“Is the rechargeable battery on my ebike safe?”
We have been getting asked this question from customers and would like to present some facts around this increasingly popular technology, and most importantly, a safe handling guide.
Rechargeable batteries are here to stay
Lithium ion batteries are a powerful technology that have given us handy cordless tools and devices from mobile phones and laptops, to power drills, vacuum cleaners and now electric bikes.
This is an increasingly common power source that is here to stay, so it’s best to learn how to safely live with it.
What type of rechargeable battery do I have?
Some older devices used to use nickel metal hydride batteries. These have now been completely superseded by Lithium batteries so we will restrict our discussion to these.
Reid Cycles ebikes and e scooters use lith ium-ion batteries. You may see some devices in your home using lithium-polymer batteries, but the information below on care and optimal performance is the same.
How do I get the best lifetime performance from my rechargeable lithium battery?
As technology has developed over the years, a lot of myths and misconceptions have remained about best practices for battery handling. Here are the facts:
1. Don’t leave your battery on charge
The most common error is leaving lithium batteries plugged in after they are fully charged. Doing this regularly will quickly and permanently reduce the life of your battery. Get into the habit of removing it from charge once full.
2. Partial charges are best
Completely draining and then fully charging a li-ion battery puts it under a bit of strain each time. Although it means you’ll be charging more frequently, the ideal range to promote optimal battery life is keeping it between 20-80% of charge.
3. Keep your rechargeable battery at room temperature
Li-ion batteries don’t like going outside the 0-40 celsius range. This means don’t leave it in a baking hot car or outside if there is snow forecast. If your electric bike/scooter battery does get outside this temperature range, let it return to room temperature before plugging it into your charger.
4. Use the official charger that came with the battery
The chargers we supply with your electric bike or scooter are designed to supply the ideal current for that particular battery.
Using a cheap online battery charger you found on ebay from overseas will void your warranty and could cause damage to your battery or trigger a malfunction. If you need a new charger - please contact Customer Support.
5. Battery Hazard Reduction
It's important to take steps to reduce the risk of a fire hazard associated with your electric bike battery. This can include avoiding overcharging the battery, and avoiding puncturing or dropping the battery, as this can cause it to malfunction. Regular inspection of the battery for any signs of wear and tear is imperative for good battery safety. If you are ever involved in a crash that has caused damage to your bike we highly recommend bringing in your bike to one of our locations to be inspected.
6. Battery Handling and Transport
When transporting your E-bike, it's important to properly secure the battery to avoid damage. Models like the Pulse, Adventure and Vintage E-Bikes we recommend removing the battery prior to transport. Models with frame integrated batteries like the Blacktop, KADe and Sphinx are safe to leave connected during transport. Additionally, when handling the battery, make sure to avoid dropping it or exposing it to impact, as this can cause it to malfunction.
Keeping your electric bike battery clean is important for safety and performance. Wipe down the battery regularly with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris, and avoid using any harsh chemicals that may damage the surface or terminals the battery. Ensure to dry the battery and surrounding areas correctly leaving no moisture around the terminals.
8. Operation Conditions
When using your E-bike, it's important to take into consideration the environment in which you're riding. Although Reid bikes are built for all conditions, extreme temperatures can have a negative effect on battery performance. Extremely hot temperatures can lead to the battery limiting performance to reduce any damage to the battery. On the other end extremely cold temperatures can severely limit the range of Lithium-ion batteries due to the chemical reaction slowing down. Additionally, exposing your battery to water can cause additional corrosion. All our Electric bikes feature sealed battery units that are completely waterproof. E-Bikes like our new Sphinx and Blacktop feature Frame integrated batteries designed to further protect against knocks and bumps while reducing the chance of water ingress.
Rechargeable Battery Safety Tips
As with any technology, there is always a risk if improperly handled.
Any lithium-ion batteries in any device (including your laptop and mobile phone) can overheat and spark if improperly used. Protect yourself from undue fire risk and follow these steps for all rechargeable battery devices around your home including your electric micromobility ebikes and scooters:
- Clear the immediate area around the recharging device of combustibles and accelerants - just as a safety precaution. We also advise charging the battery on a hard surface to aid in heat dissipation.
- Don’t charge the battery in direct sunlight or next to a source of heat.
- Don’t buy an electric bike from a cheap overseas supplier without first checking the battery and charger meet Australian (or your local) standards. The safest choice is buying from a reputable Australian company who is responsible for ensuring these stringent safety standards are met.
- Buying second hand rechargeable devices can carry risk as you don’t know how the battery and charger have been treated in the past.
And finally - rechargeable batteries are not to be feared. Arm yourself with some basic knowledge and take a few simple steps to ensure a safe home full of amazing technology!