Battery life is calculated in charge cycles. This means it depends on the number of full charges (from 0 to 100%) that they can undergo before their effectiveness gradually diminishes, until they no longer function at all.
In theory, an electric bicycle battery can undergo several hundred charge cycles. How much exactly? That depends on the battery type concerned. The way you take care of your battery will also affect its life. For example, if you store your battery somewhere dry and protected from temperature fluctuations, you will keep it longer. In general, with regular use, an electric bike battery becomes less efficient after 3 to 5 years.
Each battery type has its own lifespan
E-bike battery life expectancy is mainly determined by the battery type. The most commonly used batteries are:
· lithium batteries: tend to become widespread and may hold up to 1000 charge cycles, or even more for the latest Lithium Iron Phosphate models
· nickel batteries: expect around 500 cycles
· lead batteries (on first-generation electric bicycles): expect around 300 cycles
Be careful! This lifetime is a theoretical indication based on manufacturers' estimates.
Make sure the seller has a minimum two-year guarantee, as established by law. Also be aware of the 'health' of your battery. If you notice that it discharges more quickly after a few months, there is probably a manufacturing defect.
What if a battery reaches its maximum number of charge cycles?
The maximum number of charge cycles specified by the manufacturer in fact corresponds to the number of recharging cycles that a battery can theoretically undergo without losing too much efficiency.
At the end of the specified number of cycles, its performance will be reduced and it will hold its charge for a shorter time. It is up to you to judge, depending on your use, whether a replacement is necessary or whether you can get by.
A battery wears out even if it isn't being used
The energy it has stored escapes gradually: this is called 'self-discharging'. If it remains completely discharged for a long period of time, irreparable damage can occur due to chemical reactions inside the battery. Refer to your battery's user manual for information on what to do if you do not intend to use it for a period of time. Recommendations vary depending on the type of battery.
How to take care of electric bike batteries?
· Always use the charger as well as the adapter supplied with your battery. It will avoid overcharging and protects the battery against damage due to short circuits.
· Let your battery cool before charging it. Also, do not use it directly after recharging.
· Never completely drain the battery, but always try charging it to 100%.
· If you won't use your bike for prolonged periods of time, make sure to partially charge the battery every few months.
· Always disconnect the charger from the battery and the network after charging.
· Keep your battery in a cool and dry place (preferably between 0 and 20°).
· Avoid elevated temperatures and do not leave the battery near a heat source.
· Remember that water and electricity do not match! Before cleaning (as well as before doing any work on your e-bike) always remove the battery.
· Never use a steam pressure washer when cleaning the battery (or your e-bike).
· Never completely immerse the battery in water. Wiping it off with a damp cloth is sufficient.