E-Bike Batteries: One of the most important aspects of owning an e-bike is ensuring that your bike lasts a long time and gives you years of dependable performance. After all, you’re making a considerable investment and want your e-bike to remain sea-worthy for a long time, cutting back on the number of repairs needed over the bike’s life span.
One key question asked by many new e-bike owners is, “how long do e-bike batteries last?” The best electric bikes come with powerful and well-built battery packs and motors, but a lot can be done on the owner’s part to maximize battery life and help the e-bike run at peak performance for longer.
Under normal circumstances, is there a way to calculate how long your battery pack will last you on the road? Yes, there is a basic calculation that can help you get a rough idea of the battery range. You’ll need to know the volts and amps on your battery.
Generally speaking, you can multiply the number of volts by the number of amps in your battery to get your “watt-hours.” Now divide the “watt hours” number by 20 to get the maximum number of miles your e-bike can give you on a single charge with moderate throttle use. Halve this number to get the distance you can likely go on full throttle.
Let’s say you have a 50 volt 10 amp battery for your e-bike; 50 x 10 will give you 500-watt hours. 500 / 20 gives you 25 miles per charge with moderate throttle use. Now, if you use your e-bike more like a bicycle and use mostly foot power, you can go farther. But a good rule of thumb is to rely more on this calculation to ensure you have plenty of juice to get yourself back home.
As seen above, how many volts your battery supplies impacts how much range you can get out of it. The more volts and amps your battery can supply, the length of a range you’ll get. So going for a stronger, tougher battery will get you the maximum range.
Now, not all e-bikes will be able to fit the largest batteries, so make sure that your e-bike is the correct size to handle the type of battery that you want to insert.
How powerful can an e-bike’s battery get? 48 volt 30 amp batteries are among the highest power level available in a standard e-bike. For example, the Bikonit fat tire electric bike boasts this kind of battery and can get a rider 90 miles on a charge with minimal throttle use and half this distance on throttle alone.
Using the calculation above, the 48-watt 30 amp battery of the Bikonit should get an average of 72 miles per charge, with moderate throttle use, roughly between the 45 and 90-mile mark.
Overcharging your e-bike batteries can decrease battery life in the long term and leave you needing to replace your battery pack sooner. The consensus is that it’s never wise to let your battery drain to below 20% on a ride, and a bad idea to over-charge that same battery. Once your e-bike battery has charged, take it off the charger and let it sit. Over-charging can wear down the battery’s power and leave you with a battery that drains faster than it ordinarily would.
As any smartphone user can tell you, once the battery on the phone is shot, holding a charge or getting through the day can be tough, and the same is true of the e-bike battery. You’ll face frustrating power losses on rides and may have to cut your rides short if your battery life is unhealthy. So make sure that you don’t over-drain the battery, and unplug your e-bike battery as soon as it’s done charging, too.
Clean and Dry
Another thing to consider is where you store your e-bike’s batteries. Batteries like to stay cool and dry; excessive heat can affect your battery’s strength and ability to hold a charge, while excessive water can destroy the battery completely. Keep your battery in a cool, dry place when not in use, and keep it out of direct sunlight, too.
While your e-bike’s battery can handle some wet weather in the form of rain and mist, submersion is a recipe for disaster. Keep your e-bike’s battery away from heat and moisture and in a relatively dark place, and it’ll last you quite a bit longer.
How You Ride
How you ride your e-bike will also impact how long the battery lasts per ride. Relying solely on the throttle will be half the distance your e-bike can travel compared to moderate throttle use. Very light or minimal throttle use (i.e., using mostly your feet to power the e-bike) will increase your distance even further.
Going uphill on the throttle will also drain your battery fairly quickly, as will taking your e-bike over rough or uneven terrain. A heavy load on your e-bike will also drain the battery faster, as your battery now has to carry more weight at the same speed. Letting off the throttle when on flat, even roads, or when going downhill will greatly improve battery life. Using the throttle only when needed or lightly to help you pedal up hills is the most battery-efficient way to use your e-bike. Of course, you can technically use as much throttle as you like on a ride until the battery runs out, but the less often you employ the throttle, the longer your battery will last on a ride.
Several factors can influence how long your battery will last. Using the throttle sparingly, as well as keeping your battery safely and properly charged, can work wonders for improving battery life. If you notice that your battery is struggling to hold a charge and has markedly decreased performance, buying a new battery will likely be your best option for continuing to have longer, quality rides. Eventually, you will likely need a new battery at some point, but understanding how to use your battery can get more life out of your battery in the long run.
About the author:
Trevor Fenner is the founder of Electric Bike Paradise, the #1 online retailer of electric bikes, electric scooters, electric skateboards, mobility scooters, electric wheelchairs, electric golf caddies, solar kits, and trolling motors. Trevor has been selling bicycles, electric bikes, and electric scooters online since 2010 and eventually established Electric Bike Paradise in late 2013 when he happened to meet a car enthusiast that introduced him to electric bikes. Trevor searched for electric bikes online but couldn’t find a website that offered a wide selection of electric bikes, scooters, and informational articles. He started a website where everyone can shop conveniently, browse buying guides, and read educational posts. The website is called Electric Bike Paradise.