Most electric bike components are built to last, but even the best component will eventually get worn down so much that you have to replace it. One such part you will have to replace every three to five years is the eBike battery. Even the best electric bikes won’t have batteries that last forever.
There are several reasons why you have to replace the eBike battery eventually. The overall functional lifespan is determined, in part, by how you use and take care of your battery system. So, here are the top reasons why you’ll have to replace your eBike battery sooner or later.
Top Reasons Why eBike Batteries Die or Need to Be Replaced
Battery Capacity Degradation
Lithium-ion batteries offer many performance advantages over the previously used nickel-based batteries. However, one problem shared by all batteries is the degradation of the overall battery lifespan. Every time your battery completes a full charge cycle, it loses a small fraction of its overall battery capacity. While this sliver of capacity loss is tiny, it adds up once you complete hundreds or thousands of full charge cycles.
For the most part, electric bike batteries are rated for how many charge cycles it will take to reduce your battery capacity to 80%. In other words, after you’ve fully depleted and recharged your battery a certain amount of times, your battery will hold 20% less energy compared to the first time you used an eBike battery.
While the total cycles required to degrade a battery vary, it’s typically between 800 to 1,000 full charge cycles. We also want to note that it’s a full charge cycle, something you’ll rarely do with your battery. If you are recharging it from 50% to 100%, it may require 1,500 to 2,000 charge cycles before your battery is reduced to 80% capacity.
You Aren’t Charging Your eBike Battery Properly
When it comes to eBike batteries, how you charge them will significantly determine the overall functional lifespan and how quickly you decrease your energy storage. When you first get a new eBike battery, charge it for 24 hours to clear it of any negative charge that can accumulate in electric bike batteries that aren’t used. If you end up storing your battery or go more than a month without using it, letting it charge for 24 hours to clear the battery out of a false or negative charges is highly recommended.
If you are actively using your eBike battery, try to charge it up daily and avoid letting it drop below 30%. The battery charges easiest within the 30% to 90% range. The first 30% and the last 10% are the most difficult for the battery. Ideally, you would take your charger off once it hits 90%, but for most cyclists, that’s too hard to keep track of.
At the very least, if you want to extend the life of your eBike battery, you will add several months to even a year to its functional lifespan if you turn off the motor once the battery hits 30% rather than letting the battery empty to 0%.
You Aren’t Storing Your eBike Battery Properly
Though designed to work in all climates, electric bike battery’s overall performance and capabilities are impacted in extreme weather conditions. While they can be used for the short term in bitter or hot weather conditions, eBike batteries can be damaged if stored in or frigid or boiling temperatures for more than a couple of hours.
Ideally, you want to store your eBike battery in temperatures between 40 degrees and 90 degrees Fahrenheit (4-32 degrees Celsius). Be sure to avoid storing your eBike battery in open air, damp, or wet environments.
Despite their careful construction, electric batteries are still devices that store electricity and can short out if exposed to water, even if they seem to be fully drained. While many cyclists are careful not to store their batteries in wet environments, they often make the mistake of cycling in the rain and storing their batteries without cleaning them. If your eBike battery gets wet, wipe it down and dry it off by hand with a towel or cloth, then wait at least fifteen minutes before plugging it in to charge or storing it. It is a couple of extra steps, but it will help your eBike battery stay safe for years to come without it breaking or starting a fire.
Your BMS is Damaged or Broken
Every eBike battery has a battery management system (BMS), which performs several different functions. Due to the complexity of the composition of your eBike battery, the BMS helps the battery safely and evenly charge or expel power when connected to a charger or motor. The BMS also makes sure that your battery doesn’t accidentally short or fry your charger or motor and reduces the risk of a fire or blow up if your battery gets damaged.
If your battery stops working for no apparent reason despite having a low number of charging cycles, the BMS has probably failed. Following proper charging techniques, storing your battery in the right environment, and making sure your battery doesn’t suffer heavy physical stress or strain are all ways to make sure that the BMS doesn’t get damaged.
However, sometimes the BMS just fails for no apparent reason. At this point, you should contact the eBike or battery manufacturer to see if your battery can be replaced as part of their warranty coverage.
Conclusion: Take Care of Your Battery to Help it Last Long Term!
Your eBike battery is one of your electric bike’s most critical components since, without it, the motor and many other features won’t work. By taking care of your eBike battery, using correct charging procedures, and storing your battery in the right place, you’ll make the most of it and maybe even exceed its recommended battery lifespan.
This is such an important thing to do when it comes to maintaining your eBike; we even have an article explaining how to make your eBike batteries long term at this link. With just a few simple steps, you’ll make the most of your battery and enjoy using your eBike for years to come without having to upgrade to a new one.
Thank you so much for reading our blog post discussing the functional lifespan of eBike batteries. Be sure to leave a comment below if you have any questions we didn’t answer in our blog post!