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5 Interesting Things To Know About How E-bike Batteries Work

5 Interesting Things To Know About How E-bike Batteries Work

As more and more people start to realize how incredibly useful e-bikes and e-bike technology can be to their everyday lives, we also learn more about that technology. E-bike technology has been around since as far back as the 19th century, but recent decades have seen massive improvements in their construction and how they function. Like many other electronics we use all the time, e-bikes rely on their batteries for power. These batteries have gone through many iterations over the years to become more efficient and useful for e-biking purposes.

As important as the batteries are to so many everyday things, especially our e-bikes, not everyone knows how they work. Given how important these batteries are to e-bikes in general, we wanted to give you a few interesting things to know about how e-bike batteries work so that you can really appreciate the technology that makes your favorite e-bike run. We hope that learning about how incredible these batteries are and how they make a difference in performance will convince some people on the fence to give an e-bike a try for the first time.

The Batteries Should Be Familiar

As we said, the batteries that we use in our e-bike kits aren’t all that different from the batteries you’re already familiar with. In fact, you probably have a smaller version of an e-bike battery in your pocket at this very moment. Most smartphone batteries use the same technology and materials that power an e-bike’s battery. Laptop batteries can also have the same materials inside of them that many e-bikes do.

Most modern e-bikes use either a lithium-ion or lithium-polymer battery to function. These are very common these days because they are much more efficient and lightweight than the batteries that one could originally find in older e-bikes. One common alternative battery for e-bikes is the lead-acid battery. These batteries tend to be cheaper to produce, but they don’t hold a charge as long as the lithium-based batteries, and they are often much heavier.

Your Brakes Could Charge Your Battery

If you drive a more modern car regularly, this concept may not be as foreign to you as it might be to others. Regenerative braking is the name of the system in vehicles and e-bikes that allows the battery to recharge slightly every time you use the brakes. Not all e-bike batteries include a regenerative braking system, but this upgrade can be immensely useful in getting the most out of your e-bike’s battery before you need to charge it up again.

Because regenerative braking relies on storing kinetic energy, it works much more efficiently with heavier vehicles that produce and lose more kinetic force. As such, you’ll often see regenerative brakes on cars, but they are rarer to find on an e-bike. While regenerative braking is certainly nice to have, especially if you take your e-bike on very long treks, you shouldn’t feel as though it is absolutely necessary to your e-bike.

Certain External Factors Affect Battery Life

The life of an e-bike’s battery depends heavily on the trials you put it through when you take it out. The harder the e-bike has to work to propel you, the shorter the range of that e-bike’s battery. Here are a few factors to consider that can have a profound impact on how often you’ll need to charge your e-bike needs back up:

  • Your motor is just as important as your battery. If your motor malfunctions or operates inefficiently for some reason, it will leak a lot of the energy that it gets from the battery. This wastes e-bike battery charge and decreases your e-bike’s range.
  • More difficult terrain will tax your e-bike’s battery more because of the increased power demand. Regularly climbing steep hills on your e-bike or dealing with very powerful headwinds will force your motor to work harder and increase the energy draw on your e-bike’s battery.
  • Many people use e-bikes for hauling equipment or supplies. What you haul can affect your e-bike’s battery because it also increases the amount of power necessary to continue propelling you forward.
  • Low tire pressure will make any bike more challenging to ride on. However, on an e-bike, the battery takes on that additional pressure instead of the person doing the riding. Ensure that your tires have the right amount of air before you head out to increase your battery’s life.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

One of the interesting things to know about how e-bike batteries work is that there is a constant struggle between power output and weight that manufacturers have to deal with. The larger you make a battery, the more charge it can hold and the longer it will last on a single charge. However, the more charge you allow a battery to hold, the larger the battery itself must be. The issue comes into play when one must consider what size battery is feasible to put onto a bike’s frame.

While a very large battery might allow you to hold more charge, it also weighs the bike down. Consequently, there is a certain point where you hit diminishing returns. A diminishing return would occur when the extra physical effort necessary to push a heavier battery on a bike exceeds the amount of assistance that a battery would provide. Essentially, a large battery makes it harder to move the bike, so having a huge one isn’t always worth it.

E-bike Batteries Are Pretty Smart

You’ve probably heard that it isn’t a good idea to leave an electronic device plugged into a charger for too long, especially if its battery reaches a full charge. This concept is true for many different devices, but an e-bike has a leg up in this regard. Most e-bike batteries are smart enough to know when they reach a full charge and will cut off the flow of electricity to the battery so that you don’t waste power unnecessarily. It also helps protect the battery, as overcharging can harm its long-term lifespan if you do it too much.

If you know that you want a mini e-bike battery for yourself, Ebike Essentials can get you exactly what you need. Check out our store to browse a variety of options for converting your own bike into an e-bike that will take you to places you’ve never been before.

5 Interesting Things To Know About How E-bike Batteries Work
by Ebike Essentials