How to extend the lifespan of your e-bike battery 

An e-bike (electric bike) is first and foremost a bicycle. It is just like a regular bicycle, but with a little difference which brings about the name electric bike. It uses the same components, geometrics, and designs like any other bike. However, unlike your generic bicycles, it includes an electric motor. This type of bike also has a rechargeable battery that provides additional power to the bike.

As an e-bike user, you may be wondering how possible it is to extend your bike’s battery life. Most e-bike users worry a lot about their battery lifespan. We are sure that you are not an exception. As the only power source for an electric bike, it’s evident that a good battery is essential for your e-bike.  In this article, we will explain in detail how you can prolong the lifespan of your e-bike battery. That way, you can enjoy using your bike for many long years. 

Related article: How an Electric Bike Works?

 

A quick look at your e-bike battery 

Most e-bikes use long-life lithium batteries directly from the manufacturers. Over the years, lithium batteries turn out to be better than other types of batteries. They are lightweight and compact (i.e., your electric bikes won’t weigh much). Also, the batteries can work effectively in any kind of temperature. This gives you an edge to enjoy your bike in different conditions throughout the season.

With a lithium battery, self-discharge is low (often about 5% monthly). They are easily rechargeable and non-toxic. Most importantly, with proper care, you can prolong your e-bike battery lifespan to as many as 1000 charging cycles. Follow the instructions and guidelines below to prolong your e-bike’s running time and lifespan.

The lifespan of your e-bike is a function of the total number of charge cycles. It is dependent on the total number of full charges (0-100%) the battery undergoes. This will determine how long it lasts before losing effectiveness. On average, lithium e-bike batteries can work an average of 30 miles with every full charge. With proper usage, your lithium battery lifespan is capable of reaching 1000 full charges.

Every electric bike possesses a total number of maximum charge cycles. This is the total amount of recharging cycles your battery can withstand before losing its capacity. The total number of cycles is written in your user manual. Once it crosses the maximum recharging cycles, expect a drop in performance. The battery will not be able to hold electric charges adequately anymore. 

 

Get familiar with your owner’s manual

An important concept that you need to take into account is your owner’s manual. To prolong the lifespan of your battery, it is important that you make your owner’s manual your friend. 

Before your first ride, make sure to read your e-bike manual. Even if you are a cycling expert, don’t assume you can figure it all out yourself. Most batteries are dangerous to your health if handled poorly. 

An electric bike battery often becomes less effective after 3 to 4 years of regular usage. You need to understand your e-bike’s charging and usage instructions. The only way to understand these instructions is by reading your manual. Read the owner’s manual properly before taking your first ride and stick to its battery maintenance tips.

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

 

Maintaining your e-bike with proper charging practices 

Charging is the only way to use your e-bike and its battery. However, there are ways you can do this without affecting the lifespan of your battery. Here are some tips to make sure you charge and use your battery effectively:

Charge your battery fully before taking your first ride

Before going on your first ride with your new electric bike, make sure to charge the battery fully. Charging the battery for the first time can take up to 4-7 hours, but the wait is worth it. This will ensure that its lifespan is prolonged. 

Don’t wait until your battery is dead before charging it 

Do not wait until your e-bike battery is dead before recharging it. Waiting until your battery is dead before charging it reduces its charge holding capacity. It is always better to keep your bike’s battery fully charged. Even after a short ride, plug it in. However, if somehow you empty your battery, recharge it as soon as possible.

Always use the original charger

Do not match and mix chargers. Every charger has a specific capacity (input and output). Also, using a wrong charger for your e-bike can cause potential fire and explosions. Therefore, always endeavour to use your electric bike’s original charger.

Create a dry and safe station for charging

Recall that e-bike batteries can be dangerous if mishandled. A good way to prolong the battery life of your e-bike is to designate a dry and safe place (station) for charging your electric bike battery. A good option is to empty some space in the garage. Alternatively, if possible, you can charge your bike in an enclosed space outside your house. Always make sure your charging space is dry and safe.

Try Charging your battery slowly

Everyone loves a swift charge. The concept of charging your bike battery quickly may be appealing.  Nonetheless, electric bike batteries are more effective and last longer with a slow charge. As much as possible, charge only with your recommended chargers. 

Although, if you have to buy a new charger, do not purchase one with the high amperage ratings. Buy a charger with low amperage (about 2 to 4 amps). Better still, you can buy a smart charger that can switch between charging fast and slow charge effectively. 

Get familiar with your battery’s low voltage cut-off limit

Understanding your battery’s low voltage cut-off is vital. It will help you to better understand your electric bike battery’ behaviour. Most importantly, it will help you to prolong your e-bike battery lifespan. Often, low voltage cut-offs vary depending on the type of battery cells. Be sure to find out the recommended low voltage cutoff for your bike. 

Understand your battery’s high voltage cut-off limit

Make sure your charger’s maximum voltage is the same with the maximum recommended voltage for your battery. If you do not know the maximum voltage charge for your batteries, check the battery owner’s manual. Using a charger that is over the recommended limit can potentially lead to an explosion. In case of emergencies, always have a fire extinguisher that works on battery fires around your charging station. 

More charging tips that can improve the lifespan of your battery include:

  • Always check your battery periodically while charging it 
  • Avoid going to the charging station with water or other liquids.
  • Always check the humidity level in the charging station. High humidity is not suitable for electrical devices. 
  • Check the battery contact monthly and make sure to keep them clean. 
  • Always remove corrosion around the battery contacts and clean appropriately.

Related article: Tips for Electric Bike Beginner

 

Ways to Prolong the Lifespan of Your E-bike Battery

Making sure that your electric bike battery lasts for a long time involves more than just charging it properly and reading your owner’s manual. Other charging tips that you can follow include:

Turn off the bike after each use

Always remember to turn off your electric bike after using it. Even if you are out, or waiting to cross the lane, always turn off your e-bike. It saves your battery power and prolongs its lifespan. 

Make a pleasant environment for your battery

Extremely cold or hot temperatures will damage your battery’s performance. One of the best ways to prolong your battery lifespan is to make sure that the battery does not get too hot. 

High temperatures can affect your battery health. In fact, recommended temperatures for storing your battery sit between 31°F – 78°F. Always avoid temperatures above 104°F. Warmer temperatures discharge your battery faster and therefore result in needless recharging.

Most lithium batteries have lithium powder inside the battery cells. When heated up, the powder can lose electrical resistance. To be candid, cool temperatures are perfect for improving your battery lifespan. Most batteries with powder in their battery cells show increased electrical resistance in cool conditions. 

E-bike battery storage

If you are not going to use your electric bike for a while, design a plan for proper storage. Be sure to keep the battery and bike in a safe place. It is ideal to choose a fire-safe location. Also, you should know that most batteries will go flat, or self-discharge faster in idleness. This will happen even if they are at full capacity.

Try to store your battery when it has a capacity of 45% to 85%. This will reduce the self-discharge rates while preserving the battery. If your e-bike uses a smart charger, you can charge the bike up to 80%. If not, estimate your charging and use up about 30% to 50% after a full charge. 

Also, try to always keep the battery in a cool place. Additionally, if possible, charge the battery every five (5) to eight (8) weeks.

Do not Open Your Electric Bike Battery

Do you want to make sure your battery lasts longer? Don’t open it. In fact, there is not a single reason to open your electric bike battery. 

Your e-bike has a good structure which allows easy charging access without having to open the battery. Do not try to repair and do not try to examine the battery. Most batteries are combustible, and a little exposure to oxygen can make them explode.

This can result in a fire outburst that can cause damage to you and others. If your battery is faulty, contact your bike dealer or manufacturer. Return the battery for repair and replacement. Do not attempt to open the battery yourself!

Do not push too much

If you want to keep your electric bike battery healthy and in good shape, try not to push too hard or too much. An electric bike working too hard will drain your battery quickly and easily. Recall that discharging your battery often will only result in recharging often. Consequently, constant recharges and discharges will only reduce the bike’s battery lifespan. 

When you are riding at high speed, your e-bike consumes more battery. On the other hand, your battery will require less charging and last longer if you’re riding at a leisurely pace. 

So, while riding, always try to reduce your speed over time to improve your battery life. Also, always keep your throttle or pedal assist at the lowest comfortable use. It will help to prolong the lifespan of the e-bike battery.

Use the right ride mode at the right time

If you ride around in turbo mode every time, your battery is not going to last for long. If you are going out for multiple hours, switch swiftly between the various modes for great fun and maximum effectiveness. On hilly and rough paths, use the turbo mode. On faster and smoother paths, you can ride in low/mid settings (naming and modes vary with the system).

Some electric bikes offer on-screen power (input and output) reading; keep your power output reading in check always. Sometimes, these are sometimes difficult to keep track, especially while facing a challenging terrain. Try to get used to it. It will prolong your battery life in the long run. 

Always use the right tires

Sometimes, tire resistance to rolling is also a critical factor in getting the best out of your battery charge. Choosing the best tires is based on factors such as 

  • Tire width
  • Tread pressure
  • Tread pattern
  • Tire compound. 

While choosing the best tires that suit your riding, you should take time out to try different pressures for proper balancing.

Higher pressures may affect bike control but produce lesser rolling resistance. Note that some e-bikes are now using semi-solid and solid tires to combat punctures. The type of tire you use can increase your rolling resistance and reduce your bike’s battery lifespan.

Reduce your Weight

Sometimes, bike and rider weight is the most significant factor affecting battery range. Since there is no quick fix for your electric bike’s weight, always ride with a backpack that has minimal weight.

During hill rides, a backpack with a heavy load will consume more battery life unlike when you are riding on a flat surface. But either way, riding with a lighter backpack will always give you more battery life.

An electric bike battery with appropriate storage and maintenance as stated above can last up to three (3) to five (5) years. In the same vein, a battery without proper storage and maintenance may stop working effectively within a short period.

Electric bikes with little or less battery lifespan take the fun out of riding e-bikes. However, do not be dismayed, with our instructions and guidelines, you can make sure your battery lasts for a long time.

Don’t let your worries about battery life stop you from enjoying an e-bike of your own. Get one today! 

Related article: A Comprehensive Guide to Electric Bike Maintenance

 

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