Take care of your ebike battery, and it’ll last longer than you think.
Like any Lithium-ion battery, your electric bike battery pack will degrade over time, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying it for years to come.
These days everything runs on a battery that we have to recharge, from phones and electric cars to ebikes. If you’re getting ready to buy your first electric bike, you likely have a lot of questions. If you’re wondering, “how long do ebike batteries last?” the answer is a bit complicated.
Like your phone or an electric vehicle, most ebikes have a Lithium-ion battery that helps spin the wheels, so you don’t have to pedal as much. Lithium-ion batteries are ideal for an ebike, instead of a lead-acid battery, as they’re lightweight, deliver plenty of power for increased range, and have good longevity.
As a result, that li-ion battery should last several years, if not longer. However, the manufacturer, quality, and other factors will affect its lifespan. Here’s what you need to know.
Battery Lifespan and Degradation
Before discussing potential lifespan, it’s important to remember that all batteries will degrade over time. Lithium-ion battery packs have a charging lifecycle, and after you’ve recharged the battery hundreds of times, it’ll start to degrade and hold less of a charge.
According to most sources online, Li-ion battery packs are good for anywhere between 300-1200 charge cycles. On an electric bike, when you charge it to 100% and go on a few rides to the grocery store or up a dirt trail until the battery runs out, then recharge it, it counts as one charge cycle.
Over time, these charging cycles degrade the battery, and its total capacity drops. We’re all familiar with this process, just like a three or four-year-old smartphone doesn’t hold a charge as long as it did the day you bought it.
That doesn’t mean your ebike will stop working. Eventually, it’ll degrade and won’t hold a full charge. Instead of getting 50 miles per charge, it’ll be closer to 40 miles, or about 80% capacity.
How Long Does an Ebike Battery Last?
So, how long do electric bike batteries last? Unfortunately, that’s a tricky question to answer. Going off the information above about battery degradation and charging cycles, your ebike battery should last for at least 300 to 500+ charging cycles. And considering you probably don’t charge it daily, you can expect years of enjoyment from the bike.
A reasonable rough estimate is that your ebike battery should be healthy for a solid 3-5 years, if not longer. Even after recharging it once a week for six years, that’s barely over 300 charge cycles. And considering many high-end battery packs can handle up to 1,200+ charge cycles, we’re nowhere near the limit. By then, you’ll likely already be eying a new bike.
But again, this doesn’t mean the battery will stop working and prevent you from using your ebike. It simply means the battery might not charge to 100% anymore, so performance and range could decrease.
How long your ebike battery lasts will depend on a slew of different factors. Some of those include the battery type, manufacturer quality, how well an owner maintains proper charging and storage habits, not to mention the temperature of where it’s stored. But more on that below.
How to Make an Ebike Battery Last Longer
If you use and charge your ebike daily, the battery will degrade faster than a casual rider. Then, you’ll also want to consider charging habits, temperature, storage location, and other things to prolong the life of your bike.
Using a smartphone again as an example, you’ll notice the battery drains if you leave your phone in a hot car over the summer or a cold vehicle during wintertime. Lithium-ion battery cells like to stay in the same temperature range as humans. Storing your ebike in a hot or cold garage will affect the battery charge and lifespan.
You’ll also want to be mindful of battery level and undercharging. You shouldn’t leave a battery near empty for long periods, like if you don’t ride it over the winter. Instead, charge the battery to 80% and store it inside your home.
The same can be said for overcharging, and one of the easiest ways to lower the life of an ebike battery is to leave it on the charger too long (overnight) every time you charge it. Following the manufacturer’s recommended charging time is important to ensure it lasts as long as possible.
So, to recap, charge your ebike battery regularly and store it inside if possible, especially when it’s not in use. Only use the recommended charger it came with. And while your bike probably has an intelligent charger, we recommend unplugging it once it reaches 100%. Be mindful of charging, overcharging, and storage to make it last longer.
Replacing an Electric Bike Battery
Electric bikes can get expensive, and many users wonder, “can I replace an ebike battery?” Again, this all depends on the style and manufacturer. Electric bikes from popular brands, including Super73, Rad Power Bikes, Velotric, Trek, Specialized, and many others, all have removable battery packs.
If your ebike has a removable (or user-accessible) battery, you can probably replace it. However, just because it’s removable doesn’t mean you’ll be able to find or afford a replacement battery. Some manufacturers don’t offer replacements, making the situation a bit iffy.
For example, Super73 offers spare battery packs for its RX ebike, but they’re $1,000 and often out of stock. Thankfully, replacement battery packs for my Velotric Nomad 1 fat-tire ebike are only $399.
Buying an electric bike with an internal battery makes things more complicated. And what happens if the brand isn’t around in 5-6 years? Sure, you can get a 3rd party battery and wire it to your bike, but the average owner doesn’t want to mess with all that. Just know that for many ebikes, you can technically replace the battery, but don’t bank on that for the future.
In closing, your ebike battery should easily last between 3-5 years, if not longer. And that’s being on the cautious side. It’s worth looking into brands with a good warranty, not to mention taking the steps mentioned above to keep the battery healthy for as long as possible.
On the plus side, electric bikes are still relatively new, and battery technology is evolving rapidly thanks to EVs. In the future, we could see smaller battery packs with better performance and longevity or even solid-state batteries at some point.
Electric bikes are an absolute blast to ride, so don’t let the battery prevent you from trying one.