Knowing certain technical factors about the battery of an 'ebike' helps to choose better, and it is also useful for its conservation in these times of forced stoppage.

With the coronavirus it is a time for pause, but also to appreciate moments that we may not be so aware of when we enjoy them. Like going out on a bicycle. However, they can take advantage now to plan, or take care of what we have. To get advice if we opted for one of the incipient electric 'ebikes' as a revenge for these days of confinement. And if we already have one, to know how to maintain them on days of forced stoppage. Because they carry a battery in their guts.

Essential element of an 'ebike', fundamentally determines its autonomy. What is your function? What and how to choose battery? What factors affect its quality and performance? And if we already have one, how to take care of the battery with the bike stopped for a long period of time?

Like a car deposit

We always talk about the motor, but if there is no battery that transmits the energy, the motor does not move. A motor without a battery is nothing. That power is measured in watts / hour, an energy measure to know its capacity. What then influences a bike to go further and 'pull' the assistance that the motor allows? Quality and performance, size and capacity are decisive for greater autonomy and good performance.

First, when the user sees those figures, 375 Kw, 550 ... What do they indicate? It is the capacity, as if it were the fuel tank of a car. When bigger, more capacity.

Let's talk about the quality of a battery. If we talk about the deposit, we talk about the number of cells in the battery, its gross quantity. Because there are different quality ranges that influence durability and the ability to manage from full load to the minimum load they can support. We can say, generalizing a lot, that there are three quality ranges within the cells, and in the bike world, medium grades are usually used, which are already good enough for a bike. That quality is also decisive in the price of an 'ebike' and can make a difference.

But with the battery another fundamental part interacts to manage its performance. It is the so-called BMS unit; it is the electronics, or the brain of the battery. It is an essential element that communicates with the motor, which informs of the capacity of the battery at a given moment, which manages the demand that we demand at each moment, and which regulates the passage of electrons and preserves from possible overloads or excess temperatures.

Quality, not quantity

With the above two factors already defined, let's go to the actual performance of each battery. But before remembering that current batteries have gained capacity, size and weight, which can influence whether they are integrated into the bicycle, or can be removed from it to be recharged independently. This would be another factor to consider depending on where and how the bicycle can be stored at home.

In a car we also talk about gross capacity and available capacity. For example a Nissan Leaf we say that it has 40 KW of battery, but really about 37 are useful. In the case of the electric bike, we only talk about the gross quality, the one published by the brands, and it is usually inflated. Therefore, the important thing is to know how well managed the battery is, the good quality of its cells and its BMS, to get the most out of them without harming them by deep discharges that damage it. Here, be careful not to be blinded by the figures. A 378 kW battery may have a higher watt / hour performance than a lower quality battery even though it advertises 500 kW of capacity. Therefore, it is important to talk about quality and not so much about quantity. Leading brands and manufacturers often use batteries and motors that match the quality of the bikes. For example, we sometimes come across bikes with electronic problems and electronic boards that fail in battery management. You have to go for brands that bet on motor and battery assemblies recognized for their solvency.

When we amortize the battery

The evolution of the performance of a battery according to its use is another issue to consider: when and how they lose capacity. It is important to make clear that the battery in exhaustive use is one more consumable. Manufacturers use the concept of charge cycle, which is to go from zero to one hundred per recharge, leaving intermediate recharges as part of a cycle. The sector average is around 500 or 600 charge cycles, which translated into kilometers represent about 15,000 km or 20,000 km: if we do it, we will have amortized the battery. It is a progressive loss, not that they suddenly fail. The battery of an electric bike may need a replacement, but it is advisable to hurry those cycles, you must do these recharge cycles before changing it. The passage of time could also affect beyond the charging cycles, but it is true that we have already verified that there are brands with a proven history that they last a long time. If we are able to do that mileage with its original battery to a bike we will have spent it thoroughly and it will have to be replaced.

Author's Bio: 

Marina Pal is a renowned author and social media enthusiast.