Hunters desire ebikes. While they seem to come from two separate worlds, it’s almost as if they were made for each other.
The lightweight nature, ease of travel, range, lack of sound, and surplus of power are ideal for hunters. They make it easy to get down the trail, hauling you, your gear, and hopefully your take with little to no effort.
Not only that but they are permitted for use in many places where ATVs are prohibited. They make it possible for hunters to go deeper in the woods with no concern of exhaustion, and they keep hunters in the woods long after their joints make it hard to travel on foot.
As with any piece of gear with you, you need to know as much as possible about your ebike. That’s what we’re here to help you with. Our particular focus for this electric bicycle blog will be on batteries.
An ebike battery is the bike’s life source. Without a battery, it’s simply a complicated bicycle that’s over-encumbered by unnecessary gear. It also happens to determine how far your bike will travel on motor power and how fast it can go.
What exactly is an ebike battery?
In some ways, you can think of the battery on an ebike like the fuel tank on an ATV, as they both play a role in how far a vehicle will travel. You can also compare it to the battery as both supply electrical current to the vehicle. That’s where similarities with either end, though.
The battery on your ebike does both of those jobs, while functioning as a defining component of performance. The size of the battery has a direct relation with how powerful the bike is.
Don’t worry. While the battery plays multiple roles and is different from a conventional lead-acid battery, they aren’t hard to understand.
Something that separates ebike batteries from traditional car batteries is that they aren’t just one large battery. It’s the opposite. They are made up of multiple 18650 cells.
Yes, these are the same cells used in your rechargeable flashlight. The difference is that they are wired in series to function as a single unit.
In addition, a balancer inside the battery is also used to ensure that the charge and loads placed on the batteries are equal to promote longer life and better use of stored energy.
What further separates these from car batteries is that they rely on lithium as opposed to lead. The use of lithium does drive up the price some, but it brings several advantages to the table, namely that these are pretty much maintenance-free.
The number one thing you need to be careful of is discharging the batteries completely, as doing so shortens the battery’s lifespan. Thankfully, onboard systems are in place to avoid this.
They work by cutting off supply from the battery when the charge gets too low, leaving just enough to prevent damaging the cells.
Not all eBike batteries are built the same, though, which is why you need to learn even more about them before you invest in these relatively expensive components.
How long do eBike batteries last?
Another advantage that lithium batteries have over their counterparts is that they can supply a superior number of cycles. The cycle of a battery is essentially the number of charges it can provide in its lifetime. If a battery can offer 300 cycles, you can get 300 charges.
Three hundred cycles are about average for a lead-acid battery. Nickle batteries can supply 500, and that’s a significant step up. On the other hand, lithium batteries can provide an average of 1,000 cycles before needing to be replaced.
So long as you practice proper care, eBike batteries can supply around three years of use to the average hunter.
What’s the typical range of eBikes?
Aside from some of thebest electric hunting bike options, most can travel around 20 miles on a single charge. That’s a respectable number for most hunters. There are some variables to take into consideration, though.
The maximum range is generally based on a ride that takes place under perfect conditions. Riders can usually achieve that maximum range by limiting the use of the battery. Furthermore, there’s no consideration of rider and gear weight.
In most cases, those numbers come from riders who aren’t hauling gear. More weight takes more power to overcome, and you can expect the actual range to be a bit lower when you start piling gear on and hopping on your electric bike.
How much does speed affect the longevity of my battery?
There is no internal combustion engine on an eBike. There’s a motor. They aren’t the same, even if the terms motor and engine are used interchangeably.
An engine runs on fuel. So, even if it’s dependent on the battery to supply small amounts of electricity, burning fuel creates motion.
That isn’t the case with a motor as they are entirely reliant on electricity. For all intents and purposes, the battery is your fuel source on electric hunting bikes.
Just like an engine consumes more fuel to reach higher speeds, a motor draws more energy from the battery. As a result, driving faster drains the charge more rapidly than you would at moderate speeds.
How much is a replacement?
You can find cheap eBike batteries for around $250 from aftermarket suppliers. We caution you against going with this option, though. Those cheap batteries are generally of inferior quality and will fail to live up to many of the promises they make.
Going to a manufacturer of the bike is usually the best bet for the average hunter. They can be four times the price but will be built of far better quality than many of the low-dollar suppliers found on the internet.
Of course, there are exceptions to this concept, and you can very well find a decent battery for a bargain. We advise you to talk to a specialist, particularly someone familiar with your exact model, as their knowledge of the market can help you find the battery that fits within your price range.
Technical Aspects Explained: Volts, Amps, and Watts
When you shop for batteries on your own or talk to a specialist, a few key terms are going to appear.
It’s important to know that all of those terms used to describe a battery are essential as they determine whether or not it is compatible with your eBike.
Can’t I just add a bigger battery?
The size of the battery and the specs above correlate with the amount of power it can supply and the range you can obtain. So, shouldn’t you just add a bigger battery? If a little is good, a lot is better. Right?
Not exactly. You might be able to upgrade the battery to a small degree. However, the components of the bike and the batteries match one another.
While your motor is always dependent on amps and voltage, the electronic parts can only handle so much, and going too big will cause severe damage.
It’s not as simple as buying a cheaper bike and combining it with a more capable battery. If you want more range, more power, or a higher top speed, simply invest in the better bike in the first place.
How about recharging? Any advice?
Charging an eBike isn’t the same as charging an ATV or car battery. Mainly because you don’t want to charge them 100%, that sounds odd, but the explanation as to why is pretty simple.
The major weak point of a lithium battery is that the life of each charge gradually gets shorter each time. When you charge them to 100%, the system shuts off.
If you continue to leave it on the charger, as you would if you leave it overnight, that charge will naturally be lower. When it does, the charger kicks back on tops the battery off.
Over several hours, that accumulation of discharges and recharges can harm battery life. The best way to avoid this is simply charging the battery to just under 100% and only charging up when needed.
Finally – how do I get the most out of my eBike battery?
We know. It’s getting hard to hide those hunting expenses from your spouse. But, between firearms, range finders, and packs, there’s quite a bit you need to stretch the truth on.
Unfortunately, eBike batteries will be something you need to sneak in from time to time. Don’t worry. We’ve got a few tips to help you get the most out of each battery.
Tip #1: Keep it charged in storage
We did say only charge the battery when you need to. However, you don’t want to store the battery with any less than 40% of a charge.
During the off-season, check up on it from time to time to make sure it doesn’t go any lower, as letting it go completely dead for extended periods can cause damage.
Tip #2: Take it to the extreme from time to time
We’re about to contradict ourselves by telling you that it’s a good idea to let the battery discharge completely and charge it to 100% every 30-40 charges. This helps to monitor the battery’s condition by ensuring everything is functioning correctly while giving you the advantage of utilizing the battery in its entirety.
Tip #3: Keep away from water
Avoiding deep puddles on an eBike is a must as it’s simply weather-resistant, not waterproof. Furthermore, submerging the battery in water will allow water inside, which can compromise its condition.
Tip #4: Avoid extreme temperatures
You want to keep your batteries away from too much heat or cold. Cold weather drains batteries faster, and rapid discharges are an enemy to lithium batteries.
Heat can be equally bad, if not worse, as too much can lead to overheating the batteries, resulting in excessive wear on the system or catastrophic failure.
Tip #5: Throw it in the cabin
Don’t leave the battery on your eBike while you store it in the bed of your truck. All those vibrations can wreak havoc. Take a few seconds to remove it and store it in the truck’s cabin as the vibrations are at a minimum.
At the end of the day, electric bicycle batteries are batteries. While there are some quirks and things you need to know, you’re not unfamiliar with this territory—batteries power your GPS, your opticals, and even your clothing these days.
Making sure you get the most out of them is as simple as treating them with respect as you would any other.
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