Whenever you are ready for an excursion, you want your ebike to be in peak condition, ready to go. Battery charging, and care and maintenance of the battery, is an essential part of ebike ownership. You should ensure that you especially look after this part of the collective vital equipment on the cycle.
How Do I Look After My Ebike Battery?
Fully Charge the Battery
Start the way you mean to continue, from the very first day of ownership of your new ebike. Before you take the ebike out for the first time, fully charge the battery.
Starting a journey with a fully charged battery will give you a better initial idea of the range your ebike will have. Experiment with the assist settings; low, medium, high, depending on your physical ability and the terrain you are negotiating. You want to quickly learn how far you can travel without a recharge, e.g., can you commute to work and back, one day, two days, or more without worry about a drained battery. This is vital information especially if you live in a hilly region. You don’t want to inadvertently have to pedal cycle all the way home, up and down hills, without power, because you miscalculated and the battery is flat. An ebike is a bicycle with power to assist. Without that power to assist though, it is a bicycle that is more difficult to pedal due to the extra weight of the motor and battery pack. It makes sense then to ensure that you always have enough charge in your battery to get you home!
If possible, charge the battery after every excursion, the battery does not have to be drained to be put on charge. Lithium-Ion batteries are the same type as you have in your mobile phone, so recharge the battery before it runs out, just as you would your phone. This way you always have enough juice readily available to get you where you want to go, and back again.
Can I Charge an Ebike Battery When It is Hot or Cold?
Moderate temperatures are best. Avoid extremes of temperature when charging your battery. Charge the battery indoors if you can, rather than in a freezing cold garage when the thermometer dips below zero. Batteries don’t deal with extremes well; this includes extremes of heat as well as cold. Ideally, charging in a temperature of between 50 to 70-degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 21-degrees Celsius) would be best.
How Long Can I Leave My Ebike Battery on Charge?
Modern battery chargers have a cut out that will stop the charging cycle when the battery is fully charged. If you leave the charger on for days though, the battery will drop a little charge, then the charger will restart, and it will continue stopping and starting this way until you disconnect the charger. This is not good for the battery. Disconnect when the battery is fully charged, or disconnect in the morning if you are charging the battery overnight.
Don’t Leave a Drained Battery for a Lengthy Period
If you need to store your ebike away for a period of time, e.g., over winter, or if you are taking a long vacation, then charge the battery before you go, or leave it in storage with at least 80 percent of charge. This way the battery should still retain some charge over the time it is stored, though if possible, it may be prudent to give it a top up charge once a month, to ensure the battery will keep its efficiency when it comes time to use your ebike once more.
If your ebike is stored where the heat or cold of the climate can affect it, then store the battery off the ebike somewhere it can be kept at room temperature, and free from moisture.
Storing your ebike and battery in winter
Do Ebike Batteries Fade After Time?
Following the points above will ensure your ebike battery will stay efficient and effective for the longest period. Batteries do though lose efficiency after time. Over the course of a few years of ownership you will begin to notice that your fully charged battery will no longer take you quite as far as it used to. This is unfortunately the way the life of a lithium-Ion battery will go. Constant charge and recharge eventually wear out the cells and sooner or later you will have to think about replacing the whole battery pack.
How Do I Lengthen the Life of My Ebike Battery?
The more maintained your ebike, the smoother it will be to ride, and this lessens the strain on the motor and battery. A poorly maintained ebike will create friction on the moving parts due to poor cleaning and lubrication. This in turn forces the battery to work harder, straining the battery, and this will affect the range and the smoothness of the ride. Ensuring the tires are in good condition and inflated to the recommended pressure is part of ebike maintenance. Soft tires force the motor to work harder to move the bike, therefore draining the battery quicker, which will shorten the range you can travel. An ebike that is serviced regularly will not only ensure that your ebike is safe and every part is working as it should. It also lengthens the life of the battery.
If you live in a cooler climate, a battery protective cover may be a sound investment. A cover will keep your battery pack clean, and insulate it from the cold.
For more information on ebike purchasing and use, check out our articles on the pros and cons of ebikes on initial purchase and also the pros and cons of ebikes with regular use.