Tips for Electric Bike Battery Health
Nothing beats a great ride, and with an e-bike, a fun day can last a lot longer than with pedaling alone- but nothing hurts more than finding your battery is dead as soon as the fun starts.
How can you keep this from happening? Here are a few tips to extend the life of your e-bike battery and protect the most valuable part of your investment.
- Don’t Overcharge Your Battery
It takes some time to charge your battery, especially if the battery is totally dead. Fully charging an empty battery can take between two and six hours depending on the bike so it’s easy to just forget about the battery and let it keep charging.
When you’re charging your battery, keep an eye on it and disconnect the charger from the battery as soon as it’s done. Luckily many newer models, like Espin’s bikes, come with smart chargers that prevent overcharging and short circuits.
- Try Not to Fully Discharge Your Battery
You can also make your battery last longer by not letting it fully discharge very often. Since e-bike batteries are lithium-ion batteries, letting them fully discharge can damage them.
There’s no advantage in waiting until the battery level is low to start charging. In fact, batteries perform best when charged often as it’s less stressful. Although, don’t worry too much if your battery is fully discharged occasionally.
- Use the Manufacturer’s Charger
Another thing you can do to optimize your battery’s health is to use the charger that comes with your electric bike. The manufacturer provides a charger that takes into consideration your battery’s specifications - Espin uses smart chargers to keep their batteries lasting as long as possible.
- Keep Away from Salt
Although a nice bike ride along the beachfront may seem ideal, you might want to think twice. E-bike batteries are made to be resistant to corrosion, but salt is highly corrosive. You may want to avoid it, along with any other salty areas such as freshly salted roads.
However, if you do expose your battery to salt, there are some things you can do to try to limit any damage. First, disconnect your battery and clean it off with a dry rag. Be sure you clean everything, including the connections. After you clean the battery, wipe off your bike with a clean damp cloth, being careful not to get any electronics wet. Also, although you likely keep your bike well lubricated, it’s especially important if you tend to get salt on your bike.
- Avoid Extreme Temperatures
Salt isn’t the only thing you want to avoid with your e-bike. You’ll find your e-bike is sensitive to extreme temperatures as well. So, it’s best not to ride your e-bike if the temperature is below -4 degrees Fahrenheit.
Also, be careful to store your bike somewhere cool and dry. If you don’t have a good place to store your bike, at least remove the battery and keep it safe in your house. Your bike battery needs to be kept in temperature-controlled conditions and kept clean until you need it. A day or two outside will rarely hurt too much, but regularly storing the battery in extreme temperatures can really wear it down.
If you don’t need your battery for a bit, be sure to keep it partially charged. You don’t want to store your battery either fully charged or empty; if you do, the battery could lose capacity or not work at all.
- Transport It Safely
If you’re taking a trip, you may want to take your e-bike with you. It’s a lot of fun riding a bike in new places, and bicycling with your family can be an exciting and memorable experience. It’s also a great way to burn off some of your kids’ excess energy.
But, if you’re going to transport your e-bikes, take care to do it right. Before loading your bikes onto the bike rack, remove the batteries. You wouldn’t want the batteries to fall, and exposing them to adverse weather conditions could damage them as well. So, just take the opportunity to clean off your batteries and keep them safely inside your vehicle, away from any children.
When you’re transporting your e-bike, and there’s a risk of bad weather, make sure to cover your bike to avoid any potential electrical damage. If your e-bIke does get wet, let it dry before you use it again.
- Avoid Water
E-bikes are pretty sturdy, but it’s best not to take needless risks. Water, especially salt water, can cause damage to your bike’s electrical system. Just avoid water when possible. Try not to ride your bike in situations where a large amount of water could enter your bike, such as a wet road where cars could splash water on your bike.
This road water can be particularly dangerous, especially as winter ends because there can be a lot of salt on the road. As it combines with the water, it becomes saltwater which, as we mentioned, can be particularly dangerous.
Take special care to keep your battery dry as it is particularly vulnerable to water. Also, never submerge your battery in liquid, as this could not only damage the battery but also endanger you as well.
- Charge on the “Off” Months Too
It’s recommended you charge the battery at least once every three months if it is not being used for an extended time. Failure to do this can result in in a loss of range per charge when you do start riding again.
Little can ruin a fun day of cycling faster than a dead e-bike battery, and hopefully, now this will never happen to you. Proper maintenance can greatly reduce the chance of sudden battery failure and lengthen the service life of your e-bike battery greatly. So, make sure you take proper care of your battery so it can take care of you.