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How To Charge An Electric Bike

Charging Electric Bike

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If you own or are thinking about purchasing an electric bike, you might have wondered how you would charge the bike itself. Electric bikes all use rechargeable batteries that let them travel at incredible speeds. 

Each bike model will differ slightly in how they are charged, but they all run on similar principles that make it easy to charge their battery. 

In most cases, all you have to do is take the battery device off the bike, switch the battery off, connect the battery to a power supply, then link it to a mains outlet. 

In terms of charging an e-bike’s battery, there are many elements that you need to consider if you want to maximize the battery’s performance and increase its lifespan. 

Charging an ebike battery for the first time can be a bit daunting, and there’s always the risk of making a rookie mistake and causing some damage accidentally. If you want to cover your bases and clue yourself in before charging your ebike battery, here’s how you can make sure your first recharge goes off without a hitch.

We’ll cover more about charging an electric bike in this post, including how long it will need to charge, how to make the battery go further, and how to care for the battery. 

How to charge an ebike battery

Before you start charging your ebike battery, you’ll first need to find out what kind of battery you have. There are three kinds of ebike batteries – removable, non-removable, and hybrid. How you charge your battery will depend on which of the three it is.

Charging a removable ebike battery

Some ebike batteries can be removed from their case, and must be removed in order to charge them. Removing an ebike battery isn’t as tricky as it might sound; all you need to do is unfasten the battery case, unplug a few cables, and gently pull it out. Once the battery is out of its case, you can start charging it.

First things first, you’ll want to get an electric charge timer if you don’t have one already. With an electric charge timer, you’ll be able to set the times your battery starts charging, meaning you’ll have a full battery precisely when you need it. While not essential, this will extend the lifetime of your ebike battery, as sitting at full charge for an extended period of time is detrimental for most lithium batteries. If you have one, set your charging time and hook it up to your battery. Then, plug your ebike battery into the grid and wait. When it’s charged, simply place it back in its case in the reverse order you took it out. Simple as that.

Charging a non-removable ebike battery

Charging a non-removable ebike battery follows the same general idea as charging a removable battery, though with the addition of a few extra steps. For non-removable batteries, it is much more important to ensure you don’t overcharge them or leave them at high charge for long periods of time, as replacing these batteries is far more difficult than replacing a removable battery.

First, you should hook up your ebike battery to an electric charge timer. Set the timer to charge during the times that best suit you, but consider leaving a bit of wiggle room. Undercharging your ebike battery will improve its lifespan, though it naturally decreases its range. Once you’ve set your timer, simply plug your charging cable into your ebike battery and let it do its work. It’s best to check in every now and then to make sure the battery is charging as it should. You’ll be able to catch it if it gets too full, so you’ll end up getting a bit more out of it. Once it’s fully charged, or at least charged enough for your next ride, unplug the charging cable and the electric charge timer, and that’s that.

Charging a hybrid ebike battery

If your ebike has a hybrid battery, you’ll be able to use either method. Which method you choose is entirely up to you, as neither method is more efficient than the other. Removing a battery gives you the opportunity to clean both it and the case, which could keep it in good shape for longer. Equally, if it’s a pain to remove, you might be better off leaving the battery in its case and charging it from there.

Charging An Electric Bike

Electric bikes use rechargeable batteries that need to be charged up to deliver power. The way you charge each battery will depend on its manufacturer, but here are some rough guidance instructions that can help you with the process. 

Each electric bicycle has a battery pack with the bicycle’s battery stored within. It will also have a bay attached in which you can slot the charger, linking the bike and battery together. You can position the bay in several locations based on the type of e-bike that you have, though this is generally done at the back of the seat or the center of the frame. 

Most electric bikes also have a charger included. This has a power supply with grooves for two leads. One lead links to the mains outlet, while the other lead connects to the bicycle’s battery.

Most electric bicycle chargers include an LED light to indicate when the batteries are charging or not. It will turn red to show that it is charging, then green after it’s completely charged. 

If the e-bike runs out of its power, you need to remove the battery from the bike’s bay and switch it off. Next, link the battery to its power supply and then to the mains outlet. That’s it!

Also Read: How Fast Do Electric Bikes Go?

Time Needed To Charge Electric Bike Batteries

The length of time needed to charge your electric bicycle battery depends on how big or small the battery is. Generally speaking, electric bikes can take anywhere from two to six hours to completely charge. 

However, one factor to consider is the battery’s recharge rate. If a battery has a range of 30 miles and a charging time of two hours, the recharge rate would be 15 miles for every charging hour.

If a battery has a range of 100 miles and needs four hours to charge completely, its recharge rate would be 25 miles for every charging hour. 

Also, it’s important to note that an old cable connected to your mains electricity is going to take longer than a dedicated EV charging station.

Charging an Ebike

Alternative methods of charging an ebike battery

Sometimes, it isn’t appropriate to plug your ebike battery into the power grid or a charging station. Maybe you’re out camping in the wilderness, or maybe you went on a road trip and forgot to recharge your battery. In either case, all is not lost.

Charging an ebike battery with solar energy

It might come as a surprise, but you can easily charge your ebike with solar energy. There are plenty of portable solar panels out there, and many have or can be used with portable batteries to store energy. Simply plug in the battery, or the solar panels directly, to your ebike and let it charge using the methods above. If you plan on using solar panels to charge your ebike battery, make sure you have a minimum of 250w for it to work properly.

Charging an ebike battery with a car battery

If you’re on the road and you aren’t sure whether your ebike has a full charge, don’t worry. If you’ve got the right cables, plus a couple of other bits of equipment, you’ll be able to charge your ebike with ease. All you need are standard alligator clippers, an inverter, and a power bank. Connect the alligator clippers to your car battery as if you’re going to jump-start it, then attach the other end to the inverter. Next, connect the inverter to your power bank. Finally, attach the power bank to your ebike battery and use the earlier methods to charge your ebike battery.

Do Electric Bike Batteries Charge During Pedaling?

Various modern electric bicycles have a feature that charges the battery while the cyclist is riding. This tends to occur when the brakes are used, which can increase your battery’s range by 5-10%. 

A drawback here is that these e-bikes can cost a lot, usually around $200 more. It can also make it harder to pedal the electric bike. 

If you are concerned about how long your electric bicycle will last, it’s best to carry an additional battery with you. This way you will have peace of mind about losing charge during your cycle route.

Also Read: Best Electric Bikes Under $1000

Should You Let The Battery To Drain Completely Before Charging?

You don’t need to let your electric bicycle’s battery drain before charging it. 

Many manufacturers advise that you recharge the bike’s battery before it loses power, as this helps the battery cells last longer. 

It’s best to recharge the battery after each use. 

Should You Stop Charging The Bicycle’s Battery Before It’s Completely Charged?

In the case of lithium batteries, which are usually the ones used in e-bikes, there aren’t any drawbacks to stopping charging the battery before it’s completely charged. 

Batteries charge in two sequences. Between 80% and 90% of the charge is refilled in the first sequence, in which the battery charges the quickest. Consequently, if you stop charging the battery half an hour before it’s completely charged, you will probably have charged most of the battery regardless. 

Also Read: Joyisi Ebike Battery Review

Can You Replace An Electric Bicycle’s Battery?

You can replace the battery on an electric bike whenever you want. E-bikes are made in a way that lets you remove the battery from the bay, allowing you to charge it when they need recharging

As a result, many people that purchase electric bicycles also buy an extra battery. They can take it with them on longer journeys without any concerns about running out of power. 

How To Make An Electric Bicycle’s Battery Last Longer

Here are some ways that can make an electric bicycle’s battery last longer.

First, you can reduce the battery’s assistance setting. If the cyclist needs to put in more effort while cycling, the battery won’t need to deliver as much power, so it will last longer.

Next, try to use the correct gears whenever you are traveling. Lower gears mean the bike finds it less difficult to travel at lower speeds, while higher gears mean the bike finds it less difficult to move at higher speeds. 

Aim to shift gears based on the journey ahead. Instead of switching gears suddenly, try to change them beforehand, as this uses less power and helps the riding experience go smoothly. 

For instance, if a stop sign is incoming and you don’t switch gears before you reach it, you’ll need to use more effort to start traveling once more, exhausting the battery in the process. 

Lastly, remember to bear in mind that your bicycle’s power demand increases rapidly as you go faster. If you are cycling more quickly, your battery will drain itself faster. You can get around this issue by choosing a lower assistance setting and a higher gear whenever you need to travel fast. 

The Bottom Line

You can charge an electric bicycle by charging its battery. All e-bikes have rechargeable batteries and come with a charger that connects to your battery and mains outlet. It can take anywhere from two to six hours to charge your bike’s battery, depending on its size. 

It’s best to purchase an additional battery to avoid losing power on longer journeys, but you can make your battery last longer by selecting the right gears and choosing a lower assistance setting. 

Charging an ebike battery might seem challenging at first, but it’s not so bad once you know what you’re doing. It’s also pretty flexible, with a whole load of alternative charging options, much more than we’ve outlined here. No matter how you choose to charge your ebike battery, make sure you don’t overload it. If you look after your battery, it’ll look after you.

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