Winter Battery Care – Electric Bikes

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 With replacement costs for some lithium ion batteries approaching $1,000, it makes sense to invest a bit of time caring for them!  If you park your bike for the winter (for those of us that have one!), it will most likely sit until the snow melts in spring.  A few easy actions now will ensure that your battery is rearing to go then, and for years to come.  I’ve tried to keep this article as simple as possible.  For further information on lithium ion battery care, check out the link at the bottom of this post.  The following actions are recommended for winter care of lithium ion batteries:

 ·         Charge your battery before you put it away for storage.  A lithium-ion battery will slowly discharge over time, even when you’re not using it.  If you store battery with a low charge, come spring the voltage may have dropped to the point where the battery will no longer work.  This can cause irreparable cell damage.

·         Ideally, the battery should be stored at slightly less than 100%, although this is much less crucial than preventing the charge from dropping too low.  If you end up charging your battery to 100% (the green light on the charging unit comes on), go for a short ride to discharge it partially before storing the battery.  Some chargers have a lower ‘storage’ voltage setting so you just switch to this setting before charging;

·         Check your battery every couple of months of storage and give it a top up if the battery indicator has dropped to one or two lights (out of four).  If you don’t have a battery indicator, it’s probably a good idea to charge the battery for about an hour every few months.  Again, try not to put the battery away fully charged (but don’t worry too much if this happens!);

·         Ideally, the battery should be stored in a cool place.  Significantly elevated temperatures over prolonged periods can reduce battery capacity.  Also avoid freezing the battery.

 Correct storage of your battery as detailed above will significantly increase the lifespan of your battery.  A well maintained lithium battery will last up to five years, whereas a poorly maintained battery can be badly damaged over just one winter!

 For more detailed information on batteries and how to care for them, check out the excellent online resource at the following link:

 http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_prolong_lithium_based_batteries

 www.voltagebikes.ca