What Happens if an E-Bike Runs Out of Battery?
June 15, 2023
Electric bikes make commuting a breeze—but what do you do when an e-bike runs out of battery life?
This is a valid question if you’re out in the market for the best moped-style electric bike. Here, we’ll address this exact concern, including tips on how to extend your bike’s battery life. This way, you can enjoy uninterrupted rides and be prepared to handle sudden battery failures on the road.
When in Need, Pedal!
If your e-bike runs out of battery, you can simply continue riding. The motor on the e-bike only assists your pedaling (instead of doing all the work), so you can continue riding as usual without the pedal assist. This is a good thing to know when trying to figure out what is a reasonable commute on an electric bike.
That said, depending on the size and weight of your e-bike and the terrain you’re riding on, pedaling can be challenging after a bike runs out of battery power. After all, the entire function of an e-bike is to provide that pedaling support, so it can be frustrating when your bike runs out of charge in the middle of a ride.
This is why it’s crucial to ensure you always charge your battery before hitting the road. To avoid last-minute hiccups, we recommend connecting your bike’s battery to a reliable and safe power source after each ride so it’s charged and ready for the next one.
How Often Should You Charge an E-Bike Battery?
How often you charge your battery will depend on the type of bike and your riding practices. No matter which model you have, it’s important to charge and store your bike in a way that preserves its battery’s lifespan.
Many new riders believe they should fully charge their battery after each ride, but this is a misconception. E-bike batteries degrade over time, and if you charge your battery to 100% and then leave it in storage, it is likely to degrade faster.
This means if you’re packing your bike away for colder seasons, you should not fully charge it beforehand. Instead, charge it every few weeks to balance the cells. A charge between 30% and 60% should be sufficient to extend the battery’s longevity.
Also, try not to run your battery down to 0% when riding. It’s alright if this happens occasionally, but doing this too often can degrade your battery’s cells faster. Remember, if you take good care of your e-bike battery and charge it properly, it should last two to four years or more.
How to Extend an E-Bike’s Battery Life
Here are two helpful tips to keep your battery in tip-top shape and ensure it holds its charge:
Don’t Travel at Top Speed
While you may be tempted to go zooming at the highest speed your bike allows, it’s recommended to go only as fast as you need to. Traveling at the highest speed can cause your battery to lose power faster. Generally, keeping to a midrange (about 20 miles per hour for most e-bikes) helps reduce the power you use during each ride.
We also recommend monitoring your display screen over the course of your ride. This can help you keep track of your speed and battery life when traveling to ensure you don’t push your motor too hard when it’s not needed.
Avoid High-Heat Exposure
Most electric bikes use lithium batteries to power their motors. While these are convenient, easy to charge, and long-lasting, they tend to be more sensitive to high-heat conditions than lead acid batteries. Your battery may show signs of internal heat damage, which can affect the function and overall performance of your e-bike.
This can also result in a lower battery capacity, meaning that charging will produce less power. Over time, your battery may even refuse to accept any charge, which will necessitate a full battery replacement.
Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to avoid exposing your bike battery to heat—especially if you live in a hot climate and are traveling during the summer. We recommend storing your bike away from direct sunlight in hot weather to negate complications or issues. You can also keep your bike in a climate controlled area when bringing it back from a hot ride.
Keep on Riding
Now that you know how to manage the battery life of an e-bike, it’s time to contact Ride1Up and get rolling. If you’re looking for more helpful e-bike information, make sure to read our post on what the pros and cons for e-bikes are!