Taking Care of your eBike Battery – A Guide

Ebike battery care is critically important. For one thing, the health of the battery significantly impacts performance. Also, the replacement typically runs 400 euro and often even more. Therefore, you want the battery to last for the maximum amount of time.

How To Care For Your eBike Battery

Learn how to care for your battery and get the most from your bicycle for years to come, saving you time, hassle and effort.

Monitor The Charge Level

brown green and blue round buttons

Lithium-ion batteries all start to die right after birth. A majority of manufacturers provide a warranty period for the battery specifically, which is normally stated as a certain number of charge cycles (normally about 500 to 1,000). A single cycle is one that charges the battery from 0 percent up to 100 percent. If 225 percent of a battery’s capacity is used, and then you recharge it to 100 percent, that can be done three more times before one complete charge cycle is reached.

In order to maximize the life of your battery, this scenario needs to be avoided since charging it up to 100 percent will place stress on the battery. If you know that a full battery is not needed then it is best to charge up to 85 percent. (Pro tip: a charger lasts a lot longer and is less expensive. If you are thinking about buying a second battery and keeping it at your office, you should instead purchase a second charger).

The same thing is true when it comes to discharging. Your battery is going to be a lot happier if you are able to avoid going all the way down to zero. It is similar to being hungry: You should not wait until you are absolutely starving before you eat; and then when you finally eat, do not fill yourself up to the point where you cannot eat anything else.

This food analogy also is applicable to quick chargers. You can either inhale your food or eat it at a steady rate. Both of these methods can make you full, however, one of them is much easier on your body. A speed charger with steps is an exception to this. The initial 50 percent from a quick charge doesn’t place a lot of stress on the battery – it is the final 50 percent that must be eased into. Although most bikes provide on-the ebike charging, taking the battery off of the bike once a month at least is a good idea to check its connection. Gunk, sweat, and water all can potentially cause corrosion and poor connections.

Buy a Light Timer

You have better things to do with your time than to sit around waiting for a battery to charge so you can stop it at 80 or 90 percent. Instead, buy a light timer and then set it at one or two hours. Within this time, the majority of batteries will reach 80 percent.

If you are planning on exploring or having a long ride day, then go ahead and conduct a full charge. Do this as soon to your ride as you can. That will reduce the stress on the battery by not having the cells sitting at full capacity for a long period of time.

Thermometers

It can be hard on your ebike if you store it at a temperature lower than 45 degrees or higher than 85 degrees.

Do Not Store Your Bike in Extreme Temperatures

If you are planning to store your bike model for a couple of months, then the ideal charge is 40 to 70 percent. Check your battery at the start of each month. If your battery drops down to 20 percent or even lower then provide it with a booster charge in order to get it back to 40 to 70 percent.

You should store your bike in a dry area at 45 o 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything below or above that is considered to be extreme and isn’t healthy for the chemistry of the battery. That is why it is very important that your battery not be left in your car. Even with an ambient 60-degree temperature, those limits can be exceeded inside of the car after being in direct sunlight for 20 to 30 minutes. If you are unable to take it inside, lock it onto your bike. That will keep it cooler and more secure than inside your car.

When your bike is being transported on a rack, the battery should not be left on the bike – a battery does not handle being dropped very well. It doesn’t happen often, but a big bump in the road combined with a poor battery/bike connection can result in your expensive battery bouncing all over the road. That can end up breaking some of the numerous soldered connections that are in between the cells.

Avoid Using Boost Mode

How you ride your bike affects the battery life as well. Like constantly operating your caron redline, using the throttle and/or boost mode places much more load on your battery compared to eco mode. However, I do have to say that I love boost mode. Therefore use it if you like it. Just be aware that your friend who constantly rides in eco mode will be getting more out of his battery.

Remember that none or all of the above can be done. Your bike will work just fine still, however, the battery will have a shorter life. Over time, battery management systems (BMS), as well as smart chargers, continue to improve, which allows you to treat your battery in a more carefree way. However, watch the thermometer. The world’s best BMS will not prevent a battery frying inside of a 140-degree vehicle.

General Bike Maintenance Is Helpful

Whether a bicycle is electric or not, it does need regular maintenance to ensure all of its moving parts remain in top condition. If you do some basic tasks in order to ensure your eBike continues to perform well, then your battery will not need to work as hard to transport you further.

Prior to every ride, check to ensure that the tires are inflated at the recommended pressure level. If your tires are under-inflated, it will cause your motor to have to work hard and it will also drain your battery faster. Every biker’s maintenance kit should contain a good bike pump that has a pressure gauge and also some bike oil.

Once every couple of weeks, your bike’s chain should be cleaned and lubricated. Put some degreaser on a rag and then wipe away any built-up grime and dirt. After it is dry, apply bike oil to the whole chain. To avoid over-lubricating, wipe away the excess oil.

Your bike should be taken into a repair shop to have a tune-up done once a year at least. It is a good idea to get to know your local bike shop’s staff. They will appreciate your business and it can be very helpful.

Here is a good additional guide to bike care we wrote recently.

Pedal-assist

Once you have made all of the necessary preparations for your trip, the distance you can travel will depend on much the motor is used. Many eBikes come with a throttle and varying pedal assistance levels. If you have a tendency to use the throttle frequently or keep the assistance at the higher end then your battery is going to drain a lot faster.

Another big drain on your battery is hills. The more often you ride uphill the harder your motor will need to work to get to the top. If you are planning on a longer trip, account for the elevation in order to determine if you have enough of a charge in order to return.

Regenerative braking

Ebikes and many other electric-powered vehicles have regenerative braking. This means that when you come to a stop or slow down, kinetic energy is used by the motor to recharge your battery. When riding downhill that can be useful when you want to see some return for your efforts.

Battery indicator

A battery doesn’t actually represent the distance or remaining time left on a battery. What it actually indicates is the state of charge of the battery.

A battery is most efficient when it is fully charged. After it is used more, the voltage will start to drop, in addition to the performance of the battery. Depending on your bike, that can translate into your ride having a slower overall speed or acceleration.

As the battery indicator bars start to drop, they will do this faster and fast. So don’t wait until the indicator is showing that your battery is half empty before you decide to turn around.

It can be really fun to ride an electric bike and you can go a lo father than you may have expected. As long as your battery is properly charged and you are aware of how the charge is affected by your riding, you can avoid getting stuck having to walk a long way home pushing your ebike that has a dead battery.