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Household > Bike & E-Bike

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What is an electric bike?

An increasing awareness of the environmental impact of the transport sector combined with new vehicle regulations and advances in technology has resulted in a global shift towards electric mobility. The e-bike is leading the way as the most popular means of electric transportation and its appeal is unsurprising when we consider the wide range of benefits it has to offer.

An electric bike is a bicycle equipped with a built-in motor which assists the rider when pedalling. This makes cycling more relaxing, especially uphill, while still giving the rider an excellent cardio workout. Electric bikes reduce pollution levels and congestion on the roads and, in addition, provide an affordable and efficient alternative to commuting by car or public transport. Gone are the days of searching for a car parking space or waiting for a delayed train; you can simply park your e-bike in a suitable place and travel home on your own schedule. Charging a bicycle battery is also quick and convenient using suitable accessories.

The electric bike battery is one of the most important component parts of an e-bike as it stores the current required to power the motor. When the ebike battery is damaged or its life cycle has come to an end it should be replaced immediately. Choosing the right batteries for electric bikes is challenging especially given the range of options on the market. For this reason, we would like to address this topic by giving you an insight into the types of battery available and the factors to consider before buying an electric bicycle battery such as capacity, cost, and the speed at which you intend to ride. We hope this will enable you to make an informed decision and equip you with the appropriate knowledge for looking after your e bike battery and maximising its lifespan.

How does an electric bike work?

An e-bike is essentially a traditional push bike with a few extra components which work together to propel the bike forward once the rider has started pedalling. This is why it is also at times referred to as a “pedal-assist” bike. The main components are the motor, the battery, and the sensor. The motor is located in the rear wheel hub, the middle of the bike (known as the mid-drive) or, less commonly, in the front wheel hub. When you start to pedal, the sensor detects this and sends a signal which activates the motor. Some e-bikes are equipped with a more advanced torque sensor which measures the force being applied to the pedals, meaning the harder you pedal the greater the motor’s power output.

Under EU regulations and the Department of Transport in the UK, the motor of an e-bike can have a maximum output of 250 watts and should stop propelling the bike when it is travelling more than 25 km/h (or 15m/h). The motor is powered by the battery which is either mounted on the frame of the bike or integrated within it. In recent years lithium batteries have become the standard cycle battery for e-bikes but the quality of these batteries varies in terms of size, shape, cost, and range. It is therefore important for you to take these characteristics into account before choosing the best ebike battery for your budget and requirements.

How long do electric bike batteries last?

That is one of the first questions which prospective e-bike riders ask themselves. An electric bicycle offers freedom and fun but non-one likes the idea of having to suddenly alter their travel plans or cut short their cycle tours because of a low battery.

Nowadays, the most popular type of battery for electric bikes are lithium-ion batteries. Lithium batteries for electric bikes are relatively light-weight and have a longer lifespan than lead acid and nickel batteries (the most common battery types for the early e-bike models). Li-ion batteries for e-bikes normally have a voltage of 36 V or 48 V but 24 V and 52 V batteries are also available on the market. Taking a 48 V Li-ion bike battery as an example, this has a capacity of 20 Ah and 960 Wh. As a result, the battery will consume approximately 1k Wh/100 kilometers and on average you will need to charge the battery 2 to 3 times per 100 kilometers (approx. 63 miles). A Li-on battery typically provides 2500 life cycles which equate to a service-life of about 5 years.

Whichever type of bike battery you choose, the longevity of the battery will always be partially dependent on your usage habits as a rider, whether you generally use your e-bike for shorter commutes and getting about the city, for example, or make regular long-distance cycle tours on hilly terrain. However, concerns about the possible inconvenience of charging your ebike batteries need not distract you from the advantages of investing in an e bike, especially given the exciting developments in e bike battery technology and what this means for e bike riders in the future.

All over the world, research is currently been carried out at speed into sodium-ion batteries which have various significant advantages, namely to the environment as the materials used in their manufacture are almost all completely recyclable. They are also resistant to changes in temperature meaning the dangers of deep discharge and battery units catching fire do not apply. Current projections suggest it will be possible to charge sodium-ion batteries from 0 to 80 % in as little as 15 minutes and that the batteries will still retain 90 % of their capacity at -20 °C.

However, a sodium battery generally has two main disadvantages, one being that it is heavier than a lithium bike battery and the other being its 0.3 V lower cell voltage. It will take time and more breakthroughs in research before sodium-ion batteries are manufactured in large quantities and become the standard battery type for electric bicycles. At present, the excellent cost-performance ratio of lithium batteries makes it the best cycle battery option for anyone who has already decided to make an e-bike part of their life.

How to maintain the battery to maximise its service-life?

There are some basic precautions electric bike owners should take in order to take proper care of their bike battery. Firstly, during particularly hot days in the summer, it is better to park your bike in the shade as when a battery warms up the lithium powder inside the battery cells will decrease the battery's electrical resistance and cause it to discharge more quickly. Complete discharging of a lithium e-bike battery is dangerous as it causes the battery to heat up which can result in the unit catching fire. It is also worthwhile remembering that freezing temperatures reduce the capacity of Li-on batteries meaning it is better to store your electric bike indoors during the winter months. so it is recommended that you store the battery with a minimum charge level of 30%. As the so called “memory effect” of batteries is pretty much a thing of the past, there is no need to drain your bike battery before recharging it.

Other basic tips when it comes to looking after an external bike battery is to always take extra care when attaching the battery unit to the bike so it does not slide around and to remember to remove the battery before cleaning your bicycle to avoid damaging the battery unit.

How to charge an electric bike?

Charging your electric bike battery is a simple process as most e bikes come with a charging cable which connects the battery to a mains outlet via the port on the battery unit. Removable batteries and integrated batteries both have their advantages when it comes to charging. You can easily connect a detachable battery to a shorter charging lead before placing it directly alongside the nearest suitable power outlet, be it at home or in the office. An electric bicycle with built-in battery is more convenient to charge when you are on the move and need to use a public charging station. In response to the increasing popularity of electric bicycles, e-bike charging points are easy to locate along cycle routes, at train stations, petrol stations, supermarkets, and in car parks. Most charging stations can be used free of charge and are accessible 24 hours a day. Riders can search for the nearest charging points using a variety of online portals and apps.

How long does it take to charge an e bike battery?

Charging a higher-capacity battery using a standard charger will take 6-8 hours. Using the same charger to charge a smaller e-bike battery will take 3-5 hours. If you plan to use your electric bike very regularly it could be worthwhile acquiring a fast charger as this will of course shorten the charging process, regardless of your battery's size and capacity. If you enjoy going on regular weekend cycle tours or cycling holidays, you could also consider purchasing a spare ebike battery which you can carry with you for your own peace of mind.

With time you will learn for yourself how long your e battery needs on average until it is fully charged and possibly the difference in the time it takes using a charging station, for example, and your own personal charger at home. Taking this into consideration, you can plan accordingly and manage your time more effectively.

How much does an electric bike battery cost?

Electric bike batteries vary greatly in price but, realistically, when choosing which replacement e bike battery to buy, you always have to consider your riding habits and how much you or your household can afford before deciding how much you are prepared to invest in the product.

If you, for example, commute by bike every day to save on fuel costs or if long cycle tours are your great passion, it would of course be worth your while purchasing a higher-performance battery. If you are someone who uses their e-bike more sporadically, a cost-saving alternative might be more suitable for you. If your aim is to simply find a cheap electric bike battery and nothing more than you need to prepare to compromise to some extent on battery capacity.

In our Electropapa online shop you can choose your preferred price bracket using the filters on the left-hand side of the page. We offer a wide selection of batteries for e bikes, ranging from £142,25 for one of our most popular batteries, to £463,40 for our top model. The majority of our batteries are between £190 and £300. If you have any questions about our products please feel free to contact us using the "Questions about item" button in the form below.

Our e bike batteries are fully compatible with the following brands:

How to remove an electric bike battery?

The design of e bike batteries varies but the basic process for removing a battery for e bikes is the same for the different models:

  • Firstly, you need to remove the battery unit from the bike frame either using the key which comes with your e-bike or by unscrewing the bolts. If the key method applies, you sometimes need to press a button on the top of the battery unit before sliding it out of the bracket
  • Next, remove all the wires that connect the battery to the motor
  • Once you have removed each wire safely, you need to reverse the process to connect the replacement battery to the motor
  • Secure the exchange battery in place on the electric bike frame
  • Lock the battery using the key or by screwing in the bolts (double-checking that the bolts are secure)

What to do when your e-bike battery is defective?

If you believe your electric bike battery is defective the most important thing to do in the first instance is to return the battery to the dealer as if they confirm that that is indeed the case you can then submit a warranty claim. If your e-bike battery won't charge, you could simply be using a defective charger. If your battery's capacity seems to be reduced, it won't charge fully or it is taking longer and longer to charge, it may have completely discharged. If this has taken place it is sometimes possible to recondition an e-bike battery by replacing the damaged cells with new ones. It is vital, however, that you leave recelling to a professional and this kind of electric bike battery repair does entail costs. Your battery will also not necessarily regain its full capacity.

If your battery is defective, it has been damaged or it has reached the end of its service-life, you are obliged by law to return the battery to the dealer. E bike battery suppliers are likewise legally obliged to accept them. Lithium batteries are hazardous to the environment and also contain valuable metals which can be recycled, meaning it is against the law to dispose of them with the rest of your household waste. It is also possible that damaged batteries could catch fire which is another reason why they should be returned directly to the dealer (not by post), or taken to a special battery collection point.

Furthermore, if you have a bike accident and you think the battery may have sustained damage or if you are concerned the battery has overheated or if it is simply behaving unusually, we recommend that you take your battery to a specialist so they can check its condition.

To avoid rendering your an exchange battery unusable, you should check that the voltage of the replacement battery matches that of the previous battery as differences in voltage can also damage a battery while it is in use or charging.

When searching our assortment of electric bike batteries you can easily check the "Suitable for the following devices" section within the product information to see if your bike model is listed. If you still have any concerns, however, we would be very happy to answer your queries.

Which e-bike battery should I buy?

If riding at higher speeds is a deciding factor for you, it would be to your advantage to buy a higher-voltage battery. However, the higher the voltage, the heavier the battery unit. A standard 48 V bike battery is generally 10 pounds whereas a 52 V battery can weigh as much as 12 pounds. (There are also lighter models on the market weighing about 7 pounds but these are only suitable for children's and teenagers' e-bikes).

When buying an electric bike battery replacement it needs to match your bike's drive system and, as discussed above, it is important that it has the same voltage as your previous battery. The positioning of the battery on the e-bike also needs to be the same. Some battery units are mounted on the rear luggage rack whereas others are located in a bracket on the down tube or seat tube.

Ultimately, the best e bike battery for you is one that matches your bike model, is within your budget, and has a high enough capacity for your requirements that you will not be disappointed by its performance.

Electric bicycles are no temporary trend, they are here to stay and the recent and ongoing advancements in battery technology mean the arguments for investing in an e-bike are only getting stronger. If you are looking to make a positive change to your life and do something good for the environment, we at Electropapa hope we can help you on your way with our selection of high-quality, compatible batteries and other parts for electric bikes.

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