If properly looked after, an e-bike battery from a well-respected brand will last a thousand charges or more—that’s three years of riding if you get a week’s use out of each cycle. But if neglected, even the best e-bike battery will degrade and die well before then.
And considering high-quality e-bike batteries don’t come cheap, it’s in your best financial interests to give it plenty of tender love and care. Here are eight simple tips for maintaining long battery life on your e-bike.
1. Stick to your service schedule
Sticking to the service schedule of your e-bike is fundamental for maintaining a long-lasting battery. We recommend bringing your e-bike in for a service every eight months, although a smidgen less often would be acceptable if you’re not riding it every day.
But don’t stress about the cost—if you buy an e-bike through us, you get one hour of free maintenance per year as a perk of the Velo Love Club. Sorted.
2. Use the right mode at the right time
Are you passionate about throttle mode or pedal assist? Some e-bikes have both options built into the motor.
In either case, consider when to get the engine to do the work and when cruise along with your own pedal power. The more effort the motor has to do, the more strain you’ll put on the battery—not to mention all the extra charging involved. Go easy on the boost for a longer-lasting battery.
And remember: riding and pedalling smoothly rather than erratically will enhance the longevity of your battery.
3. Create a safe charging station
Lithium batteries (by far the most common e-bike battery type) aren’t designed to be fully charged or discharged. On most e-bikes, aim to charge somewhere between 20% and 80% of the maximum capacity. Bear in mind that some high-powered e-bikes, such as the Tern GSD, have a recommended recharge range of 30-60%
Sure, that means you’ll only reach up to 80% of your potential maximum range, but the benefit is your expensive battery won’t need to be replaced for many more years to come. Can’t be bothered waiting around to take it off the charger? Grab a light timer, then set it and forget it.
4. Don’t Regularly Fully Discharge Your Battery
Although we recommend recharging your battery before it dips below 20%, sometimes you’ve got no other choice but to let her run low on the ride home. Don’t stress: while allowing your battery run flat on the odd occasion isn’t good practice, it’s not going to kill it outright.
Avoid fully discharging your battery as often as possible to keep it in tip-top shape.
5. Stay Away from Extreme Temperatures
Batteries don’t like getting too hot or too cold, which is tricky to manage in a city such as Melbourne. What you can do, however, is store your bike in a cool and dry place, preferably somewhere with plenty of ventilation.
Avoid leaving it in direct sunlight and steer clear of stuffy storage units that bake in the summer sun. The sweet spot is between 15C and 20C—aim for somewhere close to that amount.
6. Keep the Battery Dry
A wet battery is a dead battery, so do your damndest to keep your battery dry. A brief ride through the rain isn’t a big deal, but you need to avoid storing your bike anywhere moist.
If mould is growing on the walls or condensation is dripping from the roof, that’s not the kind of place you want to store an e-bike long-term.
7. Store your battery at 60%
If you don’t plan on riding your e-bike for a few weeks or more, then charge (or discharge) it to 60% before putting it away. Lithium batteries love sitting idle at this level and will last much longer as a result.
The battery will slowly discharge on its own over time, so be sure to top it up every three months or so.
8. Avoid non-standard chargers
If you’ve lost or broken your battery charger, don’t be tempted to replace it with a cheap knock-off from eBay. Using the wrong type of charger will degrade your battery at lightning speed and, in some cases, may even wreck it outright.
Investing in an official charger will save you stacks of cash in the long run.
Electric Bike Tips for Long Battery Life: Final Thoughts
If you choose to ignore the above advice, your bike will still work perfectly but your battery will degrade rapidly, and you’ll be looking at a pricey replacement before long. Follow these eight simple tips to enhance the longevity of your battery and bolster your bottom line.