Do you ride your electric bike frequently? Worried about how many more charging cycles your battery can take? If you’d like to learn how to maximize your lithium-ion battery’s lifespan, you’ve come to the right place.
The battery of your ebike is arguably the most important component of your bike. To stay on the road and achieve the advertised mileage on your bike, you must ensure that your battery is kept in good health. Here are some tips we’d like to share with you.
- Keep your battery charged
When you get a new ebike, make sure you charge it before trying it out for the first time. Your ebike has likely been sitting in the warehouse, or in factories and shipping containers for quite some time. As such, their batteries have been lying dormant, and will inevitably lose some chemical energy as a result of that inactivity. If your battery is forced into action without first replenishing that power, it can reduce the future retention capacity of the battery.
Apart from giving your battery time to complete its first charge, keeping your battery charged in general will help to keep it in good health. Even after short journeys, make sure you charge your battery. Your battery's ability to hold chemical energy reduces significantly if you completely discharge it. Although there may be times when running your battery flat is unavoidable, you can minimize the damage by making sure you charge it up again as soon as you get the chance.
- Don’t charge it fully
To follow from the previous point, while it is good to charge your battery every chance you get, make sure you don't charge it to full capacity. Charging your battery up to about 85 percent helps to maximize the battery's lifespan while charging it to maximum capacity puts undue stress on it.
- Use an outlet timer
It might not always be convenient for you to monitor your ebike's battery levels while charging to prevent it from reaching 100 percent. A lot of batteries will reach 80 or 90 percent within one or two hours, so you could get an outlet timer to help ensure your charger shuts off after that duration.
- Keep connectors clean and dry
It is good to keep your battery and all other components of your ebike clean and dry. A dirty exterior case should not directly affect the internal components of your battery. Still, to keep your battery in good health, it is advisable to keep the connectors between the battery and your ebike clean and dry, free of dirt, dust and corrosion. This can reduce the risk of short circuits and damage to the battery. You can clean your battery by first detaching it completely from your ebike, then using a mildly damp cloth to wipe the battery's connectors. Do make sure the connectors are completely dry before plugging your battery back in.
Never clean your battery with a water hose/jet because this could harm its electronic components. Most ebike batteries, including ours, are only certified to IPX4 standards, which means it can withstand splashing water (like the rain), but not more than that.
- Keep your battery cool
A lot of ebikes use lithium-ion batteries. You may find that your ebike's range is reduced in cold weather because the resistance of the lithium powder in the battery cells increases. We recommend you store your lithium batteries in environments that do not get colder than 32 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer than 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you're removing your battery from a cold storage area, make sure you allow it to return to room temperature before charging it, otherwise you risk damaging it.
- Avoid relying solely on your throttle for the entire journey
The way you ride your ebike affects its battery life. Unlike pedal assist mode, utilizing your bike's throttle will cause greater strain on your battery. You may decide to continue using throttle mode, but keep in mind that switching to pedal assist mode from time to time will allow you to get more out of your battery.
- Long term storage tips
You should take some precautions if you're planning to set aside your ebike's lithium battery for a while. You may be surprised to know that your battery self-discharges faster when it is fully charged than when it is almost flat. This means that your battery's capacity will degrade over time if you charge it fully before setting it aside for storage purposes.
Storing your battery at an 80 percent charge level is a good compromise that can help slow down the rate of battery degradation. Apart from this, we'd recommend you keep it in a cold and convenient place, and take it out for a charge once every 5 to 10 weeks if possible.
- Remove your ebike's battery when transporting your bike across long distances
If you intend to transport your ebike on an auto rack for example, it is advisable to separate the battery from the bike before doing so. This will prevent the battery from getting knocked around too much, which could break one of the many soldered connections between its cells. Although this may not affect your ebike directly, it could possibly reduce the lifespan of the battery.
Planning a road trip? Remove the battery from your ebike first, and carefully wrap it up, then store it in a safe space, i.e. away from all heating elements or sharp, heavy objects.
- Avoid disassembling your battery on your own
Ebike batteries are assembled by specialists in strictly controlled environments.
Although it may be tempting to open up the case of your battery to examine it and repair its contents, or maybe upgrade certain components, we would advise against doing so. Opening up your battery is very dangerous. Apart from the fact that you could damage your battery and harm other components of your ebike, you'd also be putting yourself at risk of serious injury. If you think your battery is faulty and not functioning as it should, it is advisable to bring it to a lithium-ion battery specialist, or really just the retailer you got your ebike from.
With time, batteries age, and they will most certainly become less effective; you might have to consider getting a new battery when this happens. Before that day comes, you can try the tips above to keep your ebike battery in good health.