The charger you use to power up your electric bike is crucial to keeping its battery in good condition. You must ensure that your charger’s voltage matches the e-bike’s battery. It should also match the type of battery you have.
When purchasing an electric bike battery, you need to:
- Check the battery’s voltage.
- Ensure that the charger and battery type match.
- Consider where you will plug the charger.
- Set your budget
- Check your chosen charger’s extra function.
A Step-By-Step Guide To Choosing An eBike Charger
According to research, one of the advantages of owning an e-bike is the ease and speed of travel. However, this ease of travel only applies when your e-bike is charged well using a high-quality charger.
If your e-bike’s charger needs a replacement, how do you choose the one you will purchase?
What you need:
- The electric bike’s battery – you need to check its voltage and compare it with the charger.
- Your electric bike – once you have your new charger, you need to test if it works by plugging your e-bike into an electrical plug.
- An electrical plug
Step 1. Check the e-bike battery’s voltage
Electric bike chargers come in different output voltages, such as 36V, 48V, and 52V. Charging an e-bike battery using a charger with the wrong voltage can shut it down or cause it to overheat. Either way, the incorrect charger voltage will damage and decrease the lifespan of your e-bike’s battery.
So. when choosing which e-bike charger to purchase, you must ensure that it matches the voltage your battery requires. Electric bikes usually have batteries that fall between 36V to 48V. If your battery has 36V, you need a charger that goes up to 42V. On the other hand, a 48V e-bike battery is compatible with a 54V charger.
But checking your old charger’s specifications is ideal if you are unsure what e-bike battery volts you need. This way, your new charger will have the same voltage you used to charge your e-bike battery.
Check the charger’s output voltage.
According to the List Of Worldwide Voltages And Frequencies by Ron Kurtus, the standard output voltage in the US is 120/240V. So, if you live in the US, you must ensure that the electric bike charger you plan to purchase runs at the same output voltage.
More eBike Battery Information
- Can you overcharge an eBike battery? Read more 👉 Overcharge battery for eBike?
- eBike Battery Charts, did you know your eBike battery cuts-out before it dead? Read more in this article 👉 eBike Battery Charts 36v, 48v and 52v
- What is BMS on an eBike? Learn more about it. 👉 eBike BMS (Battery Management System)
Step 2. Ensure that the charger matches your battery type.
There are different types of electric bike batteries. According to research conducted at the State Polytechnic Of Malang in Indonesia, the three types of e-bike batteries are:
- lead acid
When choosing an e-bike charger, you must ensure the charger type is compatible with your electric bike’s battery. Using the wrong kind of charger for your battery can damage its cells. As a result, the battery’s lifespan will decrease significantly in a short period.
Studies show two types of damage your e-bike’s battery may get under normal circumstances. These two primary forms of damage are capacity fade and power fade, which inevitably happen after using your battery for a specific time. However, using the wrong charger for your battery type can cause it to degrade faster than it should.
Step 3. Consider the cable length and your charging location.
Considering the size and weight of an electric bike, bringing it close to an electric plug can be tricky. For this reason, buying an e-bike charger with a long cable is ideal. This way, you can conveniently plug your electric bike into any location without bringing the entire bike close to the socket.
It would be best to consider where you would charge your electric bike. Suppose you intend only to charge it at home. A compatible charger with a standard wall socket should work fine in that case.
On the other hand, some cyclists may opt to have their chargers on the go to charge their e-bikes in any charging station. In this case, you will benefit from a portable charger, which you can plug into a car adapter or USB port.
Step 4. Consider your budget
Electric bike chargers come at different prices. Despite the low price, some of these chargers look durable. However, do not be deceived by these inexpensive chargers, as they can do more harm than good.
Knockoff chargers can ruin your electric bike’s battery. So, while branded chargers are expensive, it is better to invest in one as they provide good value for money. Higher-priced chargers offer better quality, so they will not damage and decrease the lifespan of your e-bike’s battery.
Step 5. Check the battery for extra functions
Some electric bike chargers come with additional functions. For instance, you can get a charger equipped with LED lights. This way, you can see the battery’s charging progress, allowing you to unplug your e-bike as soon as the battery is full.
This feature will help you avoid damaging your battery due to overcharging.
Can You Buy a Universal eBike Charger?
As mentioned, electric bike batteries require chargers that have the same voltages as they have. However, you may also purchase a universal charger to draw power from different input voltages. This type of charger is a good option, as you can use it to charge batteries of various voltages.
For instance, if you live in a home with multiple electric bikes, you can purchase a universal charger and use it for all the e-bikes. This investment is less expensive, as you no longer have to buy a dedicated charger for each e-bike.
Want a Universal eBike Battery Charger?
GRIN Technologies sells a programable charger for 24V through 52V batteries. This charger is fast and delivers up to 8 amps. Check out the reviews and prices with the link below 👇
You may think that using a universal e-bike charger can ruin your battery. However, some of these chargers have an auto shut-off feature that prevents damaging the bike’s battery. Let’s say your charger is set to draw 48V power, and you are trying to charge a 24V battery. In this case, the charger will shut off instead of supplying the battery with the wrong voltage.
Grin Technologies Cycle Satiator Programmable eBike Charger
A great example of a universal e-bike charger is the Grin Technologies Cycle Satiator. This charger works with a variety of electric bike batteries due to its programmable feature, which allows it to work on batteries with voltages:
With this universal charger, you can dial the voltage to charge your e-bike’s battery.
The Satiator allows you to charge batteries with these voltages using an adapter with the package. Apart from working on various voltages, this charger works on lithium-ion, nickel, and lead-acid battery types.
Even better, you can create profiles for all your e-bike batteries. For instance, if you have a 36V lithium-ion battery, you can use the charger’s profile setup page on the small digital screen in its corner to create and save a setting. This way, you can program how the charger will charge a battery based on its specifications. Then, you can save the said program for future use.
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Features of eBike Chargers
Different electric bike chargers mean different features. However, below are three crucial features you must look for when purchasing an e-bike charger.
Amperage (aka Charging Speed)
The more amps an e-bike charger has, the faster it will bring your e-bike’s battery to a full charge. However, there are also drawbacks to using a charger with a high amperage. For instance, charging your battery too fast can cause its life expectancy to decrease.
For this reason, limiting the amperage to 7 amps when choosing a charger is ideal.
Modern electric bike batteries will not easily acquire damage when you fail to unplug them after they reach their full capacity. However, overcharging your electric bike’s battery frequently can reduce the number of charging cycles it has. For this reason, choosing an e-bike battery with smart indicator light is recommended.
A charger with charge indicator lights lets you see how far your battery has charged. This way, you can estimate how long the battery will take to reach its full capacity, thus preventing overcharging.
As mentioned, e-bike chargers come in different voltages. Choosing the appropriate voltage for your battery prevents you from overloading or underloading it. The correct voltage will also prevent your e-bike’s battery from overheating.
RIDE e MTB Pro Tip: With eBikes growing in popularity learning all the terms and definitions can be a bit overwhelming. Let me help with this comprehensive glossary. 👉 eBike Glossary
Choosing Your Electric Bike Charger: Final Thoughts
Were we able to help you figure out the essential points in buying your e-bike’s charger?
Electric bike chargers are one of the most crucial tools you need when you have an e-bike. So, when buying one, you must ensure the specifications are compatible with your battery. Not only will the correct charger choice make your purchase worth it, but it will also make your battery last longer.
What do you think about this article? Feel free to leave your thoughts, questions, and suggestions in the comments!
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
- Jajczyk, Jarosław, and Kamil Słomczyński. “A dedicated battery for an electric bike.” In ITM Web of Conferences, vol. 28, p. 01033. EDP Sciences, 2019. DOI: 10.1051/itmconf/20192801033. Accessed February 24, 2023.
- Kurtus, Ron. “List of Worldwide AC Voltages and Frequencies.” Ron Kurtus’ School for Champions (2014). https://www.oaktreeproducts.com/img/product/description/List%20of%20Worldwide%20AC%20Voltages.pdf. Accessed February 24, 2023.
- Asrori, A., Rohman, Faizal, F., and Karis, M., “The Design and Performance Investigation Of Solar E-Bike Using Flexible Solar Panel by Different Battery Charging Controller.” International Journal of Mechanical and Production Engineering Research and Development (IJMPERD) 10, no. 3 (2020). https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Asrori-Asrori/publication/344333862_The_Design_and_Performance_Investigation_of_Solar_E-Bike_using_Flexible_Solar_Panel_by_Different_Battery_Charging_Controller/links/5f6942d6a6fdcc0086341a1c/The-Design-and-Performance-Investigation-of-Solar-E-Bike-using-Flexible-Solar-Panel-by-Different-Battery-Charging-Controller.pdf. Accessed February 24, 2023.
- Woody, Maxwell, Maryam Arbabzadeh, Geoffrey M. Lewis, Gregory A. Keoleian, and Anna Stefanopoulou. “Strategies to limit degradation and maximize Li-ion battery service lifetime-Critical review and guidance for stakeholders.” Journal of Energy Storage 28 (2020). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.est.2020.101231. Accessed February 24, 2023.