When people first get an electric bike one of the main things that they want to know is how to best maintain the battery. This article will present you with the main ways that you can maintain an electric bikes battery.
So, how to maintain an e-bike battery? To maximize the lifespan of an e-bikes battery you should charge it from around 50% capacity, store it at 40% charge when storing for long periods, store it at 0 Degrees Celcius and avoid letting the battery be exposed to extreme temperatures.
Many of the aspects to maximizing the lifespan of a battery may seem counter-intuitive and there is actually a lot that can be done to maximize its lifespan.
How to Maintain an E-Bike’s Battery
The types of batteries found in e-bikes, which are lithium ion, are expensive and need to be maintained properly so that they can last for as long as possible.
Below I will list the main ways that you can maximize the lifespan of an e-bike’s battery.
- Use the 40-80 principle
The batteries on electric bikes are normally able to go through 500 full charging cycles before they are below 80% as efficient as they were new with some manufacturers claiming that their batteries actually last for 1000 cycles.
Charging the battery from and to the upper and lower extremes cause extra stress to the lithium ions. This is why it is recommended that you follow the 40-80 principle which is where you try to avoid letting the battery go below 40% capacity and avoid charging it to over 80% capacity.
- Store the battery at cool temperatures
Data from Battery University shows that if you store a battery at 40% charge for a year at o degrees Celcius (32 Fahrenheit) then it will keep 98% of its capacity at the end of the year but if you store it at 100% charge it will only have 94% of its capacity left at the end of the year. So, if you’re going to be storing the battery over an extended period you should store the battery at 40% charge.
Yet, if you store a battery at 25 degrees Celcius (77 Fahrenheit) with 40% charge then it will have 96% capacity left at the end of the year and if it is stored with 100% charge it will only have 80% capacity remaining. This gets worse as temperature increases. This means that you should try to store the battery at cool temperatures if you can do.
Even if you won’t be storing the battery for a long time period you should still try to store it at cool temperatures if possible. But, be aware very low temperatures can also damage the battery.
- Avoid extreme temperatures
Exposing the battery to low or high temperatures can cause damage to the battery. Your battery can become hot when cycling quickly with the level of assistance set to a high level so you should try to limit doing so.
Another thing that can cause the battery to become hot is the use of a battery cover because they restrict the amount of air hitting the battery when cycling which would have cooled it down it also prevents hot air from escaping. With that being said, battery covers can also be useful in the winter to prevent the battery from becoming too cold. If you take off the battery cover then be careful of allowing the battery to become wet, most electric bikes can be cycled in the rain but not all of them so this is something that you should check on with your manufacturer.
- Maximize the distance you go between charges
An obvious way to prolong the lifespan of a battery is to need to charge it less often. This means that you should take measures to increase the range that you can get out of the battery. There are many ways that you can do this that I have written about more extensively here. Below I will talk about some of the main things that you can do.
An easy way to increase the range of the battery is to use a lower level of assistance. Most pedal assist electric bikes allow for you to select a number of different levels of assistance and selecting one of the lower ones will reduce the amount of work being done by the electric motor and will increase the range you can get from the battery.
Another easy way to increase the range of the battery is to cycle more slowly. As you increase your speed the amount of power required to keep the bike going increases drastically. This means that, at higher speeds, your battery will need to work much harder to keep the bike going. By cycling at a slower speed you will be able to reduce the amount of power needed from the battery and increase its range.
You can also make a number of changes to the tires in order to increase the range. You can increase the air pressure in the tires since it will decrease the amount of drag that they will create. You can change the tires to thinner ones since it will also decrease drag and you can use tires that have smoother knurling. Doing these things will increase the range that you can get out of the battery but you will also be sacrificing grip so keep that in mind if you will be cycling on loose surfaces.
An additional change that you can make is to carry less weight. The more weight that the motor has to push the harder it is going to have to work so the more weight you are carrying the less distance you will be able to get out of the battery. You can reduce the weight by cleaning the bike since mud can add a lot of weight to the bike and by removing any unnecessary additions to the bike and your luggage.
As you put miles into the bike the brakes can become lose and begin to catch on the wheels which can cause the bike to become more difficult to move. This means that if you have not checked the brakes in a while then you should consider getting them serviced.
- Only use the charger that comes with the device
It’s important to make sure to only use the charger that came with the device since using a different could cause the battery to be charged too quickly and could cause it to become damaged. It could also cause a safety hazard to use a different charger so it should be avoided.
- Don’t let it get damaged
A final and perhaps more obvious thing that should be done is to avoid allowing the battery to become damaged. This means that you should avoid dropping the e-bike when the battery is in it, you should avoid allowing the bike to become wet when possible. It also means that you should avoid storing the battery in a humid environment since this can also cause the battery to become damaged.
How long do e-bike batteries last for? Electric bike batteries are normally rated to be able to keep above 80% of their initial capacity for up to 500 full charging cycles. Charging the battery from 50% to 100% would only count as half of a cycle.
What is the range of an e-bike? Electric bikes are normally able to go between 20-50 miles on a single charge. There are some e-bikes that can go further but they become more expensive. The range will largely depend on the size of the battery and motor.
How expensive are e-bike batteries? The price of the battery will depend on its size. You can expect to have to pay $600 for a good battery for an electric bike.