How long do eBike batteries last? Let’s find out! eBikes have changed the way we get where we need to be. eBikes have been around for over a hundred years but two big advances in technology, modern engineering, and batteries, have turned previously clunky and expensive eBikes into affordable and easy-to-use modes of transportation.
Your engine might give you the boost and assistance you expect from an eBike, but the real magic is in the batteries. If you plan to purchase or have just purchased your first eBike you’ll have plenty of questions on this critical component and how to best take care of your eBike’s battery for the best ride.
Let’s get the lowdown on eBike batteries including how they long they last, how to maintain them, and other need to know points on batteries. Your eBike’s engine can help you go places you’d never thought you’d go on a bike, but only when the battery is charged and ready to go.
How Long Do eBike Batteries Last?
eBike Battery Basics
The majority of modern eBikes are powered by lithium ion (LI) batteries. If that sounds familiar, it’s because many of the modern devices at your fingertips right now including cellphones, tablets, and laptops also use LI batteries
Different eBikes are outfitted with different styles and powers of battery. Heavier bikes that are meant for greater distances will have larger and more powerful batteries while eBikes intended for zipping around the neighborhood will have smaller batteries. Unless you’re building a custom eBike yourself, any eBike orders will come with an appropriate battery.
How Long to Charge eBike Battery?
- The First Charge – Charging your eBike battery correctly the first time could have an impact on the lifetime ability of your battery to hold a charge. While the individual eBike will have instructions on the first charge it’s recommended to plug it in and not touch it until 100% the first time.
- Partial Charges – Partial charges are a LI battery’s best friend. LI batteries don’t like to be completely drained, but they also don’t like to remain fully charged.
- Full Charges – Most LI eBike batteries can be charged from empty to full in approximately three to six hours. The larger and more powerful the battery, the longer it will take to fully charge. It’s not recommended to always charge your battery to 100%, but we’ll get into that later.
Are eBike Batteries Interchangeable?
- Different Power Needs – There’s no universal eBike or universal eBike battery. eBikes are manufactured to different power needs and specifications so while one eBike uses this many volts and this many amps, another bike from the same manufacturer might use more or less. There are generic versions of eBike batteries that can be used interchangeably but only if they fit the exact needs of your bike and work with your bike’s manufacturer.
- Proprietary Materials – You might find a cheaper generic version of your eBike’s battery that has the same power needs but still won’t work on your eBike thanks to proprietary technology. eBike companies prefer you use their technology exclusively, so they have designed proprietary charging and battery designs that only accept branded batteries.
Are eBike Batteries Interchangeable?
An eBike battery has a life cycle. While all eBike batteries will eventually wear out and need replacement, there are some tips to get months and possibly years more from your battery. Always follow these battery tips for the longest possible life:
- Avoid letting your battery drain completely. Keeping a power reserve of around 20% is ideal for battery life.
- Don’t charge directly after riding. A hot battery wears out sooner and charging creates additional heat that can quickly wear down your battery’s usable life. Wait until your battery has cooled after a ride to charge.
- Sitting at 100% charge is not recommended – A battery sitting on the charger at 100% creates a lot of heat that is no good for the battery’s life. Batteries won’t instantly die if they sit at 100%, but you should not leave a battery on the charger for extended periods of time once it’s charge to capacity.
- Keep the battery cool – A cool battery is a happy battery. Store your bike in an area that doesn’t get too hot or cold, like an insulated shed or garage, and always avoid storing your battery in direct light.
How to Connect eBike Battery
Every eBike is different and some batteries will be more complex to connect than others. Follow all instructions in your eBike’s manual to connect the battery and call the eBike’s customer service line if you need help.
Can You Ride an eBike Without the Battery?
Without a battery an eBike becomes a bike, except with an unusable engine. You can ride an eBike without the battery but because eBikes are bulkier and heavier than traditional bikes, you could have trouble on hills and long rides. It’s recommended you bring a spare battery on eBike trips in case you need it.
How to Repair eBike Battery
Unless you have firsthand experience in electrical schematics and wiring, repairing eBike batteries is not recommended. DIY battery repairs can result in injury and could compromise your bike’s warranty. eBike batteries last anywhere from 300 to 500 cycles but when they’re done – it’s easiest and safest to replace the battery. Contact your eBike distributor for availability.
Get Charged and Get Riding
The modern eBike battery is powerful, charges quickly, and can last much longer if you charge carefully and keep it from overheating. Always read your eBike’s instruction manual for information on the battery and if you’re stuck, call your eBike’s customer service line. Your eBike’s batteries are the true heroes of your bike adventure – take care of them.