A Guide to E-Bike Battery Maintenance Over Winter
As the weather changes and the temperature begins to drop, it's essential to ensure you consider how this affects the battery on your e-bike. By following this simple advice, you can keep riding over the colder months without any drop in performance or range you would usually achieve.
Let's start with why temperature can have such a significant effect on the battery. Nearly all e-bikes out there use a Lithium battery. This particular type of battery has the lowest discharge rate of all E-Bike batteries, as well as boasting impressive charge cycles.
These electric bike batteries use a gel-like substance to transfer electrical energy from the cells around the battery. When the ambient temperature drops below +5 degrees °C, this gel starts to stiffen up. When this happens, the charge level that the battery can handle (both incoming charge and outgoing charge) is reduced as the gel cannot move as freely as it would at a normal operating temperature.
With this in mind, it makes sense that the colder the temperature becomes, the stiffer the gel becomes, and the charge reduces further.
As even the slightest temperature changes can affect the battery, it can be common for riders to find that they get less range from a single charge over the winter than they would in the spring or summer. However, by following the below steps, the effect can be minimized.
Cleaning The Bike
You're bound to encounter more rain and dirt during the winter months. This isn't an issue as the bikes are designed to protect the battery in the event of a downpour. However, you may need to clean the bike once the ride is complete.
We don't recommend using a pressure washer on our e-bikes, as this can damage the connections and force water inside areas it shouldn't get into. Instead, wash the bike by hand (we'd suggest doing this with the battery installed to ensure the terminals are covered) and then thoroughly dry the bike before removing the battery to recharge or store it.
Practice Good Battery Maintenance
While not so much linked with temperature, it is good practice to run the battery completely flat at least once every three months. This will help to keep the maximum charging capacity as high as possible.
Don't Worry About The Cold When Riding
Despite what we've said so far, don't be afraid of using your bike during the cold weather!
Lithium-ion batteries will warm up slightly when in use and that warmth will help keep the battery above 5 degrees. It's important to highlight that the cold cannot damage the battery; our advice will help to get the most from your battery life.
Electric bikes are designed to withstand all the elements of winter, so don't let it stop you from enjoying your bike out on the roads. Riding in the cold is fine and will do no lasting harm to the battery's health.
By following this advice, you should be able to ride year-round with little change to the range you would expect to receive. But if you do forget any of the above, it's important to remember that cold weather does no lasting damage to the battery at all - it has a temporary effect, but it will go back to normal.