Electric bikes usually don’t come with the largest of batteries, and range could also be an issue if you’re just new to riding.
To ensure there’s enough juice to keep you going, a good charging routine is paramount. We understand that very few people understand have a great understanding of the e-bike charging and we are here to eliminate all doubts and provide insight into the topic.
One question that we are constantly hit with and one that you’re probably asking yourself is; can you charge your electric bike at home? Well, you can charge your electric bike at home and the process is incredibly simple since most e-bikes come with removable batteries.
To get the charging done, you’ll need to:
- Unmount the battery from your electric bike
- Plug the power cable into the power outlet
- Connect the charger to the slot on the battery
Once connected, an LED light should come on or start blinking, to indicate that your battery is charging, and once fully charged, it turns green.
How To Charge Your Electric Bike Battery
The battery is an important component of your e-bike and your charging patterns could affect its lifetime and range.
When charging at home, it is important that you balance two aspects: how fast you should charge it and prolonging its life.
As you probably know, e-bike battery replacements are quite expensive, so it is advisable that you avoid charging the battery too fast or overcharging it.
Besides, keeping the battery cool as it charges could go a long way in prolonging its life.
The ability to decide how slow or fast you will charge your battery comes down to the type of charger, and here are the two common types.
- Full Featured Chargers. Just as the name suggests, these chargers are basically come with more features and let you change the charger’s amps to reduce or increase the charging time. With some units, you can change the voltage so that different battery types can use a single charger. However, you must take extra caution when matching the charger’s voltage setting with the battery.
- Fixed Rate Chargers. Although these chargers have various Amp ratings, it is usually less than 3 Amps. As a result, a higher Amp rating means you’ll get faster charging times. Although they do not give the features or flexibility associated with their full-featured counterparts, they are cheaper and lighter.
Although many people think that they must charge their battery after every ride, the truth is that it could damage your battery.
Charging an electric bike battery should only be done when it’s needed, and this means you have to check the battery level. You can easily find out the amount of charge left in two places on your bike.
1. On the Bike’s Display System. Depending on the conversion kit, the LCD display on the handlebars should show the charge level in your battery.
2. On the Battery Pack. Most batteries usually have a button which you can press after unmounting the battery pack. LED lights will light up and you can confirm the battery level.
How Long Does It Take To Charge Your Electric Bike At Home?
The charging time for your e-bike battery will depend on these aspects:
- The battery capacity (Ah). A higher capacity means that you’ll need more charging time
- The charger’s Amp rating. A higher Amp rating means that there’ll be a shorter charging time.
- The voltage at the power outlet.
As a result, you might realize that charging times could be different between regions.
In the United States, power outlets are mainly 110V, which is lower compared to Europe and other regions.
However, we still recommend that you fully-charge the battery before initial use.
For Lithium-ion batteries, you’ll need between 2- 6 hours of charging time and approximately 6-8 hours for SLA batteries. Moreover, it is important that you always refer to the battery manufacturer’s manual for specific charging instructions.
Many countries in Europe use 220V power outlets in homes, so the charging time is relatively shorter compared to the United States.
A 400Wh Lithium-ion battery will take 3.5 hours to charge from flat to 100%. Surprisingly, the battery charges about 80% in approximately 1.5 hours while the last 20% is set to a slower charge rate.
Rest of the World
In countries outside Europe, the charging times are almost similar to what Europe has to offer.
Most households use 220V outlets, so the charging time is anywhere between 2 and 4 hours. However, some countries are gradually adopting solar-powered kits which could take longer to charge.
Can You Charge Your Bike At Electric Car Charge Stations?
If you’re fortunate enough to find an electric car charging station with open standard, then you can also charge your e-bike in the same station.
With the appropriate charging cable, you can conveniently charge any e-bike model, irrespective of its drive or battery type.
And what’s beneficial about charging at electric car charge stations is that batteries charge close to 2 times faster, therefore saving you time in the long run.
In addition, most of these stations incorporate intelligent charging systems that induce a battery saving effect.
In the first phase, the station loads quite fast but in the last phase, charging is lowered, ultimately increasing the battery’s life.
Safety Considerations To Know About Charging An E-bike
With battery replacement being quite expensive, it is important that you exercise utmost care and safety with the battery.
Besides protecting you from the risk of battery fires or charging hazards, adhering to the right charging measures could prolong your battery’s life.
Here are safety considerations and precautions you should take when charging your e-bike.
- Strictly use the charger supplied by the manufacturer. Chargers from different e-bike models and aftermarket chargers could cause your battery to overheat, and this could result in thermal runaway.
- Do not leave your charging bike unattended and avoid charging it near any flammable objects. Do the charging in a place where nothing can catch fire in the event of a battery-related fire. This way, you will easily get to safety even when you’re not fully equipped to put out the fire.
- Avoid storing your electric bike battery with full charge for a long time. More charge in the battery means there’s more fuel for the chemical reaction that could trigger a fire.
- Do not use batteries that have been crushed, punctured, dropped, or otherwise damaged. Although they might look fine externally, internal damage could cause the cells to come in contact, overheat and eventually ignite. Be sure to contact a specialist if you’re concerned about the safety of your battery pack.
How To Prolong Your Battery’s Life
You could expect anywhere between 40 – 100km of range on a single charge.
And while battery replacement is a great option if you want to get a battery with better capabilities, there are actions you can take to improve the e-bike battery performance and lifespan. Here are some tips:
- Typically, you can charge your battery to your percentage of choice, but it’s crucial to have it fully charged the first time you take it off the box. After that, you can perform a full-charge cycle after every 90 days.
- If you won’t be using your bike for a while, be sure to store your battery off the bike. Also, remember that it won’t need a full charge for you to put it away. And once you put it back, you’ll be surprised that its performance will be unimpacted.
- If the battery will be stored for more than several weeks, it should be charged to about 60% instead of full charge, before storage. This protects it from reduced capacity which the full charge could cause during the extended storage period.
- A complete charge cycle could take between 4 – 6 hours, and this could be affected by the battery’s age, temperature of the surrounding, power outlet rating, etc.
Related Questions About Home Charging
Can I charge my e-bike battery on and off the bike?
Yes, you can charge your battery on and off your bike. It makes no difference and the charging time won’t be affected however you choose to charge the battery.
Is solar powered charging an option?
Some e-bike models allow you to charge the battery with a portable solar panel. While this could be advantageous if you want to increase the range or are biking in areas without a power source, there’s a fair share of drawbacks.
Solar powered charging usually has slower charging times, is quite inefficient, and needs heavy and expensive components.
What’s the range for a single charge?
The range of your battery will depend on how you use your bike as well as the level of assistance you rely on. However, the most common range is 20 – 60 miles, though some batteries can comfortably get you to over 70 miles.
You don’t have to rely on charging stations to get your e-bike battery’s juice back up. You can comfortably charge your bike at home and save yourself some cash.