are e bike batteries interchangeable

Are E Bike Batteries Interchangeable (Let’s Find Out)

Those battery packs pushing your bike around aren’t cheap. I love knowing when I’m a little tired I can just thumb the throttle and enjoy the ride without exerting much leg power. But if you run out of battery juice can you swap batteries? Are e bike batteries interchangeable? interchange

It is perfectly okay to swap batteries with an E bike that is the same make and model. Unfortunately, many electric bike manufactures “code” the batteries to only work with compatible E Bikes. Don’t attempt to force a non-compatible battery to work on your bike, it could be dangerous. Electric bike batteries hold a tremendous amount of energy, that needs to be controlled with the correct bike systems.

How Long Will an E Bike Battery Last on a Ride

So many factors go into how long your battery will last. Battery, Weight, Terrain, Tires, Air Pressure and if the ride is using pedal assist.

More range and less weight are not possible in real life, until battery tech improves significantly, those are the realities, for everyone. 6 to 8 lbs for 20 miles of no-pedal range at 20 mph. No matter what battery pack and who sells it, get the real weight and base your range on that information.

Those who claim ” 100 miles on a single charge ” either have a 40 Lb ($$$$$) battery, or they intend you to pedal for 80 miles, then turn on the power for another 20… If any battery pack could deliver 100 miles of no-pedal range on a single charge and weigh less than 10 lbs, gasoline would cost much less.

Interchangeable e bike batteries
Interchangeable e bike batteries

On some electric bikes equipped with pedal sensors and no throttle at the handlebars, that require you to pedal for power to flow, range estimates can be true at very low power settings. However, given the rider is pedaling and providing human power, this is not no-pedal range and makes a significant difference.

If your E bike has a handlebar throttle, that allows the motor to run without pedaling, power consumption is much greater. It’s important to understand how your E bike works, a 500w kit does not use exactly 500w, all of the time. If you pedal without using power, your battery remains fully charged until you use it.

It is entirely possible to ride a whole day on a charge by using it sparingly. That being said, most people ride with the throttle firmly pinned to ” max ” and in this fashion, expect 20 miles from a 6 to 8 lb battery in one hour before you run out of power on most bikes.

How Can I get Longer Range From My E Bike

I can provide the best way to double your bikes riding distance. Check on an getting an extra battery. For adding an extra 8 lbs. you can easily get another 20 to 30 miles out of your bike.

This isn’t the cheapest solution though. An ebike battery can cost $350 to $600, but the insurance of knowing you can get home might be worth it. On of the most popular e bikes in the U.S.A is the online dealer RAD Power Bikes. Check out the pbattery prices on the repalcement parts page -> HERE

Is a Bigger Battery Better?

It’s probably best to understand a little bit about battery packs. The name says it all, it’s a pack of batteries! A pack is made of a number of smaller battery cells all stacked in a specific way to deliver the required power that your ebike system needs to function. You must pick the right pack, for your application.

The best way to talk about how long a battery will last is to understand WATT HOURS.

What is a Watt Hour or wh?

A Watt Hour is a unit of measurement for power over a period of time (an hour), or in our case, a way of measuring capacity. One Watt hour is equal to one Watt of average power flow over an hour. One Watt over four hours would be four Watt Hours of power. As an example, a 100 Watt light bulb running from a 500 Watt Hour battery (like what an E Bike can have) would last, on paper, 5 hours.

Watt Hour, is a far more accurate way to know how much usable energy is in a given battery pack ( abbreviated wh ) when available, this is the number to look for! Also, you can translate it into how many watts, continuous, for 1 hour! A 500wh battery can deliver 500 watts for 1 hour or 1000w for 30 minutes…. or 250w for 2 hours .. etc..

Most ebikes do not use power at an exact level, continuously, so this does not directly translate into ride time, but you can quickly see how a larger battery with more energy (capacity) can deliver lower power levels for longer periods of time, and go further on a charge.

Battery Energy (wh) Load (think motor)Run Time in Hours
500 wh250W2 Hours
500 wh500w1 Hour
500 wh1000w30 Minutes

Ah vs Wh: This can get confusing, but it is very important to understand the difference. Amp Hours (Ah) means nothing unless you factor in the voltage. Watt Hours (Wh) is far more important because it factors in the Voltage and the Amp Hours together and determines how far you might go on a full charge. Not all packs are labeled and/or constructed the same, so be careful and pay close attention.

wh Example: 36v 10ah = 360wh and 48v 10ah = 480wh

A word of confusing wisdom, if you consider a bike that can run on both 36v and 48v, that goes faster on 48v when run at full throttle. The faster you go, the more energy you need!

So a 48v battery with an extra 120wh, compared to the 36v pack will not always give you more range, if you go faster than the 36v bike would be going at full throttle…. but who can resist going faster? .. But otherwise, the more Wh you have on the bike, the more range you can expect from it.

What does all this mean to you? With just a bit of knowledge, you can make better informed buying decisions, put together the proper kit pieces and ride happily ever after without running out of power and not buying a lot more than you need!

How Can I Replace My Electric Bike Battery?

The best way to replace your bikes battery is to dig out the owners manual and look up the model used in your bike. If needed visit the local bike shop where you purchased the bike and ask about replacement batteries.

The best way to buy a new e-bike battery is to talk with your bike’s manufacturer or a reputable e-bike shop. Online retailers will have download owners manuals that have parts lists. Here’s an example of Rad Power Bikes Manual

And since the battery will cost you about a third of the total e-bike’s cost, make sure you ask the right questions so that you end up a happy bike rider with a high-quality battery that’ll last you for years.

E Bike Battery Questions to Consider

How far can the battery go on a single charge?

I plan for my bike battery to last 20 miles. This is conservatives given, I usually use pedal assist and truly help the bike along. It’s important to remember when the battery does die, you can still pedal it like a normal bike.

How long will it take to charge an E Bike Battery?

The size of the battery and type of charger will effect charging times, but plan on 3 to 7 hours to fully charge your bikes battery. Usually the battery or charger will have an indicator light that turns green when fully charged.

Does My Bike Warranty Cover the Battery?

Most bike warranties cover the whole bike for 1 year after purchase. The Warranty is “Limited” meaning normal wear and tear isn’t covered. It’s always best to read the warranty, but a good example can be found at the Aventon website -> HERE

David Humphries Author at Ride e MTB

Hi David Humphries here the guy doing all the pedaling behind the scenes with this blog. I’ve been in the MTB world for a while and recently started getting into eMTBs. You can check out more about me HERE and on my other passion project –