DIY e-bike battery or buy a new one?

DIY e-bike battery or buy a new one?

E-bike riders are always concerned about one thing the most, which is the battery pack of an e-bike. Many also look forward to building a battery of their using DIY techniques. However, the confusion between building an e-bike battery and buying an e-bike battery pack remains intact.

If you have also been in the same confusion, you can read through below and then decide whether you would want to build a battery or buy it.

What Does an Ebike Battery Pack Contain?

The ebike battery is an essential part of an e-bike; it is a lifeline for the ebike, and without it operating, the bike is impossible. There are many ebike batteries to choose from; however, the most common ones are lithium battery pack and lead acid battery.

Apart from the types of these batteries, there are various shapes and sizes of each kind of battery. The lead acid battery is relatively cheaper but is heavier in weight and takes very long to charge. At the same time, the lithium ion battery is a little expensive but lightweight and is charged pretty fast.

                                                                      DIY EBike Battery Pack

Rechargeable Cells

The Li ion battery pack is the best choice for an ebike nowadays. It has 18650 cells connected to form a huge battery pack. You can very easily connect the each cell in parallel and series circuit form.

These cells are a significant part of a battery pack for an e-bike, and they can charge and discharge during the process of using the ebike. Therefore, if you plan to build your own electric bicycle, you must gather these.

                                                                          Ebike Battery Cells

Battery Management System

A battery management system, as the name suggests, is a controller that checks the battery's performance and efficiency. It manages the voltage of cells in the battery pack to ensure that these are not over or under-charged.

BMS has various components; the main components are motor power, backlight, charging cable, and the power switch. The BMS is entirely created as a circuit over which all the components are installed. It controls the voltage of the battery pack, temperature, and current that flows through the cells. It is considered to be used for the safety of the battery pack from overheating.

                                                      Battery Management System for E Bike Battery

Holder for Cell

A cell holder is a basic case that you can use to have your cells held in it. The main purpose of having a cell holder is to keep the cells aligned so that no cells come out or lose their place. It is usually made using an excellent quality metal so that it appears to be a durable choice.

                                                             Cell Holder for E Bike Battery Pack

E-Bike Battery Enclosure

An e-bike battery's components must be adequately enclosed like the other batteries. However, this enclosure needs to be strength-oriented and light in weight so that it is easy to move the battery and handle it, and at the same time, the battery components are not damaged.

                                                                       E Bike Battery Enclosure

Connectors and Cables

The entire circuit can be connected to the battery using suitable connectors and cables. If you are making a battery pack on your own, the quality of the cables should be high. These cables will also help the battery charge and discharge and play an essential role in thermal management. Therefore, you need to be careful when choosing these cables.

These are the main components usually present in an e-bike battery pack, and you will need them if you are working on a DIY ebike battery. Other than this, some tools may be required, and all the components must be properly soldered to the circuit.

                                                           E Bike Battery Connectors and Cables

Who Can Build an Ebike Battery?

By going through the details of the ebike battery's components, you must believe that it is not a difficult task to build your own ebike battery. Well, profound details need to be taken care of. The cells' capacity and the circuit's voltage also need proper maintenance, which plays a critical role in the life span of a battery and how it charges and discharges.

It is significant for someone making their own ebike battery to have some experience. Apart from the right tools are also needed. If there is no knowledge and tools, investing your time, money, and effort in building a battery would not be worth it.

How Is Spot Welding Done?

Spot welding is done to connect all the components of the battery. A spot welder has to work expeditiously so that the immediate joining of the cells together can be carried out.

If you take time in spot welding, the battery pack may heat too much. In this process, a nickel strip is welded to the battery, and all the components are joined together intact.

This is also a formidable job and needs perfection, so you need to assess whether you can do it correctly or not. The nickel plate needs to be welded perfectly and within a fraction of time to ensure the proper fixing.

                                                               Spot Welding for DIY E Bike Battery

Pros and Cons of DIY Ebike Battery

When assessing whether you should be buying an ebike battery or must have a DIY ebike battery, it is imperative to look at the pros and cons of building it.

Pros:

  • Building your electric bicycle battery is excellent if you need something customized in your battery that is impossible to have in the purchased version.

  • It would be less expensive to make your battery, provided that you already own the tools needed to make it.

  • If your older battery is not working anymore, it is better to make a new one rather than get it repaired.

  • If you master your skills of making a DIY battery for an ebike, you can also sell these and at least start earning on this.

Cons:

  • There is a need for a lot of knowledge and experience; if you don't have it, you can accidentally bruise all of the cells.

  • If you lack the required tools for the process and don't have access to essential processes like spot welding for the battery and cells, it could cost you more.

  • Sometimes despite the investment of time and money, the battery packs don't work the way they should be, which could be demotivating.

What is a Cheaper Option, Buying a Battery Pack or Making It?

If you buy a battery pack, you will be paying more for the seller's profit and hard work. Whereas, if you know how to build a battery pack for an ebike and make it on your own, you will find it a bit cheaper.

If you are buying a 36V and 16 Amp-HR battery from a store, you might have to pay somewhere between $350 to $450. If you are making it on your own, you can have it for around $200. However, in this cost, there are no tool costs involved; if you have no tools, you might end up expensing more than the store bought choice.

                                                                               DIY E Bike Battery

How Could You Improve Battery Life?

It is imperative to focus on improving battery pack life irrespective of whether you are making a DIY ebike battery or purchasing the pack of batteries. Here are a few tips that may help you improve the life of your battery.

  • Make sure maintaining is the key; you must make sure that you are maintaining the battery in the right way by keeping a check on it.

  • Regenerative braking is also implemented for the ebike battery, which improves the range and helps save the battery.

  • It is suggested to use renewable energy to charge the battery. This will also allow you to save money.

  • Make sure you are not overcharging your ebike battery pack. In addition, when there is less battery range left, it is better to start paddling rather than draining it completely or overusing it.

  • Always look for a reliable battery pack for ebike if you are making on your components; especially the cells used must be of the best quality.

Whether Buying an Ebike Battery Better OR Purchasing it?

                                                                    E Bike Battery

After going through the entire details shared above, you must now consider what is better, whether you should make the battery on your own or buy it. Well, you don't have to get bothered much; you know the details and the processes that must be followed, so the decision-making is quite simple.

If you have the tools needed for making the battery and think you are efficient enough to carry out this process properly, then you can try it. Moreover, you should know about the batteries and the current and voltage of the cell. However, you must know whether the battery cells together would suitably be used in series or parallel. The voltage managed and the BMS purpose etc.

However, if you lack tools for battery making, and so do the knowledge about the circuits and everything, it is recommended to buy one as things could be a bit more complicated this way. That would cost you more because investing in the tools from scratch is quite expensive and wouldn't be worth it.

People also prefer making a DIY ebike battery because they want a customized version of everything and in that case, making it on their own is a better choice out of the two choices. However, if you want to make your own battery pack, tools and know-how are needed.