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Just like the battery in your vehicle, the battery of an electric bicycle also has a limited lifespan. It will eventually start to deteriorate and its performance will decline.
But how long can you expect your electric bike’s battery to last? Generally, a good estimate is about 2-4 years. However, keep in mind that the maintenance, storage conditions, and frequency of battery usage will directly impact its lifespan.
While many people think of a battery’s lifespan in terms of years, time is not the most accurate measure. Instead, the battery’s life is better described by the number of charge cycles it can undergo before efficiency starts to decrease.
A Tern HSD S11 featuring a Bosch PowerPack 500 battery.
Most lithium-ion batteries found in e-bikes today are capable of around 500 to 1,000 charge cycles, depending on the specific make and model. It’s important to note that a charge cycle is considered from full depletion to full recharge. So, if you only deplete the battery by 50% during a ride and then recharge it, that would count as half a charge cycle. This means that 500 to 1,000 cycles can go a long way for most riders.
However, knowing the charge cycle rating of your battery will only offer limited information. How well you take care of the battery, how you store it, and how frequently you use it are all factors that significantly impact the battery’s lifespan.
Ways to Extend the Lifespan of your E-Bike Battery
The first and foremost rule for maintaining a healthy battery is to always store it in a cool and dry place. Extreme temperature changes, particularly high heat, are detrimental to the battery. Therefore, it is best to store it in an area that is consistently at room temperature and free from moisture.
Avoiding storage in extreme temperatures is not only advisable for the battery but for the entire e-bike as well. All components, including the battery, will last longer and perform better when stored properly.
Use the charger provided by the manufacturer at all times. E-bike chargers are often designed specifically for the battery they are meant to charge. Mixing and matching chargers can not only result in overcharging or short circuits, but it can also pose a fire hazard.
Avoid leaving your battery connected to the charger for extended periods of time. This is crucial to ensure the longevity of your battery. Over time, batteries tend to discharge energy during prolonged storage. If the battery remains connected to the charger, it will repeatedly go through the charging cycle. This can degrade the battery’s overall performance.
Timers or power strips with an automatic shutoff can be a useful tool for helping you remember to disconnect your battery from the charger. It’s important to avoid the unfortunate situation of leaving your bike on the charger for an entire winter and then realizing during the next summer that the battery has been damaged.
If you’re considering storing your bike for an extended period of time, it is recommended to not leave the battery completely empty. Experts suggest that storing the battery at a capacity between 40 percent and 70 percent is ideal, although specific guidelines may vary depending on the manufacturer.
Lastly, it is advised to prevent your battery from completely draining. Lithium Ion batteries tend to perform better when they undergo short charge cycles and are used frequently without being fully depleted. Therefore, it is recommended to periodically charge your battery and keep an eye on its current levels.