How to maximize your electric scooter`s battery life
Here are some of the ways to maximize your electric scooter`s battery life. The first include avoiding overcharging it. The second way is to avoid draining it completely. The third way is to ensure you charge if you know you will keep it for a long time without using it. Charging it properly is also very important. Let us look into how to maximize battery life of your e-scooter in more detail.
Among the most important parts of your e-scooter, the battery comes first. Your battery determines how far your scooter can go. It, therefore, makes sense for you to maintain it. A well-maintained battery will give you the maximum range possible. And covering distances is the first reason you bought your e-scooter in the first place.
What is battery type and range?
Before you jump into any of the tips discussed here, the first thing to know is the battery type and its range. Our previous article on the e-scooter battery guide discussed three types of batteries. The first type is the Li-ion batteries and is very common.
The second type is a sealed lead acid battery. They are quite common among mobility e-scooters and low-tier e-scooters. You will also find them in children`s e-scooter.
Lastly, there is the nickel-metal hydride. This is the middle-ground between the Li-ion and the sealed acid battery. You will find nickel-metal hydride being better and costlier than SLA but worse and cheaper than Li-ion batteries.
If you can, avoid nickel-metal hydride battery completely. They are complicated and are scooter-specific. So, upgrading or replacing will give you a serious problem.
The range of your e-scooter is the distance you can cover between charges. The goals of maintaining your batteries are two. The first goal is to give it a very long life. The second goal is to maintain the range of your e-scooter. when the range starts to reduce, it is a sign that there is something wrong with your battery.
If you have had the privilege of using more than one e-scooter, you will realize that they have different ranges. The longest range you can find in an e-scooter is about 45 miles between charges. You can also find those with a short range, as small as 10 miles.
What is your battery capacity?
The range of your is e-scooter is determined by many factors. One of such factors is the battery capacity. It is measured in Watt-hour. However, you will never find your battery capacity indicated by the manufacturer in this manner. Most of the manufacturers will indicate battery size and capacity in voltage and ampere-hour.
Our previous article on charging an e-scooter indicated how to convert voltage and ampere-hour into W-h. You simply have to multiply voltage and ampere-hour.
W-h= voltage x ampere-hour
As your battery deteriorates, its capacity is affected first. It starts by having a reduced battery voltage. Then the amount of current that can be drawn reduces. The load your e-scooter can carry reduces significantly.
How long does an e-scooter battery last?
If you are to ride your e-scooter continuously, you can get between 1 to 2 hours of the ride. This is how long an e-scooter battery last. This may vary depending on how old your e-scooter battery is. For instance, Li-ion batteries are known to have between 500 and 1000 charge and discharge cycles. This is about 5 years of use.
After 5 or so years, your battery starts to perform less and less. You would need to replace the battery or go for a new e-scooter altogether. How could you tell this is happening? Well, the e-scooter battery voltage would reduce significantly.
You may say that your e-scooters life span is closely tied to that its battery. Why? It the component that deteriorates faster compared to others.
Though it has been discussed in detail in one of the sections that follow, you can maintain lifespan in many ways. One way is to ensure you use the right charger. Do not use YOUR E-SCOOTER until its battery reads 0%.
How to maximize your electric scooter battery
Here are some of the good practices that if you follow them will help maximize your battery. You will find them to be very rudimental and easy to follow. Some, as you will realize, revolve around adopting a good charging habit. This way, you will enjoy all advantages of an e-scooter.
Do not allow your battery to discharge completely
If you discharge completely, ions get stuck on the electrode. This is one way of accelerating formation of solid electrolyte interface. This slows the charging and discharging of your battery. The more the solid electrolyte interface is created, the less effective your battery becomes.
According to the Unagi e-scooter manufacturer, you should always strive to keep your battery above 10%. Unagi further continues to state that in ideal conditions, your battery should be kept above 40%. Capacity.
Where you can, ensure that your battery is fully charged before going for a ride. If your terrain is uphill, your e-scooter will use a lot of charges.
When depleted completely, the Li-ion battery sometimes fails to charge.
Do not overcharge your battery
It is true you might be aware of overcharge protection components in many electronics. However, you do not know when they might fail. Since there is no way of testing whether it is working, it wise to avoid overcharging at all costs.
Overcharging is as dangerous as depleting your battery to 0%. Any of the two accelerates the formation of a solid electrolyte interface. The formation of a solid electrolyte interface and short-circuiting in cells are two major things that make Li-ion batteries ineffective.
You may be in one of the cold places. One thing recommended for keeping the battery in good condition for e-scooters used in cold places is to keep it plugged in. In that case, you can use a standard charger which charges slow. This way you will not overcharge it. Cold temperatures are not good for your battery.
Avoid extreme temperatures
By extreme temperatures, we mean temperatures that cause your battery to overheat or freeze.
High temperatures accelerate the formation of a solid electrolyte interface. You ought to know that the electrolyte used in the Li-ion is flammable. Lead-acid is a bit different though.
Of all the three types of batteries aforementioned, none of them works well at extreme temperatures. As for the Nickel-metal hydride, high temperatures cause it to have the voltage drop significantly.
When charging, allow the battery to cool first
This is only applicable if you have been using your e-scooter. Drawing a lot of current for a long time increases the temperature.
According to Wikipedia.org, internal resistance causes the temperatures to rise when the current is drawn from batteries. Though Li-ion batteries have a manganese component, internal resistance cannot be done away with completely.
Nickel-metal hydride and SLA batteries also have significantly high internal resistance. This is basically what causes the temperatures of your battery to rise.
Batteries are very susceptible to overheating because of a few things. The first thing is the speed of your e-scooter. How fast you ride your e-scooter determines the amount of current your motor draws. The faster you go, the more the current that is drawn.
Other factors include terrain, amount of load, and the general temperatures of your surroundings. Park, it is shade where possible to avoid direct sunlight. Hilly roads, cause the motor to draw more current causing overheating. Let’s talk about load in the next section.
Avoid Overloading your e-scooter
Every e-scooter you will ever come across is designed with a weight limit in mind. It does not matter whether it is an e-scooter for adults or kids. If you are an adult, you ought to be particularly careful about your weight limit. Some have a maximum weight limit of 200 lbs. or 90 kg. A good example is the Megawheel S5 scooter. Hiboy S2 on the other hand can support Up to 260 lbs. or 120 kg. according to amazon.com.
Overloading your e-scooter is dangerous. It will not only destroy your battery but also the frame of your e-scooter.
If you are not a layman, you understand the factor of safety is used during the design phase. However, since you do not know how high the SOF is, it is completely important to avoid overloading it.
Carrying more load than your e-scooter is rated may burn out your motor. Additionally, if your motor can handle that, your battery may not. A lot of weight makes your motor draw more current within a very short. As was aforementioned, this causes overheating.
Allow the battery to cool after charging before using it.
Charging your e-scooter forces current into your battery. Because of the internal resistance, the temperature rises. Temperature rises are very significant especially when you are using a faster charger.
It is prudent to give it some time to cool down before going for a ride. Besides, going for a ride at such high temperatures means the battery will soon overheat. In the worst-case scenario, it will burst into flames for the Li-ion battery.
SLA may not burst into flames but will underperform. For e-scooters that use SLA read 3-wheel electric scooters here.
Use the correct charger
Most of the e-scooters come with a standard charger from the manufacturer. However, this one is quite slow. It takes even up to 12 hours of charging. They are rated Between 1.5 A and 2A.
A good example is the Swagtron Swagger Classic 2 which takes up to 5.5 hours to charge. Nonetheless, the standard chargers are the best for the health of your battery.
There are faster chargers. Such are chargers that charge your e-scooter within less than half the time the standard chargers take. Some e-scooters have gone even further to allow dual charging. This is where you use two chargers simultaneously. They are rare though, dual charging e-scooters.
The faster chargers reduce charging time by forcing more current through your battery. If you are to go for a fast charger, buy that which is from your manufacturer. Avoid those offered by third parties. They are hard to verify their quality.
When you are not in a harry, go for the standard charger. They are the best for your battery.
If you buy substandard chargers, they will shorten the life of your battery. It will cause you more in the long run. The dangers of going for chargers that are not from the manufacturer include overcharging or undercharging. Such damages are irreversible. Generic options are always tempting because they are cheaper.
Charge it before storing it for a long period
Charging it before keeping it for a long time is good. This is the best practice when you know you will not use your e-scooter for a long time. All batteries tend to discharge when they are not in use.
When you are not intending to use it in the near future, keep in charged conditions. According to the Unagi scooter manufacturer, charge it periodically even when it is not in use. Charging it fortnightly is recommended. Where it is not applicable, charge it once per month. The battery ought to hold at least 40% of the charge all the time.
Keep your e-scooter in a cool dry environment
You now understand that extreme temperatures are not good for lithium-ion and other batteries. Either low or high temperatures put a lot of strain on the battery. This affects how your battery charge and its ability to hold a charge.
If you regularly expose your battery to extreme temperature conditions, you will shorten its life. Keep your battery some degrees above the freezing point and below 114 ( or 45C). That is the optimum operating temperature for the Li-ion battery.
The sealed lead-acid battery has 25 (or 77) as the optimum operating temperature. According to victronenergy.com, every increase in temperature, will result in reduced battery life by half.
The nickel-metal hydride battery has its optimum operating temperatures ranging between and 40 (or 32 and 104 ). Operating this battery or above the recommended temperatures will only ruin it.
Now your type of battery allows you to know the optimum operating temperatures. If you do not know, it will cause your battery to die sooner than it should.
Avoid undercharging it repeatedly
This is only applicable to the Sealed lead-acid batteries. This means we have to carefully monitor the voltage when charging. The problems your battery experiences when it is undercharged are three.
The first problem is that undercharged battery has some electrolytes on the electrodes. If left for a very long time, sulphation starts to take place. This is a hard coating on the electrodes. It reduces battery capacity. It also takes longer to charge your battery when the hard coating is formed.
The second problem is stratification where the acid and water separate forming layers. The electrolyte can be agitated to break stratification in two ways. The first way is to move or shake the battery. This is not problem in cars or boats. The second way is to recharge it.
Lastly, the cells in your battery do not have equal capacity, even so, have different charging rates. So, interchange them regularly.
Why is it important to learn how to maximize your electric scooter battery?
Your e-scooter life is closely tied to its battery life. Some of the e-scooters may have to be discarded when the battery is no longer useful. For instance, nickel-metal hydride batteries are hard to replace.
One reason why you should learn how to maximize your battery is to maintain its range. When your e-scooter battery deteriorates, the range is what is most affected. The range reduces significantly. Your battery becomes painfully hard to predict the distance you can cover. This can cause inconvenience that will cause you to wince when you think about it.
The second reason is that the charging time is affected. When Li-ion batteries deteriorate, their ions are stuck on the anode. When you overcharge or completely deplete the charge, the rate at which ions get stuck increases. This is will cause a phenomenon called solid electrolyte interface to form on your battery`s anode. This makes your battery less effective.
The solid electrolyte interface is accelerated by three things that you ought to avoid. The first thing is overcharging. Once your battery is charged fully, unplug it. The second thing is depleting your charge completely. Maintain at least 10% of the charge. Lastly, extreme temperatures. Avoid temperatures that cause your battery to overheat or freeze.
The third reason is that you can maintain your E-scooter’s maximum load capacity. Remember your motor is your engine. The motor draws energy from your battery. A bad battery means inadequate current.
If your motor cannot get enough voltage and current from your battery it will not produce enough torque to carry the load. This is dangerous especially if you went for an e-scooter for very heavy people. This, however, will not be noticeable. You will only see that your range has reduced drastically.
Here are tips to properly charge your e-scooter
Prolonging the life span of your e-scooters battery is part of augmenting it. Some of the manufacturers may include them for you. However, for the e-scooters I have come across, they are missing. Unless stated otherwise by the manufacturer, the following guidelines will help you prolong your battery life. They are as follows;
- Turn off your electric scooter first.
- Allow the temperature to fall first before charging it.
- You should connect the charger to any regular power outlet first and then connect to the e-scooter.
- Once the battery is charged to capacity, unplug it immediately. Do not overcharge it.
- Before using e-scooter after charging it, give it time to cool first.
You connect to the power outlet first because it helps protect the charger capacitor. When not connected, the capacitor is at 0V.
Connecting to your battery causes the charge to flow and suddenly charge the capacitor. This creates sparks that destroy your charger. This is how to increase the battery life of your electric scooter.
How long does it to charge an e-scooters battery?
Well, the time it takes to charge your battery varies from one e-scooter to another. However, most of the e-scooters that have Li-ion battery has about 3 hours in average.
Sealed lead-acid batteries take the longest to charge to capacity. Razor power core E-90 is a good example of an e-scooter that uses an SLA battery. It takes up to 12 hours to charge razor core E-90. You cannot use a fast charger; it will destroy your battery cells.
The other factor that determines how long it takes to charge your battery is the condition of the battery. A hot or frozen battery will take a very long time to charge. Make sure to allow the battery to cool first before charging.
Electric scooter lifespan
Going by the charging cycles of your battery, an e-scooter is likely to last for about 2-3 years. This is when you have taken good care of it.
If you happen to buy the upper-tier types such as e-scooters that have fat wheels, they can give up to 5 years of services. They have between 500 and 1000 charge and discharge cycles.
Rideshare electric scooters do not last that long. At best they last up to 6 months. They are rarely taken care of. They are charged using a fast charger. Besides, people who rent them have little to zero knowledge about taken care of them.
Final thoughts on how to maximize your electric scooter’s battery life.
If you follow the above guidelines, you will be sure to extend the battery life of your e-scooter. In summary, use the correct charger, avoid extreme temperatures, keep it in a cool environment, do not deplete the charge completely.
When keeping your e-scooter for a very long time, keep it charged and charge it regularly.
It is recommended that you read the battery information first. There are many chemistries for the three types of batteries discussed above. And each chemistry may require a special type of information.
Besides, we do not know what type of battery the manufacturer will come up with after this article. The knowledge about the type of your battery will help you take care of it properly.
Lastly, ensure you do not use your e-scooter in the rain or places with water. According to the IP rating, not all scooters are waterproof and even so water-resistance. Using an e-scooter in water may fry your electronics. BMS is part of electronics and when destroyed is not capable of protecting your battery.