4 Tips For Taking Care Of Your Ebike Battery

Good habits to extend battery life.

Rad Power battery
Replacing an ebike battery isn’t cheap, so take good care of yours.Jeff Allen

Ebike battery care is vitally important. The battery’s health has a tremendous impact on performance, for one thing. And for another, typical replacement cost is $600 or more, so you want your battery to last as long as possible.

Mind Your Charge Level

All lithium-ion batteries begin to die immediately after they are born. Most manufacturers give a warranty period specifically for the battery, usually stated as X number of charge cycles (usually around 500 to 1,000). One cycle is counted as charging the battery from 0 percent to 100 percent. If you use 25 percent of the battery’s capacity, then recharge to 100 percent, you can do this three more times before reaching one full charge cycle.

To maximize battery life, you actually want to avoid this scenario since charging to 100 percent stresses the battery. It is better to charge to 85 percent if you know you don't need a full battery. (Pro tip: Chargers are less expensive and last much longer. If you're considering the purchase of a second battery to keep at the office, buy a second charger instead.)

The same is true for discharging. If you can avoid going all the way to zero, your battery will be much happier. Think of it like being hungry: Don’t wait until you are starving to eat; and when you do eat, don’t fill up to the point of not being able to eat anymore.

The food analogy applies to quick chargers as well. You can eat your food at a steady rate or you can inhale it. Both make you full, but one is a lot easier on the body. The exception is a speed charger that steps. The first 50 percent of a quick charge doesn’t stress the battery much—it’s the last 50 percent that needs to be eased into. While most bikes offer on-the-bike charging, it is good to remove the battery from the bike at least once a month to check the connections. Water, sweat, and general gunk can all potentially cause poor connections and corrosion.

Light Timer
Use a light timer to cut off charging around 85 percent of capacity.Amazon

Get a Light Timer

We all have better things to do than to sit and watch a battery charge just so we can pull the plug at 80 to 90 percent, so get yourself a light timer and set it for one to two hours. Most batteries will hit 80 percent within this time.

If you do have a long ride day in store or plan to explore, go ahead and do a full charge. If possible, do this as close to the ride as possible, which reduces battery stress by not having the cells sit at full capacity for an extended period.

Thermometers
Storing at temperatures higher than 85 degrees or lower than 45 can be bad for your ebike battery.Shutterstock

Do Not Store in Extreme Temperatures

If you’re storing the bike for a few months, a 40 to 70 percent charge is ideal. Check the battery at the beginning of every month. If the battery drops to 20 percent or lower, give it a booster charge to return to the 40 to 70 percent range.

Storage should also be done in a dry space between 45 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything above or below is considered extreme, and not healthy for battery chemistry. This is why it is important not to leave your battery in the car. Even with the ambient temperature being 60 degrees, the inside of your car can exceed these limits in 20 to 30 minutes in direct sunlight. If you can’t take it inside with you, lock it back onto the bike. This will keep it secure and cooler than inside the car.

When transporting the bike on a rack, do not leave the battery on the bike—batteries don’t like being dropped. It’s not common, but a large enough bump in the road and a poor bike/battery connection can send that expensive battery bouncing down the road. This can break any one of the many soldered connections between the cells.

HYB SLAMR Manuel Sulze
Your battery will thank you for reserving boost mode for your hardest efforts.Ghost Bikes

Back Off of Boost Mode

The way you ride the bike also affects battery life. Like running your car to redline all the time, using boost mode and/or throttle puts more load on the battery than eco mode. That being said, I’ll be the first to admit I love boost mode. So if you like it, use it. Just know your buddy riding in eco all the time will get a little more out of the battery.

Keep in mind you can do all or none of the above. The bike will still work fine, but the battery won’t live as long. As time goes on, battery management systems (often referred to as BMS) and smart chargers get better and better, allowing you to be more carefree with the battery. Keep an eye on the thermometer though. The best BMS in the world won’t keep a battery from frying in a 140-degree car.