How to Charge an Electric Scooter Without a Charger?
The scooters we use today use one of the three common types of batteries. These types of batteries are lead-acid accumulators, Lithium-ion batteries, and Nickel-metal hydride. It is possible to charge any of the three types of batteries even when you do not have a charger. You just need to how to do it. In this article, we are going to discuss how to charge an electric scooter without a charger. It is not as complicated as you think.
There is nothing worrisome as finding yourself without a charger when you need it most. You can either misplace it or it can get damaged for some reason. This is why you need to have some knowledge of how you can proceed to charge the battery even when you do not have a charger.
However, you need to be very careful since the battery is among the most important component in your e-scooter. It is also among the most expensive part to replace. This is why we will discuss the DIY scooter charger in great detail so that you do blow your battery. Besides, what is the need of making efforts that will end up costing you more instead of solving your problem?
We shall discuss three ways you can charge your e-scooter without a charger. So here are three ways you can charge your e-scooter without a charger;
a. By use of solar panel
b. By use of universal power adapter
c. Using a car jumper
d. Charging it manually.
e. Using a power supply
The proposed methods in this article are temporary measures. You ought to look for a proper charger from the manufacturer as soon as possible. Besides using DIY e-scooter chargers for a very long time will not help you maximize the battery life of your e-scooter. In a later section of this lengthy post, we have covered in great detail some of the disadvantages of using the DIY e-scooter chargers the wrong way or for a very long time.
Types of batteries
It is unfair for us to jump in to explain how to charge batteries without describing to you the types of batteries you are likely to encounter. Most likely you paid very little attention to the type of battery your scooter came with. You have been hyped by the range or perhaps the charging time.
So, there are three types of batteries you will encounter in an e-scooter as of writing this article.
The first type of battery is the lithium-ion battery. This is the best battery you can get in the market. However, it is expensive and often suffers from overheating. Nonetheless, it has the highest charge density and takes the least amount of time to charge. You can find one on your phone, tablet, laptop, and many other portable devices.
The second type of battery is the lead-acid accumulator. While it has some advantages, it is the least favorite for some reasons. For starters, it takes the longest to charge. When we covered the best e-scooters with big wheels, we discovered some can take up to 12 hours to charge. That’s a very long time, don’t you think? Additionally, they are also the heaviest of the three types of batteries.
Lastly, there are nickel-metal hydride batteries. They fall mid-way between the li-ion batteries and the lead-acid accumulators. What does this mean? It means that they are not as good as the Li-ion and are not as bad lead-accumulators. In short, there do not charge as fast li-ion batteries and do not charge as slow as the lead-acid batteries. They are neither as heavy as the lead-acid batteries nor as light li-ion.
How to charge an electric scooter without a charger
Some of the methods discussed here like using the car jumper or the power supply will require you to remove your battery first. Let us explain how to remove the battery from your e-scooter.
How to remove the battery from your e-scooter
Most of the manufacturers design e-scooters for you and me in such a manner that the batteries can be removed. In fact, some e-scooters will require you to remove the battery before charging them even in the normal way. Such e-scooters may have low to medium ingress protection ratings.
Turn off your e-scooter first. Locate where the battery is place. Use the screwdriver to unscrew the panel. After unscrewing and removing the panel, the chamber where the battery is placed can be accessed.
There could be cables attached to your battery terminals and screwed to your e-scooter. Carefully disconnect them. Do not cut them. After disconnecting the cables, you can remove the battery now.
Most of the battery packs of your e-scooter are attached to the e-scooter by use of male and female connectors. Carefully pull them apart as indicated in the manual.
You now know the types of batteries and how to remove them from your electric scooter. We can now discuss how you can charge each type of battery.
Using a universal power adapter
This is our first and easiest way to charge your e-scooter battery. In fact, you will not need to remove the battery. Universal power adapter works in more or less the same way your e-scooter charger works. When many people talk of how to charge their e-scooter battery at home, they talk of a universal power adaptor.
There are, however, two are three things you are supposed to adjust for it works. Do not worry they are straight forwards things. Here are steps you should follow when using a universal adapter to charge your e-scooter at home or office.
Step 1: choose the pin that fits your e-scooters charging pin
If you have had a chance to use more than one model of an e-scooter, you have realized that the charging ports are very unique. They are not like the current laptops that can be used using USB-C 😊.
So, after identifying the pin that fits your e-scooter`s charging pin, plugin at the end of the universal adaptor code.
Step 2: adjust the voltage
This is a very important step because it is a safety measure. There is no danger if you set the voltage lower than indicated by the manufacturer. The only issue is that it may take very long to charge your battery to capacity.
Charging a battery slowly is, in fact, recommended for the health of your battery. However, you may be in a hurry. You can check the correct voltage to set your universal adaptor in your user manual. If you cannot find the correct voltage there, you can always google.
Step 2: adjust the current
Some universal adaptors give a chance to adjust the current as well. This is very good for your battery. A small current will take a long time to charge your battery. A lot of current will, of course, charge faster but you risk destroying your battery.
Therefore, set the current at the recommended level. Or set it to the level at which your charger was designed to deliver. charging an electric scooter overnight may require you to set the current at a lower level.
Remember, lower current and lower voltage can never destroy your e-scooter`s battery. However, higher currents and voltages than what the manufacturer recommends can destroy it. So, be very careful.
Using a car jumper to charge your e-scooter
All cars have a battery for services at least three basic functions. One of the functions is to rotate the engine when starting the vehicle. Cars with null batteries have to be pushed so that the wheels can turn the engine to start it. The second function is providing a spark to combust the gasoline. Diesel engines do not need a spark plug. Car jumpers came into use to help solve the issue of dead batteries.
Portable Car jumpers also store charge just like batteries do. However, car jumpers have higher voltage capacities compared to other batteries. You can use the charge in the car jump to charge your e-scooter battery. Here is how you can do it.
Step1: connect your e-scooter battery to the car jumper
You need to have your e-scooter battery removed from your e-scooter already to perform these steps. Usually, the lead-acid accumulator is straightforward since the terminals are clearly marked. Also, the Li-ion battery comes in packs with a clearly indicated positive and negative terminal.
Now, connect the red cable of your car jumper to the positive terminal (in case of lead-acid accumulator) or the red cable of the Lithium-ion battery pack. Connect the black cable of your jumper to the negative terminal of your lead-acid battery or the back cable of your li-ion battery pack.
Step 2: have the car jumper turned on
This is as simple as it sounds. Turn on your car jumper. This is how the charging will be done. Do not turn the jumper on before the battery is connected. Give it sometimes so that the battery can charge.
Let the charging process proceed uninterrupted for about 25 minutes.
Step 3: Check the battery level
After 25 minutes of uninterrupted charging, you can disconnect the jumper and check the battery level. If your battery is not fully charged you can connect again and give it a few minutes. After a few minutes, disconnect again and measure the battery level. If now it is full you can disconnect.
Note! It is not a must you charge to full capacity. You can allow your battery to charge to any of your desired levels if you are in a hurry.
Step 4: Disconnect the battery and the jumper
You should turn off the jumper off first. Then you can proceed to have the rest of the cables disconnected. However, you will need to disconnect the negative terminal ( or the black cable first). Disconnect the positive terminal last since it carries the current.
Step 5: return the battery pack inside your e-scooter
Have the battery pack back into your e-scooter. It is safer there. You have it back in its case even when you are not using it immediately.
Using a power supply
If you are a computer enthusiast you already know one or two things about the power supply. A power supply can output a variety of voltages depending on the cables used. Do not worry if you have zero knowledge about the power supply; I will explain everything in detail. However, this method is best suited for lead-acid accumulators.
So, the first thing you will need is a power supply. You can get one from an old computer or you can just buy one ☹.
Step 1: determine the voltage needed by your battery
There are many ways to determine this. The first way is to count the number of cells in your battery. Each cell known voltage. The second way is to check the manufacturer’s manual. It is usually included.
Besides, some batteries such as the Lead-acid accumulator have their voltage indicated on their side on the top by the manufacturer. So for a 6 cell lead-acid accumulator, set the voltage to 14.4 V since each cell is 2.4 V.
Step 3: set the current limit
From the research, we have, for your battery to be safe, set the current to 20% of the indicated capacity. Do not go below 10% or above 30% of the indicated capacity.
So, let us say your battery is rated 6 Ah. The 20% of 6 Ah is 1.2 Ah. You should set it to values below 0.6 Ah or above 1.8 Ah.
Step 4: allow the battery to charge
Now you can give your battery time to charge. The question you could be asking is this, how do I know when my battery is fully charged? This is not very hard.
To know whether your battery is fully charged, measure the current flow. As the battery gets charged, the amount of current reduces. So, when you note that current is 3% or less of the rated value disconnect the power supply.
So, if your battery is rated 6 Ah, the 3% of that is 0.18 Ah. When you measure current and find it is 0.18 A or less, disconnect.
Using solar panel
This is as it sounds. You can connect solar panels to the battery of your e-scooter without having to store in first in other types of storage. This has been done before to charge phones, laptops, and many other types of electronic devices.
Things are a lot easier today for us since solar panels come in all sizes. There are large as well as small solar panels.
There is one thing, however. You cannot connect solar panels directly to your e-scooter battery. You need the solar charge controller.
The solar charge controller plays a very important role when you are charging your e-scooter battery. Among the roles, the charger controller plays include controlling the device voltage. This is the voltage that your battery receives. It also stops the charging process when a given level of voltage is achieved by your battery.
Remember you could be charging individual cells in the case of lithium-ion batteries. This s controlling the charge is very important. If you do not have solar panels and the charge controller already, this can prove to be a very expensive process.
The good thing with solar power is that it is free once you have the correct equipment. Besides, its low voltage means it is very safe; chances of electrocution are next to zero.
Disadvantages of charging an e-scooter without a charger
Yes, there are some disadvantages of using a DIY scooter charger to charger to your e-scooter at home. The worst-case scenario is tempering with the battery life of your e-scooter battery life.
Some of the methods we have discussed above involve removing the battery from your e-scooter. There is a circuit board inside your e-scooter desired to protect your battery. Your battery is protected from draining completely or from overcharging. Additionally, you find a good number of them have an indicator lamp to show when charging and when fully charged.
However, once you have your battery out of the e-scooter, you may have to disconnect it from the circuit. There is now a way of telling when your battery is full. You will have to keep on testing the voltages in the battery.
This may work for new and relatively new batteries. However, as the batteries age, they also deteriorate. When your battery has deteriorated the voltage level will be lower than it was when it was new.
Do you now see where the problem is? Well, I will still mention it to you. When you charging your battery, you strive for voltages that are indicated by the manufacturer which is higher than your battery is. By doing this, you will overcharge your battery.
Destroying the battery
Overcharging is a slow way of destroying your battery. But there are ways to destroy your battery completely instantly. Yes, it is possible. If you have the polarities of some types of batteries reversed when charging, your battery is destroyed instantly.
Nickel-metal hydride batteries can be destroyed completely if you accidentally reverse their polarities while you are charging. If you remember in our previous article about electric scooter battery guide, we discovered that Nickel-metal hydride batteries are most difficult to replace. They are usually tailored to a specific e-scooter.
There are many ways of making your battery overheat. However, here interested in the second and the third way. You can skip into the second and third ways of heating.
The first way is the drawing of a lot of charge from your battery. This takes place when you exceed the recommended weight capacity. You may also note this when you are climbing hills with your e-scooter.
The second way is through overcharging. You may wonder what we mean by overcharging. Overcharging is allowing the current to continuously flow into your battery even after it is full.
The third way of making your battery overheat is by charging it using a charger that drives a large amount of electric current. While the manufacturers often offer you fasters chargers, it is not recommended to allows the use of them.
When are using any of the above methods, there is the danger of driving more current than your battery can handle. This can cause the battery to overheat and burst into flames. This is limited to Lithium-ion batteries only.
The danger of lithium-ion batteries is real. The electrolyte used in lithium is flammable.
Using the car jumper can be very dangerous at times. If your connection has some of the wires exposed, you can get electrocuted. The voltage is high enough to kill you but it can cause injuries.
Besides, you could be using electronics in your body such as the heart pacer. Electrocution can interfere with how they work.
Benefits of electric scooter
Numerous benefits of electric scooter have been explored in the past by researchers and scholars. Here are a few benefits we have compiled for you.
One, the e-scooters are very flexible. If you buy one, you will never stack in traffic. You can always slip through. Furthermore, a good number of electric scooters are foldable and hence portable. This is to mean you can carry them with you on public transport. You can also carry them in your car boot.
You now know how to charge electric scooter without a charger. It is fascinating to own an electric scooter. It does not only reduce the cost of transport, but it also makes moving from one place to another a very easy process. Besides, scooters have been reportedly helped people escape traffic jams.
There is one downside all EVs face including the electric scooter. This problem is with batteries. The current batteries do not only have limited capacity to store charges but also get easily destroyed. Moreover, they are very expensive.
Hopefully, in the future, the batteries will become less expensive. The best that the batteries used in e-scooters can do is offer a maximum of 3 hours of continuous use; here we are talking of the upper-tier electric scooters.