E-bike battery care: Balancing speed and battery life

E-bike battery care: Balancing speed and battery life

Apr 25, 2024创易达

The speed at which the electric bike system disconnects and your riding style are crucial for battery performance. Almost all major bicycle manufacturers now offer a range of road and off-road electric bikes.

From cargo commuting e-bikes to sleek carbon fiber electric road bikes that are almost indistinguishable from non-motorized bicycles, electric bikes have evolved from novelty to practicality in the cycling world.


Anyone who has invested in battery-powered consumer electronics can attest to the noticeable decline in battery performance over time. Therefore, for anyone considering purchasing an electric bike and existing owners alike, e-bike battery maintenance is an important consideration.


The best electric bikes

The best electric road bikes

The best commuting electric bikes


With the rapid pace of development, some potential electric bike owners are concerned that the premium they pay today will be frustratingly outdated in a few months. This is not entirely accurate and largely depends on your usage.


Take the electric bike motor, for example. Mid-drive motors come in two rated output powers: 250W and 500W. More powerful motors may be enticing, but they also consume more battery energy. For regular commuting, a 500W motor is almost entirely unnecessary.


As more research and development resources are poured into the electric bike market, mid-drive motors may become more efficient or lighter, but riders don't necessarily need greater output power. The key is finding the right balance between power and efficiency based on your specific riding needs.


What you should consider is battery technology and how the usage of an electric bike affects battery life.



Learning from the lessons of other digital devices


Battery suppliers in the electric bike market have chosen lithium-ion as the standardized chemistry. This battery composition has been validated in consumer electronics and automotive industries. Therefore, there is a wealth of user data available regarding the health of lithium-ion batteries.


The motor of your electric bike will last a long time, with fewer moving parts prone to damage or heavy maintenance. Where performance may decline over time is in the battery pack.



Most smartphone or laptop users have experienced battery degradation over time. However, the loss of energy capacity can be mitigated. The most crucial impact on the health of electric bike batteries is the frequency of charging from very low energy levels.


If you frequently drain the battery to almost empty in most rides, the likelihood of significant degradation is very real. Ideally, you want to minimize the time spent at zero energy consumption and at 100% energy consumption.


Most electric bikes come with three-mode configurations, roughly divided into thirds. The lowest pedal-assist mode uses one-third of the available motor power, the middle setting uses two-thirds, and the third setting provides full power.

By default, using the eco mode, you should complete your electric bike rides with the maximum battery capacity possible.


Use it sparingly as needed


Limiting the depth of discharge is the most important way to maintain the health of electric bike batteries.


While we all occasionally enjoy maximum motor assistance, it is quite unnecessary, especially considering the lower limits imposed on electric bike systems in the EU/UK, which are set at 25 km/h.

The only time you should use the full power of the electric bike is when conquering the steepest slopes during challenging climbs.


By judiciously using only the battery capacity you need and not excessively consuming all the extra watts, you will enjoy better and more stable battery health over time.


The electric bike motor also prefers a consistent cadence, preferably in the range of around 80 RPM. To achieve the best match between your input and the motor's output, it is better to ride with higher cadence and lower gears.


If you frequently ride your electric bike and fully deplete the battery, you may consider models with larger battery capacity. Alternatively, you can choose plug-in range extenders to balance the overall load of the electric bike's energy system.




Rethinking the "free" speed


Different countries and regions have different regulations regarding the speed and specifications of electric bikes.


In the United States, the maximum power limit for electric bike motors goes up to 750W and disengages assistance at speeds of 32 km/h. Europe and the UK have adopted stricter definitions, with a power output limit of 250W for electric bikes used on roads, disengaging electric assistance at 25 km/h.


As a result, electric bike riders in the EU and the UK generally experience less battery degradation due to the configuration of their bikes. By using more conservative pedal-assist software to manage their energy usage, electric bikes in the EU/UK theoretically operate more efficiently than similar products in the US market.


Commuting and active transportation electric bikes were never designed to be speed machines. The value of these pedal-assist bikes lies in alleviating the challenges of long-distance commuting along hilly routes or reducing the pain of riding against the wind on the way back home in the afternoon.


Electric bikes are most useful when enhancing the rider's power on steep climbs or against headwinds. In both cases, speed is low. Active commuters don't need to climb steep hills at 40 km/h.


For electric bike enthusiasts in the EU and the UK, the more conservative assist setting of 7 km/h for mid-drive motors can provide an excellent ownership experience and contribute to healthier long-term battery health.

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