“Weird tricks for keeping your ebike battery young!”

Or, “Unmasking the Scandalous Truth About E-Bike Battery Life!” Or, more realistically, A Primer on Ebike Battery Life, and the Things that Impact It. But that’s boring, who would click on that?

Anyway, this is my attempt at explaining what you can expect for maximizing your range over time. Range is the thing people tend to care about most, and if you missed the last post on explaining the “it depends” factor when explaining a battery’s range, go back and read that first. This post is more about the nuances that have less of an initial impact, but are somewhat important to factor into a purchase decision or comparison of ebike models.

It’s also littered with stupid, trying-too-hard-to-be-funny comparisons, because I am in that kind of a mood today.

Charge Cycle Rating: The Numbers Game

Numbers are real (well, most of them). Your e-bike battery comes with a nifty charge cycle rating, which basically tells you how long you can party before the lights start to dim. Imagine it’s a party with your battery, and every cycle is a round of drinks. Once you’ve had 500 rounds, your battery might start to feel a bit tipsy, giving you around 60-80% of its original capacity.

But wait, don’t go calculating the number of rounds you’ve already had on your battery’s tab. Remember, cell quality and battery care can either make your battery a teetotaler or a party animal. So treat it right!

Under and Over-Charging: Don’t be a Battery Bully

Your e-bike battery is not a college student pulling all-nighters for finals. It needs rest and a proper charging routine, structure and boundaries. Like a grown up with a job. Most e-bike batteries have a Battery Management System (BMS) that acts like the bouncer at the charging club. It says, “No more charging once the party is full!” But don’t rely on the bouncer, because he doesn’t care about the long term health of the battery. He’s paid hourly and has his own student debt to worry about. My metaphors are confusing.

Look, here’s the deal: you can keep your battery running closer to its original capacity longer by following standard battery rules around charging. Stuff that, in the 21st century, should be common sense by now. Just in case it’s not, or you just want an explicit reminder:

  • Charge your battery before it’s gasping for breath. Don’t wait for it to be dead before you plug it in.
  • Unplug it once it’s had enough juice. Don’t just leave it on the charger all night, expecting the bouncer to care about its job.
  • Maybe not so common sense: charge it only up to 80-90% to extend its life further. There’s science behind that, but that’s outside the scope of this bullet point.

Temperature: It Doesn’t Regulate Heat Like a Human

Just like you wouldn’t want to sunbathe in the middle of winter (unless you’re into that sort of thing), your e-bike battery has its own temperature preferences. It thrives between 50 to 100°F (10 to 37°C). It’s also a battery, and not a warm-blooded organism that can regulate its own heat. So:

  • Don’t leave it out in the cold or direct sunlight.
  • Get riding as soon as your bike is out in chilly weather.
  • When it’s hot outside, pedal like you’re chasing the ice cream truck to ease the strain on your battery.
  • If your battery comes out of the bike: be nice and take it inside your temperature controlled house to charge or store.

Impacts: Handle With Care

Dropping, crashing, and other non-electric jolts to your battery actually impact its life. Sure, your e-bike battery is encased, but that case isn’t a cloak of invincibility. Repeated impacts can make it grumpy and might even damage its precious cells. So, avoid treating your battery like a punching bag or using as baseball bat.

Storage: Where Your Battery Rests Its Head

When your battery isn’t busy powering your adventures, it deserves a cozy spot indoors, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. And don’t let it run too low or too high on charge if you’re storing it for a while; aim for that sweet spot of 30-70%. Your battery will thank you later.

Cadence: Find Your Groove

Lastly, let’s talk about cadence. No, it’s not a fancy word for “dance moves.” It’s about how you pedal. Aim for a cadence between 70 to 100rpm. High gears and a low cadence are like making your battery do the moonwalk uphill—it’s cool, but it won’t last long. Keep that rhythm going, and you’ll get more mileage out of your e-bike.

“Is that it?” or, “How long will your ebike battery last?”

I know what you’re trying to say. You’re trying to say, “Aww yeah, that’s it.” Then you tell me you want some more. Well, I’m not surprised. But I’m quite sleepy.

Your Ebike Battery at the End of Its Life or Flight of the Conchords

It’s business time: How long can you expect your eBike battery to stick around? On average, these batteries have a lifespan of 2 to 5 years.

One of the things that impact it the most are a higher charge cycle rating, which typically range from 400 to 1000. The higher this number, the longer your battery should last without getting a headache and losing its Watt-hour mojo.

You can impact the life of your battery though, using the tips above.