With the growing number of electric scooter enthusiasts, also comes growing concern on the longevity of the e-scooter and its parts. When we say parts, the typical concern is over the battery life and the cost of replacing it. Worry no longer, as we will share with you today the ins and outs of the battery you will normally find in e- scooters, and how to care for them – and hopefully extend their life.
Lithium Batteries, the optimal choice.
When deciding on your electric scooter, it is important to go for one that uses a Lithium based battery, over one that uses Lead Acid. Compared to Lead Acid, Lithium batteries are known to have longer life cycles, weigh less, are more maintenance free and are known to charge faster.
Thankfully, we do not need to worry too much about this, as majority of the E-Scooters around are already using Lithium Batteries, such as the MyWay, E-Twow or JACK.
Understanding your lithium battery’s life
All batteries degrade over time with use, this applies to handphone batteries, computer batteries and also e-scooter batteries. Companies typically take the conservative approach and tend to specify their batteries at lasting 300-500 cycles. A charge cycle means using all of the battery’s power, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a single charge. For instance, you could use your scooter for an hour or more one day, using half its charge, and then recharge it fully. If you did the same thing the next day, it would count as one charge cycle, not two, so it may take several days to complete a cycle.
You can use your battery after it reaches its maximum cycle count, but you may notice a reduction in your battery life. Typically, what this means is the capacity of the battery will begin to drop after the specified life cycle capacity. For a gauge, refer to this table extracted from www.batteryuniversity.com
As can be seen, a lithium battery can in theory last a lot longer than their rated cycle, but it’s capacity (shown in %) decreases.
Prolonging your Lithium Battery’s life
As the user, what we want to do is to keep our battery at a high capacity for as long as possible. This is possible through a number of precautions and steps.
Environmental conditions: Lithium-ion batteries are strongly temperature-dependent; their capacity drops faster if it is stored or used at higher temperatures.
What you can do: Bring your scooter into the house with good ventilation and keep it out of the sun and heat when possible.
When storing for a long period – a 40% charge is recommended: Manufacturers recommend that you leave your battery with about a 40% charge if you plan to store it and not use it for extended periods. The battery will lose charge over time on its own even when not in use, you want to ensure there is enough battery to keep it’s “protection circuit” running.
What you can do: Scooters with LED indicators – charge it to mid-point or orange light. Digital indicators: mid-point or 40-50%. *** This is only if you do not plan to use your scooter for some time.
Ensure you use the provided charger. Chargers from other sources may change your battery too fast, stressing the battery.
Charging your battery: It should not be necessary to monitor your e-scooter when it is charging or immediately unplug it when it is done. We have tested the MyWay and E-Twow chargers and understand they discontinue the charge on its own once the battery is at its capacity – so no worry about overcharging. Caution should be taken with other scooters if they do not otherwise advise on this.
Depleting your battery: It is advised to avoid entirely depleting your battery before charging.
What to do: Try to always keep your battery above 10% and charge it before it reaches that level.
Do share in the comments on your own experiences or tips for battery care!