Why Are Battery Warranties Important on eBikes?
In today’s world, e-bike batteries have grown in size and complexity, but they have also become more dependable than ever.
E-bike batteries are the most costly “consumable” component of an e-bike. While they have significantly improved in performance and quality compared to their early counterparts, they are still intricate devices that can experience occasional failures. Even in cases where total failure is unlikely, having a warranty specific to the battery becomes crucial in determining if a gradual decline in capacity over months and years falls within acceptable limits or if it warrants a replacement.
The good news is that e-bike battery technology has evolved, leading major manufacturers to offer more generous and detailed warranties. They have gained trust in the vast majority of batteries to perform reliably.
Naturally, you must take proper care of your battery and adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations to avoid voiding the warranty. Check out our succinct five-point advice at the end of this article to maximize the lifespan and range of your e-bike battery.
The Legal Stuff – First Port of Call?
While stating the obvious, it is always worth reminding yourself that purchasing from a reputable retailer can significantly facilitate any warranty claims.
Let’s turn to the United States’ Federal Trade Commission for their insight on the importance of warranties in the US:
“When you make a major purchase, the manufacturer or seller makes an important promise to stand behind the product. It’s called a warranty. Federal law requires that warranties be available for you to read before you buy even when you’re shopping by catalog or on the Internet. Coverage varies, so you can compare the extent of warranty coverage just as you compare the style, price, and other characteristics of products.”
As shown below, most major battery manufacturers explicitly state their own battery warranties, which generally offer similar terms. Therefore, retailers and end consumers tend to rely on these warranties in practice.
However, in cases of failed batteries, your initial point of contact should be the retailer, whether it is a local bike store or an online shop. If they fulfill their duties effectively, they are in the best position to swiftly and effortlessly resolve the matter for you.
Bricks and Mortar Retailers: A Reassuring and Useful Option
A bricks and mortar retailer could provide exceptional reassurance and utility if you suspect that your battery has experienced a higher level of capacity loss than what is expected under the warranty terms. Major battery manufacturers have integrated the capability to track the number of charges received by their batteries, and a reputable dealer will allow you to witness this process and examine the data.
It is crucial to engage with your chosen retailer since you have entered into a sale of goods contract with them. This arrangement can serve as a valuable additional avenue of recourse, particularly if the manufacturer happens to go out of business.
Determining the Working Capacity of Your eBike Battery
Utilizing Plug-in Energy Meters for Accurate Battery Assessment
Plug-in energy meters are effective tools for evaluating the capacity of your e-bike battery.
By employing a plug-in energy meter, such as this particular one or similar models, you can obtain a reasonably accurate estimation of your e-bike battery’s capacity. Consider that although the battery might have an initial rating of 500Wh, these batteries degrade over time and may encounter faults that impact their overall capacity.
First, ensure that your e-bike battery is completely drained by using it until it no longer has power.
Next, recharge the battery as you normally would until it reaches full capacity, but this time utilize a plug-in power meter to measure the amount of Wh consumed from start to finish (i.e., the moment the battery is fully charged).
Keep in mind that not all the electricity indicated as consumed by the meter directly contributes to the battery cells. Some electricity is lost due to inefficiencies in the transformer, which converts the voltage from the main 240V power to the specific requirement of your e-bike battery.
While transformers can differ, a relatively accurate working assumption is that around 80% of the electricity from the power socket ultimately reaches your battery. Therefore, to gain a rough understanding of your battery’s health, multiply the Wh consumed on the plug-in meter by 0.8.
For more precise results, it is advisable to repeat this procedure multiple times and calculate an average reading.
Illustrative Examples of eBike Battery Manufacturers’ Warranties
|Bosch offers a variety of batteries, including external batteries in 300, 400, and 500Wh, frame integrated batteries in 400, 500, and 625Wh, and their impressive frame integrated 1625Wh dual battery system. What sets them apart is their attention to detail in their warranty.|
|They guarantee that their batteries will maintain at least 60% of their full charge capacity for a minimum of 2 years or 500 charge cycles, whichever comes first. Bosch defines a charge cycle as a complete discharge and recharge. A partial discharge and recharge only counts as one cycle. For example, discharging and charging 25% of the battery’s capacity four times will be considered as one full charge cycle. The battery management system keeps a record of the number of charge cycles, and authorized dealers can access this information via diagnostic software.|
|It’s worth noting that a high-quality battery can offer a good range for much longer than 2 years. In fact, Bosch themselves state that their batteries should remain functional for approximately 8-9 years or 1000 full charge cycles.|
|Brose, a reputable manufacturer, produces their own battery called the Brose 630. This battery has a capacity of 630Wh and weighs around 3.8kg. According to Brose, this battery is guaranteed to retain at least 60% of its capacity after 700 full charge cycles within the 2-year warranty period.|
Shimano offers their own brand of batteries for their Shimano STEPS mid-drive system. These batteries come in sizes of 418, 504, and 630Wh. All sizes are available as external batteries, and the larger two capacities also have frame-integrated versions.
|On their website, Shimano highlights their impressive warranty, stating that the battery’s capacity will decrease over time due to charging. However, Shimano guarantees that the battery will retain at least 60% of its capacity after 1000 charge cycles. Your dealer can determine the remaining battery capacity for you. This warranty implies that the battery guarantee could potentially extend beyond the standard 2-year period, even for riders who frequently cover long distances.|
Compatibility between Shimano Mid-Drives, Batteries, and Battery Mounts
For compatibility between Shimano mid-drives, batteries, and battery mounts, please refer to the table here. However, please note that you will require the correct product numbers for all three elements.
Haibike and Yamaha Manufactured Batteries
Haibike uses Yamaha-manufactured batteries. To explore more about Yamaha products, you can visit their website here. Yamaha offers batteries with capacities of 400, 500, and 600Wh. Similar to other major manufacturers, they only provide their largest 600Wh capacity as an option integrated into the frame.
Yamaha Warranty Information
According to Yamaha’s US website, the following components will be warranted for a period of three years: the drive unit (including motor assembly, housing cover, internal gears, motor control unit assembly, drive axle assembly, and torque sensor assembly), battery, rigid frame, and rigid front fork. However, normal deterioration, including the gradual decrease of battery capacity over the three-year warranty period, is excluded from this warranty as long as the battery capacity remains at 50% or more of the initial capacity before the warranty expires and the battery charging cycles do not exceed 700.
Bafang, on the other hand, manufactures their own brand batteries, which are included with Bafang motor systems. These batteries come pre-installed on e-bikes from various manufacturers and have capacities ranging from 200Wh to 820Wh. Bafang stated that they will repair or replace a battery if its capacity falls below 60% within 2 years, and the warranty period for total failure is 3 years. Please note that both warranties are only valid for the original purchaser with a purchase invoice.
Examples of eBike Manufacturers Warranties
Apart from the aforementioned large motor system manufacturers, many smaller e-bike manufacturers offer their own branded batteries and accompanying warranties. It is advisable to seek written clarification on the purchase regarding what constitutes a defect in terms of drop in capacity within the guarantee period, as not all smaller manufacturers provide this information in their warranties.
From the US
Pedego batteries are covered by a 5-year prorated warranty.
- During the first 3 years of service, any defective battery will be repaired or replaced at no cost to the customer. The warranty period for a repaired or replaced battery remains unchanged based on the original purchase date.
- After the first 3 years of service, a prorated credit will be applied toward the purchase of a new battery, based on the number of months in service. Batteries purchased at a pro-rated cost will have a new 5-year warranty based on the pro-rated purchase date.
No Cash Reimbursement Will be Made
In terms of reimbursement, there will be no provision for cash payments.
The warranty for batteries falls under the general terms of warranty which specify that all Rad Power Bikes are safeguarded against any manufacturing defects in material or workmanship for a period of one year after the customer receives the ebike. This warranty covers a comprehensive list of components on the bike, including the lithium-ion battery.
BULLS provides a general warranty of 24 months for their e-bikes and they offer further details regarding the battery: According to their terms, E-bike batteries have a limitation since they are rechargeable and considered wearing parts. The warranty period for the battery is only 6 months. However, BULLS offers an additional voluntary extension for the battery warranty to 24 months if the defect is caused by material or processing errors. Please note that the extended warranty does not cover labor or transportation costs for conversion. Its scope is limited to the replacement or repair of the defective part.
Easy Motion presents a wide array of styles and guarantees their own brand battery packs for a duration of two years or 400 charge cycles, depending on which comes first. This warranty is applicable to bicycles manufactured from 2012 onwards.
From the UK
Batribike / Promovec
Their basic warranty for Promovec batteries is valid for two years starting from the date of purchase. It covers manufacturing defects or any capacity reduction below 70% within this 24-month period. Additionally, they offer an extended warranty of 5 years based on similar terms as mentioned earlier. They specify that the cost of the extended warranty will vary depending on the battery model. The current prices range from £158 for a 10.2 Ah (365 Wh) battery to £220 for a 15.6 Ah (560 Wh) pack.
Therefore, before making your next e-bike purchase, it is crucial to thoroughly review the terms of the battery warranty.
Stay tuned for more e-bike news and reviews. Thank you for reading!