Determining the battery life of an e-Bike is not only calculated on the number of cycle charges they can take before they gradually go on flat. There are a lot of factors to consider in knowing the life span of a battery.
Some of these factors would be the surrounding conditions like temperature fluctuations, age of the battery, etc. Also, the type of battery being used is to be considered.
What is the average battery life of an e-Bike?
On average, a typical electronic bike battery can surpass 800 full charge cycles. It can sometimes go up to a thousand charge cycles depending on the type of battery used.
Now, we need to understand that charging the battery from 30% – 100% is not a “one full charge cycle”. We must keep in mind that we can only count it as “one charge cycle” if the battery was at 0% – 100%.
In general, if we consider the type of battery being used, the battery’s age, and how often the battery was charged, we can safely say that batteries on e-Bikes can last anywhere from 3 – 5 years.
Naturally, we want our bike batteries to last longer. So, with proper care, it’s possible to extend your e-Bike’s battery life.
3 Types of e-Bike batteries
1. Lithium Batteries
It is the most reliable battery used on e-Bikes. More than 90% of e-Bike batteries in the market are composed of lithium. These batteries can generate more power, lasts longer, and is lighter than the other batteries. Because of this, it also is the most expensive among the three.
– Average charge cycle before it needs replacing: up to 1000 charge cycle
- Lithium-ion (Li-ion) – most popular with longer life span
- Lithium-ion Subcategories:
- Lithium Cobalt (LCO) – higher energy density (provides optimal power), lesser weight
- Lithium Manganese (LiMg204) – Hybrid, the same type used in hybrid cars.
- Lithium-ion Polymer (Li-pol) – unique, this battery has no liquid components. Less prone to being damaged through misuse.
- Lithium-ion Subcategories:
2. Nickel Batteries
It has the same power in comparison to lithium-ion batteries. Unfortunately, nickel batteries have high tendencies to self-discharge faster than the other ones on this list.
– Average charge cycle before it needs replacing: around 500 charge cycle
- Nickel-cadmium (NiCd) – rare to find these days as they became a toxic pollutant to the environment, these batteries are very hard to recycle. More capacity than lead-acid batteries.
- Nickel-metal Hydride (NiMh) – more efficient than NiCd but it costs more. These batteries are easier to recycle and tend to last longer.
3. Lead Batteries
This type of battery is the oldest among lithium and nickel. While it is the cheapest you can find in the market right now, it has a few drawbacks. Lead-acid batteries are heavy. It is five times heavier than lithium-ion batteries. Aside from this, it has a short life span in comparison to the other two. It’s not good to purchase lead-acid batteries if you are going to use your e-Bike regularly.
– Average charge cycle before the quality begins to fade: around 300 charge cycle
What Happens When it Reaches its Maximum Charge Cycles?
The maximum charge cycle of the battery is the manufacturer’s theoretical estimate before the battery loses its efficiency.
When the battery reaches the specified number of charge cycles, you’ll eventually start noticing a decrease in performance. Fluctuation in voltages and lack of power are apparent signs that your battery’s life is coming to an end.
In addition, if you have noticed yourself recharging your bike’s battery more frequently if the battery can’t hold its charge for a longer period, then yes, the battery needs to be replaced.
While it’s true that you can use your e-Bike without the battery, it is not convenient for everyday use. E-Bikes are heavier than normal bikes. Also, it will never be an excellent choice for older people who require a special level of assistance to ride their e-Bikes with a dead battery.
Depending on how you use your bike, it’s up to you to decide whether a battery replacement is essential or if you can get by without it.
At the end of the day, you’ll still have to replace it eventually.
How to Prolong an e-Bike Batteries’ Life
Use the original charger
When you purchase your new e-Bike, this will come with its battery charger. Make sure that you always use this specific charger together with the adapter provided.
This is to ensure that there are no short-circuits and that you are protecting your batteries from overcharging, too. You must shy away from buying cheap substandard chargers as this will cause future damage to your battery performance. Using the original charge will help you keep your batteries longer.
Never overcharge the batteries
Don’t just leave your e-Bike battery connected to the charger beyond charging hours. When you do, you may create poor charging cycles which can be very detrimental to your battery health.
Overcharging may lead to the degradation of battery life. Make sure to unplug it at 100% or better yet set an alarm on your phone to remind you to unplug it. Make it a habit to disconnect the network and battery from the charger after charging.
Charge batteries according to manual
It is important to follow the battery charging guide. One key point to remember is to allow your battery to rest for a while after recharging it.
We have to keep in mind that the battery should be cool to the touch before inserting it back into your bike. The same goes if your battery seems to be overheating, do not charge it yet. Wait for it to cool down.
Keep the battery dry
Electronic bike batteries should be kept in a dry place. Never jet wash the battery. If in any case, you have to clean the battery, just wipe it with a dry towel.
If there is stubborn dirt, you can use a damp cloth but make sure to wipe it with a dry towel right after. If you want to wash your bike, it is better to remove the battery first. Keeping the battery dry ensures that you get to maintain its function and reduce corrosion at the same time.
Proper storage of battery when not using
If you plan on going on a trip, or perhaps it’s winter and thick snow is all around you and you won’t be able to use your electronic bike for a long time, regardless of the reason, make sure not to store an empty battery.
Rather, charge your battery from up to 40% – 70% of its full capacity. That way, we can avoid excessive self-discharge. Also, do not leave your batteries near a heat source.
Cleaning of battery
If your bike’s battery got dirty during your ride, use a dry towel if you want to clean it. Remember that water and electricity do not go well together.
With that in mind, you are not to use a steam pressure washer to clean that battery or your e-Bike for that matter.
You must keep everything dry as water can speed up battery corrosion. With careful cleaning, you won’t intentionally shorten your battery life while trying to maintain it.
Don’t fully drain batteries
You should never let your e-Bike batteries drain down to 0%. The optimal levels of a battery are at 20% – 100%. Anything below this can trigger a poor battery life. So, it is important to make it a habit to better charge the batteries when it has been used halfway.
There are a lot of factors to consider when determining the life span of an e-Bike battery. It is not restricted to only the type of battery that’s being used.
Rather, the age, number of charge cycles, and environmental factors also need to be incorporated into this calculation.
There are also steps that we can follow to properly take care of the battery. Anticipating that it could help us extend the battery life of our electronic bike.
It is also best to take time to choose what type of battery we would want our bikes to have so we can properly take care of it.
Want to know more? Here are the things you need to know before you purchase an electric bike.