Electric bikes, or e-bikes, are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and get around town more efficiently. But to enjoy them the way they deserve, you’ve to make sure your e-bike battery is charged up at all times. If you want to know how to charge an e-bike battery, read on!
How to charge an e-bike battery?
Electric bikes are convenient, fun, and allow riders to travel longer distances than with traditional pedal-powered bicycles. They’re eco-friendly and help reduce both congestion and pollution in cities… which explains why they’re hailed as the future of urban mobility.
But that doesn’t mean they don’t have their own problems.
Since electric bikes require electricity to run, the biggest challenge is getting them charged up again after a ride. This can be inconvenient at times and challenging for riders who don’t have access to an outlet at home or work; not everyone lives in a city with extensive public charging infrastructure.
While most people won’t go out for an entire day on their e-bike, even short trips can take a lot of preparation on your end, especially if you don’t have a charging station lying in your commute. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
With the right accessories and knowledge, you can charge your e-bike battery whenever you want in a quick and safe manner. Here’s how to charge an e-bike battery.
Steps to charge an e-bike battery
For charging your e-bike at home, you must have an electrical socket in your garage or wherever you store your bike. You must also make sure that your charging cord is of adequate length and can easily reach the socket.
Here’s a step-by-step explanation of how to charge an e-bike battery:
- Plug the charger into the power outlet while it’s switched off.
- Now plug the charger cord into the e-bike charging port, which can be located either on the battery (in case of external or semi-integrated battery) or on the frame (in case of internal/ integrated battery).
- Next up, turn on the charger and let it do its thing. You can monitor the battery charge level either by the LED indicators present on the battery or by using the LCD meter on your e-bike handlebar.
- When charging your battery, keep an eye on its charge status. It usually takes about 4-6 hours to fully charge an e-bike battery. Once the battery is full, you’re good to go. Just unplug the charger and hit the road!
Charging a removable e-bike battery
While most e-bike batteries aren’t removable, some are. For instance, all electric bikes that we offer at Engwe come with removable batteries to allow for easy charging.
If your e-bike battery is removable, you can charge it both inside or outside the bike’s frame. This is especially helpful for those people who lack an electrical socket in their garage or wherever they store their e-bikes.
You can also charge your e-bike at work if it’s removable. Just take it with you and plug it with the outlet beside your desk.
Having a removable battery also increases safety. Since Lithium-ion batteries can become dangerous if they’re overcharged or get too hot when they’re plugged in, it’s much better if you charge your e-bike battery outside of the bike.
As far as the charging process is concerned, it’s exactly the same as mentioned above. The only difference is that, when you’re charging removable batteries separately (outside the frame), you can monitor their charge level only through the LEDs present on the battery.
The color of your battery LED lights usually indicate the following battery levels:
- Green: 85-100%
- Yellow: 20-85%
- Red: 0-20%
How long does it take to charge your battery?
Most e-bike batteries require 4-6 hours to recharge, but if you want to find the exact time for your specific electric bike, you can do that too.
For that, you’ll first want to determine your battery’s amp hour (Ah) rating, which reflects its charge holding capacity. Most batteries have a sticker on the side or bottom that includes this information.
Likewise, you need to know the amp (A) rating of your charger, which reflects its current flow rate. Once you know the Ah and A ratings, plug them into the following formula:
Charging time = Amp-hours of your battery/ Amp rating of your charger
For example, if you have a battery with an Ah rating of 10.4 (such as in the Engwe C20) and you want to charge it at a rate of 2 amps (from a 2A charger), you will need 5.2 hours for a full recharge (10.4/2=5.2). When you factor in energy losses (say at 15%), the actual recharge time will be around 6 hours.
Keep in mind that the current flow rate at which most e-bike batteries are recharged usually hovers around 2-4A.
For instance, if you were to use a charger with a flow rate of 4 amps in the aforementioned case, your charging time would reduce to just 3 hours. Needless to say, the bigger your battery is (the more Ah it has), the longer it will take to charge it and vice versa!
Remember that the best way to charge an electric bike battery is from the charger provided by the manufacturer. Trying to rapidly charge your battery from a bigger but non-compatible charger is one of the most common causes of e-bike battery failure.
Charging tips to enhance your battery life
Electric bikes use Lithium-ion batteries as they are efficient, powerful, and long-lasting. But like all batteries, they need to be properly cared for in order to perform their best.
Here are a few tips on how to charge your e-bike batteries for maximum efficiency and a long service life:
- Don’t leave the battery plugged in for longer than necessary. Once it’s charged, unplug it from the charger, as overcharging can drastically reduce its efficiency. It’s always best to charge your batteries to 85-90% and not to full 100%. It will also save you time, as the last 10-15% charge takes much longer.
- Avoid letting the battery drain completely before charging. This can damage the battery and shorten its lifespan. Samsung, for instance, recommends users to make sure their batteries never fall below 20%.
- Charge your battery as frequently as possible, preferably after every trip.
- Avoid charging your battery in extreme temperatures as Lithium-ion batteries can be damaged if you charge them in severe heat or cold. Room temperature is always the best for this purpose.
- Store the battery in a cool, dry place when not in use. And make sure that you have topped it above 50% when storing for a longer time.
By following the tips mentioned above, you can help ensure that your e-bike battery has a long and healthy life. Otherwise, its efficiency to hold charge would reduce way faster than it should.
Moreover, it’s always a good idea to read the literature provided by your e-bike manufacturer and to follow the specific guidelines about the charging process.
Safety tips to follow when charging
You should also adhere to the following safety tips to make sure your battery, your e-bike, and your surrounding environment remains safe from any hazard or untoward incident.
- Always use the charger supplied by the manufacturer and never experiment anything with your battery or charger. For instance, you shouldn’t use your battery to power any other electronics.
- Disconnect the charger and unplug the battery from the charger as soon as it’s fully charged. Avoid overcharging at all times, as it can cause severe damage to your battery and can even lead to eruption of fire in rare cases.
- Make sure you plug the charger into a wall outlet and not a low-voltage extension cord.
- Charge your battery in a well-ventilated and fire-safe area.
- Don’t leave the battery plugged in while you’re not at home.
- Check the battery regularly for damage. If you notice any swelling, cracks, or leaks, replace the battery immediately.
- Be careful when working with a charged battery. If you notice your battery is particularly warm, immediately stop charging it and unplug your charger.
- If you notice any other unusual activity, stop what you’re doing and contact a professional or the support staff of your e-bike manufacturer.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of zipping around on an electric bike. They offer a fun and great way to get around the neighborhood and explore new areas. They’re also much more environmentally friendly than traditional gas-powered vehicles.
But in order to keep your electric bike running, you need to make sure the battery is charged. And while you do so, it’s important to follow the correct charging procedures so as to avoid damaging your battery and e-bike.
Charging your electric bike battery is easy and only takes a few hours, so make sure to keep your e-bike battery topped off at all times. It will help you enjoy all the benefits offered by this amazing mode of electric transportation. Happy riding!