LITHIUM ION BATTERY CARE FOR E BIKES & SCOOTERS
Keep your batteries at room temperature
That means between 20 and 25 degrees C. The worst thing that can happen to a lithium-ion battery is to have a full charge and be subjected to elevated temperatures. So don’t leave or charge any Lithium Ion battery in your car if it’s hot out or in direct heat. Heat is by far the largest factor when it comes to reducing lithium-ion battery life.
Performance & range will also decrease in cold temperatures. Avoid charging your battery in sub zero temperatures. Fortunately New Zealand’s climate in general is favourable for keeping a battery in a healthy state.
The bigger the battery the better. The more Watt hours the better!
Batteries deteriorate over time, whether they’re being used or not. The bigger capacity or amperage battery you can afford or get with your bike the better. You can work out the watt hour size of your battery by multiplying the volts x amp hour rating. For example if your battery is 36v & 17.5ahrs then 36x 17.5 = 630 watt hours. This is considered the start of the bigger battery sizes in the e bike world. You will get more range & have peace of mind that you won’t be pushing that fancy e bike up the last hills. The battery will be less stressed under higher loads & should last longer than a smaller battery when cared for correctly. Its Important to remember the ageing characteristic when purchasing batteries. Make sure to ask for ones with the most recent manufacturing date.
At Venture Scooters we specialise in bigger batteries than normal to give you real range on your rides & piece of mind.
Quality cells make a quality battery that lasts
Batteries are the one thing you can’t afford to skimp on. If the battery seller cannot confidently tell you the brand of cells, the capacity & the charge/discharge rating of each cell then are they really the experts they claim to be? E bikes can draw a lot of current & it’s not enough just to have a branded battery pack as there are various types of cells within each manufacturers range & not all are suitable for e bike use.
At Venture Scooters we only use the best Samsung & LG high drain cells to make or batteries & should give years of trouble free service if you follow the guidelines in this article.
Less power equals more life
E bikes are fun. For a lot of people more fun when’s more speed especially up hill which also means demanding more power from the motor & battery. This isn’t a problem as most bikes & batteries have inbuilt safeguards to protect themselves but it can shorten the life of your battery. Even though these batteries are capable of producing high current & power for extended periods they prefer to discharge at a more sedate rate. When pushed hard they create more internal heat which can lead to the premature ageing of the cells. The same applies to charging. Most batteries come with a 2 or 3 amp charger which is fine. Please avoid attempting to fast charge your battery with a larger charger as this also creates heat etc which can damage the cells.
Only charge your battery just before you need it
For years we have been told that we have to keep batteries fully charged to make them last. THIS IS NOT THE CASE WITH LITHIUM ION BATTERIES. They prefer to sit in a semi discharged state somewhere between 40-70%
I recommend you charge your battery before every ride so that it’s always at maximum voltage & performance but only charge it the night before if practical.
So unless you are riding the next day please avoid the temptation to put it straight on charge after use & wait until the night before.
Allow partial discharges and avoid full ones (MOSTLY)
Unlike NiCad batteries, lithium-ion batteries do not have a charge memory. That means deep-discharge cycles are not required. In fact, it’s better for the battery to use partial-discharge cycles. (Charge after every ride.)
There is one exception. Battery experts suggest that after approximately 30 charges or approx 1000-1500km you should allow lithium-ion batteries to almost completely discharge. Continuous partial discharges create a condition called digital memory, decreasing the accuracy of the device’s power gauge or the speedos ability to judge battery charge correctly. So let the battery discharge to the cut-off point and then recharge. The power gauge will be recalibrated.
This really works with the Speedo displays that we supply with our conversion kits.
If you think your battery is loosing range then run it right down to almost flat & the battery percentage gauge should reset itself & return to normal.
Avoid completely discharging lithium -Ion batteries if you can help it.
Lithium Ion batteries can deteriorate when left stored in a completely discharged state & this can lead to what seems a dead battery. They may be able to be rescued but only by an expert with the correct equipment. So if you run your pack to exhaustion then recharge it as quickly as possible to at least 50% charge.
They dont like being left stored fully charged either as mentioned earlier & prefer to sit in a mid charged state.
For extended storage, discharge a lithium-ion battery to about 40 percent and store it in a cool place
It is not recommended to leave Lithium Ion batteries stored fully charged. In this state in means oxidation of the lithium-ion is at its highest rate & premature deterioration will occur. Storing lithium-ion batteries at approximately 40 percent discharge and in the refrigerator (not freezer) is recommended if practical for extended periods.
If you intend charging your Lithium Ion battery off the grid in a motorhome or caravan then you will need to use an inverter. It is important to only use a pure sine wave inverter otherwise your charger probably won’t work. A typical charger will draw approx 150 watts so make sure you have at least a 300 watt inverter to create a safe buffer & have the potential to charge two batteries at once.
Be aware that even though the chargers don’t draw a lot of watts it’s the length of time that they are on for that can drain a house battery especially if you don’t have a solar system or other to help support the process.
People always ask how long will my battery last? It’s so hard to say but by using the best quality cells & getting the biggest capacity possible then 5-6 years should be possible without a major loss of range if you follow these guidelines.
Lithium-ion batteries are a huge improvement over previous types of batteries. Getting 500 charge/discharge cycles from a lithium-ion battery is not unheard of. Just follow the above guidelines & you will get the most from battery.