Batteries, Blackbird batteries, more
batteries, all batteries. If you have questions about how to maintain your battery
for your electric bike, I have answers. If you're wondering how many cycles you can
get out of a lithium battery for an electric bike. If you want to know what you should do
with your ebike battery and cold temperatures, if you want to know what percentage you
should charge your ebike battery up to. And if you have questions about how to
keep your battery properly balanced, and finally, what should you do if you need to
store your battery for a prolonged period of time? Before we get into specifics, I have
to thank today's sponsor for the video.
Me, but seriously though, there is no sponsor
for the video other than Bolton eBikes. And just trying to get more information and
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So if you want access to those extra
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don't want to do that, that's totally fine. You can stick around, watch a
weekly video from me for free. Maintaining ebike batteries is not hard. In
fact, in my opinion, they are the easiest often when people think about battery
maintenance, they're thinking of lead acid batteries, you have liquid
that you're having to replace. It's always important to wear protection,
but taking the clinic eye protection, making sure that the final electrolyte level
is running below the bottom of the guideline. When I was. A kid actually
got battery acid in my eyes. It turns out heal quickly who knew sometimes you
have to put a maintainer on the battery, basically a special charger to keep things topped off, but
lithium batteries are so much easier. Now that being said, I still want to make sure you get the
absolute most you can out of your ebike battery. Tip number one is, Don't discharge, a lithium
battery completely with lead acid that is okay with nickel metal hydride or
nicad, or different other older formats. Some of them actually recommended a
full discharge for certain reasons. But with lithium batteries, that is a big, no, you
do not want to fully discharge the cells to zero.
And if you do that, you'll be fine. That's
probably all you really need to know. Okay. I'm just kidding. There's actually
more than that, but that is the first tip. Don't discharge down to zero voltage. That's
basically unrecoverable and not good. Now, does that mean that you can't go for a ride on
your ebike until the battery dies and shuts off? Well, no, it doesn't actually, because every
battery has something inside that is called a, BMS I feel like this is some sort of mystery device
that no one gets to see.
So let's go find it. This is probably what you think an ebike battery
looks like, but this is just an outer shell or plastic case. And there's nothing in there because
it's already out. This is what it looks like on the inside. This is a, BMS or battery management
system. It's basically a smart little circuit board and you have outputs that are going to the
terminals, which would connect to your cradle. You can see there's a little wires going all
over the place. BMS is monitoring the voltage of individual cells.
So to put this
simply, this battery knows not just when this cell gets down or up to a certain voltage.
It also knows when this one goes to a certain voltage or this one it's looking at a collection
or a group of the battery management system will actually cut off the battery when the
voltage gets down to a certain point to prevent your battery from getting damaged. So when you take your ebike for a ride and you
drain the battery until the bars on your display, go down to nothing. And at some
point the whole bike just shuts off the voltage on your bike is actually
not at zero or anywhere close to it. The cells actually have a fair amount of voltage.
Left, but that's where they need to be cut off for longevity.
If you drain them down to zero,
like I said, they'd be unrecoverable. Now, do I recommend doing that? Kind of
running it all the way to the minimum? No, I probably wouldn't do
that on a regular basis. But that's what the BMS is for often a question
is how many cycles will they get? And a little bit of confusion is caused sometimes when I talk
about a cycle and what does that actually mean? And basically that is a full discharge and
charge cycle. So if you're starting with the battery at 100% capacity and you drain it down to
where that BMS effectively cuts the voltage off.
That is a full discharge cycle.
Now I've seen different numbers thrown around S equals one half a
T squared. Whereas is the altitude a, is the gravity constant of 32 when T is
the time it took for that rock to come back. But usually somewhere between 800 and 1000 cycles
is what these individual cells are rated for. I've seen some people say as low as 500, if you
say, go ride your bike for 20 miles on a full discharge cycle, and you could do that. A thousand
times that would be 20,000 miles. That's, that's a lot of mileage on an eBike.
If you only get half
of that, you know, 500 cycles, then obviously that's going to be half that still be about 10,000
miles before you wear your e-bike battery out. And I want to be clear that if you go from
say a hundred percent down to half of your battery capacity, instead of draining it all
the way to zero, that is effectively only. Half of a discharge cycle.
Now, when we get into charging, this is where there's a lot of interesting
information about charge percentages. Most ebike chargers that come with your electric
bike are going to charge to 100% every single time. And. That's okay. I don't want anyone
to think like they're killing their battery by charging to 100%. Those cycle ranges I just
gave you are normal expectations. If you are charging to a hundred percent, you want the
most range you can get out of your battery. If you want to extend the overall life span of
your battery, you can charge.
To slightly less than full capacity and there's good and bad things
about that. Let me explain the good first, have you charged to 90%? That's effectively going to be
easier on the internal components of those cells. They will actually last longer as in instead
of 800 cycles, maybe if you go to 90%, you'll get a thousand cycles.
Some studies suggest that maybe at 80% charge, you might get double the number of
cycles before that battery dies. Personally, I always charge my ebike to 100%. Do I know
that in theory, it might last longer at 90%. Yes, it might, but I know that I'm going to lose
10% range every time.
If I don't charge it fully. And you know, it's a trade off now, what is the
downside? I think this is something that's often overlooked and that has to do with balancing
it's. We're jumping back to that BMS. When the lowest of the lowest cells goes down to a certain
cutoff point, it's going to shut your battery off. And also in the highest gets to a highest point.
It's going to turn off the charging function. So it protects the cells from being charged to too
high of a voltage and potentially blowing up. As you can see, that's a great
way to get a house fires. We definitely don't that most of the BMS is used
on the market, require the battery to be at 100% to balance the cells. And what they're doing
is basically allowing each cell to be charged up to a certain point and then stop. If
you don't charge to a hundred percent, some of those are not capable
of balancing the cells. Some will get lower, some will get higher.
And your battery is not going to perform as well and may die prematurely.
You may not
get as much range out of it. So even if you do charge to 80 or 90% increase the overall
life expectancy, it's a good idea to still charge to a hundred percent on occasion
to make sure that the cells are balanced. Now, what about storage? And I'm not talking
about. Putting your batteries on a shelf. And where do you physically put them? Them? 340.
I mean, if this guy's got this kind of energy and this kind of artistic guy, I
want to see what else he's got. What is the best? Percent of charge
or voltage to store your battery.
Different voltages will actually cause different
things to happen within the battery. Now, typically most batteries will slowly drain
or lose voltage over time. So you really do not want to leave your battery dead for weeks or month, you may go plug your battery
in and nothing happens. It doesn't want to charge because the cells have gradually dipped
below the lowest safe voltage to charge. The BMS is not going to allow those cells
to charge your battery is toast. Now, if it's going to be a few days, maybe even a few
weeks charging to a hundred percent and leaving the battery that way is just fine. Let's
say you live in an area where it's snows really heavily in the winter, and you
don't feel like riding out in the cold.
And, you know, you're not going to ride for two
or three months, the best storage number that I've seen based on lithium ion cell studies shows to
be around 70%. You could charge the battery up to around that 70%. You could look at the voltage
on your display or some other number to kind of gauge. If you might be in that ballpark, or you
could charge your battery up to a hundred percent, go for a five mile ride around the
neighborhood to bring it down a little bit. Now do batteries like being left out in
the cold? The answer to that would be no. If you leave your ebike outside or in the
garage and the temperature is freezing or below, do not charge your battery. They really, really
don't like it. And unfortunately you can cause permanent damage. It's better
to take your battery inside. Oops! Bring your battery inside, let it warm up
to room temperature, and it will be much, much happier now for just charging.
a little bit different. It's okay. To start with your battery at room temperature, take your
bike from inside and go on a cold ride outside. What you may notice if it's really
cold is a loss in performance. Meaning your battery won't produce quite as much power. The bike might feel a little sluggish.
It may not have the same amount of range. If, you know, you're going to be out for a while, I would recommend it insulating
the battery. In some way. I've seen people design custom
sleeves that go around them.
I've seen people put their batteries in
a triangle bag in the frame. Anything you can do to keep it a little bit warmer
in freezing temperatures is only going to help. Not only the performance. But
the overall longevity of the battery. Do you have squeaky brakes? Do you not stop on time? Are you looking for more performance? Then go check out this video for
an easy way to upgrade your stock mechanical disc brakes, to
something with better performance..