There are a lot of different bike batteries on the market these days, and it can be difficult to decide which one is best for your electric bike. In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of bike batteries and what you should look for when choosing one. We will also provide some tips on how to maintain your battery and get the most out of it!
What are the different types of bike batteries available on the market today?
The most inexpensive electric bike battery available, a lead-acid battery is not an ideal choice if you intend to ride your bike more than sporadically. The lead-based batteries are safe and easy to dispose of after use, which is nice from an eco-friendly perspective, but they also lack durability. They are easy to damage and possess a short shelf life, so anyone looking for a bike to use with any regularity should look elsewhere. In today’s electric bike world, lead-acid batteries are virtually non-existent.
Nickel Based Batteries
Although more efficient than lead-acid batteries, it’s becoming increasingly unlikely that any new e-bike uses a nickel-cadmium or nickel-metal hydride electric bike battery. These batteries are incredibly difficult to recycle safely, making them a poor match for e-bikes. The nickel-metal hydride variation offered improvements over nickel-cadmium, but if your decision to take up e-biking is motivated by a desire to live a greener life, this is not the battery you’re looking for.
Lithium-Ion has become the king of e-bike battery types by combining the best of both worlds. They’re more long-lasting and generate more additional power for their riders than other batteries, without the negative environmental effects of nickel batteries. Lithium-Ion batteries are more complex to manufacture, which does lead to higher prices, but you get what you pay for in the form of safer, more effective e-bike batteries.
On new or recent e-bikes you invariably get some kind of lithium-ion battery. Older second hand e-bikes may have other chemistries; the earliest e-bikes featured very heavy lead-acid batteries, then came nickel-cadmium and nickel-metal hydride, both of which were lighter and can still be found to retain a useful amount of capacity for shorter runs.
However, despite the extra expense and complexity, a good quality, decent capacity lithium-ion battery is undoubtedly the most practical option; it will give you the best range, reliability and longevity.
You might read all kinds of claims for different variations of lithium-ion e-bike battery, with cobalt, manganese and more included in the mix. Don’t worry! There doesn’t seem to be any great expert agreement on which of these formulas is superior, so for now it’s more important to get a well made, high quality lithium-ion battery, regardless of the chemistry used.
eSoulbike is powered by a ternary lithium battery (lithium nickel cobalt manganate) which is small, light, reliable, long-lasting and has a high battery capacity for long rides. And the battery comes with a 1 year warranty and there are several repair points in Europe to help you with any problems.
Things to Consider Before Choosing a Lithium-Ion Battery
When choosing a lithium battery for an e-bike, you need to consider the voltage and amp rating. This is important because it determines the battery's range, durability and power input.
Volt and amp ratings are the two main talking points when it comes to choosing the right battery for an e-bike. You should know that choosing the wrong voltage/current rating can damage your e-bike or cause a fire.
Every electric bike has a unique input voltage range. This means you can only power your e-bike with the exact voltage you need to power it. You should not power your e-bike with a battery with a voltage higher or lower than the recommended range.
Using a lower voltage battery means you won't have enough power to run the bike's motor system significantly. However, using higher voltages can damage sensitive electrical components of the motor system. Most e-bikes accept a nominal voltage - either 36 volts or 48 volts. Typically, e-bikes are equipped with 18650 batteries.
Lithium batteries can hold up to 4.2v when fully charged and around 3.1v when discharged.
For example; if your bike has lithium batteries, rated at 48 volts and 13 battery packs. The average voltage per cluster is 3.7v.
This is how to calculate the average voltage of the battery;
3.7 volts x 13 batteries = 48.1 volts
However, when fully charged; this "48v" average battery will hold 4.2v * 13 batteries = 54.6 volts.
When you discharge the batteries, it reduces the voltage of each cell from 4.2v to 3.1v - the minimum voltage is 3.1v * 13 = 40.3v.
Amperes are virtually the measure of the flow of current at a specific voltage. In reality, the amperes are a measure of your bike’s torque. With more available amperes for your electric bike’s motor system, one thing is sure, more torque.
If volts are the "speed" of your e-bike, then amps are how fast your e-bike battery can deliver that speed. More voltage naturally leads to faster speed. Also, higher current ratings mean faster speeds per second or hour. This means that the power you get from your e-bike battery will determine your torque.
How can you maintain your bike battery and get the most out of it?
It is necessary to do an orderly inspection at least once every month to prevent you from some pointless expenses so that you can take necessary measures on time to keep the battery in good condition.
Even if the e-bike is not in use for a long time, the battery should be charged regularly, as charging keeps the rest of the vehicle working smoothly and efficiently.
Wipe off the terminals
Battery terminals are affected by corrosion and rust, weakening the battery, which is a very common problem. Therefore, battery terminals should be properly cleaned to prevent corrosion, and they should always be kept dry.
Fill up the electrolyte cells
If you're using a traditional bike battery, make sure to fill the electrolyte battery with distilled water. Also, electrolyte levels should be kept within the lower and upper marked ranges.
Prevents excess sulfate formation
Excessive sulfate formation on the battery surface is common, but it can lead to battery damage. This excess sulfate usually occurs as a result of the battery being under- or over-charged for prolonged periods of time. Therefore, necessary measures should be taken to prevent excessive sulfate levels on the battery.