Electric Bike Battery Charging FAQ

By Chris Wilson

Electric bikes have come a long way in recent years. They are now more popular than ever and can be used almost everywhere, from getting to work to exploring the country side however one aspect that many ebike riders find confusing is how to properly charge an electric bike battery. The following blog post will help you answer this question and provide some tips on what type of battery is best for your needs as well as answers to many other questions related to ebike charging.

What to do if your electric bike battery is not charging?

There are three things to check if this is happening to your ebike:

1) Make sure that the battery charger cord is plugged in and connected properly to both the bike's battery and the wall outlet, 

2) Check for any debris that may be blocking or preventing contact with all connectors 

3) Check for loose connections between the battery contacts and the battery station on the bike's frame.

If all of these checks go well, then there may be something wrong with your battery pack itself, which will require either professional service or replacement."

How long does an e-bike battery charge last

This depends on many factors, but generally, the longest recorded range is 350 to 400 km on a single charge. That's 217 to 280 miles. Normally, most of these long-range e-bikes are powered by 3000 Watt batteries.

For the average electric bikes such as Ride1Up 500 SERIES MTB or ANCHEER Power Plus Electric Mountain Bike, the range is a little less as they can only manage 100-120 km. That's 64 to 75 miles.

E-bikes with shorter range are powered by 400-500w batteries.

Least on the spectrum range are the city e-bikes, which have smaller batteries. Their range is 50-70 km on a single charge. That's 30 to 44 miles.

Here we answer even more important questions about the electric bike battery.

Can you overcharge an Ebike battery?

The answer is, "NO." While lithium batteries are highly volatile, it's not possible to overcharge them because most of them have an internal circuit that cuts the charge once it reaches 100%.

The only way e-bike batteries "overcharge" is if there's a malfunction of the charging system, which in most cases results in the heat buildup.

However, there’s a caveat for leaving your e-bike battery charging all day long.

Once the battery reaches 100%, it’ll continue to top off the charge. The “trickle charge” keeps on attempting to keep the charge at 100% by compensating for the bit of charge the battery loses naturally on its own.

This constant bouncing between full charge and below full charge can result in higher ambient temperature, which in turn reduces the capacity of your battery over time.

Do electric bikes charge when you pedal?

Yes, it does, through a process known as regenerative pedaling.

To be honest, however, the concept doesn’t work very well.

To generate extra energy for the electric bike, you need to add resistance, and weight to the bike for generative components.

The gains for the regenerative pedaling are minimal; they are not worth the extra costs.

Sure, some manufacturers advertise that their bikes re-charge batteries while pedaling, but in my opinion, I think it’s just a marketing tactic.

Can you Ride an Electric Bike without Pedaling?

Yes, it’s possible to ride an e-bike without pedaling.
However, for you to ride without pedaling, your e-bike should have a pedal-free throttle.
The pedal-free throttle lets you ride your e-bike without pedaling.
Depending on the configuration, you need to engage the motor by twist throttle or thumb throttles, and the motor will provide all the power you need for cycling.
While it’s a convenient and effortless way to commute, it usually drains the battery pretty fast.

How do I check my bike battery health?

There're several ways you can check the health status of your e-bike battery.

The first one is through visual inspection.

Here, you need to check for broken terminals, excessive leaking, discoloration, bulging, or even broken terminals.

Any of the above signs may indicate a broken battery, and they may not only impact the performance but they're also a safety concern.

Secondly, you might need to load test the battery.

While your local repair shop might be more than able to perform the test, you can do it on your own.

The battery load test aims to see how long your battery can maintain a battery range for a given time.

What Is The Cost Of Bike Battery?

Whether you plan buying a new battery or replacing an existing one knowing the price of a battery is critical.

That said, how much do the electric bike batteries cost?

Typically, new electric bike batteries cost anywhere from $250 to $900.

The variation in the costs depends on the type of battery, capacity, performance, and brand.

The less expensive electric bike batteries tend to come with 400 wh to 700 wh capacity, while the more expensive electric bike batteries tend to come with above 2,500 wh.

And yes, the brand plays a crucial role in the pricing of a battery.

Generally, established brand names like Bosch and Shimano have their batteries highly placed than other brands.

Finally, like any other product, you get what you pay for.

You should always avoid the low-priced batteries because, in most cases, they're flimsy, and don't have the reliability and sustainability of the premium options.

Which Battery Is Best For Bike Dry Or Liquid?

The dry cell battery is an intriguing option for e-bikes because it has several benefits over the liquid battery.

However, the real benefit for the dry cell battery, especially for the electric bikes, is a better performance.

The dry batteries are durable, and it's not a surprise they used in many applications, including flashlights, remote controls, and other handheld devices.

Liquid batteries, on the other hand, are maintenance-intensive, requiring regular maintenance of the liquid electrolyte to the recommended levels and, at the same time, avoiding acid spills.

Unfortunately, the dry battery is more expensive than the liquid battery.

The dry batteries also run out faster than the liquid battery, meaning for the same amount of charge, a dry battery will last for a shorter period.

However, they're worth it because of their performance and durability.

Which Battery Brand Is Best For The E-Bike?

Shimano and Bosch probably have the best e-bike batteries in the market currently.

This might partly because both brands have been in the bicycle manufacturing domain for a long time.

The bike design, including the componentry, speaks quality and is reliable, too.

However, take note that the batteries from both brands are a tad more expensive than the other brands.

Are Electric Bike Batteries Interchangeable?

Eventually, the lifecycle of your electric bike battery will come to an end, needing replacement.

When this happens, you need to contact your electric bike manufacturer for a replacement.

Now, while it's possible to perform a DIY replacement, you should let the electric bike manufacturer do it for you to avoid voiding your electric bike warranty.

But what if the e-bike manufacturer is no longer in business?

Well, you've no option but to visit a local dealer to get a replacement. Ideally, the replacement should have similar specifications to those of the original battery.

Why Are E-bike Batteries So Expensive?

Most of the electric bikes use lithium batteries.

Here’s the thing with lithium batteries; their design requires a lot of sophisticated technology.

In particular, the batteries have to be managed by a complex internal electronic system, known as BMS or battery management system.

The BMS regulates the charge on this battery to allow balancing the cell state during charging and ensure the batteries have a good life.

The BMS is also responsible for cell voltage control, temperature control, contractor control.

The BMS is generally a sophisticated hardware and software system, and often, the development and costs can run into several thousand dollars, which is why the individual e-bike batteries are quite expensive.

Where can i charge my electric bike?

If you're looking for a place to charge your electric bike there are plenty of options. You can find charging stations in many public places such as coffee shops, restaurants, hotels and airports. 

About the author 

Chris Wilson

Chris Wilson, long time fan of personal electric transportation. Chris is not easily impressed when it comes to the latest technologies, however, when he is, nothing can stop him from wanting to share his knowledge with our readers here at ElectricRideLab.com