Electric scooters are popular, fun to ride, affordable, and can be used for commuting and running errands across the city. Many electric scooters are compact and can give you the last mile connectivity to reach college or workplace.
The battery is a major part of the electric scooter and it can last longer if you charge it correctly and take good care of it.
In this article we shall discuss the following topics:
You can compare the batteries of electric scooters in terms of their capacity, weight, efficiency, life, safety, and cost. Two types of batteries are used in electric scooters, few low-cost models use lead-acid batteries, however, the majority of the electric scooters today use lithium-ion batteries.
A battery’s capacity is the amount of charge that can be stored in it and lithium-ion batteries have a higher capacity per unit volume than lead-acid batteries. For the same battery capacity, a lithium-ion battery is much lighter than a lead-acid battery.
The efficiency (ratio of the amount of charge entering the battery during charging and amount of charge discharged during its use) of a lithium-ion battery is more than 90% compared to the 65% of lead-acid battery (considering same capacity and working condition).
Lithium batteries have higher life cycles compared to lead-acid batteries. However, the cost of a lithium-ion battery is drastically higher than a lead-acid battery.
Let us see how the lithium-ion battery works– A lithium-ion battery has electrodes (lithium cobalt oxide and graphite) placed in an electrolyte and separated by a membrane. A lithium-ion battery works by releasing lithium ions.
When the battery is in the charged condition the lithium ions are with graphite. When the battery is used the graphite loses lithium ions and it moves to the lithium cobalt oxide, and this happens throughout the time of usage (discharge).
Now when the battery is connected to an electric source for charging, the reverse process happens, meaning, the lithium ions move back to graphite and the battery is ready for use.
The battery is a major and critical part of an electrical scooter and the rider should take special care to maintain it. You can enhance the performance and life of the scooter battery by following some important tips below.
Study your owner’s manual and if it recommends a charging procedure you should follow the same. If there is no mention of the charging procedure, you can just make a note of the charging time.
The present-day electric scooters come with a built-in charging port on the scooter and there is no need to remove the battery during charging.
Your electric scooter may have a large battery and have the provision to charge it with two chargers simultaneously. The procedure will be the same as explained above.
The life span of an electric scooter battery is described in terms of cycles. One cycle means “charging the battery to the recommended level (as advised by the manufacturer) and discharging it to the minimum permissible level”.
Lead-acid batteries have a normal life span of 200 to 300 cycles and lithium-ion batteries have a normal life span of 400 cycles and above.
Does the battery become dead after the said number of cycles? The answer is no.
The capacity of the lead-acid battery may come down to 50% after the said number of cycles and the capacity of a lithium-ion battery may come down to 80% after the said number of cycles. This means that you can continue to use the battery and ride your electric scooter albeit at reduced efficiency and range.
However, the degradation of the battery may be faster after this stage (please see https://qnovo.com/what-happens-after-80-percent/ for more information).
Also, the life span of the battery mentioned in your owner’s manual is considering an average user. So, if you take extra care of your battery, the number of charging cycles can be improved.
Considering all the above factors the life span of a lithium-ion battery used in your electric scooter can be anywhere between 15 months to 30 months or more. In terms of miles, it can be more than 7000 miles.
|1||Should I fully discharge my electric scooter battery before putting it for charging?|
|No, you can optimize the life span of the lithium-ion battery by using it between 30% and 80% of its capacity. So, go for charging when the battery is near its 30% capacity.|
|2||How long it takes to charge an electric scooter battery?|
|The charging time can be anywhere between 2 and 12 hours or more and it depends on the battery capacity and the charger design. Some manufacturers provide dual chargers for simultaneous use.
If you know the capacity of your electric scooter battery in ampere-hours (Ah) and the output current of the battery charger, there are tables available on the internet to find out the estimated charging time (to charge from 0% to 100%).
|3||The red light on my battery charger turns green before the recommended charging time (owner’s manual), should I stop at the green light or follow the recommended time?|
|You can take out the charger when the light turns green. However, if you want to have a maximum battery range, you may charge it for the recommended time. However, doing this every time may affect the battery life.|
|4||I lost my charger received along with the scooter, can I buy the equivalent one from the aftermarket?|
|No. The charger supplied by the manufacturer is optimized for the battery fitted in your electric scooter. Buying the charger from the aftermarket can harm the battery. The best option is to purchase a new charger from your scooter manufacturer.|
|5||Why should I charge the battery partially (40% to 50%) before I store it for long periods?|
|Even during the storage period the cells of the battery will continue to lose charge albeit very slowly. If the battery is stored fully charged, the rate of losing the charge can be fast. And, if the electric scooter is stored without partially charging it, the battery will get degraded and turn unstable/hazardous.|
|6||How long my electric scooter battery charge last?|
|Typically it should last for the maximum range (distance traveled in miles) given in the owner’s manual. However, the range given is maximum, and it may come down depending on the rider’s weight, gradient on the road, battery condition, etc.|
|7||Should I charge my electric scooter after every ride?|
|It depends on the charge left in your battery after the ride. If the charge left is between 30% and 80% and if you are confident of not depleting it below 30% during your next ride, then do not charge it. However, if you need more charge for your next ride, charging is the option. Depleting your battery to below 30% is not good for its life.|
From our discussion in the above paragraphs, we can conclude that we can enhance the efficiency and life span of the electric scooter battery by taking a little extra care of the battery. It will be beneficial for the rider to do it since the replacement of the battery is a costly affair.