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Electric bicycle battery is a key component of any e-bike. There are four major types of batteries in use on electric bicycles:

Amps, Volts and Watts

Before we start diving into details about each electric bicycle battery, it is important to understand the theory beyond its electric characteristics.

  • Volts - Battery is built from cells. Each cell produces a given Voltage (ex: A li-Ion cell is capable of producing 3.7V. When combining 10 cells we get a 37V Li-Ion battery).
  • Watts - Batteries produces flow of electrons. The "strength" of the flow is measured by Watts - The result of multiplying the current (Amps) by the Voltage. In most countries, electric bicycles whose motor exceeds a specific power (Watt) are not legal. Read more about electric bicycle laws.
  • Capacity - The capacity of the battery is measured by Power x Time (Watt-Hour - the total number of Watts the battery can produce in one charge). Batteries are ranged between 100Wh to 1000Wh.
  • Amp x Hour - Most maker will measure battery capacity using Ah (Amp x Hour). Only when comparing batteries that have the same Volt, does the Ah value have a meaning.
  • Power Density - It is easy to built a high capacity battery. the problem is how to make it LIGHT! Power density measures just that - How much power (Wh) the battery has per kilo (or Libra).

Electric Bicycle Battery Characteristics

Here are some important points to remember

  • Efficiency drop - Most batteries will loose their efficiency over time. This is mainly true with Led-Acid and Lithium-Ion batteries.
  • Operating temperature - Batteries have an optimal operating temperature, which is typically room temperature. When charging or operating batteries outside of their temperature "comfort zone", their efficiency will drop.
  • Limited charges - Unlike fuel tanks that can be filled unlimited times, with batteries the number of charges is limited
  • Overcharge - Batteries may be damaged or their life will be shortened if over-charged. Modern batteries are typically protected by a control unit that is placed inside or outside of the battery.
  • Did you know...?

    Electric Bicycle Battery

    Did you know that your batteries charge less efficiently at colder temperatures?

    Chilly weather prevents your battery from reaching its maximum voltage, so do try to charge your electric bicycle battery indoors in the winter instead of out in the garage. You'll get more mileage per charge this way.

  • Over discharge - Most batteries will have their life shortened when over-discharged. (Li-Ion will stop working in this event). It is your and the controller's responsibility to avoid over-discharge.
  • Cost - Batteries are expensive. In most cases, the price of the electric bicycle battery is 25% to 50% of the total bicycle price. Take good care of the battery, and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Safety issues - Last, there is a severe safety issue with batteries: Never shortcut the poles, Never dismantle the battery cells, and do not expose them to severe temperatures of high humidity.

Electric Bicycle Battery Types

Parameter Led-Acid (SLA) NiCd NiMH Li-Ion
Charging time Slow Fast Fast Fast
Cycles Limited Limited Unlimited Limited
Memory effect No Yes No No
Power density 25 Wh/Kg 50 Wh/Kg 70 Wh/Kg 90~100 Wh/Kg
Price Low Med Med High
Bicycles Rear Rear Dutch Sparta
Cytronex
GoCycle
Some Izips
Most bikes
Summary Rear (Heavy) Quite rear Quite rear Common

Main Electric Bicycle Batteries

After evaluating all four types of batteries, let's concentrate on the two more common batteries.

Led-Acid (SLA = Sealed Led Acid) Batteries

Electric Bicycle Battery
Rechargeable Lead acid batteries are not new in the market, and tough are very reliable. They are also relatively cheap, but their weight is high, and they have a limited number of charges ("cycles") - up to 500 at the most.

If you are not planning on carrying the bicycle by hand, or on an intense use of your e-bike, then using a Lead acid battery might be your best choice.

Li-Ion Batteries

Electric Bicycle Battery
Rechargeable Li-Ion batteries are very light, but they are quite expensive. There are two types of Li-Ion batteries: the old Li-ion batteries, and the new, LiFePO4 batteries. Just note that for recharging a Li-Ion battery you will need a special charger.

Another advantage of this advanced type of battery is the increased number of charges ("cycles") - up to 1500 (more than three times the cycles of a Lead acid battery).

Other Considerations

In most electric powered bicycles the battery can be disconnected from the bike, to allow a remote charge, or just to make the bicycle lighter, in case you want to use it as a regular, pedal-driven bicycle.

Some think that it is possible to produce electricity while riding. The answer is yes, and no... Theoretically, it is possible, however practically, due to the built-in inefficiency of the process, you will have to work much harder pedaling to generate power that will allow only a short-distance ride. Life is tough...

Where to Buy Bicycle Storage Devices?

If you are interested in buying bicycle storage devices, such as bicycle storage sheds, bicycle covers, bicycle stands, and the like, you can buy them in one of many online stores, such as:

Electric Bicycle Battery

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