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How to take care and get the most from your very expensive e-bike battery

People who are jumping on the e-bike wave are usually shocked when they see the price of a replacement battery.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
E-bike batteries.

E-bike batteries, such as this Bosch PowerTube 625, are expensive if you need to buy a replacement.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

Lots of people are buying e-bikes. They are becoming popular, not only as modes of transportation, but also for fitness and leisure (yes, an e-bike can help you get fit and stay fit!).

But owners can be quite shocked when they discover how much a replacement battery costs (most find out when they think about perhaps getting a spare). You're easily looking at several hundred dollars, with some at, or even over, the thousand dollar mark.

Yes, these batteries are expensive. They're a good chunk of the price of the e-bike.

And with good reason. They're huge batteries packing a lot of power, with crafty onboard electronic systems to prevent over-heating, overloading, and deep discharging.

They're very good at taking care of themselves.

However, if you want a long service life out of them, it's a good idea to look after them, and to do that from day one.

Battery damage or degradation can happen in three ways:

  • Normal battery wear.
  • Physical damage.
  • Electrical damage.

How to take care and get the most from your expensive e-bike battery

Let's take a look at what we can do to protect the battery as much as possible to prolong its lifespan.

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1. Slow down normal battery wear

Batteries wear and age in use (or even when not used). It's physics, and there's not much you can do about it.

A battery is meant to be used, so use it! It should last well over 500 recharge cycles (and remember, a single recharge cycle is when you use the battery's entire capacity, so if you always recharge when it's at 75%, you can expect to get about 2,000 recharges from it).

A few things that you can do to slow down the wearing process are:

  • Store and charge the battery at about room temperature.
  • Use a genuine charger.
  • Keep the battery away from direct sunlight.
  • If you're not going to be using the battery for a few months, store it at around 50% charge.
Closeup of e-bike.

Do not ride the bike without the battery cover fitted.

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2. Protect it from physical damage

E-bike batteries are heavy, weighing in at several pounds. While they're quite strong, the plastic and metal construction of the unit is in no way indestructible.

  • Be careful when handling your battery -- take special care when removing the battery from the bike, as the weight might surprise you.
  • Keep the battery away from dirt, dust, and liquids.
  • The plastic parts on the battery -- such as the clips -- are the most prone to damage.
  • Make sure to replace the battery protective cover after reinstalling the battery.
  • When not on the bike, it's a good idea to keep the battery in a protective carry case.
  • Remove the battery when transporting the bike by car or truck.
The plastic parts on the e-bike battery.

The plastic parts on the e-bike battery, such as these end caps, are most prone to damage is the battery is dropped.

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3. Protect it from electrical damage

Take sensible precautions here, pretty much like you would with any other electrical device.

  • Check everything for damage before use.
  • Use the genuine charger.
  • Keep the battery away from liquids.
  • Remove the battery before cleaning your e-bike, and even then, it's best not use water to clean your bike. Instead, use a damp cloth.
Closeup of battery connector.

Take care not to get dirt or liquids into the battery's connector.

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The bottom line

Two things to keep in mind are that you bought your e-bike to use and enjoy it, and that all rechargeable batteries are consumable items that wear out over time and need replacing. 

However, with the proper care, you should be able to get many years of service from your e-bike's battery. Come the day it wears out, you can then decide to replace it or maybe it will be time for a new e-bike.

So stop worrying and go out and enjoy your e-bike.

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