Electric bike battery care - 5 helpful tips
Our five general pointers will help you get the most out of your e-bike battery. The aim here is to get the best range from your e-bike on one charge and ensure its life is prolonged. Whilst our five tips can be applied across the board, we’d encourage you to read the documentation provided with your e-bike to be aware of the exact guidance.
1. Charging your e-bike battery
Whether charging directly on your e-bike or removing the battery to port on a dock, e-bikes are simple to bring back to life, and often quick too! It’s not unusual to see 100% charge times of around 2-3 hours. And if speed is a consideration (a quick charge at a meeting across town for example) some e-bike systems, like Bosch, offer various chargers for different situations.
These days lithium-ion batteries you find in e-bikes can be charged any time, regardless of their charge levels. Discharging the battery before re-charging completely isn’t required, great if you need to give your bike a quick top-up before hitting the road.
The longevity of batteries is also worth mentioning. Shimano says their e-bike batteries will pass 1,000 charge cycles with no significant loss in power, whilst Bosch state their batteries will allow you to circumnavigate the globe 1 ½ times – that’s over 37,000 miles!
And of course, it goes without saying, only use chargers that are compatible with their respective batteries.
2. Remove your battery when cleaning
Is your electric bike looking a bit grubby? Before getting busy with a bucket of water and a sponge remove the battery. And if you’re using a hose or pressure washer don’t aim it at the electrical contact points. A gentle wipe of the plug pins with an e-bike friendly cleaning solution will prevent any corrosion or build-up helping your battery transfer power to your e-bike’s motor.
3. Maintain your bike
Much like non-electric bikes, electric bikes need to be maintained correctly to help them perform to their best. Here are a few helpful pointers…
- Keep your e-bike’s tyres inflated to the recommended pressures. Run them at low pressures and you’ll increase rolling resistance, your bike’s motor will work harder and your battery will drain faster.
- Utilising your e-bike’s gears correctly will help the motor perform efficiently. So do keep your gears well-indexed, free of rubbing and watch out for shifting recommendations on your on-board computer.
- Reduce the total weight of you, the bike and your luggage where possible. If you don’t need to carry your bike lock on every ride, leave it home.
4. Pay attention to battery storage recommendations
Like humans, e-bike batteries prefer goldilocks temperatures – not too hot, not too cold. Storing your battery in a dry environment at room temperature will put less stress on its cells, helping it perform more efficiently and last longer. Try to avoid direct sunlight too – park your e-bike in the shade if you can.
If your bike is in a shed or garage over winter, or if you’re not planning to ride for an extended period of time it is recommended that e-bike batteries are put away with 30-60% charge – not full, not completely empty.
5. Transport safely
When transporting the bike by car, always remove the battery from the bike and transport this elsewhere safely. Removing the battery creates more room for bike racks clamps whilst also reducing the overall carry weight. Do make sure that you clip your battery back into position securely before you ride though won’t you!
At the time of writing, taking an e-bike battery on a plane is forbidden by IATA the International Air Transport Association. In some countries, it’s possible to rent batteries for the period of your stay, that way you can take your e-bike and leave your battery at home.
There we have it, our five top tips to care for your electric bike battery. Ready for more? Our other guides, an introduction to electric bikes and electric bike motors explained might be up your street. Until next time.