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If your old e-bike battery is on its last legs, or if you're looking to tackle longer distances, the time has come to buy a new electric bike battery. But with many options to choose from, and many confusing specs to wrap your head around, how do you find the right electric bike batteries for your needs?
In this guide, we'll take a closer look at the factors you need to consider when choosing a new e-bike battery.
What is an electric bike battery?
An e-bike battery provides power for the electric motor on your e-bike. Most electric bikes use lithium-ion batteries, which are relatively lightweight and can provide all the power needed to help you get from A to B.
Most electric bikes are pedelecs, or pedal assist models. This means they offer motorised assistance as you pedal, so you can't just rely on the motor to get you around, while the motor also cuts out once you exceed 25km/h.
Why do I need a new electric bike battery?
There are a few reasons why you might need to shop around for a new e-bike battery.
- Replace an old battery. Unfortunately, lithium-ion batteries don't just keep on working forever. If your existing battery is coming to the end of its lifespan, it might be time to replace it with a new one.
- Upgrade to a higher-capacity battery. If you're keen to ride further and for longer, you might be looking to buy a battery with a higher capacity than your old one. Just make sure your existing system can handle the increased capacity before you buy.
- Increase your e-bike's range. Some e-bikes also allow you to add a second battery to your existing battery to increase the distance you can travel on a single charge.
5 popular electric bike batteries in Australia
Fortis replacement battery. This 36V 10Ah battery is compatible with the Fortis 20-inch 36V 10Ah Foldable Electric Bike and the Fortis 20-inch 36V 10Ah Fat Tyre Foldable Electric Bike.
Bosch PowerTube 625. This 625Wh battery is installed inside the frame and can be fully charged in under 4 hours with a Fast Charger.
DEHAWK i5 Battery. This 48V, 624Wh battery has a life of up to 1,000 charge cycles. It's designed for NCM's Moscow, Milano, Venice and Aspen models.
Rear carrier option
R2-4813H Battery Kit. This handy kit comes with a 624Wh battery, a rear carrier rack and a rear light kit.
Shimano STEPS 504Wh. This downtube battery from Shimano combines a 504Wh capacity with a 5-hour recharge time.
What to look for when comparing electric bike batteries
There are several factors you should consider when shopping for a new battery for your electric bike. These include:
- Compatibility. Make sure the battery you choose is compatible with your drive system. Some batteries are only suitable for specific bike models, so do your research before you buy.
- Capacity. If you're comparing two batteries on the same bike, the battery with the larger capacity in Wh will offer the longer range. However, if you're choosing a higher-capacity battery, make sure your motor and controller are rated to handle this increase. Many manufacturers will provide range estimates for batteries, but keep in mind that a wide range of factors (including your bike, the terrain, your weight and more) can affect performance in the real world.
- Charge time. Check how long it will take to recharge your battery to full capacity after use, as charging time can vary quite substantially between different models.
- Charger included. If you need a new charger as well as a new battery, make sure the kit you select comes with a charger.
- Charge cycles. Check how many charge cycles you can expect to get out of a battery. For example, for its Steps batteries, Shimano guarantees that remaining battery capacity will be at 60% after 1,000 charge cycles.
- Weight. A battery pack adds a significant amount of weight to an e-bike, so check the specs sheet to find out how much extra bulk you'll be carrying. Most batteries fall in the 2-3.5kg range.
- Mounting. Check where the battery needs to be mounted and whether this will be suitable for your bike. For example, you can get some batteries that attach to the downtube, and others that are stored on a rear pannier rack.
- Warranty. Check how long, or for how many charge cycles, the manufacturer's warranty will last. What does it cover?
- Price. Electric bike battery prices generally start around the $300 mark, with higher-capacity batteries attracting higher price tags. When you're comparing prices, remember to check whether the product you're looking at is a standalone battery or comes with a charger as part of a kit.
If you're looking to keep costs down on your next electric bike, check out our guide to the top electric bikes under $2,000.
Where to buy electric bike batteries online
If you're ready to buy, visit one of the following sites.
Frequently asked questions
What can I do to prolong the life of my battery?
There are many things you can do to help your battery last as long as possible. Some of them are common sense, such as taking care not to drop your battery and always storing it in a cool, dry place. The manufacturer will also provide instructions regarding battery charging, maintenance and long-term storage — follow these closely for the best results.
What can I do to extend the range I can get from a single charge?
There are several simple things you can do to maximise your e-bike's range. These include:
- Setting the correct tyre pressure
- Using the lowest level of assistance from the motor
- Losing weight and/or carrying less cargo
- Riding on flat, smooth terrain rather than up steep hills or off-road.
How long does it take to charge an e-bike battery?
Charging time varies depending on battery capacity and remaining charge. As a general guide, many batteries take 3-5 hours to fully charge.
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