How to maintain Lithium batteries for electric bikes – Easy!

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 
knowledge out there about electric bikes. However, if this content you want to see 
more, click that join button below this video,   you get exclusive access to an extra video 
every month that has more behind the scenes. Details on what we're working on a new 
projects. You can get a little loyalty   bench next to your name, and you also get to do 
things like vote on thumbnails for future videos   before they're released to everyone 
else. And when we release new models,   I do want your help as members 
of the channel. To name them.

So if you want access to those extra 
things on this YouTube channel,   you can click that join button. If you 
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.

pexels photo 5745012

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.

That's 
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..

You May Also Like