Should I charge my electric bike after each ride? | Cycling Electric (2024)

The question of how and when to charge your electric bike will be one that those new to pedal-assist bikes will wonder about early on. There are of course best practice tips, as well as some clear do’s and don’ts, so let’s dive in to some tips.

The battery is more than likely the most expensive component on your electric bike, as well as the most complex and least serviceable (a topic that we explore in our latest print magazine). For that reason it makes good sense to prolong the life of the cells, which for the majority of manufacturers should be good for north of 1,000 full charge cycles, if treated well. That generally equates to between three to five years use for the regular electric bike rider.

As you may have noticed with other electrical equipment that’s been out of use for a while, a battery left for months on end without any activity may not be up to its old standards, so even during winter if you’re not riding it’s worth an occasional plug in just to keep the cells from degrading. In the future we can expect to see some general improvements here as technologies advance and indeed there is great promise in solid state batteries eliminating this problem.

There exists an oddity that may seem counter intuitive in that plenty of experts in battery technology suggest not to run a battery fully flat and not to charge to the maximum either, however it’s perfectly safe to do so and more than likely you’ll do exactly that unless you have the electric bike in reach at all times.

Certainly when it is cold out we would suggest charging to 100%, as lithium ion cells can lose power faster when chilled. No one wants to contend with range anxiety and as time goes on the less of a conversation that is becoming thanks to advances in technology and battery capacities, even at lower price points.

Bad charging habits can accelerate the decline of cells and while most modern chargers will now have an automatic off switch once a battery is fully charged, a typical charge cycle on modern e-bikes does only tend to run at between three to six hours. Therefore overnight charging is generally overkill and can eventually lead to battery degradation.

Some simple but occasionally overlooked points when putting on charge an electric bike and leaving the area include general safety checks. Make sure nothing is pivoting precariously and likely to fall or move, especially the e-bike itself. Electrics and water don’t mix especially, so it goes without saying make sure you’re charging in a dry area. That goes for storage too, try not to leave anything too exposed to the elements, especially if you have a damp shed, for example. Corrosion is not your friend.

All of the above considered, It’s rarely worth charging your battery after every short ride. Wait until you are running low (25% or below) and plug in at a time when you know you’ll be available to unplug later in the day.

Should I charge my electric bike after each ride? | Cycling Electric (1)

Charge your electric bike safely

Now for some quite critical words on the headlines you may have seen in relation to battery safety and the potential fire risks.

We have covered in detail the reality of the fire risk, but to reiterate, it is imperative that you use the manufacturer’s own charging equipment and not unverified third-party equipment. A mismatch of charging equipment removes a certain safety guarantee that genuine manufacturers will be bound to and it is well documented that there are numerous dangerous third-party products that remain on sale, despite major platforms removing some of the worst offenders.

In short, cheap electricals may be cheap for a reason, so be sure that if you need to replace a charger that it is a like for like manufacturer tested and approved unit. It is important too that voltage outputs match up, which will be guaranteed with an official and matched product.

Finally, since we’re addressing the hot topic of fire safety, we have another deep dive explainer of why it’s unwise to modify your electric bike’s electrics or batteries here.

Tags: best practiceebikes

Should I charge my electric bike after each ride? | Cycling Electric (2024)

FAQs

Should I charge my electric bike after each ride? | Cycling Electric? ›

To maintain the health and longevity of an electric bike battery, it is generally recommended to charge it after every ride.

Should I charge my ebike after every ride? ›

Regular Charging: It's advisable to charge your e-bike after each ride to maintain the battery's health. This ensures that the battery is kept in good condition over time. Readiness for Next Ride: Charging after every ride also means your e-bike is always ready for your next trip, with a full or near-full battery.

How often should I charge my bike battery? ›

For the most part, you don't need to let your electric bike battery discharge completely. Rather try to charge the battery when there is between 30 percent and 60 percent of the capacity remaining. Some battery experts do, however, suggest an occasional full discharge, perhaps, once every 30 to 40 charges.

Is it bad to leave an ebike plugged in all the time? ›

Newer lithium-ion batteries do not need to be fully drained before charging. Don't leave your e-bike plugged in all the time.

What percentage should I charge my ebike battery? ›

Long answer: Partially charging a lithium ion battery between 20% and 80% is the best way to maintain its total capacity for as long as possible.

How to make an e-bike battery last longer? ›

9 tips for a longer range, meaning your e-bike's battery will last longer in winter
  1. Store the battery indoors. ...
  2. Charge it properly. ...
  3. Use the assistance. ...
  4. Keep it smooth. ...
  5. Take it down a gear. ...
  6. Check your tyre pressure. ...
  7. Lubricate the chain properly. ...
  8. Use a second battery.

How to maintain an electric bike battery? ›

“Partially discharging and then charging will extend the service life of a battery significantly,” he says. Store it partially charged. If you're not going to ride your electric bike for a few weeks or longer, Bosscher says, it's better to store the bike at less than fully charged.

What is the average lifespan of an ebike? ›

With very little maintenance, a high-quality e-bike could easily last 3-5 years without incident. But you might be surprised to discover that with routine maintenance and care, your e-bike could last you 5-10 years.

Should I completely discharge my ebike battery? ›

As mentioned earlier, you shouldn't fully discharge your e-bike batteries on a regular basis. Discharging lithium-ion batteries to 0% is harmful. The batteries don't have a charge memory. Shallow discharges and recharges are better.

Can I overcharge my ebike battery? ›

Using an incompatible charger can damage the battery or cause it to overheat, which can shorten its lifespan. Overcharging your e-bike battery can cause irreversible damage to the battery cells, leading to reduced performance and even safety issues. Therefore, it's important to avoid overcharging your battery.

Should I keep my ebike battery topped up? ›

Daily recharging a e-bike battery to full capacity can lead to premature failure of the battery. That is why it is recommended to charge the battery to 85% of capacity, which helps the battery have a longer lifespan. Keeping a e-bike battery fully charged will shorten its lifespan.

How do I keep my ebike battery cool in the summer? ›

How Do I Protect My Ebike Battery from Heat? Top Tips
  1. Passive Air Cooling. ...
  2. Better Battery Breathing. ...
  3. Proper E-Bike Battery Storage Temperature. ...
  4. No Direct Sunlight. ...
  5. No Hot Car. ...
  6. Letting Your Ebike Battery Cool down Before Charging. ...
  7. Air-Conditioned Comfort for Charging. ...
  8. Slow Charging.
Jun 10, 2024

How long can an ebike go without charging? ›

You could expect to get 22-50 miles out of most eBikes on a single battery charge with relaxed pedaling. In other cases, you will be able to ride even farther. There are several electric bikes available that can get 50+ miles on a single charge.

Do e-bike batteries drain when not in use? ›

(A lithium-ion battery will slowly lose its capacity over time, even if it's not used.) Below are three things you can do to ensure you get the longest usage out of your electric bike battery.

How many hours should I charge my ebike battery? ›

A lithium ion ebike battery that is fully depleted will take 3.5 to 6 hours to recharge. Batteries that still have a partial charge when you start charging will take less. In addition, the last hour or so of a charge is used to "top-off" the cells, and you don't have to wait for that process to be completed.

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