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

 

Electric Bikes a Solution to Urban Pollution?

An interesting article from Scientific American on how electric bikes are helping reduce air pollution in major cities.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=can-ebikes-displace-cars

A quote from the article: "Hands down, electric bikes are about as clean as it gets in terms of addressing these primary pollutants"

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www.voltagebikes.ca

New Pedego Electric Bikes Revealed at Interbike

Pedego has added two exciting new models to its range of electric bikes, and further developed the comfort cruiser series.  Both the ‘City Commuter’ and ‘Electric Trike’ series were revealed at the recent Interbike show in Las Vegas.  In addition, a 24” version of the popular Comfort Cruiser bike was introduced to cater to smaller riders.

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As expected from Pedego (where style ‘rules’!), the City Commuter is a really classy looking bike!  I rode the bike on the indoor test track at the Vegas show, and while there no hills to really put it through its paces, the bike felt excellent!  The bikes will be in production by the end of the year and will come with powerful 500W geared motors … so no shortage of power!  The bikes will have both independent throttle (as per the Pedego Comfort Cruisers) and a pedal assist system.  With a retail price of just under $2,000, it looks like Pedego is continuing with its philosophy of providing top quality bikes at a great price.

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Finally an electric trike that looks great and works!  Pedego have spent a couple of years perfecting this bike, and it shows!  One of the key problems for trikes is stability, or lack thereof.  After having ridden this bike at speed on the test track at Vegas, I can vouch for its stability relative to all other trikes I have tried.  The 36V 10Ah battery is housed in the cargo compartment behind the seat, along with ample space for your shopping.  The bike is powered by a 350W geared motor with a good amount of power for getting up the hills.  The stability of the bike is due to a rear drive differential and the 20” wheels.  The bike is just narrow enough to fit through a standard doorway.  It looks like a great product that will satisfy the demand out there for a good quality trike.

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The response to the Pedego bikes at the show was great and its easy to see why they are the number two best-selling electric bike in the States.  Check out the dealer page on our website to find the nearest dealer to you in Canada.  If there isn’t a dealer near you, we will ship you a bike free of charge.

www.voltagebikes.ca/electric-bike-dealers-canada