Electric scooters are a very affordable and simple means of transportation. They barely require maintenance unlike larger vehicles like cars and motorcycles. However, for electric scooters, the battery is very important as it is the fuel tank, without which the scooter does not move.
What are the electric scooter batteries made of? How can you make them last as long as possible?
The electric scooter battery is similar in composition and function to the battery found in larger vehicles, like Tesla cars.
In terms of chemical composition, the most popular battery is Lithium-ion based. This means the cathode is mainly made of Lithium. When charging, the lithium ions migrate through the electrolyte towards the anode. The movement displaces electrons and results in electric charging. When the battery powers the scooter, the process described above is reversed.
Apart from providing the automotive force that propels the scooter, the battery also powers the lights, electric brakes, control panel display, and other electronic components.
What Type Of Battery Is The Best for an e-scooter?
Lithium-ion is the favourite because of its excellent energy density and long useful life. The battery is made up of multiple cells in what is technically the battery pack. Modern electric scooters have a battery management system (BMS) that monitors the performance and state of the battery.
Battery capacity is measured in watt-hours (Wh). The more battery the manufacturer squeezes into a scooter, the farther it can go. However, increasing the battery capacity results in an increase in the weight of the scooter, which is not ideal.
The battery in an electric scooter is one of the most expensive components, therefore you have very good reasons to maintain it so you do not have to replace it too often. To cut costs, some scooter makers use lead-acid batteries, more common in cheaper scooters meant for children, but rarely used anymore for adult escooters due to the large weight.
An average electric scooter has a 250 Wh battery that is good enough for 10 miles on a single charge at 15 miles per hour. Popular manufacturers include Samsung, LG, and Panasonic, all of whom also make batteries for electric cars.
Now that you know about battery chemistry, you probably wonder how long a battery can last in a scooter.
How Long Do Electric Scooter Batteries Last?
Electric scooters can be charged and used many times. They can withstand between 300 and 500 charge and discharge cycles before showing signs of capacity degradation, i.e., the battery continues to function, but with less range per charge. You can use a battery for between two and four years or up to 5,000 miles.
It is possible to get 1000 charging cycles out of high-quality batteries, but such batteries cost more.
How Can I Test My Electric Scooter Battery?
With the right tools, you can check the health of your battery. Get a multimeter or a Voltmeter, screwdriver, and some wrenches. Charge the scooter for about 7 to 8 hours and immobilize it so it can’t move even when the motor starts. Connect the multimeter probes to the battery pack and read off the voltage. Then turn on the scooter and engage the throttle a couple of times then read the voltage while the throttle is engaged. If the two readings have a difference of more than 2V, then the battery has some fault and needs to be replaced.
You can replace the faulty battery if you wish. However, electric scooter battery prices are not cheap. A 250 Wh pack may cost more than 100 pounds. The best strategy is to make your battery last as long as possible.
How To Make An Electric Scooter Battery Last Longer?
There is much you can do to extend the life of your battery. Bad riding and charging habits literally kill your scooter’s battery. Below are some practices to observe to preserve the health of your battery.
Avoid Completely Depleting Your Battery
Try to charge your electric scooter as often as possible, rather than waiting for the battery level to hit zero percent before plugging in. It is advisable to maintain the level of charge at above 40 percent and try to charge fully before each ride.
To be able to maintain the recommended range, you must know your scooter’s range so that you plan your movement accordingly. This will help you to avoid draining the battery completely. Follow the voltage limit specified by the manufacturer.
Avoid Using Your Scooter In Extreme Temperatures
Lithium-ion batteries have a temperature range in which they work optimally. High or low temperatures affect the chemistry negatively. If the temperature is too cold, your battery will take longer to charge.
Adopt Battery-Friendly Riding Habits
When riding about town on your electric scooter, try to accelerate slowly, rather than rapid speed jumps. Also, do not come to a halt suddenly but let it be gradual. Avoid hilly terrains and high speeds in your commute as much as possible. These habits will help you get more range out of your battery and also preserve its health over its lifetime.
Overcharging Is Bad For Your Battery
Always disconnect when the battery is fully charged. Avoid charging more than the manufacturer specifies, info which can be obtained from the documentation. If your scooter takes unusually long to charge, your battery may be defective and in need of a replacement.
Wait For The Battery To Cool Down Before Charging
It is bad practice to plug in your scooter immediately after returning from a ride, especially a long one when the heat has built up in your scooter. This is because charging the battery at high temperatures damages it. Give it about half an hour before starting to charge. Likewise, do not charge your scooter under direct sunlight because the temperature could rise.
Always Use Electric Scooter Battery Charger Specified By The Manufacturer
Aftermarket chargers may be cheaper and easier to get, however, you should steer clear of them as they are often of poor quality and do not meet the manufacturer’s specifications. They may under-charge or over-charge your battery, causing permanent damage. If your charger needs a replacement, procure one from the manufacturer, rather than a generic brand. You may contact reputable scooter retailers to be sure you are buying the original electric scooter battery charger.
Storing Your Scooter
If you need to pack up your scooter for a while, store it with at least 40 percent battery, preferably fully charged, rather than at zero percent. Charge the battery at least once in 30 days even if you are not taking it anywhere.
Electric scooter batteries can last well when it is properly cared for. Interestingly, the steps to preserve battery health are easy to incorporate into daily electric scooter usage.