Batteries for e-bikes can be very expensive, so much so that they can make up the majority of the vehicle’s cost. Owners of electric bikes must make sure their batteries are in good condition and have the longest lifespan possible. How long do E-Bike batteries last? Generally, batteries in this category have a lifespan of 3 to 5 years before they begin to lose efficiency. By taking proper care, you can maximize your battery’s life to the fullest.
What is the best way to keep your battery healthy? We will discuss how you can prolong the life of your e-bike battery in our article, from proper maintenance and usage to choosing a charger that is right for your bike.
Types Of Batteries
You need to understand what kind of battery your unit has first before we go into how long do E-Bike batteries last. Here are the standard battery types used for e-bikes and their specifications.
The cheapest batteries on the market are lead-acid batteries. However, lead-acid batteries have a few disadvantages. They have a shorter lifespan, weigh considerably more than lithium and nickel batteries, and are particularly sensitive to bad treatment. You shouldn’t choose this if you plan to use your e-bike regularly.
Lithium-ions are the most commonly seen batteries for the e-bike (over 90% of the whole market.) Generally, they will generate more power considering their weight and live longer. Due to these reasons, these batteries will be on the more expensive side.
Lithium Cobalt (LCO)
Within Lithium-ion batteries, there are a few subcategories with each having their own unique features. For instance, lithium cobalt batteries are relatively new in the market, boasting a considerably higher energy density compared to its counterparts. Due to this, they can provide optimal power for far less weight.
Lithium Manganese (LiMg204)
Another new battery type of lithium-ion, lithium manganese has been claimed to generate more power and have a longer life compared to other lithium types. This battery is also commonly used in hybrid cars such as the Nissan Leaf.
Lithium-ion Polymer (Li-pol)
Lithium-ion polymer batteries don’t offer anything different from the original lithium-ion in terms of price,weight , or range. Despite this, it does offer a few unique features such as no liquid components and it has no need for heavy and bulky protective cases.
Nickel batteries are slowly becoming more and more of a rarity due to the negative impact they have on the environment. They are difficult to recycle and also considered a toxic pollutant. Although they do have more capacity compared to lead-acid batteries, you’re better off choosing a lithium-ion model.
Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMh)
These batteries are slightly more efficient than its predecessor, however they also cost more. Also, they tend to last longer and are easier to recycle, but lithium-ion batteries are still considered better.
Bigger Batteries Are Generally Better
When looking at how long do E-Bike batteries last, typically bigger batteries will make them last longer.
A larger battery can be charged safely at much higher amps because it is more healthy. It is considered fast to charge a 10 amp-hour battery with 5 amps, but not a 20 amp-hour battery.
Fast charging will severely shorten your battery’s life if you do it too often. It is recommended to use a slow charger that takes up to four hours to charge. In order to maintain a healthy temperature, you can choose a charger that switches between slow and fast charging.
Generally, e-bikes that have a battery pack with high-amp cells and the capacity for high discharges can be charged faster without compromising their life expectancy. These batteries are less energy dense and cost more than other packs with lower-amp cells.
What Kind Of Charger Should I Buy?
Before considering the right charger for you, it is recommended that you purchase the biggest battery that your bike can accommodate.
Here are some recommended options so you can choose a charger depending on your needs and preferences.
Buy Both A Fast And Slow Charger
In this way, you can choose a charger that suits your needs. Fast chargers can speed up the charging process if you are pressed for time. Then when you aren’t using the fast charger, you can use a slow charger to keep your battery pack healthy. Although buying two can be more expensive, they can be a good investment if you have a need for it.
Buy A Slow Charger Only
This is the safest bet and also the cheapest option as well. If you can afford the longer charging times, pick a slow charger to prolong your battery life.
Buy A Fast Charger Only
Using a fast charger only will cause your battery pack to lose a few cycles of its life, but it will still allow for plenty of use and will survive an ample amount of years.
If you choose a fast charger, buying a bigger battery pack will solve all the drawbacks that using a fast charger poses as they can take more energy and withstand the much higher temperatures that come with fast charging.
Use The Finger Test
A good tip that shows you if your battery is charging too fast is by feeling it with your finger whilst charging. If the charger feels fairly warm, this most likely means that your battery can’t handle a fast charger.
How To Charge Your E-Bike Effectively
Owning an e-bike means that you want your vehicle to perform well in a variety of different situations.
To keep your e-bike in top shape, every one of its systems needs to work well. Arguably the biggest key component of the e-bike, is the battery. You need your battery pack in a healthy and prime condition. To keep it in this condition, here are some handy tips that will prolong your battery’s life and keep its efficiency at 100%.
Brand New E-bike Batteries Should Only Be Charged For Half A Day
Once you have bought a new electric bike, you should take the time when charging it for the first time. Charge it up to 12 hours in order to ensure that the currents are flowing through every cell and to condition your battery pack properly.
Charge Your E-bike Battery Regularly
E-bikes that use lithium battery packs, or most e-bikes for that matter, generally last much longer if you regularly use them, and by extension, regularly charging them.
Whenever you discharge the battery of your e-bike, don’t use up the whole battery completely. Rather, try to charge your battery within the range of 30% and 60% of its remaining capacity to maximize its life expectancy.
Several experts recommend a full discharge every once in a while (when you reach from 30 to 40 harges, for instance). Also, you should try to make a habit of riding your e-bike regularly so that you can also charge its battery pack every so often.
Avoid Charging In Extreme Temperatures
Similarly to their riders, electric bikes prefer moderate temperatures over anything else. If you want to extend your battery pack’s lifespan, avoid charging and using them in extreme temperatures.
Once your battery pack is in a charging cycle, the environment should not reach 110F or freezing temperatures. Attempt to stay between the temperature range of 60 to 70 for the optimal charging temperature.
Don’t Overcharge An Electric Bike Battery
It is very important that you don’t leave the battery pack of your e-bike on its charger for a very long period (i.e. a few days or even more).
If you do happen to leave it on charge, the battery will discharge and leave itself most likely at 95% of its capacity. The charger then proceeds to do its job and top off your battery. This continuous cycle of topping off and minor discharging will create series after series of bad charging cycles.
To assist you, you can use a timer to remind yourself when to take your battery off its charger at the correct moment.
Don’t Store An Empty Battery
There are times when you might need to put your e-bike battery in the storage. For example, when you’re going on a trip, or maybe the temperature outside is too low for riding. Regardless of the reason, never store your battery in an empty state and attempt to keep it between 40% and 70% of its full capacity.
We hope this answered the question: How Long Do E-Bike Batteries Last?