The battery is a principal part of an electric bike. It affects the speed and duration of the bike. Choosing a good battery affects its efficiency and the amount of distance you can travel on a single charge. Even when the size and weight are the same, different batteries can perform very differently depending on the type and structure. Capacity, voltage, size, weight, charging time, and total battery life were all characteristics of batteries.
This post mainly discusses the many types of electric bike batteries available for purchase. In addition, we will discuss the elements to consider while purchasing an electric bike battery and how to take care of your e-bike battery.
A brief look into e-bike battery evolution over the years
During the early development of electric bicycles, The most challenging component was the batteries, which were enormous and hefty, compared with the ones we use today. On new or recently purchased e-bikes, a lithium-ion battery is often used. Older e-bikes may have different formulations. The first e-bikes used heavy lead-acid batteries, which were succeeded by nickel-cadmium and nickel-metal hydride batteries. They were lighter and can retain a good amount of capacity for shorter runs.
Before you can pick the optimal battery for your e-bike, you must first understand the terminology used to describe e-bike batteries. These will give you a better understanding of your batteries
- Voltage (V)
- Amperes (Amps)
- Watts (W)
- Watt per hour (Wh)
- Ampere per hour (Ah)
Voltage is used to describe the rate at which electrons move, an increased voltage means more speed. It is also called volts. It is the difference in electrostatic potential between two conductors (Live and Neutral conductors). The ideal rating for an electric bike battery is 400 volts.
Ampere is the electrical current unit. It is a unit of measurement used on a global scale. Amperes can be said to be the size or diameter of a conduit with water flowing through it. More amperes denote a larger pipe with a higher water input per second.
The Watts is a standard power unit. The higher the number of watts, the more power your electric bike will produce. Furthermore, one (1) watt equals one (1) voltage multiplied by one (1) ampere.
Watt per hour (Wh)
Watt per hour is the unit of power per given time. It calculates the total power production over a certain period. It is not the same as watts, which govern power production at a single instant. Consider it in terms of speed and distance. For example, if your car speed is measured in watts, the distance between two points is calculated in watt-hours. So, if the battery on your electric bike discharges at 100W for two (2) hours, it has used up 200Wh.
Ampere per hour (Ah)
The Ampere per hour is an electrical charge unit with dimensions of electric current versus time. It indicates the capacity of the battery. A 15Ah battery can discharge 1.5A constantly for ten (10) hours or 15A continuously for an hour.
The quantity of energy that can be in a battery cell is known as its capacity. It is the most vital feature of any battery, and the unit of measurement is ampere-hour (Ah). This value is the fixed number of amps that a battery can endure for one hour.
TYPES OF BATTERIES
Batteries have always been the deciding factor in how much enjoyment and value you can get out of your e-bike. The following is a list of the most popular electric bike batteries on the market.
Lead-acid Electric Bike Batteries
This was introduced in the 1800s. Lead-acid batteries are inexpensive and simple to recycle. They have a lower power output and are much heavier. Lead-acid batteries are the heaviest of the electric bike battery types available. They are three times the weight of lithium batteries and two times the weight of nickel batteries. Furthermore, lead-acid batteries have a lower capacity than nickel and lithium batteries. A lead-acid battery's maximum capacity is half that of a lithium or nickel battery. Though lead-acid battery design is among the earliest, it is not necessarily a problem. Over many decades, the technology has been proven and tested, and production methods have been developed to create high-quality, low-cost lead-acid batteries for hundreds of diverse specific applications. Other battery types may be more ‘high performance in terms of weight or energy density, but lead-acid batteries have become a tried-and-true solution for applications such as electric automobiles and electric bikes.
Nickel-cadmium Batteries (NiCd)
Nickel-cadmium (NiCd) batteries have more capacity per pound than lead-acid batteries, and capacity is a vital factor to consider when purchasing an electric bike. However, nickel-cadmium is costly, and cadmium is a hazardous contaminant that is difficult to recycle.
NiCd batteries, on the other hand, will live longer than lead-acid batteries. However, because NiCd batteries are so difficult to recycle or dispose of properly, they are getting obsolete. They have a shockingly high rate of self-discharge. After a full charge and no use, they can drop by as much as 70% in as little as 24 hours. They have a poor density of electricity. Regardless of price, these are not an acceptable option for battery type
Nickel-metal Hydride Batteries (NiMh)
Although NiMH batteries are more efficient than NiCd batteries, they are also more expensive. The majority of people claim that NiMh has a minimal advantage over NiCd in terms of range. They will, on the other hand, last longer and are easier to dispose of properly. Despite this, nickel-metal hydride batteries are not long-lasting. They're difficult to keep in good working order, and charging them can be a difficult task. Even when used rarely, nickel-metal hydride batteries generate a lot of heat. Causing a high level of self-discharge. Even though the discharge rate is lower than that of nickel-cadmium batteries, it is not recommended for use with electric bikes.
They appear to be suited for high capacity, low power applications, like electric bicycles. The optimal combination of overall weight and capacity is a lithium battery. Lithium-ion batteries have the largest specific capacity of any existing type, which is their ma benefit. They are more durable and will last longer.
The KBO Breeze spots a removable 48V, 16Ah Lithium-ion Battery. It is rated for 900 full charge cycles, with 768Wh capacity that gives you up to 55 miles of riding on a single charge.
Lithium-ion batteries are divided into three categories. There are a few distinctions between these categories. They all have one thing in common, though: they all last longer.
Lithium Manganese batteries (LiMg204)
It is the most recent Lithium-ion battery on the market. They are long-lasting and have a good range. They also claim to last longer than other Lithium batteries, according to the producers. This battery type is currently in use in several hybrid autos.
Lithium Cobalt batteries (LCo)
It has been on the market for a little longer than Lithium Manganese batteries. Its energy density is higher than that of conventional lithium batteries. Furthermore, it provides maximum power, is light, and is reliable.
There are vital measures you can take to keep your battery in good working order:
Lithium-ion Polymer Batteries (LiPo)
These have become the standard battery for electric bikes, accounting for more than 90% of the market. The LiPo is a rechargeable battery that is cheap and relatively easy to discharge at higher C-rates. These allow it to supply more power in a shorter amount of time. It also supports fast charging and high voltage. Standard LiPo batteries, which hold 4.2V per cell when fully charged, are the most common.
How to maintain your e-bike batteries
There are a few simple but vital measures you can do to keep your battery in good working order:
- Make sure you're using the right charger for your battery.
- Avoid storing your batteries since they degrade slowly but steadily over time, whether they are used or not. If you need to stow away a lithium battery for a few months, verify the manufacturer's recommended discharged state for storage. For example, some advise a charge status of between 30 to 60 percent of full charge for their products, and that they are ready for use when they are removed from storage.
- Avoid causing vibration, and shock to a battery by aggressive handling or reckless treatment, as this can also result in a reduced lifespan.
- After a lithium battery has been fully charged, do not leave it plugged.
- Be cautious of lower-cost batteries with suspiciously high promises for battery life and the number of charge cycles they will survive — they may have been placed close to the limits for under and overcharging, which could result in early failure.
- Invest in a battery cover, If you ride all year and frequently in freezing cold weather.
Having a lightweight and durable battery is not enough. Maintenance is very vital. As the battery manufacturers develop and produce more suitable batteries, the rider has the responsibility to operate, maintain and stow them properly.