E-Bike Batteries: Volts, Amps, & Watt Hours Explained. Electric trike battery

Get to know all the factors affecting the price

Getting to work or just running a simple errand a few blocks away can really be burdensome especially with all the traffic and pollution everywhere.

Transportation is one of the major contributors to air pollution. In fact, in 2013, more than half of the Carbon Monoxide and Nitrogen Oxides (both harmful gases) present in the air came from the combustion of fossil fuels in modern cars. With these alarming environmental and transportation problems arising, the production of a more viable and eco-friendly mode of transportation through the use of electricity has become a major priority.

Electric-powered vehicles are considered to be a game changing development in the world of transportation. Not only do they offer the same convenience as the modern cars but they also give you the confidence and freedom to go as far as you want without having to worry about the size of the carbon footprint you’re going to make.

An electric vehicle derives all or part of its power from electricity that can come from renewable energy resources such as solar or wind. Today, a wide variety of electric vehicles are available in the market, from electric buses, electric cars, to the most revolutionary ones. the electric bikes.

Without a doubt, we all want to contribute to helping the environment while still enjoying all the pleasures in life. Switching to zero-emission vehicles like electric bikes that run on clean energy is one of the easiest ways to be friendlier to the environment. However, there are some things that need to be considered when using an electric bike.

Many people think that buying and maintaining an electric bike is too expensive for one’s daily commute. To tell you the truth, electric bikes are generally kinda, sort of, a little pricey. Aside from the price itself of the e-bike, maintaining it will also cost additional bucks.

Compared to regular bikes, e-bikes include additional special components such as the electric motor, battery, and the display and control system. These three elements mainly determine the price of an electric bike. And among the three, the battery is often the heaviest and most expensive part. Now you might be wondering why such a small rectangular box can be that costly? But don’t worry because we’ll explain to you bit by bit why e-bike batteries are so expensive.

The Battery

In 1800, the first true battery was invented by Alessandro Volta using stacked discs of copper and zinc separated by cloth soaked in salty water. This arrangement was called voltaic pile and was the first to produce steady, lasting current.

Almost a hundred years later in 1898, only then that the first commercially available dry cell battery was sold in the United States. At present, many types of batteries are made readily available in our market like Nickel-cadmium, Lead-acid, and the fastest growing battery system, the Lithium-ion.

The beginning of Lithium.Ion batteries can be dated back in the 1970’s, when British chemist M. Stanley Whittingham proposed to create an energy-storage device using lithium cells. For so long, experts have tried perfecting the lithium battery to become more portable and long lasting.

And today, as mentioned, Lithium-ion is the fastest growing rechargeable battery system in the world because of its many applications especially in the electronics industry. Li-ion batteries provide lightweight, high energy power sources for a lot of portable electronics and electric vehicles.

This type of rechargeable battery is used in smartphones, laptop computers, and tablets, and is the same as the ones being used in most electric bikes today. As compact and powerful as it may seem, however, Li-ion batteries are quite expensive, which is why electric bikes in general are a bit pricey because of their batteries. There are many factors affecting the cost of a particular Li-ion battery and it’s important to know each of them to be able to understand more where the price is coming from.

The cost of an e-bike battery

The battery is considered to be one of the most critical parts of an electric bike, without it you won’t be able to maximize the features of your e-bike. And frankly speaking, an e-bike battery can cost you a lot.

Almost, if not all electric bikes nowadays make use of Lithium-ion batteries. Why not? They are lighter, more compact, and have higher energy density compared to its close battery kinds like Lead-acid batteries. Although a few electric bikes still make use of Lead-acid batteries, it is not the preferred type of battery because of its heaviness and enormous size that may result in poor and inefficient e-bike experience, thus using Li-ion batteries for electric vehicles like electric bikes is the best option for now.

Lithium-ion batteries are priced mainly in terms of their capacity. The battery or power capacity represents the maximum amount of energy that can be extracted from the battery. It is a measure of the charge stored by the battery and is typically expressed in watt-hour. Lithium is a highly reactive element, it means that a lot of energy can be stored in its atomic bonds. This indicates that Li-ion batteries have high energy density, meaning this type of battery can store a great amount of energy in a small amount of mass. This is mainly the reason why Li-ion batteries are perfect for our modern electronic needs, because of its huge capacity to store energy, you won’t always have to be connected to a charging cord to be able to enjoy the benefits of your electronic devices. Same goes for electric bikes, a typical e-bike Li-ion battery allows you to travel as far as 40 miles in just one full charge. That’s more than what you need for your daily ride!

All types of batteries have their own life span measured by the number of charge cycles or cycle counts they can undergo before they are completely discharged. E-bike batteries, for that matter, can go several hundred charge cycles again, depending on the type of battery used.

Since we’re already talking about Lithium-ion batteries as the most common type of batteries used in electric bikes, we might as well dig deeper into their life expectancy. There are many factors that affect the life of a battery aside from the 3-5 years life span that the manufacturer has told you.

How long does an e-bike battery last is also a question of how you treat it. Besides the quality of your e-bike battery, the way you treat it plays a significant role in its life span. So make sure to store it in a cold and dry place, do not leave it near a heat source, and never expose it to extreme temperatures. A typical Li-ion e-bike battery may hold up to 1000 cycles. That’s equivalent to at least 3 years of usage before the battery becomes less efficient.

Using your e-bike frequently will normally exhaust its battery and will soon need a replacement. The quality and brand also play a large role in the price of an e-bike battery. Expensive does not always mean good and it does not imply that it’s going to last longer. That is why choosing a reputable battery brand for your electric bike can be a huge factor in your battery’s cost and life expectancy because not all expensive batteries are excellent quality. Also make sure that the battery replacement you’re going to buy is compatible with your electric bike. To give you options, here are some of our top quality e-bike batteries:

Taking care of your e-bike battery

It is not new to us that taking care of our stuff makes their life spans longer. The same goes for e-bike batteries. The more you take care of it, the longer it can last. So here are some do’s and don’ts for you to keep in mind when taking care of your e-bike batteries:

  • Store your e-bike battery in a cold and dry place
  • Cleaning it with a damp cloth is enough
  • Let your e-bike battery cool down before charging it
  • Always use the original adapter and charger specifically designed for your e-bike battery
  • Always try charging it to 100%
  • Do not leave the battery near a heat source
  • Do not expose it to extreme temperatures
  • Never completely drain the battery
  • Never submerge it in water when cleaning


The most commonly used type of battery used in e-bikes nowadays is the Lithium-ion. Even though Li-ion batteries are already lighter and more powerful than its predecessor, Lead-acid batteries, development and innovation do not necessarily stop.

In no time, a more powerful yet more affordable battery will take over the market and it’s going to make electric bikes lighter and more accessible to the majority.

Choosing electric vehicles as your main transportation mode can go a long way in preserving the environment. But truth be told, helping save the environment also has its own cost. Having a cost-efficient, reliable electric vehicle can be a little pricey, but it’s nothing compared to the benefits it has to offer.

Electric bikes are indeed the future of transportation. Have you tried browsing our collections? Here are the Best Electric Bikes of 2021 !

E-Bike Batteries: Volts, Amps, Watt Hours Explained

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What Are These Volts, Amps, and Watt-Hours? How Battery Specifications and Capacity Equate to Capability and Cost

Understanding e-bike batteries can be challenging, even for those of us in the know; the nitty-gritty details are figured out by electrical engineers with years of education and experience under their collective belts – and for good reason, it’s all chemistry and math over there!

You’ll encounter a host of terms when reading about e-bikes or looking at electric bike battery specifications: things like battery size, capacity, voltage, amp hours and watt hours. Some of these words are more-or-less interchangeable, others are related but distinct. All of them can be confusing, but they are also hugely important in understanding electric bikes and their capabilities – most notably when trying to interpret how far they can take you before needing to be recharged.

In this guide to e-bike batteries, the helpful writers at Electric Bike Report will help you to understand the meaning of common battery terms and their relation to the performance of the electric bikes they power.

E-Bike Batteries Explained

Batteries are one of the core elements of electric bikes. They are needed to supply power to the motor, which in turn provides assistance to the rider, and reduces the amount of human effort needed to move the bike.

E-bike batteries come in various sizes, and can be mounted to the frame in different ways. Some are fully internal, and are sealed inside the bike’s frame. As such, they are not removable, except by using special methods and tools available to professional technicians. Others are removable for easier charging and replacement, whether mounted completely externally (outside the frame), partially recessed (sunken into the frame to some degree), or completely recessed (sunken entirely and nearly invisible on the bike).

Regardless of their type, all e-bike batteries are actually battery packs, and are made up of groups of cells, similar to the standard AA or AAA batteries used in everyday applications. The number of cells and the method used to cluster them together determines how quickly they can provide power and how long they can continue to supply it.

In contrast to standard AA or AAA batteries, however, those used in e-bikes are most commonly rechargeable lithium-ion batteries similar to those used inside smartphones and in conjunction with cordless power tools. Lithium-ion batteries are efficient and can be recharged hundreds or even thousands of times if cared for properly. The Light Electric Vehicle Association, or LEVA, has a great article that they allowed us to re-publish regarding proper battery care and safety to ensure maximum life span.

Fully integrated batteries such as the one on the Velotric Nomad 1 can match the bike’s color and disappear into the frame.

Electric Bike Battery Terms and Definitions

Before we dive deeper into the details, let’s consider a couple of examples of e-bike battery specifications in relation to how they usually appear:

V = Volts and Ah = Amp-hours

V = Volts and Wh = Watt-hours

Both examples convey two basic measurements, albeit a little differently. In both examples, we see volts first; this measurement relates to the availability of the electrical energy the battery can deliver. Next, either amp-hours or watt-hours are shown; these represent a battery’s capacity, or the amount of power it can store.

Let’s define these words (and a few helpful additional terms) a bit more clearly:

Current: the flow of electricity, or transfer of electrons, through a circuit.

e-bike, batteries, volts, amps, watt, hours

Circuit: a closed system of wires and electrical components through which current can travel.

Volts (V): the amount of electrical force or pressure the battery can produce; the speed of the battery’s output of current. This is also sometimes referred to as the electromotive force, and is more specifically the speed at which electrons move through the system.

Note that this is a nominal rating that is used for classification purposes. In reality, a battery’s voltage varies based on the amount of power being drawn from it at a given moment, as well as the battery’s present level of charge. As current is drawn from the battery, its voltage decreases. This can be seen in an e-bike battery voltage chart.

Voltage is determined by the number of battery cells arranged “in series”.

Amps or amperes (A): a measurement of the strength of the battery’s output, or current. specifically, the volume of electrons passing through the system. This is limited by the size of the wires making up the system. Larger wires allow more current, smaller wires allow less. Generally, systems with higher voltage should use smaller wires (that limit amperage) to prevent overheating.

Amps can also be thought of as the amount of energy being drawn from the battery by what it is powering, and can fluctuate from moment to moment. In the case of e-bike batteries and their motors, a greater number of amps are drawn as the motor works harder (i.e. going uphill or using only the throttle).

Amp-hours (Ah): a measurement of charge; the amount of energy that can be delivered through an electrical system over the course of an hour.

In the case of a 10 Ah battery, it can deliver 10 amps of power in one hour, or 1 amp of power for 10 hours, etc, depending on the needs of the component that is delivering power to.

Amp-hours are determined by the number of clusters of battery cells arranged “in parallel”.

Watts (W): a unit of power, determined by volts and amps; the amount of work that can be done by one amp of current delivered at 1 volt. The amount of work is determined by the rate at which the energy is used.

This measurement is generally applied only to an e-bike’s motor, but its battery must support the motor’s needs.

Watt-hours (Wh): another measurement of capacity. In this case, the amount of work that can be done, or the amount of power that is spent, over the course of an hour. This is a direct result of a battery’s voltage multiplied by its amp-hours.

As such, a 24V, 20 Ah battery and a 48V, 10 Ah battery might look different on paper, but they have about the same amount of energy. This makes watt-hours a more reliable indicator of capacity when comparing different batteries.

Controller: A device that limits the flow of electricity through a circuit, and prevents a battery from discharging its energy all at once. In terms of an electric bike, this is the “brain” that adjusts the pedal assist system, the amount of input the motor contributes, and the e-bike’s speed.

Everything you need to know about types of e-bike batteries, battery life and how to take care of your battery

When purchasing an electric bicycle, the battery is one of the most important components. The battery determines how long the bicycle can be used without recharging, the distance it can travel, and how heavy and/or light it weighs.

It’s also one of the most expensive parts, so be sure to pay attention to the battery when you’re making an e-bike purchase.

A Guide to Electric Bike Batteries

Finding a good battery determines how far you can travel on a single ride, and varying sizes and weights have different degrees of speed and efficiency.

e-bike, batteries, volts, amps, watt, hours

Without a battery, an electric bicycle is just a regular bicycle.

Let’s take a look at at the various options:

Lead (gel) batteries

Used less and less frequently over the years, lead batteries have a lower capacity (or amount of energy that can be stored in the battery), and take between 8-10 hours to fully charge.

e-bike, batteries, volts, amps, watt, hours

For perspective, newer batteries can charge from empty to full in under three hours. Lead batteries also tend to weigh heavier than newer predecessors, meaning that bicycles powered by lead batteries are heavier in general.

Lead batteries are also cheaper to manufacture due to the quality of materials, and lower use capacity which is why they’re gradually being replaced in the marketplace.

Lithium-ion battery (Li-ion)

Newer or recent e-bikes will have some kind of lithium-ion battery as they are the most popular battery currently on the market.

Lithium-ion batteries optimize for both total weight and energy, giving you the best range and longevity to any other battery.

Li-ion battery types can also be molded into different shapes or unique spaces, making them ideal for high capacity and low power applications.

Lithium-ion batteries are made of various formulas — including cobalt, manganese or others — but there is no expert opinion to prove that one mix is significantly better than the other.

What’s most important is to buy a bike with a high-quality electric drive system and well-made parts to ensure against overheating and battery life over time.

What makes RIDEL special is its consideration of battery weight and size, while also optimizing for sleek design.

  • The SNUGGER features a lightweight, long-lasting 48V 13Ah lithium battery containing an integrated backlight, so you can instantly check how much charge is left, day or night.
  • The EKO features an integrated 36V 250W battery built into the frame’s down tube – a Smart solution that gives you a more balanced center of gravity.


Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) operates across a wide temperature range, making it a viable option for various applications or weather conditions. Its advantages include a longer life span, charge efficiency, no maintenance, extreme temperature operation and an ability to charge quickly.

As these batteries are relatively new in the market, they’re not the cheapest, but due to its long life span they are a Smart investment over time.

How to Charge an E-Bike for Maximum Battery Life

From safe charging to the longest possible lifespan, here’s everything you need to know about your electric bike’s power source.

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If you bought a bike in the last couple years, chances are good it’s an e-bike. Electric bicycles are the fastest-growing type of bike in the U.S. today; in 2021 they surpassed road bikes as the third biggest category of bikes overall and in 2022 e-bike sales were over 800 million. E-bikes still outsell electric cars, and for good reason. The lightweight electric motor on an e-bike gives a powerful boost to all kinds of riding, especially utility cycling like commuting and errands. (Plus, there is a nice tax incentive for some e-bike riders.)

At the heart of that system is a powerful lithium-based battery. Taking proper care of that battery and knowing how to properly charge it is key to safely getting the best range and long-term battery life. Here’s what you need to know about charging your e-bike battery.

e-bike, batteries, volts, amps, watt, hours

Safe charging basics

You should charge your battery inside, on the proper charger, and with the motor system powered off, says Kunal Kapoor, senior manager for quality and compliance at Bosch, a leading supplier of e-bike motor systems. While e-bike motors, batteries, and wiring are weather-resistant, “chargers aren’t intended for outdoor use,” he notes.

Using the proper charger is primarily a safety issue. With a modern lithium battery, Kapoor continues, when the battery signals it’s ready to accept a charge, “the battery monitoring system in the charger makes sure that the temperatures inside the battery are optimum to receive the charge,” and shuts off if needed. An off-brand charger—even rated to the same output—doesn’t have all the features of that battery management system, so current can flow to the battery even if temperatures rise, which is a fire risk.

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The risk of battery fires is low, but Kapoor recommends people not leave batteries unattended while charging. You can leave the battery on the bike to charge or take it off, as long as it’s not sitting on or near flammable stuff (like the spare gas can in the garage, for example). If you’re looking at lower-priced e-bikes with house-brand or unbranded motor and battery systems, make sure the battery and charger carry a UL 2849 certification stamp from Underwriters Laboratories. This is the industry-wide standard for safe electric systems and battery charging for e-bikes. Some bike shops won’t work on e-bikes with motor and battery systems that lack this stamp, citing fire risk when left overnight in the store.

How to optimize battery range and lifespan

Let’s start with some definitions. Range is essentially runtime: how long a battery will last on a single charge, expressed in miles of riding. Range, even on the same bike, will vary; a flat commute to the office with just a light backpack will see better range than a fully loaded uphill ride home from Costco. Most e-bikes today get between 25-75 miles of range, depending on these factors.

Lifespan is how many times a battery can be discharged and recharged before it starts to lose significant capacity. When capacity starts to dip, you won’t notice less power while riding, but you will see range start to shrink. A common lifespan benchmark for e-bike batteries is 500 “full” discharge/re-charge cycles (if you use half the battery capacity and recharge, that’s half a cycle), which works out to about three to five years of normal use before capacity begins to drop noticeably.

Even though battery range and lifespan aren’t the same thing, they are linked, and actions that reduce range will also, over time, shorten lifespan. A big culprit, Kapoor says, is running the motor hard, like leaving it in Boost or Turbo mode all the time, which means a ride of a given distance relies progressively more on motor power than at lower assist levels. You’ll run the battery through charging cycles more quickly, which will shorten its life.

A less-obvious factor that strains motors and batteries is pedal cadence. Most e-bike motors are optimized for efficiency around a 70-90 rpm pedaling cadence. You can lower efficiency by pedaling too fast (Bosch motors, for instance, max out at 100-120 rpm depending on the system). common is sub-optimal efficiency from pedaling too slowly in a large gear. This is the same as “lugging the engine” in a car; whether gas or electric, the motor works harder. “Choose your gears wisely,” says Kapoor, to stay in that 70-90 rpm sweet spot.

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Mistakes that kill your battery

When you buy a new e-bike, you should charge the battery to full before riding it because it’s likely been inactive for a while. But lithium batteries do not have “memory;” that is, they do not need to be fully discharged and fully recharged every time to hold their full capacity. In fact, it’s best if you don’t run a battery to zero, says Kapoor. “If you let the battery deplete completely, that may permanently damage it,” he says, and it will never recharge to its full original capacity.

If you’ll go a few weeks or more without riding the bike, store it (or at least the battery) in a dry, room-temperature space with the battery between 30-60 percent of full charge, says Kapoor. That’s the most stable level for long-term storage, and will lower the chance of a deep discharge that would damage your battery. Don’t leave your battery plugged in to the charger for long periods. It’s not necessary, and can create a short discharge/recharge cycle that will eventually reduce capacity. If you go long periods without riding the bike, check the battery charge monthly and partly recharge when it drops below 30 percent.

Lithium batteries are less affected by cold weather than other types of battery and you shouldn’t see reduced range while riding unless the temperatures are truly arctic. But researchers at the Department of Energy recently found storing lithium batteries below freezing for longer periods can damage part of the battery’s cathode, which will reduce its capacity. Lithium batteries also won’t charge effectively in cold temperatures. If you store your bike outside or in an unheated space and live in an area with sub-freezing temps, says Kapoor, bring the battery inside when not in use.

Also, keep your battery protected from extreme heat, like sitting next to a sunny window or a hot car. Excess heat can raise battery temperature enough to damage its components; in an extreme situation, it can contribute to what’s called thermal runaway, where a battery enters an unstable, uncontrollable self-heating state that can result in fire.

You don’t need to recharge after every ride. Topping off your battery sounds Smart, but over time it will reduce capacity more quickly. If you get 50 miles of range from a charge and ride 10 miles a day, you only need to recharge every three to four days.

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When it’s time to replace

Even if you take great care of a battery, over time it will lose capacity. You’ll notice this on your bike’s range estimate on the controller unit. Capacity is a primary indicator of the health of a battery, so if you notice your range dropping to 70 percent or less of what it was when your bike was new, that’s a sign to start planning a replacement. If your battery is less than two years old and is well under original capacity, it might be a warranty claim (terms vary by manufacturer).

If it’s not a warranty issue, the decision on when to replace is personal preference, says Kapoor. “If you got 50 miles (of range) out of the battery originally and let’s say now you get 40, I wouldn’t classify it as ‘end of life’ if you can live with that 40-mile range,” he says. A battery with reduced capacity should still be safe, Kapoor adds.

Always purchase a name-brand replacement for your battery. Just as batteries and chargers should be paired, batteries and motors are designed to work together. And, says Kapoor, never try to repair a damaged battery or let someone else do it. Despite guides that claim you can, this is not just corporate greed or legal butt-covering by manufacturers. While e-bike batteries are almost always made from standard 18650 cells that are widely used in various products (even electric cars), those cells have a variety of different chemistries, capacities, and amperages, and that’s before we even get into connecting a string of them and repackaging the battery in the housing. The slightest mistake in any of that increases fire risk. If you need a new battery, just buy one.

Dealers that sell your brand of bike can order you a direct replacement for that bike or motor brand. Costs vary depending on battery size and brand, but plan on spending 400-800 for a new unit.

A dealer can also recycle your old one. A new program from Call 2 Recycle offers free e-bike battery recycling (paid for by bike and motor brands) through partner shops in almost every major city and many smaller ones. No participating dealers near you? Request an easy DIY shipping kit online.

Why recycle? Even a spent battery contains raw materials that can be re-made into fresh ones, at moderately less energy cost and less environmental damage than producing from virgin materials. Spent lithium batteries also have a fire risk in landfills and can leach toxic metals and other chemicals into the soil and air.

In case of fire

Though rare, battery fires do happen. If your battery gets hot to the touch while charging, unplug the charger from the wall immediately. If you can, put the battery in a metal container like a bucket (better yet, one filled with sand) away from anything flammable.

But if it’s not safe to handle, call 911 right away and tell the dispatcher that you have a lithium battery fire, which requires different firefighting methods than conventional fires. Don’t pour water on a battery fire; water and lithium react to produce hydrogen, which is highly flammable. A standard fire extinguisher may help, but in the event of a fire, special tools may be needed.

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