The popularity of electric bikes (or e-bikes) has grown over the last few years. There’s a lot of fun to be had with an e-bike compared to regular pedal bikes. While the craze surrounding them is certainly apparent, there’s still a lot of confusion and misinformation about how they operate.
The most common question associated with the ownership of an electric bike is about its battery. Many e-bikes have some type of user interface with a battery management system to indicate when the battery is low but is it okay to let it run down to zero? How often should you be charging your electric bike? We’ll answer these questions, as well as provide information and tips about caring for e-bike batteries:
Important Charging Information
The questions surrounding electric bike battery charging depend on numerous contributing factors. It’s suggested that you charge your e-bike before your next ride, but you should avoid charging it to 100%. When the electric bike battery gets to 90% or 95%, you can unplug it.
Most e-bikes use lithium-ion batteries, which may have a lifespan of seven years, though we typically expect to replace a battery after 3-4 years. The longer that the lithium batteries stay at a 100% charge, the faster it can degrade. However, lithium batteries should not be left to run down to zero either. A full charging cycle can take anywhere between 3-6 hours, depending on how much power has depleted.
Here’s some helpful information when it comes to charging:
- Avoid charging the battery during cold temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius. In the winter, you should ensure that the battery is at room temperature before charging.
- If the battery has a switch, make sure it’s turned off before charging.
- Your e-bike battery has the option of being charged on and off the bike.
- Always keep the battery and charger on a dry, non-flammable surface away from heat and flammable materials.
- Don’t keep the battery or charger covered up while it’s charging.
- Only use the charger that was originally supplied with your purchase.
- When not in use, keep recharging your battery minimally once a month.
Important Storage Information
When storing your e-bike battery, you’ll want to keep it out of areas that are too hot or very cold. Avoid storage conditions in which high moisture may be an issue. Store in a dry area between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius, which is the common temperature found in a domestic home.
While in storage, try to charge the battery once a month, but avoid keeping it at 100%. It’s recommended to leave the battery stored at 40%-80% capacity. Lithium-ion batteries begin to lose their functionality if they’re left in a fully discharged state for a prolonged period.
When you first receive your new electric bike battery, it will arrive from the factory in a state of sleep. The first time you use the electric bike battery, you’ll be required to fully charge it for 12 hours so that it activates. Doing so allows the electric current to flow through the cells of the lithium battery. After this, you shouldn’t fully charge the bike again, as it can degrade over time.
There are some simple ways that you can take care of your electric bike battery charger:
- Plug the charger into the battery before you turn it on.
- Turn off the charger before you remove it from the electric bike battery.
- Don’t leave your charger connected to your e-bike.
- Keep the charger away from exposure to high temperatures of 60 degrees Celsius.
- Don’t dismantle the charger.
- Don’t use the charger if it’s been crushed or damaged in any way.
- Keep the charger away from wet surfaces.
The batteries on electric bikes are one of the most expensive parts of the bike. Most warranties on batteries for an e-bike will vary depending on the brand and the type of battery. A common warranty can be anywhere between 1-2 years, but as previously mentioned, that factor can vary. In some cases, you can purchase an extended warranty to ensure the safety of your battery is secured. The last thing you’ll want is for the electric bike to die out on you and end up spending more money on a brand-new battery.
In many cases, e-bikes are a “greener” choice when it comes to transportation. However, due to the rechargeable battery, the possibility of needing to replace it is something that may happen. When that time comes around, how you dispose of it is your responsibility. However, the option of recycling the battery is your best bet if you want to maintain a “greener” approach.
We provide a service where you can drop-off your old E-Bike battery for proper disposal.
It may be beneficial for you to remember these quick tips. This way, you’ll be all set for when you want to take your e-bike out for a spin:
- When you charge your e-bike at home, make sure to do it regularly. Remember to avoid leaving it completely discharged. The appropriate point to charge your bike is at a battery capacity of 30%-60%.
- Don’t overcharge the battery. This will create future problems with charging cycles. Unplug the charger when the battery percentage sits at 90 or 95. You can use a timer to remind you to take the battery off of the charger.
- When receiving a new electric bike battery, charge for 12 hours to activate it.
- Keep your battery out of hot and cold extreme temperatures.
- When storing a battery, make sure it isn’t at zero. This could degrade the battery and ruin its functionality when you need it.
For quality e-bikes and batteries, you can rely on us at Northern Bicycle to have you covered. We have a wide selection for you to browse, and we’ll find the perfect bike for you. For any questions that you may have about our products or for information on e-bikes, visit us in sunny St. James today!