An e bike is a great device that allows you to travel on rough and paved terrains easily. Paired with their sleek design, electric bikes allow you to swerve through obstacles quickly. Speed boosts are made available by the two main components of an e bike: the batteries and the motor.
An electric bike battery has a specified number of charge cycles before they start to deteriorate and loses its efficiency, good bike batteries can last up to several years before being replaced, but this begs the question, are electric bike batteries universal & interchangeable?
Unfortunately, bikes don’t have a universal battery because e bike manufacturers build their battery packs with varying voltage, capacities, size, weight, and battery life. So if it ever comes to the time when you need a replacement, you should only purchase one that is identical to your electric bike battery.
In this article, we will tackle the different battery types used for e bikes, why the batteries aren’t universal, how long electric bike batteries should last and many more.
Let’s get right into it.
Are electric bike batteries universal & interchangeable?
It would be fantastic if an e bike battery would be universal and interchangeable; however, since manufacturers create batteries with varying voltage, capacity, sizes, and more, it is impossible to use any battery on your different e bikes.
There is no such thing as a universal battery. An e bike battery pack is constructed with different technical features like the voltage, amp hours, size, weight, and many more. So if you use a third-party pack rated for a different voltage level, it could damage your electric bike or render it completely useless.
Even if you try to look for a new battery with the same size and weight as the ones currently installed in your e bike, a higher voltage or amp hours could make the motor run faster, raising the internal temperature of your electric bike and damaging the components permanently.
As much as possible, purchase replacement batteries for your electric bikes from the manufacturer’s official website. Or, if this is truly not possible, you should ensure that their voltage is precisely the same, as well as the battery’s amp hours, weight, controller, and size to make sure that it will fit your e bike.
Lastly, you should also ensure that your replacement is the same type as your current batteries. Here are the different kinds of bike batteries.
What type of batteries do e-bikes use?
Over the years, batteries have been made with different components and chemicals in pursuit of a cheaper, more efficient way to store energy. Here are the different e bike battery types.
Lithium ion battery or li ion battery
Lithium ion battery is the type that is widely used in an e bike and other electronic components as well. Lithium ion batteries are the preferred choice for most because they have a longer lifespan, can be charged faster, consume very low power to power your devices, and are the most lightweight battery type.
Lead acid batteries
Lead batteries are the oldest among the different battery types. They were introduced back in the 1800s and were used heavily because they were cheap and easy to recharge. Lead batteries are getting phased out simply because they aren’t as efficient as new battery types.
In addition, they are much heavier than other battery types. Despite this, lead batteries are still used in super cheap electric bikes and kid’s toys.
Nickel-cadmium batteries are a much better choice than lead batteries as they are lighter, have more capacity, provide more power, and are also very cheap. However, the cadmium inside these batteries is harmful to human beings and cannot be easily recycled into other products.
In addition, they have a high rate of self-discharge and a poor electricity density.
Lithium-ion Polymer Batteries
Li-ion polymer batteries are becoming the standard for electric bikes. Most bikes made recently have e bike batteries that are made with LiPo batteries as they can be easily recharged, are relatively cheap, and provide you with tremendous power.
It also supports fast charging and higher voltage capacities, which are characteristics to look for when purchasing a new e bike.
Are e bike batteries interchangeable?
An ebike battery (like esooters battery) has a specified number of charge cycles before they start to lose its efficiency, so it’s a great thing that manufacturers have made the batteries interchangeable to save you money from just buying a completely new bike instead.
The easiest way to change your e bike battery is to go to the bike manufacturer’s official website or return to the original retailer. Not only will this make your life easier, but it will also ensure that the replacement battery you purchase ultimately fits your e bike model.
However, suppose the original retailer is no longer in business, and your e bike batteries have been phased out. In that case, you can also opt for third-party batteries with the exact specifications of your bike.
Here are the factors you must consider when looking for a third party replacement battery.
As mentioned earlier, there are different e bike batteries, so you should check what kind of battery your e bike uses and purchase one identical to your current batteries.
Voltage and watt hours
Voltage and watt hours are two critical technical features that your e bike batteries have, so purchase replacement batteries that are the same voltage, watt hours, and amp hours as your original battery to provide you with the specific power your e bike requires.
A crucial factor you must keep in mind is the size of your replacement battery. Before looking for a better battery, measure the dimensions of your battery slot.
The capacities of your replacement and original battery might differ a lot. It’s advised to look for a battery that has the same capacity as your original to avoid overheating, but you can still purchase batteries that have different capacities from your included battery; make sure that they will be charged with your battery charger that will allow you to go on e bike riding.
How long do the batteries last?
A high quality battery can last up to 3-5 years if properly taken care of. The type of battery also directly affects the longevity of your battery. Here are the different ways to have a longer battery lifespan.
The first thing you should do if you want to keep your battery working for a long time is to store your e bike in a safe, dry, and moderately-temperature room. Environmental conditions directly affect the lifespan of your battery, especially lithium ion batteries, so be sure to store your e bike in a place that’s not too hot and not too cold.
Don’t charge them fully.
Charging your e bike batteries entirely is detrimental to your battery’s lifespan. It’s generally advised by manufacturers and e bike riders to charge your e bike batteries at 85% of their maximum capacity. This technique can also prevent you from overcharging your ebike’s battery.
Don’t deplete your battery.
Depleting your batteries can negatively affect the overall health of your batteries; experts recommend leaving at least 20% of your battery’s total capacity to prolong its lifespan.
What about non-removable frame integrated batteries?
Non-removable frame integrated batteries are one of the market’s oldest kinds of electric bikes. Although most riders prefer removable batteries because it allows them to replace old batteries when they don’t function properly, manufacturers still produce them as some enthusiasts love the minimalistic look on these bikes.
In addition, these bike types are much lighter than bikes with removable batteries. However, a big downside to them is that you need to bring your entire bike inside for them to charge fully.
To change the batteries of non-removable frame integrated batteries, it’s best if you brought your bike to your local bike repair shop which has the proper tools to do the said job.
How to replace e bike batteries
If you want to replace the batteries, you can bring them to your local bike repair shop to ensure that the batteries will be fixed with no issues. However, if your local bike repair shop is closed and you need to install new batteries for emergency purposes, here are some steps you can follow.
The first step is finding a battery that matches your current batteries with the same watt hours, amp hours, and many more.
Disconnect all the cables connected to the battery; you can remove the display to keep it safe when you are flipping the bike. Once finished, you can now easily remove the old batteries using a screw and install the new ones.
Once they are firmly installed and screwed in place, attach the cables to the batteries, and now you can ride your electric bike again.
What do I do with my old battery?
Now that you have a new battery installed, you might ask yourself what to do with your old batteries.
Some bike shops can salvage the reusable parts inside the battery if they can’t be repaired. Not only will this save money, but it will also greatly help the environment by lessening the amount of trash in landfills.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use a different battery on an eBike?
No, it would be best if you always used a battery with the exact specifications of your current battery, as it can damage or destroy your e bike.
Can I use a 48V battery with my 36V motor?
You can fit a 48v battery with a 36v motor, and as a result, this will allow your bike to go faster. However, this will also cause your engine to overheat and damage or completely destroy the components inside your electric bike.
Electric bikes are indeed a fantastic way to get around. It’s great that manufacturers have installed removable batteries to save you money from just buying a new bike altogether that would cost you around $1500 or $2000 (more or less). So when it comes to replacing your old batteries, you can purchase a new one with the same amp hours, watt hours, voltage, and size with your current one.
We hope this informative article has helped you become more knowledgeable if the batteries inside your bike are universal and/or interchangeable.
Andrew Strider is an electric bike enthusiast. He currently owns 5 electric bikes and is an active member of his local electric bike club where he is able to test many other models/brands a few times a month.
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