6 tips on how to charge your e-bike battery and increase it's lifetime

By the way you are charging your battery, you can can have an important influence on the lifetime. We have listed six tips to make you enjoy your battery range as long as possible.

February 2, 2022
Amarins Tamminga

The average life-time of a battery is 3 to 5 years with normal usage. Within that time the range of your e-bike could be decreased significantly. The lifetime of a battery depends, among other factors, on the way the battery is charged and the type of battery. Old lead batteries (common in the first generation of e-bikes) last approximately 300 charge cycles, nickel batteries for approximately 500 charge cycles and lithium batteries last around 1.000 charge cycles. In this blog I'm focusing on charging lithium batteries, as they are mostly used in modern e-bikes.

By the way you are charging your battery, you can can have an important influence on the lifetime. We have listed six tips to make you enjoy your battery range as long as possible.

1.     Charge and discharge your new battery the first 5-10 times

To gain from the full potential of your battery, most battery manufacturers recommend to fully charge, and drive empty the battery the first 5 to 10 times you're using it. This activates the chemistry in the battery, due to which the full potential of the battery can be used. Also, it will help to calibrate the charge status indicator.

If the battery has been unused for a long time (e.g. in storage), a thin insulating layer will form on the anode (positive pole). This results in an increased internal resistance, which will limit the performance of the battery. By charging and discharging the battery (especially the latter), the insulating layer cuts down and the battery performance increases.

Do mind that this applies to a new e-bike, but also if you're only buying a new battery!

2.     Don't discharge the battery completely and charge it regularly

It's damaging for a battery to discharge it completely. Most manufacturers advise to keep the battery status between 30% and 70% at any time and to charge it regularly.

Is the e-bike not used for a while, for example during winter? Then it's also recommended to keep the battery between these percentages and to recharge it every now and then. Even when the battery is not used, it will run out of energy slowly. If the bike is left unused outside or in a cold storage for a long time during the winter, remove the battery and store it at room temperature.

3.     Don't charge the battery 100%

Basically all manufacturers advise against charging lithium cells 100% full. It is recommended to unplug the charger when the battery is around 80% – 90% to prevent all cells from being fully charged.

Fun fact: Many electric cars have a function that allows the user to choose how full the battery is charged to prevent the battery from being charged to 100%. Unfortunately, most e-bikes do not have this feature. However, when charging on the TILER Charging Tile you no longer have to think about this. Because the charge tile monitors how full the battery is, charging is automatically stopped when the battery is full enough and resumed when it starts to run low.

4.     Choose a battery that with sufficient range for your use

When choosing an e-bike and battery, it is important to think about how much you will use the bike, keeping the above tips in mind.

You don't want to buy a battery that is completely depleted after every bike ride, because it is not good to discharge the battery too deeply. Larger batteries are more expensive, but the battery life is often longer. If you buy a battery twice the size, it will probably last more than twice as long. This is because you only drive it partially empty and it will also become less hot during use.

Try to take a battery where you do not use more than 40% of the range of the battery on your average cycling day.  This prevents you from discharging the battery too deeply and you can continue to use the battery if the range of the battery decreases when the battery ages.

5.     Charge the e-bike battery at the right temperature

The temperature of the battery also affects its life, when you use it but also when you store it. Charging the battery is best at room temperature, so do not place it on a heater or near a heat source during or after charging! If you do not use the battery for a longer period of time, it is recommended to store the battery at room temperature. The most ideal temperature for charging and storing the battery is between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius.

6.     Read the manual for your specific bike

The most important thing is of course to read the manual of your specific bicycle carefully to see how you can best charge your e-bike. It differs per battery, charger and bicycle what the best way is and especially how you can best charge it the first few times. Different brands can give different advice on this and in some cases it even affects your additional warranty. If you have any questions, always contact a certified brand dealer.

Thanks for reading this blog! Do you have a nice tip for charging e-bike batteries that is not yet described here? Be sure to let us know in a comment below!

Klinkt allemaal leuk, maar hoe krijg je je personeel op de fiets? Merk jij dat er in jouw bedrijf veel mensen voor kortere afstanden toch nog de auto pakken?

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