While many of the products we review here are readily available to purchase and operate without a license, we always recommend hiring a qualified electrician to install and demonstrate their use.
In some cases, improper use and installation may result in a breach of insurance. Even worse, you could be putting yourself or your family at risk as an incorrectly installed electrical device could start a fire. So, don’t risk it - seek the services of a fully licensed electrician instead.
An electric bike is a bicycle that uses electricity instead of gasoline or diesel fuel.
The battery provides power to move the pedals and turn the motor. Some models even come equipped with regenerative braking, which means they slow down automatically when you stop pedaling.
There are two main types of electric bikes: pedal assist and throttle controlled.
Pedal-assist bikes require no effort from the rider, but they don’t offer much speed. On the other hand, throttle-controlled bikes allow riders to control their speed.
Electric bikes are becoming more popular every day. They provide a great way to get around town without using fossil fuels or gas.
But charging them can be tricky, which is why, today, I’m going to be taking you through a step-by-step e-bike battery charging guide.
Charging An Electric Bike
Before we get started with the guide, it’s important to understand that, although there are some universal aspects shared by all batteries, there may also be a few idiosyncrasies between units made by different manufacturers. In light of this, it’s always best to consult your user manual before attempting to charge the battery.
Electric Bike Charging Equipment
All electric bikes should come with their own battery pack, battery (within the battery pack), and a charging adapter for a standard AC wall outlet. If you’re missing any of these components, contact the manufacturer or seller to find out where they are.
A Step-By-Step Electric Bike Charging Guide
Step 1: Remove the battery pack from your bike with the included key, and bring the battery inside, as they enjoy moderate temperatures.
Step 2: Turn the battery off.
Step 3: Make sure your charger is plugged directly into a wall outlet. You could also use a high quality power strip with surge protection if need be.
Remember to only ever use the charger provided by the manufacturer, as it’s been optimized to support your battery. Using 3rd party products may cause premature battery deterioration.
Step 4: Plug the charger into the battery.
Step 5: Turn on the charger. Wait for the green light
Step 6: Once the charger has finished its cycle, stop the charge. Do this as quickly as possible, as overcharge can be detrimental to battery performance. You may even want to stop the charging process slightly before your battery hits 100% to completely avoid overcharge.
Step 7: Leave your battery to sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
Step 8: Reattach your battery pack to your bike, and voilà; you’re good to go for a nice long ride!
When Should I Charge My Electric Bike Battery?
The ideal time to recharge your e-bike battery is between 25 and 50%, the reason being, batteries (especially lithium batteries) find the extremities of their capacity quite stressful. They don’t particularly like being at 100%, nor do they enjoy nearing 0%.
So, charging your bike when it hits a minimum 25% battery capacity ensures a longer service life.
However, if you’ve got a hefty bike ride planned, don’t wait for your battery life to reach 25%. In this scenario, charging at 50% or higher would be preferable, just to be sure you don’t run out of juice in the middle of nowhere!
Following these rules, you won’t have to charge your battery after every single cycling session, but it definitely pays to top them up once every few rides.
How Long Does It Take To Charge An Electric Bike?
This varies depending on the type of battery used, how much power it requires, and battery capacity. The most common lithium-ion batteries require anywhere between three and six hours to fully charge.
If you’re using a lead acid battery, then expect a full charge to take around eight hours.
It’s also worth noting that the amount of time required to charge depends heavily on the state of the battery. So, if you have a dead battery, it’ll take considerably more time than a partially charged battery.
Can I Replace My Electric Bike Battery?
Modern battery technology may be pretty great, but these power cells are still flawed devices. Even if you look after your battery exceedingly well, over time, it will lose power, and the capacity will dwindle – it’s just the way of things.
In light of this, manufacturers always ensure that the batteries of their electric bikes are replaceable, so you don’t spend big bucks on a gadget that’s only going to last between 2 and 5 years.
You may not even want to wait until your current battery kicks the bucket before purchasing another.
A lot of cyclists like having a spare battery to hand so when one is recharging, they can use the other one to maintain their riding schedule.
Having said that, as they deteriorate over time even when not in use, it’s not the best idea to invest in a spare battery that’s just going to sit in storage until your current one dies.
You’ll normally be able to source replacement batteries direct from the manufacturer, but, failing that, you may want to try your local bike shops.
How Can I Make My E-Bike Battery Last Longer?
There are a lot of different ways to increase your battery life, the most effective of which is to use low assistance settings.
Now, I know that kind of defies the object of an electric bike, but as long as you use lower gears, it shouldn’t be too much of a burden. Besides, you’ll get lots of great exercise!
Another way of getting more mileage out of a single charge is to preempt your gear changes and keep your ride smooth. For instance, when you approach a red light, you should shift down before you reach it.
This is because it’s going to take a lot more power to get going again from your slow or stopped position if you’re in a high gear.
The same principles apply if you see a downhill on the horizon.
Going fast on an electric bike in a low gear consumes a ridiculous amount of power, so setting a high gear before zooming down a hill will help to reduce the load on the motor, which means less strain on the battery.
So there we have it: everything you need to know about charging your electric bike. Now you can ride with confidence, knowing that you’re not going to run out of juice halfway through your route and have to peddle home the old-fashioned way — woohoo!