The battery is one of the most expensive components on an eBike. I always advise folks to get the biggest battery that they can afford. So knowing how to care for them is essential.
With so much money wrapped up in that power pack, you might be concerned with over-charging. Which leads to the question – can you overcharge an e-bike battery?
This article will discuss the following:
- Whether or not you can overcharge an electric bike’s battery
- What happens when you leave your e-bike’s battery charging for too long
You cannot overcharge modern e-bike batteries, the BMS and charger have safe guards in place to prevent over charging. This only applies when using the specified charger on the eBike battery. It is always best to charge your eBike battery in a cool place (think room temperature) using the correct charger.
This article will tackle how to prevent overcharging an e-bike battery.
Can You Overcharge An eBike Battery?
Can you overcharge an e-bike battery? This question is something that bugs the minds of many electric bikes owner.
Considering how long it takes to charge an e-bike fully, many people think of charging its battery overnight. However, the thought of overcharging and damaging the e-bike’s battery pack stops them from doing so.
Can You Charge An eBike Battery For Too Long?
The answer to this question depends on the type of e-bike battery you have. If you use an old electric bike model, leaving it plugged in for too long can overcharge and damage its battery. The reason is that old battery packs do not have the advanced technology that stops them from charging once their capacity reaches 100 percent.
For this reason, people using old electric bike models must ensure that they will stop the battery’s charging cycle as soon as it reaches fully charged. You can prevent overcharging the battery by observing how long it takes to reach its full capacity. This way, you know when to remove it from the electrical plug the next time you need to charge it.
Can You Overcharge A New eBike Battery Model?
Unlike old battery pack models, you cannot overcharge new e-bike models. Manufacturers integrate smart technology into today’s electric bike batteries. This technology allows the battery to stop charging once it reaches 100 percent capacity.
However, just because you cannot overcharge today’s e-bike batteries does not mean it is safe from potential damage. Your battery will gradually discharge, even when you are not using it. So, suppose you leave it plugged in after it reaches its total capacity. In that case, it will begin charging again once it drops below 100 percent. This on-and-off cycle can cause the battery to degrade and have a lower overall capacity.
Did you Know You Can Convert a Regular MTB to Electric?
Bafang a leader in DIY electric bike conversions has a mid-drive kit that will fit on most regular bikes. I’d recommend the BBSHD kit, it’s a complete setup with a huge capacity battery and a 1000 watt motor. Why this setup?
- Heavy duty 1000 watt motor (built for cargo bikes)
- +50 volt 17.5 Ah battery for speed and distance
- Easy installation with provided tools.
If you’re considering a conversion, do what I’m doing get the BANFANG BBSHD 1000w eBike Conversion with Battery
What Happens When You Overcharge An eBike Battery
There is no benefit to leaving your battery plugged in for too long. Chester Simpsons of the National Semiconductor states that abusively overcharged battery cells risk exploding as they cannot hold more than their capacity.
For this reason, it is never a good idea to overcharge e-bike batteries, even the technologically advanced ones.
While today’s e-bike batteries can withstand overcharging, leaving them plugged in for long hours can decrease their lifespan.
A study posted in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics defines degradation as the physical and chemical change within the battery. As these changes happen, your battery deteriorates over time, even when you are taking care of it. However, the degradation rate is faster in e-bike batteries that get frequently overcharged.
Increased Battery Temperature
As mentioned, leaving a fully charged e-bike battery can cause it to charge again once its capacity drops to a certain threshold. This cycle causes the battery to produce more heat than it can dissipate.
While overheating is not enough to melt the battery plate, it can cause internal failure and damage to the battery. According to a study conducted at Gdynia Maritime University, overheating can cause permanent damage to a battery, thus decreasing its lifespan.
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Taking Care Of An eBike Battery
The best way to take care of your electric bike’s battery is to prevent overcharging it. You can purchase a smart plug to control the flow of electricity from the plug to your battery. This way, you can turn off the smart plug from a third-party device or set the time when it will turn off the electricity flow.
When charging your e-bike battery, it is crucial to place it somewhere dry. You must ensure that nothing covers the battery while charging to prevent overheating.
Knowing how to charge your e-bike battery properly is the key to keeping it in good condition.
We’d love to hear your thoughts! Our comments section is open for your comments, suggestions, and questions, so feel free to drop them.
Older e-bike batteries can overcharge and acquire damage as it is not yet technologically advanced. Meanwhile, newer models have smart technology which stops the charging cycle once your battery reaches 100 percent.
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 – DIYMountainBike.com
- Simpson, Chester. “Battery Charging.” National Semiconductors (1995). https://e2e.ti.com/cfs-file/__key/communityserver-discussions-components-files/858/snva557.pdf. Accessed February 20, 2023.
- Edge, Jacqueline S., Simon O’Kane, Ryan Prosser, Niall D. Kirkaldy, Anisha N. Patel, Alastair Hales, Abir Ghosh et al. “Lithium Ion Battery Degradation: What You Need To Know.” Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 23, no. 14 (2021). DOI: 10.1039/D1CP00359C. Accessed February 20, 2023.
- Łebkowski, Andrzej. “Temperature, Overcharge And Short-Circuit Studies Of Batteries Used In Electric Vehicles.” Przegląd Elektrotechniczny 93, no. 5 (2017). DOI: 10.15199/48.2017.05.13. Accessed February 20, 2023.