How To Maximize Your Electric Scooter’s Battery Life
One of the great things about owning an electric scooter is that they require so little maintenance. Unlike cars, or even bikes, which need regular trips to the mechanic and routine replacement parts, electric scooters that are treated well do not need to be tuned up, greased, or topped with oil before a ride. This makes them ideal personal vehicles for short commutes and trips around town.
There is, however, one exception. Improper use and bad charging habits can significantly shorten the life of a scooter’s battery. Conversely, good habits can prolong its life and keep you on the road, trouble free, for years. Nearly all high-quality electric scooters run on lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, which power the scooter’s motor, lights, electric brakes, digital displays, controller, and other accessories. Lithium-ion batteries are powerful, efficient, and long-lasting. They can be discharged and recharged many times without losing their storage capacity.
“A typical Li-ion battery,” notes Electric Scooter Guide, “will be able to handle 300 to 500 charge/discharge cycles before diminishing in capacity. For an average electric scooter, this is 3,000 to 10,000 miles!” The full lifespan of a scooter battery is determined by a number of factors, including the battery’s size and watt hours, a measurement of its total capacity. But in general, a scooter’s battery should last around one to three years.
How can you make sure that your scooter battery lives up to its full potential? Below, we’ll look at a few simple rules for keeping your battery in optimal condition.
Don’t Fully Deplete Your Electric Scooter Battery
Rather than draining the battery, then charging it up again, as you may be used to doing with other devices, it’s better to charge your scooter battery at every opportunity. Try to always keep the battery above 10%, at minimum, and, ideally, above a 40% charge. If you can, fully charge the battery before a ride.
Know Your Scooter’s Range and Battery Capacity
You should familiarize yourself with the specifications of your scooter’s battery. You should find information like ampere hours (Ah) and voltage listed in the vehicle specifications or on the battery itself. Some scooters will also list the watt hours. If not, you can calculate this number by multiplying the ampere hours by the voltage. This is good information to have on hand.
importantly, you’ll want to know how long your scooter can travel with a fully charged battery and plan your trips accordingly so as not to fully deplete it. Ranges can vary widely depending on the model of your scooter and the size of the battery and the motor. A quality electric scooter like the Elan GS1 Pro can travel a distance of 25 miles on a single charge, but this number can be reduced by other factors, such as hilly terrain, hard braking (if the scooter has electric brakes), fast acceleration, high speeds, and use of lights and other electrical accessories.
Developing good riding habits—such as accelerating slowly and giving yourself plenty of stopping time—will help extend your battery, both during a single ride and over the course of the battery’s life.
Don’t Charge Your Battery for Long Periods of Time Unattended
Once the battery is fully charged, you should disconnect it from the charging cable. You should know the total charging times for your battery and should not exceed the maximum charging time indicated by the manufacturer. If you find that it takes much longer to charge your battery than specified, your battery may be defective or near the end of its lifespan. At this point, it is likely in need of replacement.
Let Your Scooter Battery Cool Before Charging
If you’ve been on a short ride, you can plug your scooter in to charge immediately, but if you’ve taken a long ride, the battery has built up a lot of heat and it is best to let that dissipate before plugging the battery in. Let things cool down for 30 minutes before charging the scooter after a longer ride.
Charge Your Electric Scooter Battery Before Storing It Long Term
Li-ion batteries last longer overall when they have a constant stored charge, so if you need to store your scooter and won’t be using it for a while, it is best to charge it to at least 40% before putting it away. Try to charge the battery at least every 30 days if the scooter is not regularly in use.
Always Use the Correct Charger for Your Scooter Battery
While it might seem to make Smart financial sense to buy an aftermarket charging cable, using chargers that are not approved for use with your battery can end up costing you more by shortening the battery life. Even if an aftermarket charger appears to work, it can under- or overcharge the battery and cause irreversible damage. Scooter retailers and manufacturers will usually sell replacement charging cables. Contact your manufacturer if you need a spare charger rather than buying a generic option that can run your battery down. A new, manufacturer-approved charger will always cost you less than a new battery.
Store Your Scooter in a Climate-Controlled Environment
Lithium-ion batteries do not respond well to extremes of heat and cold (you may have experienced this if your phone has suddenly gone dead in the winter). High or low temperatures put stress on the battery and keep it from charging efficiently or holding a charge. Over time, such exposure can significantly shorten the life of the battery. Scooter batteries should not be exposed for prolonged periods to temperatures below freezing or above 114 degrees Fahrenheit. Electric scooters should always be stored inside to keep them dry and out of extreme weather.
Following proper charging guidelines will ensure that your electric scooter battery stays healthy and lives long. Remember to keep your battery charged and keep it out of direct heat and freezing cold and to always use a manufacturer-approved charger.
Plug the charger into the wall first
Unless the manual states otherwise, plug the charger into the wall first, before plugging into the scooter. This is the safest bet for protecting the charger and its output capacitors.
The charger will get hot during the charging process, which is completely normal.
Place your charger on edge, uncovered, on a non-flammable surface that will get plenty of airflow.
Connect the charger plug to the scooter’s charging port
Power your scooter down and remove the protective cover on the charging port.
Make sure both the port and connector are dust free and blow out if necessary.
Pay careful attention to orient the charger correctly. Most chargers are keyed so they will only go in one way, but some are poorly designed and you can still short the connector.
Plug the charger into the port on your electric scooter.
Wait for scooter to charge
Charge until the indicator light on the charger turns green and promptly disconnect.
For most chargers, the light will turn green before fully charged. If your scooter has a built-in voltmeter or battery display you will notice you’re not quite at 100%.
If you need maximum distance, you can continue to charge until you hit 100% or use as-is.
Use our charging time table to estimate charging time.
Pro Tip: Operating your battery between 30% and 80% of full charge will greatly increase your battery life (see tip #2).
Promptly disconnect the scooter when charged (don’t leave plugged in)
Disconnect the scooter from the charger first, then unplug the charger from the wall outlet.
Charge as often as needed.
These tips to max out your battery life.
Tips For Max Battery Longevity
These are the most important tips to prolong battery life, ordered from most to least important.
We’ve noted which recommendations are helpful, but impractical and excessive.
When storing for long periods, keep your scooter at 40% charge in a cool, dry place
Storing lithium ion batteries fully discharged is absolutely terrible for their longevity and #1 killer of good batteries.
Storing fully charged or discharged will accelerate battery degradation
For longer-term storage, like during winter months, store at 40% charge. Due to self-discharge, you’ll need to check and top up the battery every 4 to 8 weeks to keep it at this level.
Store your scooter in a cool and dry place. Storing above 30 C / 86 F will decrease life. storing fully charged at elevated temperatures is especially bad.
Operate your scooter within 30% to 80% of its battery capacity
You can prolong the battery life by operating it between 30% to 80% of its capacity. This is called the sweet zone and can increase battery life up to 4X.
For individual cells, this ends up being between 3.36 volts (30% of capacity) and 3.96 volts per cell (80% of capacity) is optimal.
We’ve produced a chart below that shows what the final voltage will be on a given scooter at optimal charge.
Optimal Voltage Charging Chart
Charge when the battery is between 32 F and 113 F (0 C to 45 C)
Absolutely do not charge your scooter when the battery might be below freezing temperature. For example, if you’ve been storing your scooter in a garage or outside where it is below freezing.
Wait until the battery has warmed up above freezing to charge.
Charging the battery at elevated temperatures ( 113 F / 45 C) can shorten its life, but is not as damaging.
Don’t leave your charger plugged in after charging
Disconnect your charger once your scooter is fully charged (or charged up to 80% from tip #2).
Leaving it plugged in after it has finished charging will result in corrosion of the cathode and decreased capacity.
Don’t fully discharge your scooter in less than an hour
If you have a fast scooter and want to go fast, discharging the battery quickly will be unavoidable.
However, if you’re really concerned, you basically don’t want to discharge the battery at a rate that will entirely deplete it in less than one hour (this is referred to as a C-Rate of 1.0).
On sustained high speed runs or under heavy torque loads like accelerating up a steep hill, you are likely, if not momentarily, going above this ideal discharge rate.
Our recommendation is to enjoy your scooter and not worry about this too much.
Don’t fully charge your scooter in less than an hour
Lithium ion batteries will last more cycles if you charge them more slowly (known as C-rate in technical battery terms).
For optimal battery longevity, it is best to fully charge a battery in not less than 1 hour.
For most scooter and charger configurations, you won’t be able to exceed the charging rate.- even with dual quick chargers.
How to Use a Quick Charger
Quick chargers give you greater control and feedback for charging your scooter. They allow you to control the charging rate and amount of charge to prolong battery life.
If your fast charger has a wall voltage adjustment toggle, set it appropriately (110 V or 220 V).
Plug the quicker charger into the wall
Adjust the charge rate setting, typically from 1 A to 5 A.
Adjust the charge depth setting from 80% to 100%.
If the charger has a switch, turn it on.
Plug the connector into the charging port of your scooter.
Charge until the quick charger display reads the target voltage.
Typically, higher performance scooters with larger batteries will have two charging ports. This allows the addition of a second charger for even faster charging.
Charging using a second charger will follow the same steps as above, but for the second charger.
Myth 1: It is necessary to charge the scooter after every ride
It is not necessary to charge your scooter everyday or charge after every ride. The best practice is to keep the battery between 30% to 80%.
However, if you’re going on a long ride then give the scooter a full charge.
Myth 2: You should fully charge a scooter before riding and fully discharge before charging
You do not need to fully or charge or charge at all before riding.
You should charge when you need the range for a ride and not for any ritual reason.
You do not need to fully discharge your scooter before charging. Li-ion batteries don’t have “memory” like NiCd or NiMH batteries that would require full charge/discharge to maintain capacity
How Long Does It Take To Charge An Electric Scooter?
It takes between 4 and 20 hours to charge an electric scooter, but charge time greatly depends on battery capacity and chargers used.
You can use the charging time table to estimate how long a battery will take to charge from 0% to 100%. To use the table find your battery capacity (in Ah) and the current output on your charger (from 1 Amp to 5 Amps). Most smaller scooter chargers are 1 A to 2 A while bigger scooters (or dual chargers) will be 2.5 A to 5.0 A.
Charging Time Table
How Long Does An Electric Scooter Battery Last?
An electric scooter battery will last 300 to 500 cycles or 3,000 Mi to 25,000 Mi of range before losing a significant capacity.
If you lost your charger, need to replace it, or not sure if you have the right one, then follow the tips below.
Check the connector to make sure it is the appropriate type of fit into your scooter’s charging port.
Verify voltage and current by reading the print on the charger. It will say something like DC Output and give a voltage and max output current.
DC coaxial power plug
- DC coaxial, barrel-style charging connector
- Comes in a variety of lengths and diameters
- Common on smaller, less powerful scooters, including: GOTRAX, Xiaomi, TurboAnt, Segway Ninebot
- Circular, three pin connector often used in audio applications
- Used on some Inokim scooters
- Circular, three pin connector with threaded collar
- Very common in mid-range to larger scooters
- Used on Apollo, Kaabo, Zero lineups
How do your scooter’s batteries age?
Lithium ion batteries age when internal corrosion occurs within individual battery cells. This is a normal process that occurs during charging and discharging but can also be accelerated through improper care.
During charging, lithium ion is shuttled onto the graphite anode. During discharging, the lithium ion is released from the anode.
Over charging, completely discharging, and extreme temperatures accelerate the plating of the lithium ion to anode, degrading it.
Why is it important to store partially charged?
During storage battery cells will continue to lose charge. Below 2.7 volts/cell the battery seriously degrades and can even become unstable and potentially hazardous.
Why is plugging the charger into the wall first the best practice?
Plugging your charger into the wall first, before plugging it into the scooter is the safest bet for charging if you don’t have reliable instructions.
The charger has an output capacitor that is sitting 0 volts of potential when not plugged in.
If you connect the unpowered charger to your scooters battery, which is typically at 36 V up to 84 V (depending on scooter) it will discharge a huge amount of current into the 0 V capacitor. This can result in sparking and cause damage to the charger.
By plugging the charger in first, you are bringing the output capacitor voltage much closer to that of the battery. When you plug it in, the voltage difference will be much smaller and you shouldn’t get a current spike.
Why shouldn’t you leave the scooter plugged in after charging?
Once fully charged, the extra charge will cause plating of metallic lithium onto the anode in the battery. This metallic lithium will accumulate in time and degrade the battery capacity by blocking the flow of lithium ions and consequently electrons.
RTO Rules and Regulation for Electric Scooter Bikes in India
As Electric Bikes and Scooters are becoming the first choice for every rider, knowing RTO rules and regulations for the same is very crucial. The rules and regulations of electric bikes and scooters are different from that of conventional vehicles. So, remembering all the rules and regulations at once can be tedious.
Although the government of India has crafted all the guidelines regarding electric bikes and scooters in a user-friendly manner it also helps in promoting electric vehicles over conventional vehicles. Below we have discussed all the RTO rules and regulations for electric bikes and scooters that one should know before buying any electric two-wheeler.
Generally, ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India) approval is needed for every E-vehicle in India. Although E-bicycles do not require to go through a full testing process as per CMVR rules. They do not have to go through such approval requirements. Only powerful vehicles require a thorough testing process.
Electric vehicles are considered electric bicycles if their electric motors have a power of less than 250W and have a maximum speed of 25kmph. Electric bicycles are exempt from the transport rules such as Insurance, taxes, registration, etc.
Here, get complete details of RTO rules for electric vehicles:
In this article, RTO rules and regulations for electric scooters and bikes in India- ARAI approval, age limit, the requirement of e-scooter insurance, number plate and registration, and road tax, helmet, and electric two-wheeler subsidy state-wise
Driving License Requirement for EV Bikes and Scooters
To ride any kind of motor vehicle, you need to have a driving license, EVs are no different. Without a valid license, it is illegal to drive your Electric bike or scooter on road. Also, without a valid license if you meet up with an accident or cause any damage on the road then your insurance company will not compensate you.
In 2019, approximately 45k accidents occurred in India where the driver was not holding a valid driving license.
Although electric bikes with power less than 250W and a maximum speed of 25kmph do not require any driving license to drive. Due to this reason, it is a popular choice among students, teenagers, and retirees.
In India, the minimum age decided by the government to ride any motorbike or scooter is 18. Although the non-motor and gearless bikes can be ridden by youngsters between the age of 16-18. Most of the e-bikes we see on the road fall in this category with power less than 250W and a maximum speed of 25kmph.
Insurance of Electric Scooters and Bikes
The proper knowledge of License and Insurance is a must before buying any Electric bike or scooter. Many youngsters drive electric bikes without proper Insurance and hence get into trouble afterward. Electric vehicles that reach up to 25kmph could cause accidents or damage if not driven properly hence a valid insurance policy is essential to cover the damage, else the rider has to bear compensation himself.
A comprehensive insurance policy is better for electric bikes or scooters as compared to any third-party insurance policy. For two-wheelers, an insurance policy is essential for any e-bike that has a speed of more than 25 kmph and has a capacity of more than 250kW.
Depending upon the engine capacity and coverage, Third-party insurance for any e-bike and scooter would cost between 1k to 3k. Whereas in the case of comprehensive policy it would cost between 4.5k to 6k depending upon the kind of e-vehicle and coverage. In case of theft, the compensation of loss of the vehicle is covered in the comprehensive insurance policy. In any case, the driver should have a valid driving license to claim the insurance.
E-bikes with a speed less than 25kmph and power of less than 250W do not require to be insured, but still, if one wishes to get your bike insured you can opt for any insurance policy.
Number Plate Requirement for EVs
As per the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, it is mandatory to have a High-Security Registration Plate (HSRP) for all the registered vehicles after 1 st April 2019. This HSRP is provided by only government officers which helps in preventing theft as well as in clearing the database of vehicles.
To differentiate vehicle types, different color codes are assigned.
- White background with black letters number plate is assigned for Private ICE vehicles.
- Yellow background with black letters number plate is assigned for Commercial ICE vehicles.
- Black background with yellow letters number plate is assigned for rentals ICE vehicles.
- Green background with white letters number plate is assigned for Private EVs.
- Green background with yellow letters number plate is assigned for commercial EVs.
Electric bikes with power less than 250W and a maximum speed of 25kmph do not require any RTO registrations as well as HSRPs.
Helmet Requirement while Riding EV
Wearing a helmet is essential if you are riding an EV with a speed of more than 25kmph and power more than 25kmph. Although riders having electric bikes with power less than 250W and a maximum speed of 25kmph do not require to wear helmets. But it is recommended that every rider should wear it for the sake of their own safety.
Electric Vehicle Registration and Road tax in India
Road tax is a means by which the state government recovers its cost of constructing roads and highways. Every state government imposes its own road tax.
In February 2020 the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), proposed that electric vehicles do not require to pay any money for the issue or renewal of registration in India. Although many states have already waived off the registration fee for EVs, this proposal will benefit EV customers across the country. This step is expected to bring a boost in e-mobility in the country.
The department of heavy industries has also initiated various incentives for electric vehicles under FAME. FAME is Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric. In 2019 its name changed to FAME- II. The initiative under this scheme is applicable throughout the country.
– Maximum up to 40% of the vehicle cost which is 15000 per kWh of battery capacity.
Apart from this, the Ministry of Finance has also taken out schemes that do not come under FAME- II. These are:
- 5% goods and service tax (GST) is subjected to all-electric vehicles.
- A tax benefit of 1.5 lakh will be given to the first-time buyers under section 80EEB of the income tax act.
State-wise Subsidies on Electric Two-wheelers
State-specific EV subsidies have been declared by the government of various states.
These policies are applicable for up to a period of four to five years from the date of the announcement. Depending on the size of the Lithium-ion battery packs, the amount of subsidy is decided by the different states.
State-wise Subsidy for Electric Two-wheelers
|State||Per KWh of battery capacity||Max subsidy||Road tax exemption|
|Delhi||Rs 5000||Rs 30,000||100%|
|Maharashtra||Rs 5000||Rs 25000||100%|
|Meghalaya||Rs 10,000||Rs 20,000||100%|
|Gujrat||Rs 10,000||Rs 20,000||50%|
|Assam||Rs 10,000||Rs 20,000||100%|
|West Bengal||Rs 10,000||Rs 20,000||100%|
|Rajasthan||Rs 2500||Rs 10,000||NA|
The Subsidiary Scheme by the Gujrat Government to Students
On the occasion of the 70 th birthday of India’s Prime minister Narendra Modi, the CM of Gujrat has announced a scheme to encourage the use of electric vehicles.
Under this scheme, the students will be provided Rs 12k for buying e-scooters and Rs 48k will be provided for buying electric three-wheelers.