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Scooteretti Blog

EBike Batteries & Electric Scooter Batteries

April 21, 2014, 5 comments

Ebike batteries – Proper storage for increased life:

electric scooter batteryEach fall we receive a lot of questions about the best way to store and maintain ebike batteries. In this Blog we will be focusing on deep cycle lead acid batteries only as they are by far the most popular type currently used in electric scooters. We will write a future blog on how to properly store a lithium battery, as there are some slight differences between them.

Deep cycle lead acid ebike batteries:

A deep cycle lead acid batteries is an electrochemical system.  There are a few characteristics that one needs to be aware of with this type of scooter battery.

Temperature greatly affects both their performance and life. Taking a few minutes to properly store and maintain them will prevent damage and premature replacement.

All types, regardless of their chemical make-up, will self-discharge if left unused for a period of time. Some will have a lower discharge rate then others, so it’s important to make sure you are taking care of them. The rate a battery discharges is dependent upon it’s chemical make-up. This is where the quality of the battery really stars to make a difference.

Not all ebike battery packs are created equal! Like buying batteries for your home, we all know that those $1.00 store one’s never last nearly as long as those big brands. Although much cheaper, they really aren’t saving you any money. And this is not one place to cut corners,  after all it’s the heart of the system.

Typically the average discharge rate of high quality deep cycle ebike battery is around 3 – 5% each month and on the low quality brands it can be 10% or more per month! So in order to ensure they stay in tip top shape you need to charge them at least once per month.

Effects of Temperature:

Temperature plays a critical role in the performance of a battery. At higher temperatures, the capacity generally increases and as the temperatures drop and so does the capacity. This is why riding your ebike, electric scooter or electric bicycle at 20C will give you better performance and range than say riding at 5C. Here is an example of how much capacity the batteries used in Scooteretti electric scooters have depending on their temperatures:

– 40C (104F) capacity reaches approximately 102%-108%

– 25C (77F) capacity reaches 100%

– 0 (32F) capacity reaches 85%

Lithium Scooter BatteryA general rule of thumb, for every 10°F increase in temperature there is a two to three fold increase in reaction rate. Therefore, storing ebike batteries in a very hot environment accelerates the self-discharge characteristic and storing them at a lower temperature decreases the self-discharge rate.

While keeping them in the cold may seem like a great idea in theory, one must absolutely make sure that they do not get too cold and freeze. In our climate here in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, storing them in an unheated garage, garden shed or outdoors will most likely cause them to freeze and therefore result in permanent damage to the internal lead plates or the plastic casings.

So you must make sure that you store them where they won’t freeze. For most people this means storing them in their home or heated garage. Ideally a controlled environment of 10C would be ideal, but that is not practical for most people.

Recommended Storage Tips:

  1. When storing your e-bike or electric scooter for the winter, we suggest removing the batteries on ebikes, electric scooters and electric bicycles equipped with removable battery packs and storing them inside. On ebikes or electric scooters not equipped with a removable option, it is highly recommended to keep your ebike or electric scooter stored indoors. If this is not possible, you should contact us and consider having us store it in a climate controlled storage facility. We offer this service and include monthly recharging in the monthly price.
  2. If your bike is equipped with a power breaker, you should turn this to the “Off” position between recharges as items such as controllers and alarm systems do draw a small amount of power from the batteries. Remember to turn the breaker switch on when you recharge each month. If your ebike is not equipped with a breaker switch or if you require your alarm system to be active during storage a more frequent recharge will be required.
  3. You should always store and recharge in a well-ventilated, cool and dry location. You should never store you batteries or recharge your batteries in an area where the batteries are exposed to high heat sources like baseboard heaters or radiators. Never recharge your batteries unattended.
  4. You should recharge your battery packs fully prior to putting them in storage for any period of time and then recharge them once per month when not in use.
    NOTE: You should never recharge them unattended. If at any time you notice your batteries getting hot to the touch or if they emit any odor, immediately stop charging your batteries. You should contact your local battery expert or Scooteretti. Either one of these issues may be an indication that your batteries require replacement.
  5. Always use a charger that is designed to work with your batteries. If you are unsure contact us and we would be glad to help.
  6. Recharging your e-bike, electric scooter or electric bicycle battery pack on a monthly basis should take no longer than an hour or two. Longer recharge times indicate a possible problem with your batteries and you should have an expert inspect them.

Following these simple battery storage tips will significantly increase the overall life. If you have any questions about ebike batteries and how to properly store them, feel free to contact us and we would be pleased to help.

Comments

  1. Rose-Anna Hiebert says:

    I bought new batteries last spring, it takes 4 small batteries. The last week in Jan to the first week in Feb we had nice weather nice enough to ride. After riding for a week I changed my bike, we then got hit with cold weather and lots of snow, but my battery was left in my bike. What are the chances my battery is now dead, or even my bike

    1. scooteradmin says:

      Hello Rose-Anna, If you properly maintained your battery pack prior to this you should be OK. We recommend taking the batteries out of the bike and bring them indoors. Prior to charging let them warm up to room temperature say 12 hours to be safe before recharging. Keep an eye on them to see if they charge properly and don’t overheat.

  2. scooteradmin says:

    Hello Gail,

    Unfortunately due to all the issues surrounding the safety of Hoverboards we are unable to comment on your question. The problem is due to the inconsistencies in battery quality. We suggest contacting the manufacturer of your Hoverboard on this.

  3. Laura Smith says:

    I bought my IGO E-City electric scooter last summer and stored my battery indoors all winter periodically charging it …took my bike to work last week and again this morning and it seems to run very low ,very fast…II don’t want to have to buy batteries every year…what can I do?

    1. scooteradmin says:

      Hello Laura,

      With scooters like that, they use lead acid batteries and it’s very important to ensure that you maintain a full charge in them. Most importantly you should prevent them from freezing and recharge them at least once per month as they do self discharge on their own. If you followed the monthly then we suggest upgrading the battery to a higher quality set. We suggest contacting the dealer where you purchased the scooter from and or manufacturer as well to see if there were issues with their batteries or a recall on them. Hope this helps.

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