- What’s Inside the E-bike Battery?
- How Long Does an Electric Bike Battery Last?
- How To Extend the Life of an Electric Bike Battery?
The battery is the most expensive component of an electric bike; it’s typically worth around a third of what you paid for the bike. But just like any other part, it’s not immune from the effects of wear and tear.
Eventually, you will be compelled to replace the battery pack, either due to damage or it ran the course of its shelf life.
If it ever comes to this, it is important to purchase the right type of battery for your e-bike and what it will cost. So, how much does an electric bike battery cost?
Generally speaking, a premium e-bike battery will cost you anything in the range of $500-800; but this will depend on the capacity of the battery and the brand you purchase. This price would typically be for a battery with a capacity between 400wh and 700wh.
Note that big-name-brand batteries are notably costlier than high-end off-brand batteries when you consider the cost/Wh.
Comparing the Cost of E-bike Batteries Between Brands
Multiple companies each with their own brand manufacture electric bike batteries, each with a unique level of quality. This also means that you can find a battery pack to fit your budget.
The Bosch brand is one of the most expensive you can find when it comes to electric bike batteries. A battery pack from Bosch sells for between $675 and $925. This translates to an average cost per Wh of around $1.72/Wh.
For instance, the Bosch Powerpack 500 frame, which is rated at 500wh capacity, costs over $900 on Amazon.
Shimano is another popular brand in the market selling e-bike batteries. Their prices range from $500 to $750, and the average cost per Wh is approximately $1.42/Wh.
The SHIMANO Steps BT-E8014 electric bike battery, which has a capacity rating of 418wh, costs $500 on Amazon.
Finally, if you are not looking to spend too much on a new battery, you can find something to suit your limited budget. Off-brand battery types with reliable quality cells such as Samsung, LG, or Panasonic have an average cost/Wh of about $0.82wh.
These will serve as a great alternative to the more expensive Bosch power pack. Below is a list of some e-bike battery brands and their price range on major online retailers:
Bosch PowerPack 400
Bosch PowerPack 500
Bosch PowerTube 400
Bosch PowerTube 500
Bosch PowerTube 625
Shimano STEPS BT-E8014 Battery, Downtube Mounted, 418 Wh
Shimano STEPS BT-E8020 Battery, Integrated Downtube, 504 Wh
Yamaha E-Bike Battery, 500Wh
However, you should note that the cheaper the e-bike battery, the less the quality you’re likely to get from it.
Most of these cheap batteries originate from China and you can find them through direct sellers. Unlike the cells from Korea and Japan, China doesn’t have a reputation for producing quality 18650 cells.
Also, many name-brand battery packs from the Chinese are possibly made out of re-wraps or clone cells. This generally results in underwhelming performance and a relatively shorter battery life expectancy.
Not to mention that these kinds of batteries can be a fire hazard. So, before you decide to go for the cheapest battery in the store, keep the above in mind.
What’s Inside the E-bike Battery?
Most modern electric bikes are equipped with a lithium-ion battery, and this consists of two major components; individual lithium-ion cells and a Battery Management System.
The battery pack on an e-bike features several smaller battery cells, typically arranged in the 18650 format. These are slightly larger than an AA battery and have a 1.5V charge. Meanwhile, their capacity is anything between 3200 and 350OmAh.
The small cells are usually arranged in either series or parallel to make up a large battery. The actual number of cells in the battery will usually vary depending on the capacity and the voltage of the battery. This is also true for the type of arrangement used.
For Bosch power packs, the number of individual cells is between 40 and 50.
What is a Battery Management System (BMS) in E-bike Batteries?
Some e-bike battery brands come with an integrated BMS, which can be considered as the “brains” of the battery. This serves to maintain an optimal balance of the individual cells inside the large battery for prolonged performance.
It plays an important role during charging and discharging by regulating the number of amps to be drawn from the pack. Some Battery Management Systems may also monitor the temperature of the battery during charging to prevent damage to the cells through overheating.
Some BMSs can also be connected to your phone via Bluetooth, giving you access to more detailed information about the battery.
How Much Does It Cost to Charge an E-bike Battery?
Aside from the initial investment you make when buying a new e-bike battery, there are additional costs that come with charging the battery. Most bikes are equipped with a battery rated between 300-500W, and this is paired with a 2-amp or 4-amp charger.
The higher the capacity of the battery, the more time it will require to fully recharge. A standard e-bike battery requires around 4-6 hours of charging to get back to full capacity. Meanwhile, the same battery can offer a range of 25-80km depending on the pedal assist level you’re using.
This is to say that you’ll need to recharge the battery after every 4-6 hours if you were to ride the bike continuously. Meanwhile, the cost of charging the battery varies from one country to another. Typically, the rates can range from 5-dollar cents per KWh to 35-dollar cents per KW/h for those in the United States.
Another important thing worth noting is that your charging regime will also be determined by the pedal-assist level you use every time you ride your bike. If you tend to use the throttle mode almost entirely, then you will need to charge the battery more often and this eventually results in shorter shelf life.
How Long Does an Electric Bike Battery Last?
The life of an electric bike battery is expressed in terms of charge cycles. This means it will take a certain number of full charge cycles before the battery completely loses its effectiveness. Note that a full charge cycle refers to charging the battery from 0-100%.
Generally, an e-bike battery can go through several hundreds of charge cycles. However, the actual number will depend on the nature of the battery you’re using, as well as the overall maintenance of the battery.
For instance, if you tend to store your battery pack in a dry area that is well shielded against temperature fluctuations, then you will enjoy longer service from it. On average, the battery becomes less and less efficient after 3-5 years of use.
An e-bike’s battery shelf life is mainly influenced by the type of battery it is. Usually, the most common types you’ll find in the market include:
- Lithium batteries- These are the most widespread and can last up to 1000 full charge cycles or even more for the latest Lithium Iron Phosphate designs
- Nickel batteries- You can expect around 500 cycles
- Lead batteries- These can go up to around 300 cycles
How To Extend the Life of an Electric Bike Battery?
There are a couple of e-bike battery maintenance practices that you should adhere to if you want a long life for your battery. These will come in handy whenever you’re charging, storing, as well as cleaning the battery. In short, you should do the following:
During charging, you want to make sure that you’re using the charger and adapter that came together with the e-bike battery. This will save you any problems arising from overcharging, as well as damage as a result of short-circuiting.
Before charging the battery, allow it some time to cool, and avoid using it immediately after recharging. Don't wait for the battery to be fully drained before charging and when you charge your battery, make sure it gets to 100%.
Lastly, if you won’t be riding the e-bike for a long while, try to partially charge the battery pack every few months.
During storage, it is advised that you find a cool and dry place for this. Ideally, find an area with temperatures between 0 and 20 degrees Celsius to maintain the battery’s capacity. Also, avoid exposing the battery to direct sunlight or placing it close to heat sources.
The first thing to take note of is that water and electricity don’t mix, so you don’t want to use steam pressure when cleaning the battery. Instead, find a damp cloth and wipe any dirt, grime, and dust off the battery.
Whether you are planning to replace your old e-bike battery or motorize your regular bike using an e-bike conversion kit, you should have a good idea of the type of battery to invest in.
Remember that the battery is the most expensive electric component on the bike and will need to be replaced after a certain duration of use. This article provides crucial insight into how much it will cost you to buy a new battery and how long it will take before you have to replace it again.