With the world shifting over to alternative power sources, electric bikes have taken the world by storm. Electric bikes or e bikes are an improvement over regular bikes; they are equipped with a small motor that allows you to go over steep hills or swerve through traffic quickly.
Just like any vehicle like electric scooters, an electric bike also needs to have its electric bike battery charged before it can function efficiently. But a question that we never bothered to ask with our phones and laptops is whether we can overcharge them or not.
So, can you overcharge an electric bike battery? The answer is yes, you can overcharge the e-bike battery of older model electric bikes. However, it would be best if you did not purposely overcharge the electric bike battery of a new electric bike because they already have a feature wherein they immediately stop charging once they reach 100%, and overcharging might damage the electric bike battery’s lifespan.
In this article, we will tackle if why you shouldn’t overcharge your e bike battery, how often you should charge your e bike battery if you can leave your e bike to charge overnight, and many more.
Let’s get right into it.
Can you overcharge an electric bike battery?
Overcharging your e bike battery can either be a good or bad thing regarding your battery lifespan.
If you have an older model electric bike, you can overcharge an electric bike battery as older models don’t have the technology to stop the charging cycle once they reach 100% of their full capacity.
However, you can not overcharge newer model electric bikes because they are installed with a feature that immediately stops charging once the battery reaches 100%.
In addition, you should always remove the chargers once the e bike battery is full as it can negatively affect the ebike battery life.
How to overcharge an e bike battery?
A new electric bike is either equipped with lithium batteries or a lithium-ion polymer battery. In comparison, older electric bikes have either nickel-cadmium, nickel metal hydride, or lead acid batteries.
Even though they are made with different chemicals, they are tasked with the same job: power the electric bike that will provide you with the necessary speed boost.
To have this speed boost from electric bikes, you must ensure enough juice is left in your e bike’s battery.
To charge the battery, you must plug the other side of the charger into a charging socket and the other side into your electric bike socket.
Overcharging your electric bike battery means you don’t remove the charger from the electric bike even if they reach 100% of its maximum capacity.
Although overcharging seems like a good idea to give you more power when you are going on trips, this is detrimental to your ebike batteries.
A battery will use energy even though the bikes are not used, and since a new electric bike is equipped with a feature that cuts off the charge cycle when they reach 100%, the bike will start the charging cycle once again if the battery drops off even to 99.9%.
An electric bike battery only has limited charge cycles before its lifespan gets shorter, so leaving your battery charging for long periods of time should be avoided as much as possible. Here are some ways you can prevent overcharging.
A smart plug or a smart power bar is a device that will allow you to easily control the charging process with your phone by turning them on or off or setting a specific battery level before the charging process is turned off.
If you don’t want to spend more money, you can observe how long it takes for your battery to get fully charged, and once it’s time to charge your e bike, you can just time it to remind you when your e bike battery might be charged.
Perhaps the easiest way to prevent an overcharged e bike battery is to set constant reminders to yourself to check up on your e bike battery level and remove the charger once they are done charging the battery.
Effects of overcharging
Overcharging can directly affect your battery lifespan. An electric bike battery has a specified number of charge cycles before they deteriorate. One full charge cycle means the battery uses 100% of its total capacity.
A lithium battery can hold up to 1000 charge cycles; a lead acid battery can last for up to 200-300 cycles; a nickel-cadmium battery life of 500 charges, and the nickel metal hydride battery lasts for up to 400 cycles.
The most noticeable effect of overcharging on your e bike batteries that electric bike riders have pointed out is that the constant on and off of your charging cycle can dramatically increase the battery life of your batteries.
Another issue with overcharging is the constant fear of overheating. Overheating occurs when you exceed the charging capacity of your batteries, and since newer electric bikes stop the charge cycle when they reach 100%, there is no threat of this happening.
However, if you use other chargers that weren’t the ones included with the purchase of your ebike, then your batteries can overheat. A specifically designed fast charger with a higher amperage than standard chargers can quickly charge your e bike but will come at the cost of overheating them.
Aside from having good battery management systems, here are some ways to take proper care of your e bike better to prolong its lifespan.
Avoid extreme temperatures
To start your battery management system, store your electric bike in a place with moderate temperatures, as the extreme temperature will negatively affect your ebike battery pack.
Too hot of a temperature could overheat the battery cells inside your battery pack, and too cold of a temperature could freeze your battery, rendering them useless.
So store them in a place where the temperature is not too cold and not too hot.
Charge your ebike battery at 85%
Most e bike manufacturers don’t recommend charging your ebike battery to 100% as they are not ideal if you want to prolong your battery’s life. In addition, you must not deplete your e bike’s batteries entirely after a long ride, as this results in over draining.
Experts recommend to maintain an e bike battery with at least 20% of energy left and charging the battery at only 85% of its max capacity.
So it would be best if you did not leave your e bike to charge overnight.
Use the included chargers.
You should only use the included chargers when charging the battery. Charging your e bike using the included charger will not only recharge your battery efficiently but also prevent overheating your e bike batteries. If you need a guide on how to reset your BMS, you can check this guide here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I leave my bike to charge overnight?
Yes, you can charge your e bike overnight without worrying about overcharging or draining. However, you should avoid charging your bike overnight as it can shorten the lifespan of your e bike battery.
Should I keep my e bike battery fully charged?
Yes, you should always leave your e bikes with a bit of power. Manufacturers recommend leaving at least 20% of the battery and not making the batteries charge fully.
Instead, charging them at most of 85% of their capacity is more preferred.
We hope this informative article has helped you become more knowledgeable if you can overcharge your ebike battery and the different tips to recharge your bike battery safely.
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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