Ebike battery dead. This dilemma could cause much frustration, especially if you do not have a charging station near you. For this reason, you need to know what to do when your electric bike battery suddenly dies.
To resolve a dead e-bike battery:
- Allow the battery to cool down
- Charge the battery sufficiently
- Turn off the battery pack
- Jumpstart the battery management system
You can also try your spare battery to ensure that there is no problem with the e-bike itself.
While electric bikes provide many benefits, there are also a few concerns as some of their parts need extra care. So apart from resolving battery issues, you also need to know the cause of the problem so you can prevent it from happening.
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If your electric bike battery suddenly dies while on the road, the first thing you need to do is pull off somewhere safe. Next, check if there is any damage to the battery.
Did the battery overheat, or is it leaking acid? If you answer yes to any of these issues, then you have a problem. Fortunately, a dead e-bike battery is not a reason for concern at most times. There are a few things that you can do to get back on the road when your e-bike battery is dead.
1. Cool down the bike and the battery
Riding your electric bike in a hot environment can cause the battery and the bike itself to overheat. So, if your e-bike suddenly dies while you are riding it, bring it to a safe spot and allow it to cool down.
There is a chance that your battery management system got very hot and shut down. After letting it cool down for some time, try to start your e-bike again and see if it will work. If it does, then the problem is overheating.
If you can find a charging station near the spot where your electric bike died, you can charge it there for some time. Ensure that the amount of time you charge your battery will be enough to get you to your destination.
You can also double-check the bike’s user manual for the proper battery charging position. This way, you can ensure that you will not charge the battery incorrectly.
Some electric bikes have an on and off switch on the battery pack. If your e-bike is dead and the battery pack has a power switch, turn it off and wait for a couple of minutes. Then, turn the battery pack on again and see if the battery will now work. (source)
Before proceeding with this step, it is essential to note that jumpstarting a battery pack should only be done if you have enough knowledge. The reason is that the battery pack can explode if you did the jumpstarting process incorrectly.
The jumpstarting procedure involves using another power source. Such can be:
- a power supply
- an extra e-bike battery
Learn about battery management systems (BMS) in this article 👉 What is BMS on an eBike
Once you have either of the power sources, clamp the positive cable to the positive clamp of the dead battery. Next, connect the other end of the positive line to the positive clamp of the good battery.
Finally, connect one end of the negative terminal on the good battery and the other end to the ground on the bike. Make sure that the two ends of the cables are not touching each other during the process. Set the battery aside for some time.
During the disconnecting process, you need to be careful to avoid an explosion. Once the entire process is complete, reinsert the battery to the electric bike to see if the jumpstart worked. (source)
Some people bring a spare battery with them when they go out. This way, they can quickly solve their problem when their e-bike battery is dead. If you are one of these people, install your extra battery into your electric bike to see if it works.
Suppose your electric bike turns on after replacing the dead battery. In that case, you do not need to worry about the bike itself having an issue. Instead, it is the dead battery pack that is faulty or broken.
Once your electric bike battery suddenly dies, you should replace it. The reason is that the lithium polymer and lithium-ion batteries are dangerous once they become faulty. (source)
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Most components of an electric bike are built to last. However, even the highest-quality components tend to wear out in time, thus requiring you to replace them. One e-bike part that you need to replace after a few years is the battery.
Moreover, there are several reasons why your electric bike battery dies. While the functional lifespan comes pre-determined, how you use and care for your battery pack will also play a part.
That said, here are some of the reasons why your e-bike battery is dead:
Lithium-ion batteries provide many advantages in terms of performance. But the problem is that once it degrades, the overall battery lifespan will also decrease.
Manufacturer’s rate electric bike batteries from the many charging cycles it takes before their capacity reduces to 80 percent. So, suppose you have charged your electric bike battery a certain number of times. In that case, it will hold 20 percent less energy in comparison to the first time you used your e-bike.
When the bike battery is dead, then you have probably used it to its total capacity.
Companies designed electric bikes to work in all climates. However, extreme weather conditions can still affect the overall performance of the vehicle’s battery. Of course, you can use your e-bike in a very hot environment, for instance. But, the battery can acquire damage if you store the e-bike somewhere with extreme temperatures for a couple of hours.
That said, store your e-bike somewhere with a temperature of anywhere between 40- and 90-degrees Fahrenheit (4 to 32 degrees Celsius). In addition, do not store your e-bike somewhere in the open air or damp environments. Keeping your e-bike in a spot where humidity can reach it can be one of the reasons why your e-bike battery is dead.
The way you charge the battery pack of your e-bike can determine its overall functional lifespan. So, if you have poor charging practices, the lifespan of your electric bike battery will decrease significantly.
If it is the first time charging your electric bike, make sure to plug the battery in for 24 hours. This way, you will clear any negative charge accumulated after being stored for a long time. The exact process goes if you leave your electric bike unused for at least a month.
On the other hand, people who use their e-bike actively should charge it before the e-bike battery is dead. It would be best if you charged the battery before the battery life drops below 30 percent.
The reason is that the battery charges easiest when its remaining power is within the 30 percent and 90 percent range. Meanwhile, the first 30 percent and the remaining 10 percent are the most difficult for the electric bike’s battery.
Every e-bike battery in the market has a battery management system. This part performs several different functions. For instance, since the battery composition of an electric bike is complex, the battery management system allows the battery to charge safely and evenly.
The battery management system is also responsible for making sure that the battery will not short or explode.
In an instance that your e-bike battery is dead, chances are the said system has an issue. You need to follow proper charging methods and store your e-bike in an ideal environment to prevent such from happening. You also need to ensure that the battery will not suffer heavy physical stress. (source)
E-bike owners need to know a sheer volume of things about taking care of their e-bike’s battery. Admittedly, these things can be overwhelming. However, they are essential if you want to keep your electric bike and its battery in its best shape.
Electric bikes require regular maintenance to ensure that all the moving parts do not have any issues. That said, make sure to check your tires before every ride. The reason is that under-inflated tires will require your e-bike’s motor to work harder than it’s supposed to be. Before you know it, the e-bike battery is dead.
In addition, you need to lubricate the entire chain while wiping the oil to avoid over-lubrication.
After checking the parts of your e-bike, you need to assess how far you can travel using the motor. A lot of e-bikes have varying levels of throttle and pedal assistance. If you use the throttle often, your e-bike battery is dead in no time.
When you are planning to travel on a lengthy trip, you need to use the pedal from time to time to get to your destination without the battery dying. (source)
Regenerative braking means the e-bike’s motor uses kinetic energy to recharge the battery when you slow down or come to a stop. This feature can be helpful if you are riding downhill. The reason is that the gravity will pull the e-bike down, allowing you to save some battery life. (source)
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- Steven Matthews, Troubleshooting Common E-Bike Problems: The Ultimate Guide, https://bicycleuniverse.com/troubleshooting-common-e-bike-problems-the-ultimate-guide/, accessed November 19, 2021.
- Jeff S. Bartlett, How To Jump-Start A Car With A Dead Battery, https://www.consumerreports.org/car-battery/jump-start-car-with-dead-battery-a1028630350/, accessed November 19, 2021.
- Ebike Battery, How Do You Know The Cell Died, https://bikehike.org/ebike-battery-how-do-you-know-the-cell-died/#What_causes_a_dead_cell_in_a_battery, accessed November 19, 2021.
- How To Increase Range On Your E-Bike, https://www.giant-bicycles.com/global/campaigns/how-to-increase-range-on-your-e-bike/21549, accessed November 19, 2021.
- Michael Frank, How To Make Your E-Bike Last Longer, https://www.consumerreports.org/electric-bikes/how-to-make-your-e-bike-last-longer-a9368348989/, accessed November 19, 2021.