UL Certified Ebikes and Ebike Batteries: Full List
While shopping around for ebikes, you may be seeing references to “UL Certification.” Or maybe you’re shopping for an ebike or ebike battery that is UL listed. Let’s talk about what UL certification means, why it’s important, and where some of the top ebike brands stand in regard to UL certification.
Ebikes use a lithium battery similar to many other common household items such as cell phones, laptops, and electric toothbrushes. In rare cases, ebike batteries can get hot and even cause fires. This can happen when ebike batteries get damaged, are charged improperly or are stored incorrectly. While ebike batteries aren’t inherently dangerous it’s important to follow all recommendations from the ebike manufacturer. Some estimate that less than 15% of ebikes sold in the US have UL certification.
It is unclear how often ebikes cause fires but in New York City alone, fires number into the hundreds per year. Check out the National Fire Protection Associations’ thoughts on ebike safety, including tips to stay safe. And if you’re looking for a fire-resistant bag check out the Bikase Battery Bag. (Amazon or 15% using code “ebikeescape15” on Bikase.com). They are also available in size large.
What is UL certification for ebikes?
UL certification is a way for consumers to know that their bikes’ batteries and electrical components are safe. This certification helps minimize fire risk and includes a review of the electrical drive train system, battery, and charger. UL 2849 certification says nothing about the roadworthiness of the ebike and is not a full evaluation of the bike but rather an endorsement of safety on the electrical aspects.
Another certification is UL 2271 which relates specifically to the battery on an ebike as opposed to all electrical systems. UL 2849 is all-encompassing and you may find ebike companies which have only certified their battery.
There are currently no national regulations around requirements for UL certification for ebikes in the US. Likely due to recent large fires, places such as New York City now require UL certification. Ebike companies are being encouraged by the CPSC to meet these standards as a way to increase safety voluntarily. If the request for voluntary compliance isn’t sufficient, a mandatory endorsement may be required in the future. Please note that while some ebikes might not be UL certified, the charger may be UL Listed.
So where do the different ebike companies stand? Learn more about which ebikes are UL certified below and if you’re in ebike company, get in touch to be added to this list.
Aventon Ebikes: TUV certified in accordance with UL 2849
According to Aventon, their ebikes are TUV certified in accordance with UL 2849. This assures consumers that the Aventon bikes have been certified to meet critical electrical and fire safety standards. You can make sure your model is covered by clicking here.
Aventon has an excellent article about taking care of your battery. It covers all the basics of charging and care for your ebike battery, which will decrease fire risk and increase the life of your battery regardless of UL certification.
Check out our reviews of Aventon ebikes here.
Rad Power Bikes: Moving Towards UL Certification
Rad Power Bikes is not a brand-new company and currently holds the title of the largest seller of ebikes in North America. They had been following the European standard, EN 15194, which was available before ebikes took off in the US. We are glad they are also embracing UL 2849 and look forward to updates on their progress. Check out some of our Rad Power Bikes reviews here.
It is a goal of ours to certify all of our bikes to UL 2849 standards as they are released in the future. It takes time to set up the processes to get this certification and our quality team is working on it diligently.
.Rad Power Bikes
Flyer Ebikes: All of their Ebikes are UL Certified
Flyer, the company most known for the little red wagon, takes safety seriously. Unsurprisingly, they already have their bikes meeting the UL 2849 certification. Check out our review of their cargo bike here.
Not only do Flyer bikes meet the UL 2849 standard, but all electrical systems undergo extensive life cycle testing. This ensures our motors, controllers, and batteries meet and exceed our extended warranty.
In addition, all Flyer bike frames and forks are ISO4210, an international bicycling safety standard that coves both high-impact and long-term fatigue testing. This further highlights Flyer’s dedication to safety.
Velotric – The Discover 1 is UL Certified.
Velotric reports that Discover 1 is UL 2849 and UL 2271 certified. information on the Velotric Discover 1 certifications can be found in their UL certification blog post.
Velotric’s newest release, the Nomad 1, is also certified to UL 2271 (battery only) but not UL 2849 (all electrical systems). According to Velotric, the Nomad 1 is undergoing testing now and will be UL 2849 certified soon.
At Velotric, we’ve always wanted to create a bike that balances getting the best key components, while keeping costs down. This hasn’t come at the expense of safety, which is and always has been one of our core values”
Juiced Ebikes: All Batteries are UL certified
Juiced responded promptly when we requested their stance on this issue. They were proud to report that they have UL certified batteries on all of their current ebikes.
…(I) am not sure consumers understand how important this issue is. Poor quality and damaged batteries are the #1 cause of e-bike battery fires, yet very few media outlets are talking about what models do/don’t have UL certification.”
Lectric ebikes: Not UL Certified
We love Lectric ebikes, but unfortunately, they are currently not UL certified.
Ebikes are becoming more popular in the US, and ownership continues to rise. With New York City banning non-UL certified ebikes and batteries, there is likely to be more pressure for further state and/or federal regulation. We are happy to see ebike companies addressing UL certification for their ebikes and hope to see others follow suit in adopting UL or equivalent safety standards.
E-bike Battery Not Charging – What To Do
E-bikes are still bikes without a working battery, but they’re heavy and clunky. If your battery isn’t charging, you’ll be forced to pedal a big bike on your own, pushing your weight, the weight of the motor, and the weight of the extra-thick frame and larger tires. Let’s take a look at how you can fix this issue!
If your e-bike battery isn’t charging, it can be due to electricity not flowing to the battery, a switch on the charger, a faulty charger or charging port, or an issue with the battery itself. Many issues can be corrected, but some may require you to replace your charger or battery.
In this post, we will go into some of the more common issues that can affect your battery’s ability to charge. In many cases, following a set of basic troubleshooting tasks can save you a lot of money and restore your battery to working order, fast.
Possible Problem #1: Electricity From The Outlet
If you’ve got your bike plugged into an outlet that’s not supplying electricity, it won’t charge. Most modern battery chargers have LEDs in them that let you know that they’re plugged in properly, but it’s easy to forget to check these.
Before you do anything else, take a few seconds and verify that your wall socket is delivering normal power. Does the charger’s light turn on when it’s plugged in? When you plug in a light, vacuum cleaner, or another electrical device, does it work normally? Is the outlet on a switch?
This issue seems basic, but you might be surprised how many technical issues are caused by simple human forgetfulness. It’s definitely worth the time to verify that your outlet works with other devices before you move forward.
If your outlet is causing problems, switch to a different one and enjoy your working battery.
Possible Problem #2: Switches
Many batteries and some chargers have switches built into them that perform different things. In some cases, having one of these in the wrong position will stop your battery from charging.
The most common cause of this issue is that you’ve got a charger that was built for use in different countries. These chargers usually have a switch that allows them to toggle between US electricity and rest-of-the-world electricity. If this toggle is on the wrong mode, your charger won’t work properly.
Be sure to take a moment to check that this is accurate before you move too far into your troubleshooting process.
Some batteries also have built-in switches. Consult the manual for your battery to determine if your battery should be on or off when it’s being charged. If it’s not working in one position, it’s probably worth plugging it in for a few seconds in the other position and seeing if your charger’s status flips to ‘charging.’
Finally, check any power strips or extension cords in between the wall and your charger to make sure they are receiving electricity. Again, this seems like a very basic check, but it’s definitely one that will fix charging issues for a surprisingly large number of people.
Possible Problem #3: Bad Charging Port
Almost every e-bike has a battery that can be charged while it’s still plugged into the bike. This time-saving feature is great, but it also adds an additional point of failure. Sometimes, the wiring between your bike’s charging port and your battery develops an issue that prevents your battery from charging.
If your battery won’t charge, remove it from the bike and try charging it again. If it starts charging, there’s a good chance that your charging port is the cause of your trouble. Either charge the battery outside of the bike from now on or take your bike into a specialist shop and have them look at your charging port.
Possible Problem #4: Bad Charger
Chargers are fairly complicated bits of electronics that have internal sensors and logic gates that detect when your battery is fully charged, allowing them to shut off before they damage your battery. They also tend to get very hot when they’re in use, which can lead to problems.
In some cases, your charger might think your battery is full, even if it’s almost out of power. In other cases, the internal wiring might be damaged in a way that prevents power from flowing to your battery.
If your charger turns out to be the issue, replacing it is your best bet. It’s almost never worth the effort to repair a charger instead of just buying a new one.
There are a couple of ways to test your charger, but the simplest is to try your battery with a different charger. Try borrowing a charger from a friend, from a similar appliance (be sure to check the voltage), or take your battery and charger to a speciality shop and have them test these critical components.
If you can’t do this, you can use a multimeter to read the voltage coming out of your charger. In general, having a number that’s a bit higher than the nominal voltage of your battery suggests that things are working correctly.
If you get a number that’s in the right ballpark but low, your battery isn’t currently charged, meaning that the issue you’re having might stem from another component. If you get a number that’s very close to zero, your battery has failed, either by being fully discharged or as a result of another issue.
If you get a number that doesn’t make any sense, take a moment to check what mode you have your multimeter on. There’s a very good chance that it’s not voltage.
If your charger turns out to be the issue, replacing it is your best bet. It’s almost never worth the effort to repair a charger instead of just buying a new one.
Possible Problem #5: Fully Discharged Battery
Lithium batteries are designed to hold a small amount of power at all times. Your battery will stop working if it runs all the way down to zero power. The bad news is that it’s tough to get a battery working again after it hits this fully discharged state.
There are a number of resources on the internet that suggest that you can “jump-start” a fully discharged battery by briefly charging it with a high voltage charger (like one for a bigger battery) or through the discharge port.
Before you blindly jump into this sort of thing, remember that lithium batteries can and will light on fire if they’re used improperly. Battery fires are very dangerous and difficult to put out.
If you’re very confident that your battery is fully discharged (you drained the power and let it sit for a couple of weeks in the cold, for example), you have a voltmeter a high voltage charger you can use already, and you’re sure that you know what you’re doing, it might be worth investigating these methods.
If there’s any doubt, however, you should definitely err on the side of caution and leave this sort of thing to a professional.
Possible Problem #6: Failing Battery
Batteries are made up of banks of individual cells. These cells are managed by a small circuit board called a BMS, or battery management system. In some cases, the BMS in your battery will cause unwanted behavior or prevent it from charging altogether.
The good news is that this is the BMS’ job. It’s usually doing what the manufacturer set it up to do. The individual cells in your battery will fail at different rates, and when one of them fails, the BMS will have to prevent power from going in and out of that failing cell.
If enough of your battery’s cells experience enough problems, the BMS will stop your battery from working altogether. This is exactly what it’s designed to do, as it keeps you and your bike safe.
If enough of your battery’s cells experience enough problems, the BMS will stop your battery from working altogether. This is exactly what it’s designed to do, as it keeps you and your bike safe.
Your BMS isn’t perfect, however, and it’s not unheard of for these devices to fail even when the cells in your battery are totally fine. Your BMS might be malfunctioning in a number of ways as a result of damage from heat, faulty wiring, or an unfortunate short.
Batteries aren’t meant to be disassembled, especially by consumers. Even if you opened up your battery and tested the components with electrical equipment, replacing a component like a BMS or a bad cell is currently difficult and expensive. It’s not easy or cheap to get your hands on replacement parts.
On top of that, batteries are dangerous. Without the proper expertise and training, it’s all too easy to start an electrical fire that’s dangerous and difficult to put out. Because of that, it’s best to simply replace a failing battery or give it to a professional to fix rather than trying to fix it yourself.
Currently, most professionals currently suggest just buying a new battery instead of trying to repair things at all. If your battery isn’t charging and you’ve tested the charger and the charging port, the battery is probably the issue.
If your battery was stored at a fairly high level of power and you don’t think you fully drained it, it’s likely that a cell or the BMS is the issue. This means you should probably look at replacing your battery.
In summary, if your battery isn’t charging properly, it can be worth doing a small bit of troubleshooting before replacing it. Sometimes it can be an issue with the power outlet or the charger rather than the battery, but there are times when, unfortunately, it is the battery, in which case you may have to replace it.
When it comes to Cycling to Work, SAM IS THE MAN because he doesn’t just talk the talk, but he also walks the walk. or rides the ride, to be more precise. I also create content on my YouTube channel at YouTube.com/bikecommuterhero Say hi to me at email@example.com.
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About Bike Commuter Hero
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Get to where you need to go faster and easier than on a regular bike. Depending on how you choose to ride, you can travel without significant effort at up to 20mph on some bikes and even up to 28mph on others.
- Climbing hills is a breeze. and we aren’t talking about the breeze from huffing and puffing.
- No sweat. Even though you can ride much faster, you won’t feel like you have to take a shower once you are there.
- Safer. That might seem counter-intuitive, since you can go faster than on a regular bike, but you also get an easier start from stopped positions, allowing you to get through an intersection steadier and quicker. When climbing steep hills with cars nearby you can FOCUS more of your energy on controlling the bike instead of propelling the bike.
- Easier on those joints. Use the electric assist to ease the pressure on your knees and hips.
- Staying together. You may have a riding partner that rides at a different pace than you. An e-bike can even out the pace for both of you.
- Ditch the car. The convenience, the ease and the speed of an electric bike make it an alternative to an automobile more often than a regular bike. A study by Portland State University shows that e-bike owners ride more frequently and farther than when they relied on their traditional bike. This was the case for all age groups.
- It’s FUN. Just try one and you’ll see. Or catch a friend coming back from their first test ride with a big smile on their face.
Do I need a license?
No. As long as the e-bike has a motor size of 750 watts or less (1000 watts in Oregon) and is programmed so that it can’t go more than 20mph without pedaling, there is no need for a license. No electric bike sold by Cynergy E-Bikes requires licensing. FYI – you must be at least 16 years of age to operate an e-bike in public places.
Where can I ride my e-bike?
First and foremost, make sure your bicycle with an electric motor is classified as an e-bike. The definition of an e-bike and rules on where to ride will vary state by state. For federal land the rules vary depending on the branch of government. For the most complete resource, check out PeopleforBikes.org
For Oregon, you can ride an e-bike on:
- Any bike lane on the street.
- Shared use paths that are reserve for bicycles and pedestrians
- For state parks, you can ride on paved trails that allow bicycles, but check with the individual park’s management for their rules for unpaved trails. It varies from park to park.
- Any trail where motor vehicles are permitted, such as unpaved forest service roads.
In Oregon, you must be at least 16 years old to ride an e-bike on public property. While most states have motor wattage limits of 750 watts, Oregon’s limit is 1000 watts.
- National Parks – opportunities are expanding, but check with the park.
- Bureau of Land Management trails – the trend is to allow e-bikes wherever non-electric bikes are allowed, but we advise you to check with BLM office that manages that trail.
- U.S. Forest Service – opportunities are expanding, but check with the Forest Service.
- Another resource for finding mountain bike trails where e-bikes are allowed is People for Bikes nationwide EMountain Biking Map.
What about theft?
As best as we can determine, e-bikes don’t get stolen with any more frequency than non-electric bikes. That’s most likely because people tend to lock them up better and because a bike thief needs to get a charger and a battery key to make the bike truly saleable.
The best ways to protect your bike from theft are:
- Get a high-quality bike lock. Cable locks are way too easy to cut. High-quality u-bolts and folding locks are better.
- If you are parking your bike in your garage, lock your garage. It’s probably the #1 location we’ve seen bikes get stolen from.
- When in public, lock your bike in a visible location.
Do I need special insurance?
Check with your insurance company. Some insurance companies do not treat e-bikes as bicycles, so you may need to get a rider added to your homeowners/renters insurance for theft protection. You can also check with two bicycle specialty insurers – Velosurance.com and Spokeinsurance.com.
Aren’t electric bikes heavy?
As one of our customers told us, “E-bikes might be heavy to lift, but they are heavenly to ride.”
Electric bikes are typically heavier than regular bikes. But the weight of any bicycle (electrical or non-electrical) is felt the most when climbing hills. The electric assist on an e-bike makes up for the additional weight many times over. Where weight does matter is if you need to lift the bike. That’s one of the many reasons why e-bikes are favored over electric scooters, which often weigh 150 pounds or more.
If you have to climb several flights of stairs to store your bike, we strongly suggest finding a more accessible storage location.
CHARGING, BATTERIES RANGE
Do electric bikes recharge when applying brakes or going down hill – like a hybrid car’s regenerative braking?
It’s rare and the concept doesn’t work very well. A few models of electric bikes include a feature to recharge the battery, usually while you are braking. In those cases the range of the battery can be extended 5-10%, while adding several hundred dollars to the cost. However, due to the design of the motors that provide regeneration, you’ll often find that the bike is harder to pedal if you are using the bike with the power off.
What is the range I can get from a single charge?
The biggest factor contributing to your range is whether you pedal or just use a throttle without pedaling, along with what level of assist you use. Cynergy E-bikes is a strong proponent of the synergy cynergy resulting from combining human pedal power with electric power, so we’ll tell you the expected range when you do both. With relaxed pedaling expect 22-50 miles on a single charge for most e-bikes. In some cases you’ll go even farther. We have bikes that are getting 80 miles on a single charge. Range will also be impacted by the battery capacity, the hills, wind and your size. Many electric bikes pedal easily as regular bikes. So you can extend the range even further by using little or no power on level surfaces and down hill.
How long does it take to charge an e-bike 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. So some batteries can be 90% charged in 2.5 hours or less.
How many charges can I get out of a battery?
Most e-bike batteries sold in North America are lithium-ion, which will provide a minimum of 500 full charge cycles at which point the battery will hold about 80% of its original capacity. Some batteries can deliver up to 1200 charge cycles. If you recharge the battery when it is only 50% depleted, that counts as only 1/2 of one charge cycle. If you usually use your e-bike in pedal-assist mode, combining both pedal power and electric power, you can expect to go 10,000-30,000 miles before replacing your battery. That is a lot of miles on a bicycle.
How much electricity does it take to charge a battery?
Depending on the capacity of the battery, it will usually take 500-800 watt hours (0.4. 0.8 kilowatt hours) to charge the battery. Assuming a rate of 0.10/kWh, it will cost you 5-8 cents for a charge that will last you 20-80 miles.
MOTORS, SPEED PERFORMANCE
What is the difference between Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3 electric bikes?
This system of classifying electric bikes is being adopted by several states as a means of regulating electric bikes. The classifications are as follows:
- Class 1. is a bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling (thus no throttle), and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.
- Class 2. is a bicycle equipped with a throttle that can propel the bike up to a maximum of 20mph with the rider pedaling, and may also have the ability to achieve up to 20mph with the rider assisting, without the use of a throttle.
- Class 3. also known as a “speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle,” is a bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 miles per hour.
For all classes, the maximum power output is 750 watts (1 h.p.).
Several states, including our neighbor to the north, Washington, have adopted regulations that use this class system. Our home state, Oregon, has not yet done so.
Perhaps the most important aspect of this classification system is how some states are treating Class 3 e-bikes. While these bikes are permitted in bike lanes on streets, they can be restricted from shared use paths, such as those in parks and “rails-to-trails” paths that are designed to be shared by cyclists and pedestrians.
Should I buy a bike with a mid-drive motor or hub-motor?
They both have their benefits. Hub motors tend to be a little easier to operate if you are a less experienced cyclist, because they require less shifting of gears. Mid-drives tend to get a little better range for equivalent battery capacity, because you’ll get more efficiency by shifting. While theoretically you get better hill climbing with a mid-drive, you’ll usually find both types will climb just about any hill.
Finally, it’s usually easier to change a rear tire with a mid-drive.
But the real test of determining which type of motor is best for you is to ride both and compare.
What’s the difference between a cadence-sensor and a torque-sensor?
With a torque sensor, the power that is delivered is increased in proportion to the amount of pedal force the rider is applying. So as you pedal harder, the motor automatically delivers more assist. As you reduce pressure, you get a little less assist. It’s essentially amplifying whatever power you are applying to the pedals. You have multiple levels of pedal-assist, with each level representing a higher or lower amplification of your own power. A torque-sensor can feel more like riding a conventional bicycle than a cadence-sensor. It also tends to deliver power smoother.
A cadence-sensor, perhaps more appropriately called a crank-sensor, delivers a uniform amount of assist at each assist level, regardless of the amount of pressure you are applyng. It is activated just by getting the crank turning. Because a cadence-sensor is not reading your pedal pressure, the power delivery is not quite as smooth or “bike-like”. But it’s fairly easy to adapt your use of the controls to smooth out the power delivery. Some people prefer a cadence-sensor because it tends to provide a great sensation of power without applying much pedal pressure.
The best way to know which type of pedal-assist is right for you is to try them both.
How fast can an electric bike go?
If you are pedaling, you can go as fast as you are able to pedal it. However, most bikes stop providing electric assist while pedaling at 20 mph (Class 1 and Class 2 ebikes). Some will provide assist going at speeds up to about 28 mph (=45 kilometers per hour – Class 3 ebikes.)
How important is motor wattage? (also. I’m really big, so don’t I need a 1000-2000 watt motor? or. I want to go fast, so don’t I need a lot of wattage?)
The benefits of a high wattage motor are very overstated. A street legal e-bike in Oregon can go only 28mph, and only 20mph unless you are pedaling (and we recommend pedaling). You’ll be able to get that with even some 250 watt motors.
With a properly designed e-bike and e-bike motor, you’ll find that you get far more power than you need with 500 watts or less. There are many 250 watt motors that deliver as much torque as motors that are 500 watts or higher. The design of the motor and the gearing of the bike are far more important than the wattage of the motor.
Higher wattage correlates with higher power consumption, so using a higher wattage motor means you’ll need a bigger battery to go the same distance. The most expensive part of your e-bike is the battery, thus a larger motor, requires a larger battery which leads to higher cost.
As for hauling a lot of weight, we have several 300lbs customers that do fine at 250-350 watt motors.
Can I ride an e-bike as a regular bike. without the electric power?
Yes. And it is easy to switch back and forth. For example, you might want to use the power only when you are going up hills.
Do I have to pedal?
It depends on the bike. Some electric bikes sold in North America allow you to operate by simply turning the throttle without pedaling. Europeans have stricter rules, requiring that you pedal. which we support. If you think you’ll get by without pedaling, think again. Even for e-bikes that have a throttle, you’ll need to pedal when going up long, steep hills, although you won’t have to pedal hard. Pedaling is more fun, extends the range of your battery, extends the life of your motor, and extends your own life too.
Is servicing an e-bike any different than a regular bike?
Look at an e-bike as being comprised of two groups of parts – mechanical and electric.
- Mechanical parts are the same parts that you’ll see on non-electric bikes. Servicing mechanical parts can be performed at any bike shop. You might find that your bike parts might wear a little faster than on a non-electric bike – especially brake pads, chains, cogs and tires. But that’s because most people put many more miles on their e-bike. There is some basic maintenance that you can do on your own, like keeping your tires properly inflated and lubricating your chain. For some basic bike maintenance tips, check out our recommended maintenance videos.
- The electrical parts don’t require any maintenance. If you do run into a problem with an electrical part, you’ll want to go to a shop that has some expertise in servicing e-bikes. While not really a maintenance task, you do want to make sure that the battery keeps some charge in it. If you don’t, it might discharge to a point so low that you can’t charge it anymore, thus killing your battery – an expensive mistake to make.
Cynergy E-Bikes has a complete service department for both mechanical work and electrical work, with expertise servicing electrical parts for from many different e-bike brands.
CLIMATE AND WEATHER
How much will I reduce my carbon footprint if I use an ebike instead of a car?
Our favorite question! In Oregon, which depends on hydropower and wind more than coal and gas, it takes the carbon footprint of over 60 e-bikes to equal the carbon footprint of one single occupancy, gasoline-powered car. In states that depend more on coal, it might be around 20-30 e-bikes compared to one car. No matter how you calculate it, even though an ebike uses electricity that might come from fossil fuels, the amount of CO2 emitted compared to a car is miniscule.
What about leaving my electric bicycle out in the rain?
The motor and battery are sufficiently sealed to be protected from the rain. However, we do suggest that if you are carrying your bike on the back of a car and rain is in the forecast, that you place the battery inside the car. Driving 70mph in a downpour with the battery exposed is like pressure-washing your battery. That’s a lot different than riding your bike in the rain.
How to Charge an Electric Bike? Easy Step-by-Step Guide
Electric bikes are the latest phenomenon in cycling, yet few of us know what that actually means. Here, we have everything you need to know about e-bike batteries. This includes e-bike battery life, charging time, how to charge an electric bike, and e-bike battery charging tips.
Charging e-bikes is not the first thing you think about when purchasing an electric bike, but it’s vital it’s done right.
If bikes weren’t already complicated enough, e-bikes have added a whole new element to the conversation with their electronics.
Between Amp Hours, Voltage, and Watts Hours, e-bike batteries may be hard to understand.
But e-bike battery charging is simpler than it seems. Charging e-bikes may seem complicated and overwhelming, but that’s why we’re here.
In this post, we’re going to explain electric bike charging from the basics to advanced tips for prolonging e-bike battery life.
Introduction to Charging E-Bikes
All best electric bikes come with a charger, but e-bike chargers are not universal. Most e-bikes come with their own unique chargers that are specific to that bike’s battery only.
Before you start, always read through the manufacturer’s instructions before charging your e-bike.
While the overriding principles for charging e-bikes may be the same, different batteries may come with slightly different instructions.
The energy that an e-bike uses depends on a few factors: voltage, amp hours, and watt-hours. A typical e-bike battery will be labeled as something like, “48V, 10.5 Ah (504 Wh).”
Voltage (V) is the force pushing the electrical current through the e-bike’s system. A higher voltage will deliver more energy through the system, resulting in higher power/torque over a given period of time.
Amp Hours (Ah) is a measurement of a battery’s capacity, of how much current the battery delivers in an hour at a certain voltage. Using the above example, this battery would deliver 10.5 amps for one hour at 48 Volts.
Watt Hours (Wh) is the number of watts that a battery can deliver in an hour. It is simply Amp Hours x Voltage, but only when using the system at its maximum capacity. Using the above example, this 504 Wh battery would last about an hour if paired with a 500W motor, which is common on e-bikes.
To make the battery last longer, you would run the e-bike on a lower setting. For example, running a 504 Wh battery with a 500W motor at 200W would help the battery last for 2-3 hours.
When it comes to battery life, Amp Hours (Ah) is the most important measurement. Larger Amp Hours mean larger capacity, which allows you to ride further on a single battery charge. Increasing the Watt Hours (Wh) in an e-bike battery will deliver more power delivered over time, but it will not necessarily increase your e-bike range.
To determine how long an e-bike battery needs to charge, all you need to know is the Amp Hours in the battery and the Amp in the charger. For example, a 2 Amp charger is common among electric bikes. Paired with a 10 Ah battery, a 2 Amp charger will take five hours to fully recharge the battery.
Main Steps to Charging an Electric Bike
The basics of charging e-bikes are simple, the actual charger doesn’t look too different from other chargers.
When you learn how to charge an e-bike, there are a few steps to keep in mind:
- Remove the battery from the e-bike (if necessary)
- Turn off the battery
- Connect the charger to the battery
- Plug the charger into a compatible outlet
- Turn on the plug (if necessary) to start charging
Many models have a removable battery which makes charging e-bikes a bit easier. But other e-bikes have the battery integrated into the frame. Either way, make sure you check the manufacturer’s instructions before attempting to remove the e-bike battery.
There are a few different items that you’ll need to connect to get your e-bike battery charged: battery pack, battery bay (what connects the bike to the battery), charging power supply, and two cables to connect the power supply.
Most e-bike chargers are self-explanatory, with the cords and connections being very obvious. But if you’re unsure, check the manufacturer’s directions to see exactly what goes where.
Main Rules of Charging a Bike
The #1 rule of e-bike charging is to always use the correct charger. Each charger is specific to an e-bike, and you don’t want to mix and match batteries with chargers. Here are some of our favorite e-bike charging tips.
The first battery charge of every e-bike is critical. When you bring a new e-bike home, don’t just plug it into the wall. Each manufacturer has a specific set of instructions for the battery’s first charge, and this charge can have a significant impact on the overall life of the battery.
You should always charge your e-bike indoors because of the electric circuits that are running through the bike and the battery.
While the e-bike stays protected from the elements, the power supply, and charging cords can not handle water.
You’ll know when to charge your e-bike battery based on LED light indicators and/or a heads-up display. Most e-bikes come with a display mounted on the handlebars which lets you control the assistance from the e-bike’s motor. These displays typically include a page that shows the e-bike’s remaining battery life.
Many e-bikes have a red LED indicator that will light up when the battery is running low. Once you plug in the battery to charge, the LED indicator will eventually turn green once the battery is fully charged.
It takes most e-bike batteries 2-6 hours to fully recharge.
Disadvantages and Possible Dangers
One of the main hazards of e-bike charging is mixing up your e-bike battery chargers. While all e-bikes come with a charger, these chargers are not interchangeable with e-bike batteries.
So if you have multiple e-bikes and chargers lying around at home, make sure to always use the correct charger.
Using the incorrect charger on an e-bike battery can result in fires, burning out the battery, or even worse.
Another downside of e-bikes is the time that it might take a while for the battery to recharge. The most powerful e-bikes with the largest range can take upwards of six hours to charge. If you forget to recharge your e-bike overnight, you might not have enough battery life for the next day’s adventure, for example.
With a bike battery charge, you never want to let your battery completely drain before charging it.
The Lifespan of Electric Bike Batteries
A typical electric bike battery should last 3–5 years depending on usage. While charging it is actually quite simple, there are a few simple tricks you can use to prolong the battery’s life as much as possible.
First, don’t recharge the battery after every ride. An e-bike battery will last the longest if you keep the battery charge between 20% and 80%.
Second, avoid over-charging your battery, or charging it for too long. Specifically, don’t leave your e-bike battery charging for more than 12 hours.
Lastly, keep your e-bike battery in comfortable storage conditions. That means keeping it on a flat, hard surface in a lukewarm room that is not too hot (80°F / 27°C) or too cold (50°F / 10°C). Keep your battery as clean as possible, especially after a dirty commute in the rain.
Heavy battery usage may shorten an e-bike’s battery life, but not significantly. Regular recharging and maintenance are most important in determining a battery’s life.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take for an electric bike to charge?
A typical electric bike battery will take 2–6 hours to fully recharge. The charging time depends on the battery’s capacity and the power supplied through the charger.
Should I charge my e-bike battery after every ride?
In general, you do not want to charge your e-bike battery after every ride. To prolong your e-bike battery life, it is best to keep your e-bike battery charged between 20–80%. Charging your e-bike battery too often can actually damage its overall battery life.
Can I leave my e-bike on charge overnight?
You can leave your e-bike to charge overnight, but only for some e-bike batteries. However, you want to avoid overcharging your e-bike to help prolong its long-term battery life.
If your battery takes 4 hours to charge and it is at 50% battery, you do not want to leave it charging overnight which would overcharge the battery for multiple hours.
Ideally, you should charge your e-bike battery for a few hours once every few rides.
How long do electric bike batteries last?
Electric bike batteries can be expected to last 3–5 years in normal usage conditions. This includes recharging, maintaining, and cleaning your e-bike battery on a regular basis to prolong its life.
How far can a fully charged e-bike go?
A typical e-bike can go 20–50 miles on a single charge, with long-range e-bikes being capable of 80 miles. This range varies based on battery usage, rider and cargo weight, terrain, and speed. E-bikes that are built for all-day adventuring may have extra large batteries capable of providing nearly 100 miles of motor assistance.
What happens if I overcharge my e-bike?
Overcharging your e-bike can result in battery damage which shortens its overall life. The power delivered by the battery should not change, but its overall capacity will as a result of overcharging.
How do I know when my electric bike is fully charged?
Electric bikes usually had an LED light indicator that will light up or turn green once your electric bike is fully charged. The location and look of these indicators may vary, so make sure to check the manufacturer’s directions to learn when your electric bike is fully charged.