How To Make Sure Your E-bikes Battery Lasts a Long TimeDecember 8, 2022
Almost all e-bikes these days come with lithium-ion batteries, which allow over 800+ charge cycles before your range starts to decrease appreciably (i.e. below 80% of its original value). However, with the right love and care, your battery can last even longer, perhaps by up to 50% which is 1600+ charges! All you have to do is follow our three golden rules of good battery care.
1: Charge fully
A battery’s life is measured by the number of charges and discharge cycles it can survive rather than, say, the total time for which it has been used. So it, therefore, makes sense to maximise the usefulness of each of those cycles by charging your battery all the way to full whenever you charge it.
2: Avoid charging once full!
We’ve just explained that it makes sense to charge your battery fully to get the most out of its limited number of charge and discharge cycles. However, if you leave your battery charging once full, it will discharge a little, then charge back to full, then discharge a little, then charge again… and so on through countless little charge and discharge cycles. So avoid damaging your battery by avoiding these unnecessary cycles once it’s fully charged.
3: Avoid “Deep Discharge”
Though it’s good practice to charge your battery fully, the opposite, discharging it completely, sadly isn’t. Continuing to use your battery until it is almost (or completely) empty, referred to as “deep discharge”, is in fact one of the most common ways to damage your battery. Although batteries have clever internal management systems designed to avoid a really deep discharge, it’s still best to avoid draining the battery too low. Instead, when the battery gets down to around 10-20% charge (one bar left on the display) then it’s time to ease off the throttle and charge up the battery.
Unfortunately, lithium-ion batteries age over time. This means that even if you haven’t put your battery through that many charge and discharge cycles, it will start to lose charge after about 3 years. You should therefore aim to get the most out of your battery during that time. A good 200-300 charges each year, following the tips above, will make sure you get your money’s worth from your e-bike.
Knowing how much charge is left in a battery can actually be rather tricky. Generally, as a battery discharges, its voltage decreases. As long as the voltage decreases predictably, as it does for lithium-ion batteries, then the battery’s charge state (i.e. full, empty, or somewhere in between) can be estimated. However, the problem is that not every battery is identical so these predictions, and the reported charge state can only ever be approximate. Incidentally, the voltage of LifePo4 batteries, another popular battery type, doesn’t change anywhere near as much as the battery discharges. It’s therefore even harder to predict the charge state of these batteries and any meter designed for one battery type will tell you lies if hooked up to the wrong battery.
Finally, it’s worth knowing that lithium-ion batteries can recover after heavy use. So if it looks like your battery is running low, make sure to ease off the throttle and see if the voltage bounces back a little, giving you a more accurate reading as to the amount of charge left.
We hope these simple tips have helped you give your e-bike battery the long life it deserves. If you have any other tips for making sure you get the most out of your e-bike battery do let us know in the comments below.