Battery Care Guide for Electric Kickbike, Electric Scooter and E-Bike
Electric Kickbike, scooter, e-bike or EVs in general are devices that convert chemical energy stored in their battery packs to kinetic energy with their electric motors. Apart from the mechanical parts they have, their most important parts are the electrical system including motors, controllers and batteries particularly. Even there are quite a lot e-mobility products from electric scooters to electric motobikes are offering various technologies and specs in the market, currently the bottleneck of the electric vehicle industry is the battery technology.
That’s the component that limits the peak power output, acceleration, range and all weight related limitations of an electric scooter. Significant improvements including high energy/weight ratio batteries and even high-capacity capacitors instead of battery-packs are being offered day to day but there is still a long way to go. Your e-bike will keep depending on healthy chemical reaction cycles happening in the batteries for long-lasting high-performance EVs in short term.
The nature of battery cycle and ongoing chemical reactions are the biggest reason that makes your battery pack the most expensive and vulnerable item in your electric kickbike. That’s why it is really important to take a good care of them while using and while keeping your ride in.
If you are an EV rider you most probably are familiar with all these tips written in this guide. However it’s always good to do a doublecheck. If you are just joined to the EV riders community, maybe with your TOZZ bike, this is a great guide for you to check before start. Let’s kick into the guide with basic information and then detail those.
No matter if you are using an e-bike, electric scooter or an electric kick-bike, most of the two wheelers in the market are using rare earth elements based batteries. Yes, Lithium is a “rare earth element” and most e-bikes are using Lithium based batteries. Of course when you jump to the lower level electric motorbikes or electric tricycles made in far east, you may have “Lead Acid Batteries” on those but this guide is not gonna cover these.
Here are the most common battery types being used in the electric mobility products:
Let’s brake these down with a sentence and find out how to care these.
Lithium Ion (Li-ion)
Lithium-ion is the most commonly used battery type in e-bike and electric scooter industry. All of the foldable compact electric scooters and most of the big tire scooters and e-bikes are using this battery type. These batteries are relatively heavy. However these batteries created the industry standard with the specific “18650” type due to their high capacity. Apart from their advantages, Li-Ion batteries are sensitive to temperature conditions, slow to charge, and relatively expensive compared to other ebike batteries.
Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery (LiFePO4)
LiFePO4 can be considered an upgraded new version of commonly used Li-ion batteries. Unlike Li-ion, LiFePO4 batteries are frost-resistant and can operate in temperatures as low as -30 degrees Celsius without losing their charge. Their lifespan is longer, they can withstand 1000 full cycles of charge-recharge which is the highest in the e-bike battery industry. The reason of Li-Ion domination is LiFePO4 batteries are more expensive and their energy storage capacity is lower. You need to carry more weight with your electric scooter or electric kick-bike to have the same range which is not logical.
Lithium Manganese (LMO)
LMO or Lithium manganese batteries are the newcomers of the ebike battery market. These type of batteries have a longer lifespan and a longer range with same pacakaging with Li-Ion. These batteries are currently being used in electric cars and they are tend to cost more than Li-Ion.
Lithium Cobalt (LCO)
Lithium cobalt batteries are also popular in the ebike battery market. These chemical compound makes LCO batteries efficient and lightweight. They offer a higher energy density than most lithium-ion ebike batteries, providing more power per weight. Their high durability means they last more charge-decharge cycles before replacement need.
Even the chemical compounds are relatively different, almost all chemical energy storage units a.k.a. batteries needs same basic methods to be taken care of. This guide will give you the tips around Li-Ion batteries. So here are basic tips for battery caring of e-mobility products.
How to Take a Good Care of My E-Bike / Electric Scooter / Electric Kick-Bike Battery?
After you bought your electric two wheeler, eg. TOZZ Bike Pipegun Sixteen, the first question comes to your mind is and should be this question. When compared to internal combustion engined vehicles, EVs almost requires no maintenance. However there are some tips for you to have your two-wheeler with you for a longer time period. Caring Li-Ion battery pack is about three things and combination of these three:
- Environmental Conditions
How to charge an E-bike battery correctly?
Yes, even you just plug “the charger” into the charging port and it charges itself, there are still something that you need to pay attention.
Always use the correct charger
Always use the charger that you received together with your e-bike/e-scooter (EV). It’s guaranteed that this charger will supply the correct voltage, rated current and connector polarity for your vehicle and thee make it the best option for you. However if you somehow need to change your charger, please refer to the vehicle manufacturer first. If you are going to prefer some OEM charger, be careful to buy the new one with the exact same specs with the old e-bike charger. Refer to the sticker at behind of the charger for the information.
Do you know when does your e-bike and battery produced?
Batteries have some shelf-life as any of the commercial product. Especially when you are buying an electric vehicle online, you can’t know how long and how this vehicle and battery pack has been kept. If you can learn when this vehicle produced, you can foresee the risk of improper storage conditions. It’s not an always correct rule but possible especially for products manufactured overseas.
To test this possibility, please make sure you fully charge your vehicle once you receive it and test its performance. Most of the times improper storage damages the batteries and you feel a “sagging” during high performance usage. Test it and contact the seller if necessary.
Timing is everything
As it is in the life, timing is everything when the case is batteries and e-bike maintenance.
- 20-80% is The Golden Ratio
As said in the beginning, almost everything is automated in EVs including charging. However you still the decisionmaker of to charge or not. When charging is considered, timing is everything. Battery Management Systems (BMS) of the battery packs are controlling the necessary data about charging. Sometimes during discharge too but commonly only charging BMSs are being used in e-bike battery packs. BMS automatically cuts the charging once the batterypack reaches it’s rated highest voltage value which means it’s full. If you use the batterypack like this and charge it always 100%, surprisingly you will degrade the batteries’ chemical compound and you won’t be able to use the full potential life of it.
For a longer lifespan, try not to charge your EV above 80-90% and be careful not to drain the battery below 20%. With that way you can have your battery pack with you for a longer time even around double of the specs!
- 100% is Not Always a Value of Success
Yes you can charge your battery to 100% until the standard charger cuts the voltage. However more repeated full-charges and most importantly storing the battery 100% for a long time most likely going to damage your batterypack and reduce the performance and range of your electric two wheeler.
Plugging into the charger and leaving the electric kickbike and charger alone would be the biggest mistake when battery life considered. If you are going to use the bike directly once it’s 100% full, you may reduce the risk. However try to charge 20-80 and you’ll have a longer battery life only with that easy trick.
- Are you sure using a fast charger?
Fast chargers are good when you don’t have enough time to wait for standard charging duration which is generally 6-8 hours for a standard electric scooter, kick-bike or e-bike. The difference of a fast charger is basically they are supplying higher amps than standard to charge the battery faster. As almost all time-gaining options, this one also have a side effect. Yes, you guessed correct! It lowers the life of the battery pack. If you can, don’t use fast charging devices.
- Discharge duration matters too
As for the charge duration, discharge duration of the battery pack affects it’s health and life. Because basically it’s the same chemical reaction on reverse. Using your electric vehicle with high performance causes faster discharge and increase the chance of damaging the chemicals inside the battery. If you drain your batterypack less then an hour, it’s better to consider using a high-performance and high-capacity batterypack or simply add another one.
How is the weather outside/inside?
While describing the different battery chemicals, we stated that the Achille’s heel of a Li-Ion battery is temperature. Storing, charging or discharging your electric kickbike’s batterypack during extreme temperatures are affecting the health and life directly.
Most of the electric two-wheelers are painted in dark colors and this makes the hot summer sun a problem. Because once the temperature reaches above ~40 Celcius / 105 Fahrenheit, it should be considered as hot and Li-Ion batteries tend to perform worse above this temperatures. Try not to expose your e-bike/electric scooter to direct sunlight for long time during summer. Also try to avoid keeping it in your car’s trunk during summer which can easily exceed above temperatures during sun.
Winter and cold weather is one of the biggest challenge that batteries facing with. All EVs shows a lower range during cold winter days. Automotive manufacturers are using battery conditioning system to prevent this effect. However it’s an expensive method for an e-bike and we need to control the charging cycles according to the environmental conditions.
Control your charge-discharge cycles and speed when its cold. If it’s around 0 Celcius / 32 Fahrenheit degrees, prevent charging or discharging your vehicle. For example you left your electric kick-bike at the garage or outside for night and wanted to charge it in the morning. Since your device will be really cold, try heating it with room temperature for a while and then charge.
While charging at lower temperatures, charge your device as slow as you can. Prefer the standard charger instead of the fast charger when possible.
When discharging, same principles are applicable. Don’t run your battery if the temperature is around 0 Celcius / 32 Fahrenheit degrees and your ride stayed there for hours. If you want to use your e-bike when it’s cold, keep your bike in. Since the batterypack will be around room temperature and heat to be generated while you are riding, you can prevent that extreme cold to affect your battery pack.
Storage Conditions are Important
When you read the guide till here, you are aware of that the main thing to consider is “batteries are chemicals and you are behaving good to those chemicals”. So storage conditions are important as well. When you are going to keep your electric kickbike for a long time period, try to keep it around 50% charged. It’s the sweet spot fort he storage of batteries. If you can’t just try not to keep it 100% charged for a long time. Even couple percents lower is way better.
By the help of this guide and having the awareness all the time, you’ll be able to use your battery as long as stated in the specs. You will be able to prevent creating battery waste earlier than planned which is really hard to handle and impossible to re-cycle. The economical benefit is unquestionable on the other hand.
As TOZZ bike, we select the high quality, high performance and long-lasting batteries and high quality BMS’s and chargers to make sure that you’ll have a great riding experience as much as possible. Above all the tips listed, your awareness is the first and the most important thing when battery care is the case. We wish you a safe and long lasting rides to collect as much memories as you can!