What is the Best Type of Electric Bike Battery
You might agree that most of us are looking for an inexpensive, reliable, and powerful e-bike to ride on Sundays or even commute to work. It’s no secret that these types of e-bikes have completely taken over the market. Electric bikes are a reliable, environmentally friendly and fun alternative to other modes of transportation.
If you’ve decided it’s time to buy a new e-bike from the store, understanding the performance of your e-bike battery is essential to picking the right e-bike for you. The e-bike battery is one of the most important elements in the entire e-bike machine. The battery powers your ride. Without a battery, an e-bike becomes just another regular bike.
Would you like to learn more about electric bike batteries? You’ve come to the right place, keep reading.
How long will an electric bike battery last?
Or another way to ask the question – how long can an electric bike go on a single charge?
This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on the power granted to your e-bike (usually 24v, 36v and 48v), the power of the motor (limited to 250W or 500W in most parts of the world). Or up to 750W in the US. It also depends on your riding habits and of course the energy management system on an e-bike.
One of the most dynamic options is the energy management system, which reduces or increases the amount of electric assist you get while riding. Remember that almost all e-bikes have their own energy management system. This is essentially a feature that lets you control or adjust the level of electric assist.
Same battery, two different scenarios
In fact, the exact same energy management system will determine the battery life of a new e-bike. Fundamentally, the system allows you to choose between prioritizing battery life. Thereby reducing assist or full power mode, which will help you at full speed, but also significantly reduce battery life.
Let’s consider a few examples:
Case A: Let’s say you’re in the UK and generally use an e-bike for a light-hearted ride, which means you don’t pedal as much. Essentially, you will be fully assisted throughout your journey. In this case, with the limited 250 W and 36V motor, you can expect battery life to be between 15-25 miles.
Case B: You want to stay fit, burn some calories, and use an assist device on your e-bike to help you do half of your trip. Assuming you’re using the assist when going uphill, you can easily charge between 25-35 miles. Of course, this electric bike uses a 250 W and 36 V motor. You can only go uphill with electric assist.
In general, e-bike riders expect between 25 and 70 miles of battery life on a single battery cycle. 15-25 miles for the most demanding riders who need a lot of electric assist, and 70 miles for riders who don’t like that much assist.
How should I care for my battery?
There are a few habits you can take after every ride to extend the life of your battery and make sure your battery is in top condition and ready for every ride. It is very similar to the batteries of other devices like smartphones or laptops.
Let’s take a look at how to take care of your electric bike’s battery:
The first step is to make sure the battery is clamped tightly to the frame. You need to lock it completely for the battery to work properly and to prevent it from slipping out while riding.
Every time you want to clean your e-bike, remove and remove the battery before cleaning to avoid damage and prolong battery life.
After every ride, short or long. You must always charge it to its highest point to ensure peak performance on your next ride.
Lithium batteries usually have the best lifespan when they are kept fully charged at all times. Unlike waiting for a full discharge to recharge, keeping it charged all the time (no matter how long you ride) doesn’t detract from its ability to stay charged.
Avoid water and moisture, but if you do, try to dry each component to prevent oxidation and corrosion of some contacts and electrical parts.
Have you heard that overheating kills the battery? That’s right, it’s the same history as your next e-bike battery. When a battery warms up, its cells reduce its resistance, so your battery will discharge faster and reduce its performance.
If you’re traveling in a car and want to take your e-bike with you, it’s a good idea to remove the battery and store it in the car. So you can basically throw your e-bike on your rack and keep your battery safe and sound.
ALSO READ: What’s the best way to store an electric bike? – in the text. Also, how to prepare an electric bike for winter? – in the text.
Should I fully drain the battery before charging?
One of the most common questions in the e-bike community, but also one of the easiest answer too.
As we have briefly mentioned above, the best way to preserve your battery life is by holding it with a full charge between rides. Lithium cells are best when they are kept on a full charge, as constantly and completely discharging greatly reduces their ability to hold full charges. The general rule is never getting your battery life down to 30%.
However, it doesn’t mean that if you run out of battery your lithium cell will immediately decrease its longevity. It’s even recommended to fully discharge your battery once a year or so.
Types of e-bike batteries: which is the best?
As you can tell, there are a bunch of different types of batteries for your next e-bike. Some of them are different and less commonly found than lithium batteries. Lithium batteries have taken the market as the best batteries all-round.
Let’s take a look at various types of batteries:
Nickel-cadmium (NiCd) batteries
These are some of the worst batteries you can get; simply by the fact, they are no longer a good choice. Yes, they do last longer than many other options you are going to see further on this list. However, they are rapidly becoming a technology of the past due to their expensive nature and difficulty to recycle.
Both components – nickel and cadmium, are really expensive and nasty pollutants that are also pretty hard to recycle.
Nickel-metal hydride (NiMh) batteries
These types of batteries are more efficient than the nickel-cadmium ones, but as expected they are more expensive. Even though these batteries are expensive, they are becoming a rarity due to lithium’s success from the past years. Such batteries are cheaper and offer better performance.
The improvement vs nickel-cadmium is insignificant, but what makes it better is the fact they last longer and are easier to recycle properly.
Lead Acid Batteries (SLA)
These are the cheapest on the list and the easiest to replace and dispose of. However, they are also the most sensitive and fragile batteries on the list because they don’t last as long. If you’re pretending to get a serious vehicle, they’re not reliable at all.
They are typically used on low-quality e-bikes and recreational riders.
In comparison, they are at least 2-4 times heavier than nickel and lithium batteries. These batteries also have half the lifespan of nickel or lithium batteries.
There are many reasons why lithium batteries completely dominate the market. They are lighter while also delivering double the power. On the other hand, they require top-notch safety procedures to prevent them from self-destructing or even catching fire. However, you don’t have to worry because the latest technology trends and high-quality manufacturers have addressed these safety concerns.
Almost 90% of e-bikes work with lithium-ion batteries. That doesn’t mean they’re cheaper, as lithium-ion batteries are the most expensive on this list.
Lithium-ion (Li-pol) batteries
A new trend in e-bike sports technology, delivering outstanding performance in terms of range, weight and price. However, these batteries are no better than traditional lithium batteries. They just don’t have free fluid. That means these batteries don’t need to be protected by a heavy casing, and they can be molded into many different shapes.
Lithium Cobalt (LCO) Batteries
Lithium batteries dominate the market because they provide solutions to various needs. Take this variant of the lithium-ion battery, for example. It claims to generate a higher density of energy in a smaller area. Therefore, it provides a compact, lighter and powerful battery pack.
Lithium Manganese (LiMg204) Batteries
The most advanced batteries on the market today are probably the exact same ones you’d find in a hybrid car like the Nissan Leaf. It is the best performer overall. This is the official battery for the Nissan Leaf, isn’t it? This type of battery produces more power and lasts longer, but obviously, it costs more than traditional lithium batteries.
To sum it up in a few words: Which e-bike battery should I buy?
At the end of the day, it all comes down to taste and budget.
It doesn’t matter which one you choose from the list above, what really matters is choosing a lithium battery that has proven to be the best performer overall and has an excellent value for the price.
If you are looking for a new way of commuting or want a healthier lifestyle, we are here to help you. Visit our website to learn more about electric bikes and electric scooter or please leave information to us.