How long does an e-bike battery last? This is a question that many people ask when they are considering purchasing an electric bike.
The answer to this question depends on a lot of factors, such as the type of e-bike, how it’s used, how many charge cycles its battery has, and so on. If you’re wondering the same, just read on and you’ll get all your answers!
How long does an e-bike battery last?
The average lifespan of an e-bike battery is 2-3 years. However, this can vary depending on how often the e-bike is used and how the battery is treated.
For example, if an e-bike is used for regular commuting, its battery will likely need to be replaced much earlier than the one used in an e-bike for recreation. Likewise, with proper care, an e-bike battery can last much longer.
Before we dig deep into this topic, let’s first see which batteries do e-bike use in the first place.
Which batteries do electric bikes use?
Almost all electric bikes today use lithium-ion (li-ion) batteries, which have become increasingly popular in recent years.
Lithium-ion batteries are often used in cell phones, laptops, and other electronic devices, as they have a number of advantages over other types of batteries, including a longer life span and a higher energy density.
Likewise, these batteries have become the industry-standard for e-bikes.
It’s because lithium-ion batteries are much lighter than lead-acid batteries, which makes them easier to carry. Moreover, they can be recharged much faster and have a much higher energy density, meaning they can power an electric bike for a longer distance.
However, keep in mind that there are also some disadvantages to using li-ion batteries, which includes their degradation over time.
Moreover, one of the biggest concerns is that they can be dangerous if they are not used properly. There have been a number of incidents where li-ion batteries have caught fire or exploded. This has led to calls for more regulation of these batteries.
Another concern is that, because they are so popular, the demand for lithium-ion batteries is outstripping the supply. This has led to a sharp increase in prices for these batteries. But despite these concerns, lithium-ion batteries are still the best option for electric bikes.
Why do lithium-ion batteries degrade?
Lithium-ion batteries are made up of 3 main parts: anode, cathode, and electrolyte. The anodes are made of carbon, the cathodes are made of metal oxides, and the electrolytes are basically a solution of lithium salts.
When you’re charging the battery, lithium ions move from cathode to anode. This process is reversed when the battery is discharging, and the lithium ions flow from anode to cathode.
Over time, the lithium ions can break down the anode and cathode, causing the battery to lose capacity. Eventually, the battery will need to be replaced. How much time a specific li-ion battery will take to degrade is reflected by its charge cycles.
What are the charge cycles of an e-bike battery?
The best way to determine how long does an e-bike battery last is to see its rated charge cycles. You can do this by consulting the owner’s manual or asking the salesperson/ support staff at the time of purchase.
A charge cycle is simply the process of charging and discharging a battery.
For lithium-ion batteries, one charge cycle is defined as the discharge of 100% of the battery’s capacity. So, for example, if you have a battery with a capacity of 10Ah, one charge cycle would be a full discharge of 10Ah.
Most lithium-ion batteries can withstand hundreds of charge cycles before beginning to degrade. This is one of the reasons why they’re so popular in portable electronics. At Engwe, our e-bike batteries are rated at 1,000 charge cycles!
What is the battery management system?
The battery management system (BMS) is a critical component of any lithium-ion battery. It ensures that the battery is properly charged and discharged, and that it doesn’t overheat or catch fire.
The BMS mainly protects the battery from being overcharged or damaged by excessive discharge. Without a BMS, a li-ion battery would be far less safe and reliable.
How to prolong the life of an e-bike battery?
Lithium-ion batteries are the future of transportation. They power electric bikes, cars, and even some public transit systems. They’re efficient, clean, and reliable. But, as we mentioned earlier, there’s one huge downside to these batteries: they are easily damaged and degraded.
Luckily, there are quite a few simple tips that can help extend the life of your lithium-ion e-bike battery and keep it working properly for many years ahead. Let’s see what they are
Don't overcharge your e-bike battery
One of the most common ways to damage a lithium-ion battery is by overcharging it. Lithium-ion batteries don’t need to be charged to 100% to work properly, so there’s no need to push it.
When you overcharge a battery, you put stress on the cells and shorten the lifespan of the battery. So don’t charge the battery all the way to 100% and unplug the charger once the battery is topped off to 85-90%.
Never fully discharge a lithium-ion battery
Frequent full discharges of an li-ion battery can lead to permanent damage and shorten the battery’s life. It’s best to keep the battery between 20-85% charged. It’s kind of like a “sweet spot” for li-ion batteries.
So how can you make sure your battery never falls below 20%?
The simplest way is to plug it in when you can (preferably after every trip), and avoid using it until it’s charged to at least 80%. If you must use it while it’s below 20%, be sure to charge it as soon as possible.
Avoid exposure to high temperatures
Lithium-ion batteries are sensitive to high temperatures, so it’s important to avoid exposure to excessive heat, as it can damage the BMS and decrease its overall lifespan.
If possible, avoid using your e-bike during the hottest hours of the day. If you must ride in a hot environment, be sure to stay in cool and ventilated spots as many times as possible.
Store your battery carefully
If you want your lithium-ion batteries to last, it’s important to store them at the correct temperatures.
Li-ion batteries are extremely sensitive to temperature changes, so it’s important to store them close to room temperatures. If the temperature is too hot, the battery could overheat and your BMS can get damaged.
Also, never store a fully drained battery, and make sure it is at least 50% charged.
Never submerge your battery in water
It might be obvious, but let us make it clear.
Even though most lithium-ion batteries on the market are water-resistant, they’re not waterproof. So, yes, they can surely withstand a few splashes here and there… but no battery on the market can withstand a full submersion.
When the battery is submerged in water, the electrolyte that separates the electrodes (anode and cathode) can dissolve, causing the electrodes to short circuit. This can damage the battery and even make it unsafe to use.
So if you’re caught in a rainstorm or accidentally go through a deep puddle, be sure to dry your battery off as soon as possible.
Follow safe charging tips
Always use the charger that came with your e-bike. Other chargers may not be compatible with your battery and could cause damage.
Also, avoid charging your battery in extreme temperatures, as both extreme cold or heat can damage your internal electronics.
Moreover, never leave your battery charging overnight. It’s always recommended to read the literature associated with your e-bike.
When should I replace my e-bike battery?
If you’re like most e-bike riders, you probably don’t think much about your battery until it’s time to replace it.
But when is the right time to replace your e-bike battery? And what are the signs that it’s time for a new one? Well, here are a few things to keep in mind.
First, your charge cycles indicate how long your e-bike battery will last. An important thing to keep in mind is that if you charge a battery rated at 1,000 cycles to 50%, it counts as half cycle, and your battery will be good for 2,000 such charges.
Second, you’ll know it’s time to replace your battery when it doesn’t hold a charge as well as it used to. If you notice that your battery is losing power more quickly than it used to, it’s probably time for a new one.
Finally, keep an eye out for physical damage to your battery. If you see cracks, fissures, or any other damage, it’s time to replace the battery. If you’re still not sure, the best thing to do is to consult with a mechanic or the support team of your e-bike manufacturer.
With this, we’ll end this blog. If you take the precautions we mentioned above, you can help keep your e-bike battery healthy and can prolong its lifespan. We hope it was an informative read!