eBike Rechargeable Battery Safety: Using Lithium Ion Batteries
“Is the rechargeable battery on my ebike safe?” We have been getting asked this question from customers and would like to present some facts around this increasingly popular technology, and most importantly, a safe handling guide.
Rechargeable batteries are here to stay
Lithium ion batteries are a powerful technology that have given us handy cordless tools and devices from mobile phones and laptops, to power drills, vacuum cleaners and now electric bikes. This is an increasingly common power source that is here to stay, so it’s best to learn how to safely live with it.
What type of rechargeable battery do I have?
Some older devices used to use nickel metal hydride batteries. These have now been completely superseded by Lithium batteries so we will restrict our discussion to these. Reid Cycles ebikes and e scooters use lith ium-ion batteries. You may see some devices in your home using lithium-polymer batteries, but the information below on care and optimal performance is the same.
How do I get the best lifetime performance from my rechargeable lithium battery?
As technology has developed over the years, a lot of myths and misconceptions have remained about best practices for battery handling. Here are the facts: 1. Don’t leave your battery on charge The most common error is leaving lithium batteries plugged in after they are fully charged. Doing this regularly will quickly and permanently reduce the life of your battery. Get into the habit of removing it from charge once full. 2. Partial charges are best Completely draining and then fully charging a li-ion battery puts it under a bit of strain each time. Although it means you’ll be charging more frequently, the ideal range to promote optimal battery life is keeping it between 20-80% of charge. 3. Keep your rechargeable battery at room temperature Li-ion batteries don’t like going outside the 0-40 celsius range. This means don’t leave it in a baking hot car or outside if there is snow forecast. If your electric bike/scooter battery does get outside this temperature range, let it return to room temperature before plugging it into your charger. 4. Use the official charger that came with the battery The chargers we supply with your electric bike or scooter are designed to supply the ideal current for that particular battery. Using a cheap online battery charger you found on ebay from overseas will void your warranty and could cause damage to your battery or trigger a malfunction. If you need a new charger. please contact Customer Support. 5. Battery Hazard Reduction It’s important to take steps to reduce the risk of a fire hazard associated with your electric bike battery. This can include avoiding overcharging the battery, and avoiding puncturing or dropping the battery, as this can cause it to malfunction. Regular inspection of the battery for any signs of wear and tear is imperative for good battery safety. If you are ever involved in a crash that has caused damage to your bike we highly recommend bringing in your bike to one of our locations to be inspected.
Battery Handling and Transport When transporting your E-bike, it’s important to properly secure the battery to avoid damage. Models like the Pulse, Adventure and Vintage E-Bikes we recommend removing the battery prior to transport. Models with frame integrated batteries like the Blacktop, KADe and Sphinx are safe to leave connected during transport. Additionally, when handling the battery, make sure to avoid dropping it or exposing it to impact, as this can cause it to malfunction. 7. Cleaning Keeping your electric bike battery clean is important for safety and performance. Wipe down the battery regularly with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris, and avoid using any harsh chemicals that may damage the surface or terminals the battery. Ensure to dry the battery and surrounding areas correctly leaving no moisture around the terminals. 8. Operation Conditions When using your E-bike, it’s important to take into consideration the environment in which you’re riding. Although Reid bikes are built for all conditions, extreme temperatures can have a negative effect on battery performance. Extremely hot temperatures can lead to the battery limiting performance to reduce any damage to the battery. On the other end extremely cold temperatures can severely limit the range of Lithium-ion batteries due to the chemical reaction slowing down. Additionally, exposing your battery to water can cause additional corrosion. All our Electric bikes feature sealed battery units that are completely waterproof. E-Bikes like our new Sphinx and Blacktop feature Frame integrated batteries designed to further protect against knocks and bumps while reducing the chance of water ingress.
Rechargeable Battery Safety Tips
- Clear the immediate area around the recharging device of combustibles and accelerants. just as a safety precaution. We also advise charging the battery on a hard surface to aid in heat dissipation.
- Don’t charge the battery in direct sunlight or next to source of heat.
- Don’t buy an electric bike from a cheap overseas supplier without first checking the battery and charger meet Australian (or your local) standards. The safest choice is buying from a reputable Australian company who is responsible for ensuring these stringent safety standards are met.
- Buying second hand rechargeable devices can carry risk as you don’t know how the battery and charger have been treated in the past.
And finally. rechargeable batteries are not to be feared. Arm yourself with some basic knowledge and take a few simple steps to ensure a safe home full of amazing technology!
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Samsung SDI, the Total Battery Solution Provider
Samsung SDI’s high-capacity and high-quality cell technology enhances the mobility of E-Bike with its differentiated design and performance.
It’s the perfect cell solution for an E-bike
Extend driving distance Samsung SDI provides high capacity 3.5Ah (35E) cells for E-bikes. High capacity cells such as 3.5 Ah improve the driving distance of the E-bike and provide convenience to the customers.
Enhance design flexibility Samsung SDI’s high capacity 3.5Ah (35E) cells enable the design of battery packs with less number of cells but with the same capacity. Using the lighter and slimmer battery packs, the customers will be able to develop E-bikes with varied and differentiated designs.
Improve safety and quality Since the cells in E-bike battery packs should be connected in serial-parallel, cell balance is one of the most important factors determining the product quality.Samsung SDI’s superb cell balance technology contributes to the uniform quality of the packs and driving units, and ultimately to the quality of the E-bike. Our batteries help to provide E-bikes with reliable quality to the consumers. As a testimony to their outstanding quality and safety, Samsung SDI’s Li-ion battery cells are preferred by high-end E-bike makers and driving unit companies that lead the E-bike market.
Cells with specification different from the above products can be provided upon customer’s request.
Cells with specification different from the above products can be provided upon customer’s request.
Lithium-Ion Batteries in E-Bikes and Other Devices Pose Fire Risks
The batteries, also found in phones, laptops, toothbrushes and other items, have caused about 200 fires and six deaths in New York City this year, fire officials say. Here’s what to know about safety.
A lithium-ion battery in an apartment with at least five e-bikes caused a fire in Manhattan this month that injured almost 40 people. The fire, which was one of 188 caused by lithium-ion batteries in New York City this year, led to warnings about risks associated with the batteries and ways to minimize them.
Lithium-ion batteries power devices in every corner of our lives, including phones, laptops, toothbrushes, power tools and electric vehicles. But many don’t know how to handle them safely or that they might start fires.
How do lithium-ion batteries work?
Lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable, last a long time and store a lot of energy in a small space. That has made them the most popular power source in electronic devices and vehicles, said Victoria Hutchison, a research project manager at the Fire Protection Research Foundation.
When a failing battery overheats, it can violently eject gas, projectiles and flames, then spread like a chain reaction to the other cells, she said.
Battery fires are quick and destructive.
Fires involving lithium-ion batteries have become more common in New York City: Six people died and 139 have been injured as a result of battery-caused fires so far this year, according to the New York Fire Department. Last year, the batteries were connected to fires that resulted in four deaths and 79 injuries, the department said.
The battery that caused a Nov. 5 fire was charging near the front door of an apartment, blocking its only exit and prompting firefighters to conduct a rope rescue of two occupants. And in August, a fire caused by a lithium-ion battery killed a mother and daughter in Harlem.
These fires can occur without warning and spread quickly, the chief fire marshal, Daniel E. Flynn, said at a Nov. 7 news conference.
“We have a fully formed fire within a matter of seconds,” he said.
The damage from a fire caused by lithium-ion batteries inside a Manhattan apartment this month. Credit. Fire Department of New York, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Take these simple steps to reduce the risk of batteries failing.
One out of every 10 million lithium-ion batteries fails, a condition that almost always leads to a fire, Ms. Hutchison said. While that is a relatively low rate, the batteries are being used in more devices, including cheaper, uncertified batteries with greater risk, she said. Customers should always buy batteries and devices that have been certified by UL or another safety testing lab.
Fires have also been started because people have used chargers incompatible with a battery, she said. They should only use the charging cables recommended by a manufacturer, she said. An incompatible one might continue to charge the battery to the point of overheating.
“Once it reaches its thermal threshold, it’s a pretty violent reaction,” Ms. Hutchison said.
Lithium-ion batteries show signs that they need to be replaced if they get hot, expand or take longer than usual to charge, Ms. Hutchison said. Immediately before failure, a battery will make a popping noise and then a hiss in which gas is released. Experts recommend storing them in fireproof containers.
Even a battery that complies with safety guidelines when it’s first purchased can become dangerous if it’s damaged, said William S. Lerner, a hydrogen expert and delegate for ISO, an organization for global standardization.
“These batteries can be of the highest quality, but if they are injured and dropped and severely beaten up, then the potential to fail is greater,” he said.
Food couriers rely on e-bikes in New York City. The bikes grew in popularity during the pandemic as people sought alternatives to public transportation and ride-sharing services. Credit. Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet for The New York Times
It’s a widespread problem but not well-regulated.
No large-scale database keeps track of battery-caused fires, Mr. Lerner said. But the fires have occurred around the world.
The popularity of e-bikes in New York City grew during the pandemic as people looked for alternatives to public transportation and ride-sharing services, Mr. Lerner said. But their use increased before the government could put guidelines in place.
The New York City Housing Authority had proposed a ban on storing e-bikes in buildings but faced pushback from people like food couriers whose jobs depend on them. The authority said it is still working on steps for a proposed new rule.
The issue remains top of mind for housing managers. A sign outside the Manhattan apartment complex where the fire this month occurred read, “No pedal or e-bikes allowed beyond this point.”
The City Council is considering several battery safety measures and held a hearing Monday night. Laws that would ban sales of noncertified batteries and require educating people about the risks of powered mobility devices are among the measures being considered.
Leny Feliu, a founder of Safer Charging, said her brother is a delivery person. “He makes his money that way and I want him to continue to make his money, but we need to provide a safe way of charging these items,” she said.
The property management companies Douglas Elliman and AKAM, which oversee about 700 apartment complexes in New York City, have begun to communicate with residents and managers about lithium-ion battery safety.
“We want to be proactive, not reactive,” said Chris Alker, the vice president of operations for AKAM. “We don’t want to wait for a fire in order to address situations like these.”
The New York City Council is set to discuss e-bike battery safety on Monday. Credit. Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times
Proper care and recycling are crucial.
After the batteries have exhausted their life spans, which can vary, the next step is safe disposal — not throwing them in household trash, which is illegal in some states, including New York. Some companies like Home Depot and Best Buy accept used lithium-ion batteries. Some states require retailers to accept customers’ rechargeable batteries for recycling. Consumers can also contact battery manufacturers for disposal options.
Call2Recycle works with 52 brands and 75 bike shops to repurpose the batteries’ metal components, said Leo Raudys, the group’s chief executive. Since starting to accept lithium-ion batteries in March, it’s received 18,000 pounds of them.
“These batteries are phenomenal, and when people follow best practices and make good batteries, they’re safe, they’re reliable,” he said, adding, “The problem is we’re seeing bad actors out there that are marketing and selling batteries that are unsafe or not certified.”
April Rubin is a breaking news reporter and a member of the 2022-2023 New York Times fellowship class. @ AprilMRubin
Which 18650 battery is best for an e-bike?
There are a lot of different 18650 batteries on the market, and it can be tough to know which one is best for your e-bike. In general, you’ll pay attention to a battery’s capacity (mAh rating), discharge rate (C rating), and compatibility with the e-bike’s controller.
In this article, we delve into the 18650 battery in more detail, battery specs, and how to identify the best 18650 battery for your e-bike.
What is a 18650 Battery?
A 18650 battery is a lithium-ion battery that can be recharged. The 18650 designation comes from the physical dimensions of the battery, which are 18 mm in diameter and 65 mm in length. The 0 represents the cylindrical shape of the battery.
18650 is one of the most common types of lithium-ion batteries. They are used in a wide variety of devices, including laptops, vapes, flashlights, and light electric vehicles.
Light electric vehicles such as e-bikes prefer 21700 and 18650 batteries.
How to Choose the Best 18650 Battery for Your E-bike
When choosing battery packs for your electric bike, you’ll want to consider the main factors:
The capacity of a battery is measured in milliampere-hours (mAh). The higher the mAh rating, the more energy the battery can store. A higher capacity lithium-ion rechargeable battery will give you a longer range on your bike. A higher capacity also means that the battery will take longer to charge.
Continuous Discharge Rating
The discharge rate of a 18650 battery for an e-bike is measured in terms of continuous current (C). A higher C rating means that the battery can provide more current for a longer period without being damaged.
Higher Continuous discharge ratings are important if you’ll be using your bike for high-performance applications, such as racing or off-road riding.
It’s important to make sure that the 18650 lithium-ion batteries you choose are compatible with your bike’s controller.
Other factors that can guarantee you a good pack of li-ion for your e-bike include:
18650 e-bike cell manufacturers
Some 18650 battery brands are better than others in terms of quality and performance including continuous discharge rating.
There are many brands of 18650 batteries from reputable manufacturers, such as:
Panasonic 18650 lithium-ion batteries are among the most popular on the market. They are known for their high quality, good prices, and performance.
LG Chem 18650 is also very popular. They are known for their high energy density and long life.
Samsung 18650 is common in laptops and other devices. They are known for their high quality and reliability.
Sony 18650 is also common in laptops and other devices.
CATL is known for manufacturing high-quality 18650 lithium-ion. They are among the best batteries on the market with good prices.
BYD is a Chinese battery manufacturer. They are known for their good quality and competitive prices.
Toshiba 18650 li-ion are also common in laptops and other devices. They are known for their high expectancy and more power.
A123 Systems is known for its high-quality 18650 li-ion. They are used in a wide variety of applications, including electric vehicles, digital cameras, and vaping devices amongst other devices.
18650 battery chemistry
The chemical composition of 18650 batteries is very important in choosing a rechargeable battery. The chemical composition includes:
Each of these chemistries has its advantages and disadvantages.
Lithium iron phosphate (FePO4) is the most stable of the four chemistries. It has a very low rate of self-discharge and is not susceptible to thermal runaway. However, LiFePO4 has a lower energy density than the other chemistries.
Lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide (NCA) lithium battery comes with a high power density and good stability. It is one of the most popular battery types on the market. It is quite affordable with a low continuous discharge rating.
Lithium nickel cobalt magnesium oxide (NCM) batteries are the most popular type of lithium battery on the market. They are affordable, have a long cycle of life, and are very stable. NCM is available in a variety of voltages, ranging from 3.6 volts to 4.2 volts.
The 18650 e-bike battery voltage
18650 batteries come in a variety of voltages. Your choice of 18650 e-bike battery voltage will ultimately depend on the voltage of your bike.
The e-bike battery voltage you choose will also affect the amount of power your bike has. A higher voltage battery will give your bike more power, while a lower voltage battery will give your bike less power.
Features of the 18650 battery packs for e-bike
Some 18650 batteries come with built-in protection circuits Multi-function Protective Circuit Board (PCM). PCM is used to protect the cells from overcharging, over-discharging, overcurrent, and short circuits.
Overcharging protection: When the cell charging voltage reaches a certain voltage, the charger will stop supplying current to prevent overcharging.
Over-discharge protection: When the cell voltage drops below a certain voltage, the device will stop using the cell to prevent damage from over-discharging.
Overcurrent protection: If the current exceeds a certain A, the PCM will shut down the circuit to prevent damage from overcurrent.
Short circuit protection: If a short circuit is detected, the PCM will shut down the circuit to prevent damage from a short circuit.
Cell balancing: The PCM will equalize the voltage of all the cells in the pack to prevent one cell from being over-charged or over-discharged.
Temperature protection: The PCM will shut down the circuit if the temperature gets too high to prevent damage from overheating.
The price of an ebike battery can vary depending on the brand, capacity, discharge rate, and other features. Choose the battery that fits your budget and needs rather than just an expensive battery.
The durability of the 18650 battery for the e-bike
The 18650 should be of high quality and durable. This will save you money in the long run as you will not have to replace it often.
The battery should also be able to withstand extreme temperatures and maintain the bike’s power. This is important as the battery will be exposed to different weather conditions.
The Tritek 18650 e-bike battery pack can withstand temperatures as low as.20 degrees Celsius and as high as 60 degrees Celsius. This makes it a great choice for those who live in areas with extreme temperatures.