Ebike battery safety and best practices

All about ebike batteries
Ebike Battery Safety, Charging Tips, Tricks and Best Practices

Want to know about ebike batteries? This page will help you learn about battery range, recharging costs and give you a few good tips to get the most mileage, best life and cheapest charging. 

Battery Safety - 

We’re here to create reliable, transportation-centered ebikes. As such, we take great care to source our batteries and chargers from reliable sources. Our Taiwanese battery partner has been in business for more than 25 years, and our battery packs are built using LG cells. Certified to UN 38.3 standards, our batteries have passed overcharge, discharge, crush, vibration and thermal tests.

Battery packs have onboard management systems (BMS) incorporating temperature sensors and voltage sensors, with firmware triggering battery shutdown in the event of abnormal readings. 

Our battery chargers are UL-listed, and we use a design that shuts off after a “full charge” is achieved. This important safety feature means the charger does not “float charge” or continue to deliver power to the battery when it’s left on the charger. 

It’s important for us to work with suppliers who share our values– our battery partner has implemented sustainability programs surrounding conflict-free mineral sourcing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in their own supply chains. 

 

Charging costs- 

Electric bike batteries consume more energy than an iPhone but less than a Tesla. Which is to say frequent riders can expect to see their electricity bills increase by around $1 per month. 

Assuming you ride frequently enough to require 20 charges per month, our .375 kilowatt-hour battery will cost about 4.9 cents per charge (using the June 2021 US average $.13/KWh electricity cost) bringing your energy bill increase to a whopping 98 cents. 

 

Battery range- 

Familiar with the old saying “your mileage may vary?” This certainly applies to pedal-assist electric bike riding. You can always extend your range by pedaling more vigorously and lowering (or turning off) the pedal assist. 

A smaller rider (150lbs) on flat ground in eco mode (level 1) on a 75º day may see up to 40 miles of assisted range. Conversely, a heavier rider heading up a 7% grade with our Class 3 system on a hot day may only have 10 miles of range at level 5 aka “boost” assist levels. 

Our estimate is based on an average-sized rider of 175# riding on pavement in 75º weather.

We've found that riders can get up to (and sometimes more than) 40 miles out of a charge using mostly PAS 1 and 2 over level-ish ground, with minimal stopping and starting. In this case, a rider should be able to keep up around 18-20mph for the duration of the ride.

We've gone with our own experience as the lower end of the range; but even so, we understand that conditions can decrease it.

For example- a 200# rider commuting through a Portland winter where it's generally 30-45º out, with a 1000' elevation gain over 10 miles might see as little as 12 miles of range. Numerous stop signs, cold temps, elevation gain and more erode range in this case.

Through managing battery use and some other strategies we’ve seen folks get better mileage.

 

You might try the following to get the most from your Vvolt:

  1. Note that your Enviolo hub will "break in" after across the first 300 miles of use. They're designed to be service-free but the price is a little extra drag during the first few hundred miles.
  2. If you're only riding on the road, use street-oriented tires for best mileage. Our Centauri and Slice Lite models include this type of tire but Alpha and Sirius models come with all-terrain tires. 
  3. The motor is most efficient around 80-90 rpm pedal cadence. If you "keep your revs up" the motor will not work as hard as when you're pedaling around 40-60rpm
  4. Using level 2 when it's not hilly- we've found that level 2 can often help keep your speed up while using way less energy than level 4-5.
  5. Reference our guide to using the different PAS levels. It's been our experience that frequent switching of assist levels can really help save battery while still getting you where you need to go in a prompt fashion!

Note! Battery range on all EVs decreases when it's cold. You can expect to see around 10% lower range when temps are in the 25-50º range.

 

Battery Management System- 

Our battery has onboard sensors to detect problems in charging and discharging voltage, current and temperature. These sensors may trigger error codes, please contact us if you are experiencing difficulty charging or if your ebike is not working properly.

 

Battery Charging-

  • Our 36v 2 amp charger will typically charge a battery from <10% to 100% charge in less than 5 hours. 
  • Charging is most efficient at room temperature (70º F.) If it’s under 40º or more than 80º where your bike is stored, please remove the battery* and bring it indoors to charge. Charging when the battery is too cold or too hot will result in significantly lower battery life.

*please turn the battery off prior to removing and reinstalling it from your Vvolt ebike! 

 

Battery Life 

  • You can expect more than 500 charge cycles from your Vvolt battery. 
  • As mentioned above, charge at room temperature for optimal battery life. 
  • Battery life will be maximized if batteries can be charged from around 20% capacity, rather than letting them run down all the way to 0%.
  • The battery runs best in conditions from 32ºF to 114ºF. Riding in sub-freezing or extremely hot conditions will result in reduced performance.
  • Rechargeable batteries should not be left uncharged for long periods of time. If you do not ride for months at a time, we recommend plugging in and charging the battery to 40% every 3 months. 

What About Aftermarket Chargers?

  • We recommend that you only use the 36v 2A charger supplied with your Vvolt ebike – use of any charger not sold by Vvolt will void the warranty on your battery.
  • Do not charge your Vvolt battery with any charger delivering more than 4 amps of power. This may result in dangerous conditions.

 

Battery Replacement–

We expect that our ebike batteries will last most riders for years to come. However, we recognize that situations may arise where a battery is damaged beyond repair, and that we’ll have warranty situations arise within the 3-year warranty period.

In either case, riders can rest assured that we’ll have replacement batteries on hand in our Portland Oregon warehouse, ready to be shipped out when needed. 

Furthermore, we’re designing our next-generation ebikes to be compatible with our current batteries, meaning we plan to support this platform for years. This allows us to generate less waste, shorten product development times and provide better customer service; it’s a win from every angle!

 

Battery Recycling

In the event that you replace your battery, you’ll need to recycle your old one. Luckily, we’ve joined the ebike battery recycling program developed by Call 2 Recycle and dozens of other ebike brands.
We pay your $15 recycling fee when you purchase your ebike, so every Vvolt battery is ready to recycle when it reaches the end of its service life!
Get in touch if you have any questions about recycling!

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