Electric Scooter Batteries Everything You Need To Know. Battery two wheeler scooty

Electric Scooter Batteries. Everything You Need To Know

Years ago when scooters were for kids, they featured slower, less powerful batteries. But today, as one of the fastest-growing last-mile commute options, electric scooters aren’t a child’s toy any longer.

Modern e-scooters require a far more powerful battery, one that is capable of taking you wherever you need to go. But electric scooter batteries are not created equal. They all differ in capacity, size, and output.

The type of battery your electric scooter has determines its reliability and performance. It is responsible for powering the motor, the lights, the controller, the display. It even dictates the speed and range.

So how do you know which one you need?

In this comprehensive guide to electric scooter batteries, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about e-scooter batteries, including the different types of batteries available, their specifications, and how to maintain their efficiency.

If you are ready, then let’s dive in!

What are the Different Types of Batteries Used on Electric Scooters?

Essentially, electric scooter batteries are made up of several miniature powerhouses known as battery cells. These cells are packed together to form one larger battery with immense capacity, output, and voltage.

Manufacturers like to refer to the different types of electric scooters by their acronyms. There are three most common types of electric scooter batteries, including;

  • Lithium-ion Batteries (Li-ion)
  • Sealed Lead-Acid Batteries
  • Nickel Metal Hydride Batteries (NiMH)

Lithium-ion Batteries (Li-ion)

Lithium-ion batteries have taken the electric scooter market by storm. they’re now the most commonly used type of battery in modern scooter manufacturing.

There are multiple battery chemistries within the Li-ion category; all boast high energy density, meaning they store more energy per physical weight. They also weigh less than all the other batteries, last longer, and require less maintenance.

  • Some of the battery chemistries you’ll find in the Lithium-ion category include:
  • Lithium manganese nickel (LiNiMnCoO2); commonly known as INR, NMC
  • Lithium manganese oxide (LiMn2O4); widely known as IMR, LMO, Li-manganese
  • Lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide (LiNiCoAlO2); widely known as NCA, Li-aluminum
  • Lithium nickel cobalt oxide (LiCoO2); widely known as NCO
  • Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4); widely known as IFR, LFP, Li-phosphate
  • Lithium cobalt oxide (LiCoO2); widely known as ICR, LCO, Li-cobalt
  • Lithium Polymer (LiPo)

These different lithium-ion batteries represent a trade-off between durability, output, and capacity. Most of these batteries are used in phones, cameras, laptops, and tablets.

E-scooters have utilized only a handful of these chemistries. The most common Lithium-ion batteries in electric scooters include:

Lithium-Manganese (INR, NMC)

Considered one of the safest chemistries, the INR battery features high storage capacity and current output. The manganese in the battery lowers internal resistance, allowing for current production while maintaining optimal temperatures. This helps to prevent thermal runaway and explosion even under high current output.

Lithium FerroPhosphate (LFP)

Although they are expensive, LFP batteries are long-lasting and significantly safer. They are suitable for devices that need high load currents and endurance, like electric scooters.

Lithium Polymer (LiPo)

This type of lithium-ion battery assumes a pouch format instead of the typical cell format found in most e-scooter batteries. Their small and flat shape makes them highly suited for portable electronic gadgets, including e-scooters.

Advantages of Li-ion Batteries

  • Their high density allows them to store more energy and deliver longer ranges
  • Slower discharge rate
  • Requires less maintenance
  • Boasts higher voltage than other e-scooter batteries
  • They don’t lose efficiency after partial charges
  • You don’t have to prime the battery for it to function
  • They’re lighter than all the other types of batteries

Disadvantages of Lithium-ion Batteries

  • They lose their potency after 500-1000 charges
  • They shouldn’t be stored when fully discharged as this accelerates their spoilage
  • They overheat easily and can even explode
  • They are relatively expensive

Sealed Lead Acid Batteries

Lead-acid batteries are the oldest and the cheapest type of batteries. They’re commonly found in large motor vehicles, trucks, and electric machines, such as golf carts.

Since they were the first type of battery to be invented, lead-acid batteries were also the first to be used in kids’ toys and other electronic gadgets. However, they became more of an inconvenience than a power source due to their bulkiness.

Regardless, these batteries are known to produce a high immediate current and store a lot of power. Which is why you’ll still find them in some bulky electric scooters and heavy cars. The downside however is that their longevity depends on the temperature of their surrounds as well as their size and quality.

Advantages of Sealed Lead Acid Batteries

  • Relatively affordable compared to other batteries
  • Large current capability
  • Tolerant to overcharging
  • They can take a lot of abuse
  • They come in various sizes

Disadvantages of Sealed Lead Acid Batteries

  • They are heavier than all the other types of batteries
  • Low energy density, meaning they weigh too much when compared to the amount of energy they store
  • They require a lot of time to recharge

Nickel Metal Hydride Battery (NiMH)

Popularly known as NiMH, nickel-metal hydride batteries are somewhere between the Lithium-ion battery and the sealed lead-acid batteries. They are the most common batteries found in rechargeable electronics.

Like the lithium-ion batteries, the NiMH batteries have a high energy density and can thus store a lot of energy per unit weight. They also have fewer materials which makes them safer than lithium-ion batteries.

Unfortunately, these batteries require more time to charge, and fast charging can easily damage them. Additionally, they are only ideal at specific temperatures as their voltage output plummets when exposed to hot or cold conditions.

Advantages of Nickel Metal Hydride Batteries

  • Have a high energy density and store more energy in a unit of weight
  • Lighter than sealed lead-acid batteries
  • Safer than lithium-ion batteries
  • They don’t explode when overheated

Disadvantages of Nickel Metal Hydride Batteries

  • Charging these batteries takes longer (10-12 hours)
  • Have a low voltage output
  • Not suited for areas with temperature fluctuations, especially extremely cold areas
  • expensive and heavier than lithium-ion batteries.

Electric Scooter Battery Specifications

Now that we have explore the various types of electric scooter batteries, let’s switch gears and delve into e-scooter battery specifications.

When it comes to battery specs, the following three measurements are what you should FOCUS on:

  • Voltage – Measured in Volts (V)
  • Charge Capacity. Measured in Ampere-hours (Ah)
  • Energy storage capacity – Measured in Watt-hours ( Wh)

These aspects determine your electric scooter’s power, longevity, and efficiency. The concepts can be a little complicated, so we’ve broken them down to make them easier to understand.

Voltage

Voltage is the “push’ that makes electrons move, creating an electric current.

In electric scooters, voltage forces electrons to move from the charger to the battery and then to the motor. It’s a measure of how fast power can be released. The higher the voltage, the more power it will deliver to the motor.

All batteries and other components that use electricity come with input and output voltage. A good rule of thumb is that the battery’s output should be greater than a motor’s input voltage for optimal performance.

You can easily calculate a battery’s voltage if you have its charge capacity and storage capacity. You will need to divide the storage capacity measured in Watt-hours (Wh) with the charge capacity measured in Amp-hours (Ah)

The majority of scooters come with voltages ranging from 20V, 24V, 36V, 48V, and 52V. But they can go as high as 100V or even 120V.

E-scooter Battery Charge

The metric for measuring battery charge is Ampere-hours (Ah).

Batteries either have a positive or negative charge.

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Any matter comprises several atoms, which, in turn, comprise neutrons, protons, and electrons. An atom may have a fixed number of electrons or have more or less than that number. When an atom boasts more electrons than usual, it’s said to have a negative charge. Conversely, if the same atom has fewer electrons, it’s said to have a positive charge.

Essentially, batteries have components that allow the free flow of electrons. A battery’s ability to accept the electrons that provide electricity is called a battery charge.

Most scooters have batteries with a battery charge capacity ranging from 2 Ah to 50 Ah. The higher the battery charge in an electric scooter, the higher the performance.

You can calculate the battery’s charge by dividing its storage capacity measured in Watt-hour (Wh) with the voltage measured in Volts (V).

E-scooter Battery Capacity

Often, electric scooter manufacturers don’t indicate the battery storage capacity. i.e. how much energy a battery can store. The metric for measuring energy storage capacity is Watt-hours (Wh). But this is quite a useful bit of information to be aware of.

A battery with a 1 Wh rating has stored enough energy to deliver one watt of power for an hour. The more the battery capacity, the longer the scooter range.

Average adult scooters have capacities of 150 Wh to 624 Wh. However, the electric scooter battery capacities can range from a hundred Watt-hours to almost three thousand Watt-hours.

You can determine the battery capacity by multiplying the charge and the voltage.

Other Things to Consider in Electric Scooter Batteries

Apart from the battery measurements, below are a few other bits you might want to know about your scooter’s battery:

  • Battery Packs
  • Voltage Sag
  • Battery Management System
  • C-rate
  • Battery Brands

Battery Packs

Manufacturers create a battery pack by assembling hundreds or thousands of 18650 Li-ion cells. The cells are connected either in series to account for the total voltage. By arranging these battery cells in a series makes it possible to have 24V, 36V, 48V, 53V, and 60V battery packs.

To increase output current, manufacturers connect cells in parallel. Changing the battery configuration will increase the output voltage, amp-hour capacity, and max current.

Voltage Sag

It’s a common phenomenon for an electric scooter battery to experience a voltage sag. This is a short duration of reduction in voltage caused by overload, short circuit, and electrical resistance.

For example, when a rider is on the scooter, the load is transferred to the battery, and there’s a Rapid voltage drop.

If you’re reading the battery capacity with the load on, you’ll think that your battery has lost 10% of its capacity. However, the battery voltage returns to normal once you get off the scooter.

Voltage sag is often experienced during long rides when there’s an extended discharge period. The lithium chemistry in the battery takes time to cope with the discharge rate, leading to a drop in voltage, especially at the end of a long ride.

So don’t worry if you detect a Rapid voltage drop. If you allow your electric scooter to rest for a few minutes, it will regain its original voltage level.

Battery Management System

Although lithium-ion batteries have many benefits, one of their downsides is that their technology can cause an explosion if mishandled or misused.

For this reason, their cells are arranged in a brick-like battery pack that’s monitored and regulated by a cutting-edge electric circuit known as the Battery Management System (BMS).

Most lithium-ion batteries operate within a range of 2.5 to 4.0V. Any overcharge or undercharge can trigger thermal runaway conditions, with the resulting reactions potentially damaging the battery and reducing its durability. In extreme cases, it can lead to overheating and explosion.

The electronic BMS system monitors the battery, ensuring that it doesn’t discharge or overcharge. The BMS cuts the power when it detects that the battery will discharge fully.

Additionally, modern electric scooters boast batteries with advanced management systems that detect a surge in temperature and trigger a cutoff before batteries start to overheat.

C-rate

Another term that you might encounter when it comes to your e-scooter battery charging is C-rate. It’s a representation of how fast the battery is being fully discharged or charged.

For instance, if your scooter has a C-rate of 1C, this means the battery is charged in one hour. If you charge a 100Ah battery with a 100A current, it will be full in one hour, and its C-rate will be 1C.

Battery Brands

The one final element of the battery that can affect the performance of your electric scooter is the brand that manufactured the battery.

Some brands simply produce better batteries than others, among them are Samsung, LG, Panasonic, and Dynavolt.

Most low-budget and low-power adult scooters come with generic batteries manufactured in China and Middle-Eastern countries. Although these batteries will allow you to take your regular commutes, they won’t deliver the quality performance you’ll find from using the branded batteries.

How Long Do Electric Scooters Batteries Last?

Since Lithium-ion batteries are the most commonly used type of batteries in electric scooters, we will FOCUS on these.

So, how can you estimate their lifespan?

A Li-ion battery is designed to handle between 300 and 500 cycles before it starts diminishing its capability. This is around 3000 to 10,000 miles for an average e-scooter. This means that they’ll last for one to three years.

However, this doesn’t mean that the battery will lose all its potency abruptly when it hits these figures. It only starts depreciating in performance and gets worse as time goes by. As we mentioned earlier, today’s electric scooters come with advanced battery management systems that help prolong their longevity.

How To Extend Your Electric Scooter’s Battery Life

Electric scooters require little or no maintenance and make the best vehicles for inner-city commutes and short errands.

However, like any other motorized machine you need to appropriately use and charge yours according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Failure to adhere to these good habits can lead to problems that may shorten your battery’s longevity.

The following are simple tips to keep your battery performing optimally for an extended period:

Avoid draining your electric scooter completely

Just like with your phone and other rechargeable electric devices, you shouldn’t wait for your scooter battery to fully drain its power for you to charge it up again. If possible, connect your e-scooter to the charger at every opportunity you get.

Ensure that its power never goes below 10%; if you can fully charge your battery after or before a ride, the better.

Don’t leave your scooter charging overnight

You should never leave your scooter charging overnight. Immediately it’s fully charged, disconnect it from the charging cable. Ensure that you’re aware of your scooter’s charging hours and the number of times you’re supposed to charge it.

Letting your e-scooter stay connected to power even after it’s fully charged can cause thermal runaway reactions, which ultimately damage its battery or, in worst cases, causes an explosion.

If you discover that your scooter battery needs more time to charge than specified by the manufacturer, the chances are that it’s defective, and a replacement is inevitable.

Fully charge your scooter if storing it for long

If you’re planning to take a break from your scooter rides, ensure that its battery is fully charged before storing it. Since Li-ion batteries are prone to discharge when kept without use, it’s best to charge it to at least 40% to ensure that it doesn’t lose all the charge when in the store.

Additionally, check the battery regularly and connect it to the charger every 30 days. Charging your scooter’s battery regularly, even when in storage, helps to keep it in tip-top shape and increases its durability.

Learn about your e-scooter’s battery capacity and range

Knowing your scooter’s specifications, such as voltage, energy capacity, and range, can help you plan your trips accordingly. This ensures that your battery doesn’t run low when you’re still cruising in the city or charge it beyond its recommended capacity.

Most manufacturers will have the battery specifications listed in the user manual, so be sure to check it out.

With this information, you can adopt good riding habits, such as cruising at low speed or giving your scooter some cooling time before taking another ride, to extend the battery’s life.

Use the correct charger for your electric scooter

We recommend you only use the manufacturer’s chargers to juice up your electric scooter’s battery. While there may be other more affordable charging cables in the market, they might end up destroying more than your scooter’s battery.

For example, they could undercharge or overcharge your motorized machine, causing irreversible damages.

If the original cable in the box is damaged, contact the manufacturer for a replacement charger and charging cables. Buying a manufacturer-approved charger will undoubtedly cost less than a replacement battery.

Give your scooter time to cool before you plug it into the charger

While it’s good practice to keep your e-scooter charged at all times, this doesn’t mean that you should plug it into electricity immediately when you touch down after a long ride.

When you ride your electric scooter, it generates a lot of heat, making most of its components, including the battery, hot.

In the same vein, a scooter also produces heat when charging. If you don’t give your scooter time to cool after a riding expedition, the heat generated when charging can become unbearable leading to the explosion of battery cells.

Let your scooter dissipate the heat generated from riding for at least 30 minutes, and then plug it in power.

Store your e-scooter in the right climatic conditions

As we said, batteries don’t respond well to extreme temperatures. Just like how the car fails to start, or a phone goes dead during the winter season, too much heat or cold can affect the Li-ion battery chemistries and affect its charging capability or its ability to hold a charge for a long time.

When electric scooter batteries are exposed to extreme conditions for extended durations, they start to lose their potency, and their lifespans are shortened.

Try not to expose your scooter batteries to temperatures below freezing point or anything above 114 degrees Fahrenheit. And store your e-scooter in a cool and dry place.

Are Electric Scooter Batteries Waterproof?

Although some electric scooters come with a water resistance (IP) rating, this doesn’t mean that they are fully waterproof. What that means is they can resist water splashes to some degree.

Despite having an IP rating, manufacturers still warn riders against riding in the rain or cascading through puddles because water-resistant doesn’t necessarily mean waterproof.

However, since electric batteries are sensitive to water, some manufacturers offer extra protection by having a separate IP rating for the battery casing.

But, unless there’s a specific rating for a battery casing, the official water-resistance rating for the electric scooter rating will apply to the battery.

If you’re unsure about how waterproof your e-scooter is, err on the side of caution and assume your battery isn’t protected against water, unless your scooter specifically says otherwise.

Can You Carry an Extra Battery for Your Scooter?

Usually, it’s possible to boost your e-scooter performance by adding an extra battery. Some scooters even come with a reinforced frame with extra space for a spare battery.

Adding an extra battery increases the battery’s output voltage, resulting in improved performance in speed and range. However, it’s important to note that while it’s possible to add an extra battery, the total voltage output of the battery should not exceed the motor’s input voltage.

What Does the Future of Electric Scooter Batteries Look Like?

We’ve seen significant improvements from the original bulky e-scooters batteries that offered toy-like ranges to today’s super-light Li-ion batteries that last longer and provide high energy density.

So what does the future look like for electric scooter batteries? While it’s not entirely possible to predict what the future of electric scooters holds, what we can be sure of is that the quality of batteries will only get better.

Electric Scooter Batteries

The battery is your electric scooter’s “fuel tank.” It stores the energy that is consumed by the DC motor, lights, controller, and other accessories.

Most electric scooters will have some type of lithium ion-based battery pack due to their excellent energy density and longevity. Many electric scooters for kids and other inexpensive models contain lead-acid batteries. In a scooter, the battery pack is made of individual cells and electronics called a battery management system which keeps it operating safely.

Bigger battery packs have more capacity, measured in watt hours, and will let an electric scooter travel further. However, they also increase the size and weight of the scooter — making it less portable. Additionally, batteries are one of the most expensive components of the scooter and overall cost increases accordingly.

Types of Batteries

18650 Li-ion cells, pictured above, make up an e-scooter’s battery pack | Credit: Wikimedia Commons under CC BY-SA 3.0.

E-scooter battery packs are made of many individual battery cells. specifically, they are made of 18650 cells, a size classification for lithium ion (Li-Ion) batteries with 18 mm x 65 mm cylindrical dimensions.

Each 18650 cell in a battery pack is fairly unimpressive — generating an electric potential of ~3.6 volts (nominal) and having a capacity about 2.6 amp hours (2.6 A·h) or about 9.4 watt-hours (9.4 Wh).

Battery cells are operated from 3.0 volts (0% charge) up to 4.2 volts (100% charge).

Lithium Ion

Li-Ion batteries have excellent energy density, the amount of energy stored per their physical weight. They also have excellent longevity meaning that they can be discharged and recharged or “cycled” many times and still maintain their storage capacity.

  • Lithium manganese oxide (LiMn2O4); aka: IMR, LMO, Li-manganese
  • Lithium manganese nickel (LiNiMnCoO2); aka INR, NMC
  • Lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide (LiNiCoAlO2); aka NCA, Li-aluminum
  • Lithium nickel cobalt oxide (LiCoO2); aka NCO
  • Lithium cobalt oxide (LiCoO2); aka ICR, LCO, Li-cobalt
  • Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4); aka IFR, LFP, Li-phosphate

Lithium Manganese (INR, NMC)

Fortunately, many quality electric scooters are using the INR battery chemistry — one of the safest chemistries. This battery gives high capacity and output current. The presence of manganese lowers the internal resistance of the battery, allowing high current output while maintaining low temperatures. Consequently, this reduces the chances of thermal runaway and fire.

Some electric scooters with INR chemistry include WePed GT 50e and Dualtron models.

Lead-acid

Lead-acid is a very old battery chemistry that is commonly found in cars and some larger electric vehicles, like golf carts. They are also found in some electric scooters; most notably, inexpensive children’s scooters from companies like Razor.

Lead-acid batteries have the benefit of being inexpensive, but suffer from having very poor energy density, meaning that they weigh a lot compared to the amount of energy they store. In comparison, Li-ion batteries have about 10X the energy density compared to lead-acid batteries.

Battery Packs

To build a battery pack with hundreds or thousands of watt hours of capacity, many individual 18650 Li-ion cells are assembled together into a brick-like structure. The brick-like battery pack is monitored and regulated by an electronic circuit called a battery management system (BMS), which controls the flow of electricity into and out of the battery.

Schematic diagram of parallel and series battery connections | Credit: Wikimedia Commons under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Individual cells in the battery pack are connected in series (end to end) which sums their voltage. This is how its possible to have scooters with 36 V, 48 V, 52 V, 60 V, or even larger battery packs.

These individual strands (many batteries in series) are then connected in parallel to increase output current.

By adjusting the number of cells in series and parallel, electric scooter manufacturers can increase output voltage or max current and amp hour capacity.

Changing the battery configuration will not increase total energy stored, but it effectively allows a battery to offer more range and lower voltage and vice versa.

Voltage and % Remaining

Each cell in a battery pack is generally operated from 3.0 volts (0% charge) all the way up to 4.2 volts (100% charge).

This means that a 36 V battery pack, (with 10 batteries in series) is operated from 30 V (0% charge) up to 42 volts (100% charge). You can see how % remaining corresponds with battery voltage (some scooters display this directly) for every type of battery in our battery voltage chart.

Voltage Sag

Every battery is going to suffer from a phenomenon called voltage sag.

Voltage sag is caused by several effects, including lithium-ion chemistry, temperature, and electrical resistance. It always results in non-linear behavior of the battery voltage.

As soon as a load is applied to the battery, the voltage will instantaneously drop. This effect can lead to incorrectly estimating battery capacity. If you were directly reading out battery voltage, you’d think you had instantly lost 10% of your capacity or more.

Once the load is removed the battery voltage will return to its true level.

Voltage sag also occurs during long discharge of the battery (such as during a long ride). The lithium chemistry in the battery takes some time to catch up with the discharge rate. This can result in the battery voltage dropping even more rapidly during the tail end of long ride.

If the battery is allowed to rest, it will return to its true and accurate voltage level.

Capacity Ratings

E-scooter battery capacity is rated in units of watt hours (abbreviated Wh), a measure of energy. This unit is quite easy to understand. For example, a battery with a 1 Wh rating stores sufficient energy to supply one watt of power for one hour.

energy capacity means higher battery watt hours which translates to longer electric scooter range, for a given motor size. An average scooter will have a capacity of around 250 Wh and be able to travel about 10 miles at an average of 15 miles per hour. Extreme performance scooters can have a capacity reaching into the thousands of watt hours and ranges of up to 60 miles.

Battery Brands

Individual Li-ion cells in an e-scooter battery pack are made by just a handful of different internationally-known companies. The highest quality cells are made by LG, Samsung, Panasonic, and Sanyo. These types of cells tend to be found only in battery packs of higher-end scooters.

Most budget and commuter electric scooters have battery packs made from generic Chinese-manufactured cells, which vary greatly in quality.

The difference between scooters with branded cells and generic Chinese ones is a greater guarantee of quality control with established brands. If that is not within your budget, then make sure you are buying a scooter from a reputable manufacturer who is using quality parts and has good quality control (QC) measures in place.

Some examples of companies that are likely to have good QC are Xiaomi and Segway.

Swappable Batteries

Most high quality electric scooters have replaceable Lithium-ion batteries (more on that below). Many also feature Li-ion batteries that can easily be swapped out without unplugging cables or opening enclosures.

The configuration basically doubles the scooter’s available range and eliminates the need to wait for a single battery to charge before riding.

There are two main designs for standing electric scooters with swappable batteries. Stem-mounted batteries can be found on scooters like the TurboAnt X7, X7 Pro, and X7 Max.

Stem-mounted battery replacement packs are inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to remove, carry and store. They can sometimes make a scooter feel a little wobbly or top-heavy.

Other electric scooters like the AnyHill UM-2 embed their battery in a casing that functions as part of the deck. The Dualtron Storm (a scooter favored by delivery drivers and professional electric scooter racers alike) also uses this design for its massively powerful, 72V 31.5Ah swappable battery.

The replacement battery for the Dualtron Storm is pricey and heavy, at 29 lb, so it’s unlikely most Storm owners are carrying one around with them. In this case, the swappable battery enables the Storm’s rider to stay on track without swapping vehicles.

A third design for a swappable electric scooter battery is Voro Motors’ EMOVE Roadrunner, whose 48V 26.1Ah battery pack slots into the frame diagonally under the seat. The battery takes only 10 seconds to swap out and only weighs 15 pounds.

Battery Management System

Though Li-ion 18650 cells have amazing benefits, they are less forgiving than other battery technologies and can explode if used improperly. It is for this reason that they are nearly always assembled into battery packs that have a battery management system.

The battery management system (BMS) is an electronic component that monitors the battery pack and controls charging and discharging. Li-ion batteries are designed to operate between about 2.5 to 4.0 V. Overcharging or completely discharging can shorten battery life or trigger dangerous thermal runaway conditions. The BMS should prevent overcharging. Many BMS also cut power before the battery is fully discharged in order to prolong life. Despite this, many riders still baby their batteries by never fully discharging them and also use special chargers to finely control charging speed and amount.

sophisticated battery management systems will also monitor the temperature of the pack and trigger a cutoff if overheating occurs.

C-rate

If you’re doing research on battery charging, you’re likely to encounter C-rate. C-rate describes how quickly the battery is being fully charged or discharged. For example, a C-rate of 1C means the battery is charged in one hour, 2C would mean fully charged in 0.5 hours, and 0.5C would mean fully charged in two hours. If you fully charged a 100 A·h battery using 100 A current, it would take a one hour and the C-rate would be 1C.

Battery Life

A typical Li-ion battery will be able to handle 300 to 500 charge/discharge cycles before diminishing in capacity. For an average electric scooter, this is 3000 to 10 000 miles! Keep in mind that “diminish in capacity” doesn’t mean “lose all capacity,” but means a noticeable drop of 10 to 20% that will continue to get worse.

Modern battery management systems help to prolong the life of the battery and you shouldn’t worry too much about babying it.

  • Don’t store your scooter fully charged or with the charger plugged in for prolonged periods.
  • Don’t store the electric scooter fully discharged. Li-ion batteries degrade when they drop below 2.5 V. Most manufacturers recommend to store scooters with a 50% charged, and top them up to this level periodically for very long-term storage.
  • Don’t operate the scooter battery in temperatures below 32 F° or above 113 F°.
  • Charge your scooter at a lower C-rate, meaning charge the battery at a lower rate relative to its maximum capacity to preserve/improve battery life. Charging at a C-rate between below 1 is optimal. Some of the fancier or high speed chargers let you control this.

Summary

The main takeaway here is don’t abuse the battery and it will last the useful life of the scooter. We hear from all kinds of people about their broken electric scooters and it’s rarely a battery problem!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long do electric scooter batteries last?

Electric scooter batteries will last between 2 to 4 years and between 3000 to 5000 miles depending on storage, use conditions, and battery capacity. If you use your scooter more or store it improperly, the battery life will be shorter.

How many times can you charge an electric scooter battery?

Electric scooters can go through between 300 to 500 charging cycles before starting to lose battery capacity. The highest-quality, brand name cells may last upwards of 1000 charging cycles, if babied.

How can you maximize electric scooter battery life?

You can prolong battery life by storing the scooter charged to 50%, charging it with a C-rate below 1, and not operating the scooter when it is too cold (below 32 F°) or too hot (above 114 F°).

When storing for prolonged periods of time, make sure to top the batteries periodically. When storing for very long periods of time, make sure to charge them periodically so they are not being stored completely discharged.

Learn more about how to maximizing battery life.

Can you replace electric scooter batteries? Is it worth the cost?

Yes! you can replace the battery in your electric scooter, though it may not be cost effective. Batteries are one of the most costly components of the electric scooter. Even a small 250 watt hour battery, like that from an M365, costs around 150 US or about ⅓ the cost of the entire scooter!

For common scooters like the M365, there are many video tutorials online of the replacement procedure. It’s not that difficult if you are mechanically inclined, but the novice may find it difficult.

Battery-swapping allows for a fully charged battery to be installed in minutes or one to remotely charge the battery of their EVs.

Let’s take a look at the top 5 electric scooters with removable/detachable battery.

Electric scooters have witnessed the widest acceptance in the new electrified world. They are comparatively cost-effective with a low running cost and quick charge cycles. Battery-swapping allows for a fully charged battery to be installed in minutes or one to remotely charge the battery of their EVs. Let’s take a look at the top 5 electric scooters with removable/detachable batteries.

Hero VidaPrice – Rs. 1.45 lakh

Hero MotoCorp forayed into the electric mobility space with the launch of a new e-scooter – Vida. The brand’s first-ever electric scooter, Vida V1, is offered in India at Rs 1.45 lakh, ex-showroom and claims to offer a riding range of up to 165 km per charge. The Hero Vida claims to have a top speed of 80 kmph.

Bounce InfinityPrice – Rs. 64,299

Bounce Infinity uses a 2 kWh 48V 39 Ah swappable battery pack that is paired to a hub motor. This electric scooter claims a top speed of 65 kmph while producing just 2.9bhp of peak power and peak torque of 83Nm. The Infinity uses an IP67-rated lithium-ion battery that claims to take four-five hours to charge and offer a range of 85 km. It gets two ride modes Eco and Sport.

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Hero Optima CXPrice – Rs. 62,190 – Rs. 77,490

The Optima CX draws power from a 550W BLDC motor that produces 1.2bhp of peak power while being mated to a 52.2V, 30Ah lithium phosphate battery. The scooter takes 4-5 hours to charge and claims a range of 140 kms. The Hero Optima CX has a top speed of just 45 km/hr.

Simple Energy OnePrice – Rs. 1.10 lakh

Bangalore-based Simple Energy’s first electric scooter, One is powered by a 4.8kWh battery pack that offers a range of 236km on a full charge. The scooter claims to accelerate from 0 to 40kmph in 2.7 seconds.

Okinawa i-Praise PlusPrice – Rs. 1.45 lakh

Okinawa i-Praise Plus electric scooter uses a 3.3 kWh lithium-ion removable battery pack is giving it a range of up to 139 kilometres. The battery in this electric scooter claims to charge in 4-5 hours with a micro-charger and an auto-cut feature. The scooter is offered with a 3-year battery guarantee and a 3-year or 30,000 km (whichever comes first) electric motor warranty.

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What’s driving the battery fires with e-bikes and scooters?

An electric bike parked near a Bronx supermarket that was destroyed in a fire that officials say was caused by a faulty lithium-ion scooter battery.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

As firefighters battled a five-alarm fire at a supermarket in the Bronx earlier this month, New York City officials gathered beside what they said was the cause of the fire: the blackened shell of what was once a sit-on electric scooter.

Officials said that a faulty lithium-ion battery in the scooter had suddenly burst into flame, as captured on surveillance video. The resulting fire was so intense, they said, that it enveloped the building in a matter of minutes.

“There is extraordinary damage. This entire building behind me is completely destroyed. The roof is caved in. There is nothing left. And it is all because of this one single bike,” said Laura Kavanaugh, the city’s fire commissioner.

Last week’s blaze joined the more than 200 fires in New York City last year caused by batteries from e-bikes, electric scooters and similar devices. Lithium-ion battery explosions are now the third leading cause of fires in the city, the fire department says.

Per FDNY Fire Marshals, the cause of today’s 5-alarm fire at 2096 Grand Concourse in the Bronx was a lithium-ion battery which powered a scooter. piccom/HTifRojiJo

— FDNY (@FDNY) March 5, 2023

As the popularity of so-called micromobility devices has soared across the U.S., so too have risen the number of fires associated with the lithium-ion batteries that power them.

Some lawmakers and federal regulators have taken note. Late last year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced it had received reports of more than 200 incidents since the start of 2021 in which micromobility devices caught fire or overheated — incidents that led to the deaths of 19 people.

“Destructive and deadly fires from lithium-ion batteries in e-bikes have reached a crisis level. The tragic loss of life from battery fires is heartbreaking and preventable,” said Commissioner Richard Trumka in December.

Read on for more about why these fires are happening and how to keep yourself safe:

Why are batteries in e-bikes and scooters vulnerable to catching fire?

Lithium-ion batteries power many rechargeable devices that are part of our modern lives: cell phones, laptops, vapes, cordless power tools and electric vehicles of all kinds, from cars to scooters to e-bikes to hoverboards.

They’re small, lightweight and powerful — but they’re also prone to overheating and catching fire, said Michael Pecht, a professor of engineering at the University of Maryland. “Ever since lithium-ion batteries started to be prevalent in products, we’ve seen fires,” he said.

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At issue is the high density of the batteries, which is a double-edged sword, said Pecht, who also serves as director of the Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering, a university research center that consults with companies on reliability and safety issues, including batteries.

“They can provide a lot of power to our cell phones and to our computers for a relatively long period of time in a very small volume,” he said. “But because we have so much energy packed in that small volume, if there is a problem, then they’re very flammable.”

Defects or contamination in the manufacturing process can eventually lead to short circuiting or other failures.

In 2006, Dell, Apple and other major laptop makers urged millions of customers to return laptop batteries after Sony discovered a flaw in their battery manufacturing process. Chevy, Hyundai and Chrysler have all been forced to issue recalls over battery fires in electric vehicles. The Federal Aviation Administration reported more than 60 incidents last year in which lithium-ion batteries — mostly battery packs, vapes or cell phones — overheated, began smoking or caught fire on airplanes.

Why do there seem to be more e-bike- and scooter-related fires now?

In short, there are more fires because there are so many more e-bikes and scooters these days.

Their small size and low cost relative to gas-powered vehicles have made micromobility devices an attractive transportation and recreation option for millions of Americans. That’s especially true for those living in urban areas where parking and traffic are challenges for drivers. Electric bikes and scooters have also been embraced by delivery drivers.

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The burst in popularity is so recent that there isn’t yet much solid data about how many e-bikes, scooters and other devices are sold each year.

But what information we do have shows that their numbers are growing rapidly. The Light Electric Vehicle Association, an industry group, estimates that about 880,000 e-bikes were imported to the U.S. in 2021. That’s about double the number imported in 2020, and three times the total from 2019.

devices means more fires, experts say, especially since the industry is relatively new and unregulated, and there are a lot of different companies and products on the market.

What’s being done about it?

There’s not currently much regulation of e-bikes and scooters.

Regulation could go in several directions. One would be to require devices be certified under the safety standards recommended by Underwriter Laboratories, a group that has produced safety certifications for electric products for over a century.

Earlier this month, the New York City Council passed a package of local bills that would require all e-bikes and other electric mobility devices sold, rented or leased in the city to be certified under the appropriate UL safety standards.

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The legislation also bans the sale of uncertified or used batteries. Retailers found to be in violation of the laws can be fined up to 1,000 per violation.

At the national level, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a letter in December calling on more than 2,000 manufacturers, importers and retailers to voluntarily adhere to UL safety standards for e-bikes and other micromobility devices.

Following the guidelines “significantly reduces the risk of injuries and deaths from micromobility device fires,” wrote Robert Kaye, the agency’s director of compliance and field operations. “Consumers face an unreasonable risk of fire and risk serious injury or death if their micromobility devices do not meet the level of safety provided by the relevant UL standards.”

Additionally, the agency has vowed to pursue penalties against companies who fail to inform the CPSC of safety hazards.

Recommendations to keep yourself safe

The main recommendation that comes from both the CPSC and the FDNY is to be present while you’re charging your device, and to not charge it while you’re sleeping. Unplug the device once it is fully charged.

The CPSC also recommends that you only use the charger that came included with your device and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper charging.

Fire officials add that you should charge your device away from flammable materials like furniture and pillows, and that you shouldn’t charge or store your device in a location that blocks your access to an exit.

When you’re buying an e-bike or other micromobility device, try to find what battery comes stocked with it, Pecht said. Does the maker of the device state where the battery is sourced from? Is the battery made by a reputable manufacturer? Experts also suggest that consumers look for batteries that have a UL certification.

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Be warned that some online sellers may falsely claim to have UL certification. Others may sell “re-wrapped” batteries, meaning counterfeit batteries produced to appear as though they’re made by reputable manufacturers.

If your battery starts to fail, it may be safest to buy a new one. “Don’t repair anything yourself, and buy from a company where you know that they’re using brand-name batteries,” Pecht said. It may work best to buy a new battery from the same company that produced your bike or scooter.

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To dispose of an old battery, bring it to a battery recycling center or other e-waste facility. Don’t throw away lithium-ion batteries in conventional trash.

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