Determining the battery life of an e-Bike is not just calculated on the number of charge cycles they can take before they gradually go flat. There are many factors to consider when knowing how long a battery will last.
Some of these factors would be the surrounding conditions such as temperature fluctuations, age of the battery, etc. Also, the type of battery used should be considered.
What is the average battery life of an e-Bike?
On average, a typical e-bike battery can exceed 800 full charge cycles. Sometimes it can reach 1,000 charge cycles depending on the type of battery used.
Now, we need to understand that charging the battery from 30% to 100% is not "one full charge cycle". We need to 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 used, the age of the battery, and how often the battery has been charged, we can safely say that e-Bikes batteries can last from 3 to 5 years.
Of course, we want our bike batteries to last longer. So, with proper care, you can extend the battery life of your e-Bike.
3 Types Of E-Bike Batteries
1. Lithium Batteries
It is the most reliable battery used on e-Bikes. More than 90% of the e-Bike batteries on the market are composed of lithium. These batteries can generate more power, last longer, and are lighter than other batteries. For this reason, it is also the most expensive of the three.
Average charge cycle before needing replacement: up to 1000 charging cycles
- Lithium-ion (Li-ion) - the most popular with a longer lifespan
- Lithium Cobalt (LCO) - higher energy density (provides optimal power), less 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 likely to be damaged by misuse.
2. Nickel batteries
It has the same power compared to lithium-ion batteries. Unfortunately, nickel batteries Have a high tendency to self-discharge faster than the others on this list.
- Average charge cycle before needing replacement: about 500 charging cycles
- Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) - rare to find these days because they have become a toxic pollutant to the environment, these batteries are very difficult to recycle. More capacity than lead-acid batteries.
- Nickel-metal hydride (NiMh) - more efficient than NiCd but costs more. These batteries are easier to recycle and tend to last longer.
3. Lead Acid Batteries
This type of battery is the oldest of the lithium and nickel batteries. Although it is the cheapest you can find on the market right now, it does have some disadvantages. Lead-acid batteries are heavy. It is five times heavier than lithium-ion batteries. Aside from that, it has a short lifespan compared to the other two. It is not good to buy lead-acid batteries if you plan to use your e-Bike regularly.
- Average charge cycle before quality begins to fade: about 300 charging cycles
What happens when it reaches its maximum charge cycles?
The maximum battery charge cycle is the manufacturer's theoretical estimate before the battery loses its efficiency.
When your battery reaches the specified number of charge cycles, you will eventually begin to notice a decrease in performance. Fluctuating voltages and a lack of power are obvious signs that the life of your battery is coming to an end.
Also, if you've noticed that you're recharging your motorcycle battery more frequently if the battery can't hold a charge for a longer period of time, then yes, the battery needs to be replaced.
While it's true that you can use your e-Bike without a battery, it's not convenient for everyday use. E-Bikes are heavier than regular bicycles. Also, it will never be a excellent choice for elderly people that require a special level of assistance to ride e-Bikes with a dead battery.
Depending on how you use your bike, it's up to you to decide if battery replacement is essential or if you can do without it.
At the end of the day, you'll still need to replace it at some point.
How to prolong the life of the batteries of an e-Bike
Use original charger
When you buy your new e-BikeThis will come with its own charger. Please make sure to always use this specific charger together with the provided adapter.
This is to ensure that there are no short circuits and that you are protecting your batteries from overcharging, too. You should avoid buying cheap chargers of inferior quality, as this will cause future damage to your battery's performance. Using the original charger will help you to keep your batteries going for longer.
Never overcharge batteries
Do not leave the battery of your e-Bike connected to the charger beyond charging hours. When you do, you may create poor charge cycles that can be very harmful to the health of your battery.
Overcharging can lead to degradation of battery life. Be sure to unplug the 100% or better yet set an alarm on your phone to remind you to unplug it. Get in the habit of disconnecting the power and battery from the charger after charging.
Charge the batteries according to the manual
It is important to follow the battery charging guide. A key point to remember is to let the battery rest for a while after charging it.
We need to keep in mind that the battery needs to be cool to the touch before putting it back into your bike. The same goes if the battery seems to be overheating, don't charge it yet. Wait for it to cool down.
Keep the battery dry
Electronic bicycle batteries should be stored in a dry place. Never jet wash the battery. If in any case, you need to clean the battery, simply wipe it with a dry cloth.
If there's stubborn dirt, you can use a damp cloth, but be sure to wipe it with a dry cloth right after. If you want to wash your bike, it's best to remove the battery first. Keeping the battery dry will ensure that you maintain its function and reduce corrosion at the same time.
Proper battery storage when not in use
If you're planning on taking a trip, or maybe it's winter and thick snow is all around you and you won't be able to use your e-bike for very long, regardless of the reason, make sure you don't store an empty battery.
Rather, charge your battery up to the 40% - 70% of its full capacity. This way, we can avoid excessive self-discharge. Also, do not leave your batteries near a heat source.
If your bike battery got dirty during your ride, use a dry towel if you want to clean it. Remember that water and electricity don't mix.
With that in mind, you don't have to use a steam cleaner to clean your battery or e-Bike.
You need to keep everything dry because water can accelerate battery corrosion. With thorough cleaning, you won't intentionally shorten the life of your battery while trying to maintain it.
Do not fully discharge the batteries
You should never let your e-Bike batteries drain to 0%. The optimal levels of a battery are at 20% - 100%. Anything below this level can trigger poor battery life. Therefore, it is important to get in the habit of charging the battery better when it has been half used.
It would be difficult to pedal on inclined roads. This is not good for older people who need pedal assistance.
If it happens that the battery is dead while you're out on your bike, you won't have access to the motor.
This means that you will have to use the pedals on your e-Bike to get to your destination. It's going to be quite tiring because an e-Bike's electronic system isn't the only thing that adds weight; it also has a motor and a battery.
It's okay if you're riding on flat terrain, but if you're not, be prepared to use your extra strength to get where you want to be.
There are many factors to consider when determining the life of an e-Bike battery. It's not just limited to the type of battery used.
Rather, age, number of charge cycles, and environmental factors must also be incorporated into this calculation.
There are also steps we can follow to properly care for the battery. Anticipating that could help us extend the battery life of our e-bike.
It is also best to take time to choose the type of battery that we would like our bikes to have so that we can properly take care of it.
Want to learn more? Here are the things you need to know before purchasing an electric bicycle.