How to Choose an Electric Bike Battery Pack
How to Choose an Electric Bike Battery Pack
Perhaps the most important (and most expensive!) component of an e-bike is the battery, but it is often overlooked by many first-time buyers. Knowing the basics of batteries is critical to understanding the true speed, range and power capabilities of any new e-bike battery.
In the following guides, you’ll learn what battery types and battery specifications really mean, practical tips for battery charging (including how long it takes to drain and charge), and how to choose the best type of battery pack when shopping for a new electric battery bike.
Learn about battery specifications:
The great thing about electric bike battery specs is that it’s basically just numbers and math. This may sound daunting, but with a basic understanding of volts, amp hours, and watt hours (Wh), you can quickly assess the true performance benefits (power, speed, and range) of any e-bike.
First, let’s clarify the term “battery pack”. We often refer to “battery”, but for e-bikes, it’s actually a BATTERY PACK. The battery pack is a number of smaller battery cells assembled in a specific way to provide the electricity needed to run the e-bike.
Volts – Essentially, a volt is a measure of the “force” that pushes an amp through a system. Higher voltage means more energy density can be moved, or can be moved faster (more volts = more energy being delivered to the motor). 36V batteries are typically used in entry-level, less expensive e-bikes.
Many e-bikes come with larger 48V batteries, which are slightly more expensive. However, HOTEBIKE is the only brand in the $1,700 to $3,000 market that offers a 52V battery for every e-bike in its portfolio. All else being equal, a larger voltage system will provide more torque for quicker starts and more power for higher speeds.
Amp Hours – Amp hour measurements reflect the energy capacity in the battery pack. Technically, it’s a measure of how much current a battery can supply in an hour at available voltage. While volts may affect power and speed, amp-hours will have a bigger impact on the riding range of your e-bike.
Watt Hours – This is a very common specification that refers to the number of watts delivered in an hour. Think of watt hours as the total power delivered over time (you can use more power, rider). To calculate watt hours, multiply by volts x amp hours. For example, a 48V 14Ah battery = 672 watt hours. This is a common specification for many e-bikes on the US market.
For comparison, many electric bikes in the HOTEBIKE series, including electric mountain bikes, electric folding bikes, electric fat tire bikes, and electric scooters, include a large battery. For more information, please feel free to contact our salesman.
Understanding the watt-hours of an e-bike to understand its true riding range potential is crucial. Many e-bikes will advertise inflated range information, but counting watt-hours will help you sort through dishonest marketing claims.
Reputable and higher-performing e-bike brands feature these battery specifications prominently so consumers can see the true power, speed, and range capabilities of the bike. Ultimately, higher voltages, amp hours, and watt hours provide higher speeds, more power, and longer riding range.
So if you’re wondering how long it might take for an e-bike battery to drain, keep an eye on volts, amp-hours (and watt-hours) to find the bike with the most powerful, longest-range battery. Check out our real-world riding range calculation to learn more about how many miles you can ride based on watt-hours
Types of Electric Bike Batteries:
This may be an easier option for most e-bike buyers, since there are really only two main options for e-bike batteries (and one with more advantages): lithium and lead acid. We know there are some other types of e-bike batteries (such as outdated nickel-cadmium batteries), but the major share of mainstream e-bikes in the U.S. market will include one of these two.
Lithium Ion – This is considered a very good e-bike battery because the battery lasts longer and can be recharged thousands of times. They are efficient and compatible with fast chargers, reducing charging time by 50%. About 90 percent of the e-bike market includes lithium batteries, the clear winner due to their efficiency, durability and ability to generate more power.
Lead Acid: Electric bikes with lead acid batteries are not easy to find and have a much smaller share of the market. Yes, they’re cheap and easy to recycle, but they don’t last long and are sensitive to battery mismanagement. Also, they are very heavy, 2-3 times heavier than lithium batteries. Almost all experts agree that lead-acid batteries are a poor choice for e-bikes.
Before going into the most important factors to consider when choosing an e-bike battery, here is a quick overview of battery charging and answers to frequently asked questions about charging an e-bike battery.
All e-bikes should come with a basic battery charger that is compatible with that particular battery.
The charging time depends on the size of the battery and the amperage of the charger.
The more amps, the faster the charge… However, most e-bike battery chargers have a maximum output of 8 amps, as there are significant disadvantages to charging too quickly and drawing too many amps. Charging too quickly can damage the battery, causing premature battery degradation and possibly a fire. Currently, 8-amp chargers are the safest fast chargers. Anything larger is potentially dangerous.
Electric Bike Charger Math: Divide the battery’s amp-hour rating by the charger’s amp rating to give the time it takes for the battery to fully charge (if fully discharged). So it takes about 4.8 hours to charge a 19.2Ah battery with a 4 amp turbo charger. Using an 8-amp fast charger, the same battery takes about 2.5 hours to charge. Here is a great guide to charging times for your HOTEBIKE batteries using different chargers: Battery Range and Charging Time.
All good lithium smart chargers, including all those provided by HOTELBIKE, charge less at the end of a charge cycle to ensure the battery is properly balanced.
It is not recommended to charge your e-bike battery overnight or beyond the full charge point as it inhibits the battery’s charge cycle.
Make sure your e-bike is properly maintained with the tires inflated to the recommended pressure level.
During extended periods of inactivity, it is recommended to store the battery at 50% charge.
Find more advice to improve the lifespan of your e-bike battery in the Charging Resource Guide.
How to choose the right electric bike battery pack:
Because the battery pack is an essential part of an e-bike and will determine the most important performance characteristics of the bike (power, speed and range!), choosing the best battery should be the most important consideration when choosing your next e-bike one.
Some enthusiasts recommend ranking the following strengths in order of personal importance to find the best e-bike battery: weight, safety, price, power. Unfortunately, there is currently no single e-bike battery that offers everything on the list (cheap, safe, lightweight, and powerful), and e-bike buyers need to decide which ones are most important. For example, the cheapest e-bike batteries can be heavy, potentially unsafe, and lack power. A lightweight battery means you need to sacrifice power, speed, and riding range…but if you’re driving short distances, need a little power, and need to walk your bike from the fourth floor, sacrificing power may make the most sense . On the other hand, if you’re looking for an e-bike that can reliably take you on a 30-mile commute,
The best advice we’ve heard is also the easiest: choose the largest e-bike battery you can afford (unless your situation calls for the absolute lightest e-bike). Most first-time buyers complain that their most hated e-bike regret is buying a bike with too little power, range, and/or speed, so when choosing an e-bike, the first thing to understand is how to choose the right battery.
How to Replace Your Electric Bike Battery
The process for replacing an e-bike battery varies from bike to bike.
That’s because e-bikes are designed and built differently, and what works for one brand doesn’t necessarily work for another.
However, here is the typical procedure for changing the battery on an e-bike:
To unlock the battery kit:
This can be done with a key or by unscrewing the bolts that hold the battery case together.
Unplug any wires that may be connected to the battery.
If the battery is held in place by the clip, release the clip to release it.
When carefully removing the battery from the bicycle, support the battery with your hand.
Install the new battery and bolt it in place.
Make sure all clips and anything else holding the old battery are securely reinstalled.
Reconnect all wires and safely close the battery pack.
The Benefits of Replacing Your Electric Bike Battery
Here are some of the benefits you can get with a brand new battery:
New batteries give your e-bike more power.
This is because it ignites the plug better and transfers power faster than older batteries. Most people will always notice a sudden improvement after installing a new battery.
Better plug ignition
With a new battery, you can improve ignition time and provide better power to the entire bike.
This means you’ll never experience any power lag, as sometimes happens with older batteries.
Stable power supply
New batteries are less likely to have small issues that prevent the smooth flow of current.
Take corrosion, internal short circuits, and external shocks, for example. Unlike old batteries, new batteries are less prone to such problems.
Alleviate concerns about sudden failures
You are less likely to worry about battery failure when using a new battery.
One of the most important things when riding an electric bike is peace of mind. Unlike an old battery, a new battery is less likely to limit or inconvenience you.
Buying a battery from an authorized store means you are covered by a warranty.
Warranty promotes quality and reliability. The longer the warranty period, the higher the quality of the product purchased. With a new battery, you can guarantee that if the battery is defective, the supplier will provide a solution for the defect.
Upgrade to the latest technology
Battery manufacturers are constantly working to improve the performance of all types of batteries.
For example, engineers are trying to make batteries with shorter charging times and longer charging times. Replacing the battery means that as long as there are these innovations, you can benefit from them.
Factors Affecting Battery Life
When it comes to batteries, there are many factors that affect their lifespan:
The battery’s capacity rating is based on a specific ambient operating temperature.
Any changes will alter battery life expectancy and performance. A general rule of thumb to keep in mind is that a 15°F increase in temperature from the normal 77°F reduces the expected life of the battery by 50%.
The performance and lifespan of an e-bike battery is largely affected by the type of use it is used for.
If you use it frequently, such as plugging in many accessories, it will shorten its lifespan. The battery drains quickly, which means you have to charge it often.
Vibration on rough roads
Vibrations caused by acceleration inertia and rough roads have serious effects on the electrical and mechanical properties of e-bike batteries. They cause fatigue and can lead to short circuits, where small metal parts come into contact with other battery parts.
If you’re only riding an e-bike for very short trips, the battery may never be fully charged, which can wear it out quickly. It can also cause accidental damage. Short and fast travel is known to accelerate battery degradation.
A typical e-bike battery lasts 3 to 5 years before becoming very unreliable. Sometimes, it may not last more than 2 years. If you start experiencing battery problems after 2 or 3 years of use, your battery may be nearing the end of its life cycle.
A battery’s ability to deliver and store electricity slowly declines over time due to its chemical composition. Even with proper maintenance and use, you will still need to replace the battery after a period of use.
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