Updated on March 14, 2023
How to Charge an Electric Bike: Important Tips and Tricks
If you own an e-bike, you most probably would know the struggle that goes into buying and charging the electric bike. Although charging it is an easy task in itself, the safety precautions you need to follow can be puzzling. As a cyclist, I was always in search of some tricks which could help me in prolonging my bike’s battery life.
After much research, I can say that every simple thing counts, including the time it takes to charge, storage space, charging process, safety precautions, and much more. If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry as I have brought together this guide on how to charge an electric bike, along with some tips and tricks to increase its life. So, dive right in for more.
What Charging Equipment do You Need for the Process?
First of all, to begin the process, it is always significant that you have complete knowledge of the things to be used. Although it depends on the individual design of the bike, the basic parameters remain somewhat similar. When it comes to e-bikes, here are some things you will need for a smooth process;
- First, go buy a battery and make sure it comes in a pack.
- Next, buy some battery bay as they will help you to connect the bike to the battery.
- Thirdly, you would need at least two chargers with a proper slot supply. (make sure these have two slots).
- Finally, buy two cables as they will be used to connect to the power slots.
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How to Charge an Electric Bike?
Here are some simple steps you can follow to charge an electric bike;
- First of all, remove the battery from the package.
- Now, turn the power switch off and connect your charger to the battery pack.
- Once you are done, connect your charger with the battery pack you got from the manufacturer.
- After this, plug the charger that is included in the bike pack, into the main power outlet.
- Now, turn on the power supply to start the process. Make sure that the battery is not left to be charged for twelve hours and is not left unattended during the process. Similarly, always use the outlet that produces safe electricity and is not prone to power outages.
- It is equally important to note that some bikes also come with their own set of batteries on the bike. So, you can charge the battery while placing it onto the bike.
When to Charge an E-Bike Battery?
While many people wonder when to charge an e-bike battery. Well, to answer your question, most e-bikes come with light indicators that help you in figuring out when is the right time to charge the battery. So when it turns red, the battery needs charging and the green light indicates that the charging is done. All in all, make sure you are following the proper time for charging, as given by the specific brand. Also, never charge your bike after every ride as it can weaken its power.
How Long Should You Charge?
The approximate time an average e-bike battery can take for charging is between two and seven hours. However, it is equally important to consider the recharge rate. For instance, if it takes two hours for your battery to charge for a 30-mile distance, it will have a recharge rate of 15 miles per hour. On the contrary, if it takes you at least four hours to charge it and has a 100-mile distance capacity, it can have a recharge rate of 25 miles per hour. Hence, go for the one that suits your individual requirements well.
How Often Should You Charge the Battery?
It is also recommended to charge your e-bike battery on a regular basis. If you are using electric bikes, it is ideal that you do not drain out or empty the battery before charging each time. When it comes to the majority of e-bikes, these alternatives come with lithium-ion batteries that are really powerful and safe. However, with this, it is understandable that these will consume more battery which will require you to charge it regularly.
Here, I would advise you to not let the battery die and keep it in between 20-60%. This will help you in prolonging the life of your battery. This will further allow the battery to retain its life cycle for the most part. Hence, all in all, it depends on the length of the terrain you are using it for and the specific model of the bike. Yet, never forget to empty the battery tank once.
Always Avoid Temperature Extremes?
In addition, it is equally significant for you to maintain the battery’s optimal temperature as any electric equipment when heated up, can easily result in overheating and power breakage. Here, it is not only important while riding the bike but also when you are keeping it in storage for a longer period. For this purpose, whenever you are riding the bike, make sure you take simple gaps and give it time to cool the battery down.
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All in all, it is advised to always keep the battery temperature within 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. For this, you can also invest in a quality stabilizer. However, if maintaining the temperature is an issue for you, just make sure that the battery is stored and charged below 110 degrees. Also, don’t overcharge the battery as it can result in weakening the battery.
How Much Does it Cost to Charge an E-Bike?
Well, the cost of charging an e-bike comes down to the specific size of the battery and the cost of electricity in the area you are living in. For average batteries, if you are using a 10-amp setup, it can cost you at most $0.12 per kWh. Hence, with simple calculations, it can cost you around $0.002 per mile which is considerably cheap and doesn’t demand you to invest much money.
Can I Charge the Battery While Pedaling?
Some modern e-bikes come with a function that allows you to charge the battery even when you are pedaling the bike. Usually, it comes in a way that whenever you use the brakes, it charges the battery and increases its range up to 5-10 %. Yet, it is equally important to note that it can eventually increase the cost of charging as it keeps going on whenever you pedal. If you are seriously concerned about the life of the battery, I would advise you to invest in a backup setup.
How Long Does an Average E-Bike Battery Last?
Well, it largely depends on the model you are using but an average battery can complete a total of 500 full charges before it loses 80% of its life. All in all, most e-bike batteries also come with 1200 full cycles which is great and can last you between 10,000 and 30,000 miles easily. Similarly, if you are using high-end brands like Samsung or Panasonic, the batteries can easily last up to 1000 full charges which at least makes up to two years of constant use.
Never Overcharge the Battery
While you have bought a brand new charge from the package, it is understandable that charging will take you a long time. However, after this, for every charge, it will take really short and the battery will be fully charged in no time. Hence, it is absolutely important that you schedule your charges and make sure it doesn’t overcharge, resulting in power outages and weakening of the battery.
For this purpose, I would advise you to keep it under 2 to 7 hours as most e-bike batteries fully charge in this interval. If you think that overcharging cannot do any damage, it is absolutely not the case as, in the longer run, it can easily decrease its charging capacity. Hence, it would require you to recharge the battery over and over repeatedly. It can also decrease the battery capacity up to 5%, which would only lead to charging the battery at around 95%.
Is the E-Bike Battery Replaceable?
Yes, you certainly can replace the e-bike battery anytime, based on your personal liking. The structure or frame of the e-bike is designed in a way that allows you to remove the battery for a convenient charging process. It can also allow you to use a spare or backup battery in order to prolong the charging life.
Never Store an Empty E-Bike Battery
Last but not least, it is advised by the manufacturers that never store an empty e-bike battery as it can result in making it difficult for the battery to charge again. If you are going for a long trip and keeping your battery in storage, make sure you at least have 30% battery remaining in your e-bike. The maximum percentage of battery you can keep is 70% as it can help you in maintaining the overall health of the battery. Otherwise, it can result in the battery taking more than usual time for the charging process.
Factors that Influence the Battery Life of your Electric Bike
Apart from these basic tips and tricks, you also need to have a better understanding of the factors that can influence the battery life of the bike in the longer run. For instance, some high-end bikes also come with display screens and indicator lights which can consume more than usual battery life. In addition, other things like the weight and riding conditions can also influence the battery life. Hence, here are some things you need to consider before you venture into buying a battery for your electric bike;
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The battery life of your bike can be determined by the overall weight. In total, this includes the weight of the battery, your weight, and any other sort of load you are carrying on the bike. This also includes a trailer or carrier you are using for carrying the essentials. Hence, in simple words, these work inversely, so if the weight is more, the bike will consume more than the usual battery to move it forward on the trail. Similarly, if you are using it on rough terrains, it will take even more battery.
In addition, riding conditions can also play a major role in determining the battery life of e-bikes. For instance, if you are going to be using it in extremely harsh weather, it will take you more than the usual battery. In this case, the battery will easily drain out. Generally, it is more the case with cold weather conditions. Similarly, repeatedly starting and stopping the bike can also result in the battery taking more than usual time, within specific gaps.
This can be understood by a simple event. For instance, if you are riding the bike on mountains or inclined surfaces, it is understandable that the electric components of the bikes are working more to keep moving forward. Hence, it would require you to charge it again and again repeatedly which can also influence the battery life. All in all, just look into the level of difficulty of the terrain on which you will be using the bike, before investing in a quality battery setup.
Similarly, your individual riding style can play a huge role in determining the life of the battery. This includes your dependency on the pedal assistance and your ability to use human power for pedal propelling. Apart from this, here are some other things I would advise you to take the notice of;
- First of all, the speed with which you are running the bike can make a huge impact. If you are usually fond of high speed, it can result in quick drainage of the battery.
- It also depends on the starts and stops you make during the entire ride. For instance, if you continuously lose momentum and repeatedly start in regular intervals, the electric components of the bike can take more power to propel it again. Hence, it will take more battery power.
- The terrain you are using the bike on can also make a huge difference. If you are fond of off-roading adventures, make sure to invest in a long-lasting battery model.
How Can You Improve Battery Life?
Well, there are a number of ways you can improve the battery life of the bike. It is absolutely simple and only involves small steps that can help you prolong the life of the battery while preventing any electric hazards. To help you with that, here are some tips;
- Never charge your battery for twelve hours consecutively.
- Always keep the charging in between 20 and 80% to prolong its life.
- Make sure that you are charging the battery at regular intervals. However, there is no need to charge it after every ride.
- Never store a battery empty. Similarly, make sure it remains at optimal temperature. For this purpose, you will have to keep it maintained with a stabilizer.
- Never keep your battery on flat or hard surfaces.
- Always charge the battery within the proper time.
How to Take Care of the Battery?
Firstly, it is advised to keep your battery stored at an optimum temperature, which is between 0 and 40 degrees celsius and 32 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Apart from this, I would recommend you to always use some sort of protection against harsh weather as any immersion of the battery in the fluid can result in accidents and damage. Store it somewhere where there are no potential risks of humidity, flooding, and rain. Similarly, only use the charger that comes with the bike and never use anything else.
Things You Should Never Do
Last but not least, here are all the things you should refrain from when it comes to charging the electric bike;
- Do not ever use shade when the battery is charging.
- Never store your battery in either too cold or too hot temperature (above 110 degrees).
- Never ever use any charger other than that provided by the manufacturers.
- Do not crush or dismantle the battery, not to mention, use any liquid with it.
- Never sleep anywhere near where the battery is charging.
- Whenever the battery is charging, do not leave it unattended.
- Always keep the children away from the battery when it is charging.
- Do not ever charge the battery for up to 12 hours as it can easily influence the charging capacity.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I further extend the life of my E-bike battery?
There are a number of ways you can enhance the life of your e-bike battery. For this purpose, make sure you have stored somewhere where there are no chances of rain or humidity. Similarly, it is important to store it in a garage where it is neither too cold nor too hot. Also, do not charge a totally drained battery and charge it only between two and seven hours. Never charge it for twelve hours.
Is an e-bike battery replaceable?
Yes, you can replace an e-bike battery easily. This is because e-bikes come with unique frames which allow you to remove the battery, so you can conveniently charge it. Hence, you can easily get a new battery and mount it on the bike. Another advantage of using these bikes is that they can further accommodate a spare battery, providing you with long battery life.
How to charge an electric bike?
Well, you just need to follow some basic steps to charge an electric bike. First of all, remove the battery pack from the frame and turn the main power outlet off. After this, connect the bike to the charger and connect it to the main power source. Finally, turn on the plug and it will be charging. Make sure the process is not left unattended and don’t use any cover while the battery is charging.
How long does it take to charge your electric bike battery?
Well, it all depends on the type of battery and the specific model of bike you are using. On average, it can take between two and seven hours to fully charge the battery. Here, you also need to look into the recharge rate as it determines the overall time a battery takes to charge. For instance, if you have two hours to charge the battery for a three-mile distance, it will have a 30-mile-per-hour recharge rate, and so on.
Can I charge the electric bike battery up to 100%?
Yes, you can fully charge the bike up to 100%. On the contrary, it is recommended to complete the charge as not completing it would impact the charging capacity of your battery. It is also advised to not drain out the battery before charging as it can not only take more time but also can influence the power of your battery. All in all, just make sure that the first cycle has only consumed 70 or 80 % of the battery.
Do electric bikes charge while pedaling?
Yes, modern e-bikes come with a function that allows you to charge even when you are riding the bikes. This works in a way that whenever you pedal the bike, it increases the battery life and charges the bike. However, it is worth noting that it can eventually add to the overall cost of charging. Instead of this, I would advise you to go for a spare battery, if you are really concerned about the charging life.
In the end, as a cyclist, I was always in search of some tricks which could help me in prolonging my bike’s battery life. Hence, after years of research, I can say that you need to look into simple things like the time of charging, storage facility, battery backup, how to charge it efficiently, and much more. Finally, I hope this detailed guide on how to charge your e-bike and important tricks can help you in prolonging its life to a great extent.
Austin Jacobs is a passionate cycling enthusiast who has over five years of experience in bike repair and maintenance. He is an avid mountain biker and loves tinkering with bikes for hours on end to make sure they are running at their optimum performance level. Leland’s blog, which focuses on bike repairs and tips to keep them in good running order, was created out of a desire to share his knowledge and help fellow cyclists stay safe while enjoying the outdoors. He covers topics such as preventive maintenance, troubleshooting common issues, basic tools and supplies needed for repairs, and more.