How Often Should You Charge Your Electric Bike - A Complete Guide
Posted by Tom Lee on
The interest in electric bicycles is growing among cycling enthusiasts. These vehicles offer many advantages in comparison to conventional pedal bikes. However, the population at large still lacks much information about them. In fact, many cyclists that are new e-bike owners have plenty of questions about the operation of their new acquisitions.
One of the most common questions is how often one should charge the battery of an e-bike? The answer may be as simple as when the electric bike indicates it. Most electric bicycles are equipped with some sort of indicator for the charge of the battery. Should you wait until the battery is completely discharged? Or should you avoid it?
The battery of an electric bicycle is discharged when the maximum range is reached. The range indicates the maximum distance your e-bike can travel on a single charge. While some electric bicycles offer an assist-pedal mode only, others come with a throttle mode that can propel the vehicle without pedaling. Thus, the range you can achieve depends on whether you just pedal or use the throttle. Even if you don’t use the throttle at all, the level of assistance that you get from the motor plays an important role.
Most electric bicycles have a range between 22 and 50 miles. In some cases, the range can be larger. These values are obtained assuming relaxed pedaling. The more physical energy you contribute, the larger the range you get. With a good e-bike and consistent pedaling, you can reach a range of approximately 80 miles.
However, other important factors impact the range you can get:
- The capacity of the battery. This characteristic determines whether you must charge the battery more or less often.
- The type of terrain. Uphill terrain will cause the motor to draw more current from the battery to provide enough pedal assistance.
- The wind. If you ride against the wind, the same effect as with uphill terrain will occur, albeit at a lesser scale.
- Your weight. The motor will draw more electric current from the battery to displace a heavier load.
On the other hand, the range of your electric bike can be extended when you go downhill or use little assistance on flat terrain. But, should you deplete the battery every time you ride your e-bike?
Charge Your e-Bike Battery Regularly
It is not recommended to discharge the battery of your electric bicycle completely. At least not so often. Ideally, you should charge the battery when 30% of the charge remains. Next time, you charge it when 60% remains. You should alternate between these two values every time you charge the battery of your two-wheeler.
However, a full discharge is possible once every 30 or 40 charges. It is not necessary to do it though. If possible, stick to the 30%-60% alternating rule. Lithium-ion batteries, which are commonly used in electric bikes, need regular charging to prolong their life. So, you have another good reason to go out and enjoy a ride on your e-bike more frequently.
The Best Way to Charge Your e-Bike Battery
When you buy a brand new electric bicycle, you must charge the battery for 12 hours. This time will ensure the battery is completely charged. In this way, electric current will flow through all the cells of the battery. This will ready the battery to start functioning normally. However, for the next charge, you should not fully charge the battery. The longer the battery stays 100% charged, the faster it degrades.
Thus, if you are not going to ride your electric bike for long, don’t store your battery fully charged. It is better not to let it fully discharge either, keep at least 40%-70%. When you charge your battery, never leave it connected to the charger for a long time. Instead, disconnect the charger when the battery is 90%-95% charged.
Important Battery Charging Information
Lithium-ion batteries for e-bikes can have a lifespan of several years, especially if you take good care of it. These additional tips will help you to make the battery live longer:
- Don’t store your battery in very hot or cold conditions. The ideal storage temperature is between 59 °F (15 °C) and 77 °F (25 °C). Store it in a dry place.
- Avoid charging the battery at temperatures below 32 °F (0 °C). During wintertime, make sure the battery is at room temperature before you start charging it.
- For safety, make sure the battery and the charger are on a dry surface, far from flammable materials, humidity, or heat sources.
- Don’t cover the battery or charger during the charging process.
- Always use the charger provided by the manufacturer. Using a different charger may damage the battery permanently.
- Even if the battery is not used for a long time (during winter, for example), charge it at least once a month.
A Simple Rule of Thumb
So, how often should you charge your battery? A simple rule of thumb is charging after every ride. In this way, your e-bike will be ready as soon as you decide to ride it again. Ideally, you should follow the 30%-60% alternating rule described above.
With a high-capacity battery such as the one used in the Delfast 3.0, you may not need to charge so often. The Top 3.0 has a maximum range of 200 miles (321 km). This is comparable to the range of an electric car. Thus, you probably won’t need to charge it after every ride if you use it for commuting or short leisure rides.
In any case, the Top 3.0 is fitted with a control display that indicates the percentage of battery charge. With such information, following the 30%-60% alternating rule will be quite easy.
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