the cable connecting the mains, and the other end is to be connected to the battery. If you are a gamer, this is reminiscent of your Xbox-one power supply port.

Also, every e-bike charger comes with an indication light – often red LED while charging and green LED to indicate a complete charge. Therefore, once your e-bike battery is low on the power supply, take the battery out and put the switch off. Then, plug the battery cable in, connect it to the mains, and switch on the mains outlet.

Related article: How to choose the right battery for your electric bike

 

Tips to note when charging your e-bike

Few factors affect battery performance and thus, the range of your e-bike. Riding pattern, terrain, tyre pressure, temperature, and user weight are important factors that can affect the performance of your bike. Also, time is a factor to be considered when discussing battery health. Over time, all batteries degenerate whether you use them or not. 

The question remains, how do you extend your battery life? This can be done by charging your e-bike battery the proper way and following recommended charging practices. Below are vital tips that show you how to charge your e-bike:

Charge your new battery pack for 12 hours

After buying a new battery for your e-bike, be sure to charge it for at least 12 hours. This initial long charge helps to put the battery in good shape directly out of the box. Also, it provides enough current flow in all the battery cells.

Always charge your battery regularly

Most e-bikes make use of lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-ion batteries last longer with regular usage and charging. Generally, you should not allow your gadgets to get fully drained before charging. This rule applies to e-bikes. For the most part, it is better not to let your e-bike’s battery get completely drained before the next charge.

Instead, always try to recharge your e-bike’s battery once it’s about 30% to 60% power remaining. Some battery experts suggest an occasional complete discharge, maybe around every 25 to 35 charges. Otherwise, always use the 30% to 60% rule. Also, you should always get out and ride regularly. This is because most batteries require regular usage. Apart from the apparent physical benefits, using your bike regularly ensures that you charge your e-bike’s battery frequently.

Avoid Extreme Temperatures

Always avoid extreme temperatures. We can’t say this enough. Cool or moderate temperatures are best for your e-bike battery. Every e-bike battery feels the same way you feel in hot temperatures. 

So, to extend your electric bike battery’s lifespan, avoid hot sunny rides, most especially while charging. During every charge, the battery should be placed in an environment that is not too cold and not too hot. It is better to maintain a temperature of about 60°F to 70°F while charging.

Watch closely while charging

While charging your e-bike battery, avoid staying far from your charging point. Do not leave the e-bike battery connected to the charger for too long – think about 13hours and above. Always avoid overcharging the battery. Overcharging the battery can deteriorate the battery’s effectiveness faster.

Overcharging your bike’s battery can create a situation whereby the battery will undergo self-discharge to about 95% capacity. The charger then tries to recharge it back to 100%, with continuous charging. This period of minor discharges and constant recharging can create a weak charging cycle and deteriorate the battery. You can use a reminder or timer on your mobile device to remind you to unplug the battery from the mains outlet.

Do not store an empty battery

Occasionally, you may need to go on a long trip, and the only choice is to store your e-bike battery. Perhaps the distance for your trip is farther than your e-bike range. Or maybe you don’t want to bike the distance. There’s no harm in that. However, do not store the battery at 0%. Always endeavour to store the battery at about 40% to 60% of its full capacity.

Note the time it takes to reach full charge status

Charging duration for every e-bike battery depends solely on the battery size or capacity. However, most e-bike batteries take about two (2) to six (6) hours to reach full charge status. Also, always keep in mind your e-bike’s battery recharge rate.

For a recharging rate of 15miles per-hour of charging, the battery with a 30-mile range will take up to 2hours to charge. However, a battery with a 100-mile range taking 4 hours to reach full charge will have a recharge rate of 25miles per-hour charging. 

Where to charge your battery

Since most e-bikes are rechargeable via mains outlet, it is possible to charge the battery anywhere with access to a power outlet. As long as there is enough space to hold your bike while charging it, you are good to go. Also, make sure that your charging area is devoid of water and fire hazards. 

Safety is important!

Charging while pedalling

Some e-bikes possess a feature that allows charging while you’re riding. This is done when you apply the brakes, and it’s capable of extending the battery life to about 10%. Nevertheless, this can make pedalling your e-bike more difficult and also increase the cost of your e-bike.

If you are not sure about how long your electric bike will last on a long journey, get an extra battery for a better experience. This will help you to eradicate any worries about running out of battery while riding.

Related article: How to prolong the lifespan of your e-bike battery

Conclusively, there are other measures you should always follow before charging your electric bike battery. For one, you should always avoid charging a battery that is leaking or damaged. Also, make sure to use your battery’s designated charger. Most batteries feature a built-in management system that prevents overcharging, excess voltage, and excess current. This set of systems works perfectly only when you are charging the electric bike battery with the charger designated for it.

 

Can I charge the battery up to 100%?

For most e-bikes, a lithium-ion battery is a standard feature. Lithium-ion batteries are good, and there is no harm in unplugging the battery early. There is also no harm in charging your bike up to 100%. We will give you a quick insight into how your e-bike charging works. When your e-bike batteries are charging, they charge in two (2) cycles. The first cycle is where the battery charges quickly and it replenishes about 90% of the charge capacity. Therefore, unplugging the battery at this point means you have “charged” the best part of the battery.

However, not all e-bikes have a built-in indicator. On one end, newer e-bikes use a display screen system to indicate battery level. On the other end, older e-bikes are not built with a battery level indicator. If you are using an older model, there is no harm in charging your bike up to 100%. Just be sure not to overcharge it!

 

Is an E-bike battery Replaceable?

An e-bike’s battery is replaceable at any time. E-Bikes are structured to allow you to remove the battery for easy charging. It is also ideal for an e-bike owner to have a spare battery for longer trips. Additionally, you can replace your e-bike battery if your battery gets damaged or loses its efficiency. Check out our article on choosing the best battery for your e-bike. 

Related article: A Comprehensive Guide to Electric Bike Maintenance

 

How Can I Increase the battery range to go further?

Generally, there are various ways in which you can increase your e-bike battery range to go further on a trip. The best shot you can have at increasing the range is to use a low-assistance mode. If your pedalling rate is more than the battery’s work rate,  it will last longer.

Another option is using the right gears at the right time. High gears make it easier to ride the e-bike at higher speeds while lower gears make lower speed travelling easy. Therefore, you should try changing the gears to suit your current situation on the road. Also, changing the gears sooner rather than later improves your riding experience with less power. 

For instance, imagine approaching a stop sign, and you refuse to change the gears before getting there. Getting back to top speeds will drain your battery very fast and might be difficult.

Also, always take note of the power requirement on your e-bike.  Power requirements increase aggressively as you increase your speed. This means that when you ride your e-bike at high speed, your battery will drain faster. On the other hand, riding at a low speed will help you prolong your e-bike battery’s range. An excellent way to counter draining the battery at higher speed is to select a low gear with a low-assistance mode.

 

What is the Lifespan of an E-bike’s battery?

Generally, most e-bike batteries last for up to 500 complete charging cycles before the battery loses its significance. This number isn’t a hard limit. Some batteries allow up to 1200 full charging cycles. However, with a pedal-assist e-bike, and depending on how you ride and the battery capacity, you can have about 30,000 miles before your battery starts to give out. 

Also, most e-bike manufacturers offer a 2-year warranty for every user. The replacement cost of e-bike batteries ranges from $500 to $800 depending on the shape and capacity of the battery pack.

Related article: Are e-Bikes really Economic?

 

What is the Cost of Charging an E-bike’s battery?

To charge your e-bike’s battery, the price varies depending on the cost of electricity in your area and the battery capacity. Assuming your e-bike uses a ten amps battery in an area where electricity costs $0.12 (per KWH).  The cost of charging your e-bike battery will be about $0.002 per mile, which is very cheap.

 

How do I Care for my E-bike’s Battery?

To care and maintain your battery in good condition, it is ideal that you store it in a cool place. For proper storage, a temperature of about 32-104°F, which is about 0-40°C is perfect. Most e-bike owners prefer keeping the battery out in the garage, which may be too hot. Instead, it is better to keep it in a cool place with an average temperature.

Related article: How to Protect the Battery of Your Electric Bike

Also, always watch out to avoid your batteries getting damaged by water or other liquids. Even though e-bikes are waterproof, always take precautionary measures before riding in the rain. It is also essential that you always use the charger supplied by the manufacturers rather than any other charger. Using another charger apart from the one mainly designed for the battery can damage the battery or reduce its lifespan.

Related article: Riding your e-bike in the rain: All you need to know

Charging your e-bike battery is the only way you are going to get to use it. Make sure that you inculcate safe and recommended practices into your charging habits. This is the only way to make sure that your e-bike battery lasts for a long time. Stay safe!

Related article: 10 Best Electric Bikes in 2019

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