E-Bikes 101 (#3): The Do’s & Do Not’s of Battery Maintenance

Hello! Welcome to E-Bikes 101: Electric Bike School, module article 3!  In our last article, we ran through how a battery works, educated you on battery terminology, determining battery capacity, and how this all applies to e-bikes.  Today, we will continue the talk on batteries, but this module will focus on how to properly maintain your battery.

Without the battery, your motor will have no source supplying power to it, and you will be left with an electric bike downgraded to a regular bicycle!

We understand that rechargeable batteries do not last forever.  The longer you use them, and the more wear you put onto your battery, the shorter the duration before you need to recharge.  We are here to offer some helpful tips for STORAGE, HOW TO CHARGE PROPERLY, AND MAINTENANCE, so you get the maximum longevity on your battery!

MAINTENANCE:

- Keep your tires inflated, your brakes tuned, and your gears smooth to shift.  A regularly maintained bike in good condition means less work for the battery and motor to overcome.  This means that you save on power and enjoy your ride longer.

- Riding in EXTREME HOT OR COLD temperatures are bad for the battery, and is dangerous - especially when the battery is holding a full charge.  There are battery covers to help mitigate this, to help keep your battery at a safer temperature, but when living in Canadian prairies succeptible to high wind-chill arctic winter fronts, or in very hot areas prone to high humidex warnings, the climate alone can strain your battery.  In these areas, climate is king!  We will cover battery storage later in this module to help you prepare for the elements.

- There have been conflicting views on whether you should completely drain a battery every time you ride. We strongly believe that it is okay to initially gauge how long you have for a battery charge, from a NEW battery, by using about 75% of the charge, ONCE.  We do not believe in constant, repeated battery draining, as you are putting a lot more strain on the battery.  

- Batteries usually are easy to take off the ebike, as they are usually located on the frame.  They are sometimes held with pins or tiny screws, that are easily removeable. (If they are, be sure not to lose them!) 

STORAGE

- DO NOT store a battery where ambient temperature is under 12C or higher than 40C.

- Lithium Ion batteries like temperatures that humans like - ideal around 18C but can operate between -30C and +45C. Just don't store them at the extreme temperatures. If they need to be stored, it is recommended to bring the battery indoors where the ambient temperature is near ideal. We recommend you store at approximately 50-60% charge capacity. Store a battery in a safe environment where the temperature NEUTRAL, away from harsh weather elements, or areas where there might be leaking or moisture.

- If you are storing a battery over the winter, do NOT forget to recharge the battery at least once every couple of months or so. Batteries could lose a little bit of their charge even when not in use. 

- The BATTERY CHARGER should also be maintained and stored properly, in a similar fashion to the batteries.  Do not get any moisture or liquid on the charger.  Please leave the charger in a dry area.

CHARGE TECHNIQUES

- Plug your charger into the wall first before plugging the charger into the battery.  This technique will help you better read the integrity of your charger before charging a battery, (electric chargers may have lights or indicators prompting that they are on and functional), and is helpful in preventing accidental electric surges. It also ensures a smooth connection between the charger connector plug and the battery. The voltage difference between a fully discharged battery and charger(that is plugged to the wall) is much, much lesser than the voltage difference between them when the charger is disconnected from the wall.

- It is not recommended to immediately charge a battery after an exhaustive/demanding ride. After any exertion from the battery, it heats up slightly and adding extra charge to a heated battery will cause the battery to heat further, and lead to long-term problems.

- Do not forget about the battery! Most smart chargers and BMS on the battery protect the battery from overcharging. However, for safety, it is recommended not to leave batteries connected to the charger unattended. 

Thank you for reading this module for E-Bikes 101: Electric Bike School!  If there are any questions related to you battery, we would love to hear from you and help in any way we can!

In the next module, we will be looking at frame styles of electric bicycles, and go through the pros and cons of folding bikes, fatbikes, and cruisers, to help you determine what style fits your needs the most!

Class dismissed!

 

About Robert Bryn Mann:

Robert Bryn Mann is a Customer Content Specialist at Biktrix. A professional writer, he is happy to be working with a company that shares his passion for greener transportation options. When he is not working with Biktrix, he is writing stand-up material and scripts for film and TV.


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