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How Long Do Electric Bike Batteries Last?

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On average, an electric bike battery lasts 2-5 years. They can last as long as 8 years. Lithium-ion e-bike batteries last for 500-1000 charge cycles before they need to be replaced. That’s around 25,000 miles in most cases. You can extend the life of your battery by only charging between 20% and 80%. A new e-bike battery costs $500-$900 on average.

Electric bike batteries don’t last forever. Over time, the performance begins to degrade. When your battery starts getting old, your e-bike’s range will decrease. Eventually, you’ll have to replace the battery. Because e-bike batteries are so expensive, many riders are concerned about their longevity. This guide answers the question, How long do e-bike batteries last? I’ll cover battery types, charge cycles, battery quality, battery cost, and more. I’ll also explain how to prolong the life of your e-bike battery.

I’ve been riding e-bikes for the past decade. In that time, I’ve gone through around 4 batteries on 2 different e-bikes. In this guide, I’ll share my experience.

An ebike with a downtube mounted battery
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Table of Contents

How Long Do E-Bike Batteries Last Before They Need To Be Replaced?

Electric bike batteries last for 2-5 years or 500-1000 charging cycles. That equates to around 20,000-25,000 miles on most bikes.

Exactly how long your battery will last depends on a number of factors including:

  • The quality of the battery cells- Batteries made with high-quality cells last longer than batteries made from lower-quality cells. The best ebike batteries contain cells made by Samsung, Panasonic, or LG. Most major ebike manufacturers use high-quality batteries.
  • The type of battery- Lithium-ion batteries last longer than nickel or lead-acid batteries. These days, most e-bikes come with lithium-ion batteries. Most modern lithium batteries last 800-1000 cycles.
  • Your charging habits- If you regularly discharge your battery completely or leave it on the charger for too long, the capacity can decline.
  • How the battery is stored- Storing your battery in extremely hot conditions can also reduce its capacity over time. You should make sure the battery is above freezing when charging. Of course, you don’t want your battery to get wet.
  • The size of your battery- A larger battery will last longer than a smaller battery because it won’t need to be charged as frequently. For example, if you have a 300Wh battery, you might need to charge it every day. If you have a 500Wh battery, you might need to charge it every other day. You cycle the battery fewer times so it will last longer.
  • How often you ride your bike- If you ride frequently, your battery will need to be replaced sooner because you’ll go through more charge cycles. If you commute to work every day, you’ll have to charge your battery frequently. If you only ride once a week during the summer, you’ll go through fewer charge cycles and the battery will last longer.

It’s important to note that batteries degrade over time, even when they’re not used. If you store your e-bike for a year without touching it, the range will decline.

For more info on e-bike longevity, check out my guide: How Long Do Electric Bikes Last?

An electric bike battery

Why Charge Cycles are Important

Measuring battery life in years isn’t very accurate because some people ride their e-bike more than others. Charge cycles is the most accurate way to measure how long an e-bike battery will last.

Charge cycles are defined as the number of full charges that a battery can last before it degrades to a point where it is no longer usable. The more charge cycles a battery goes through, the less capacity it will have. Generally, a battery is considered degraded once it drops to 70% of its original capacity.

A charge cycle is a full charge from 0% to 100% of your battery’s capacity. If you go for a ride and come back home with 50% battery capacity remaining then charge up to 100%, that counts as half of a charge cycle.

After a certain number of charge cycles, the battery life will degrade and you will need to replace the battery.

An electric bicycle with a rear rack mounted battery

How to Extend the Life of Your E-Bike Battery

1. Store Your E-bike Battery In a Place That Doesn’t Get Too Hot or Too Cold

To maximize the life of your ebike battery, store it in a cool and dry place when it’s not in use. Ideally, you should store your battery between 40° F (5° C) and 68° F (20° C). Storing an ebike battery at any temperature above 86°F (30°C) can cause the battery to degrade faster. Particularly if it’s fully charged.

Avoid storing your battery someplace that gets extremely hot or extremely cold. For example, you shouldn’t store your battery in your car on a hot day. You also shouldn’t store your battery outside during the cold winter months. You should also never store your battery in direct sunlight.

It’s important to note that you can use your battery in extreme weather. It’s fine to ride your e-bike in below-freezing conditions or 100 degree heat. E-bikes are designed to be ridden in these conditions. Your range may decrease when riding in extreme cold.

2. Store the Battery Partially Charged

If you’re not going to use your e-bike for a while, make sure the battery has a partial charge before you put it away. Ideally, the battery should be stored while charged at 40% to 80% of its capacity. Avoid storing the battery empty or fully charged.

Storing a fully charged battery can reduce its recoverable capacity. According to this interesting article, a battery stored with a 100% charge at 25℃ will have an 80% capacity after one year. A battery stored with a 40% charge at 25℃ will have 96% of its capacity after one year.

You should also avoid storing the battery while empty. This is because batteries slowly discharge over time, even when not in use. If the voltage drops below a certain level, it can cause damage to the cells. This damage is permanent. This will decrease the capacity.

Before putting your e-bike into storage, charge the battery then take the bike for a ride so the battery is charged at 40-80%. While storing the battery over the winter, it’s a good idea to check it every month or two to make sure the charge doesn’t drop too low. If the battery level has dropped, put it on the charger for a few minutes to bring it back into the 40-80% range.

3. Avoid Fully Discharging Your E-Bike Battery Regularly

Regularly discharging your battery to 0% will cause the battery to degrade faster. It’s better to regularly top up your battery rather than waiting for it to drop to 0%. Running your battery all the way down is bad for the cells. When you return home from a ride, throw your battery on the charger for a little while.

According to this article, if you discharge your battery from 100% (100% to 0%) every time, it will only last around 300 charge cycles. If you only discharge your battery 40% (from 100% to 60%) it will last around 1000 charge cycles. If you discharge your battery only 20% (from 80% to 60%), it may last for 2000 charge cycles. Ideally, you should keep your battery within 20%-80% of its capacity.

This doesn’t mean that you always have to charge your battery when it reaches 40-60%. You can fully discharge your battery once in a while while you’re going for a long ride. It’s no big deal.

If you take lots of short rides, you don’t have to charge your battery after every ride. You can charge it every few rides instead. Wait for the battery to drop to the 40-60% range then charge it. This may be better for the battery because the battery will spend less time charged at 100% capacity.

It’s also important to note that lithium-ion batteries don’t have a ‘memory’ like some other battery chemistries. You can regularly top up your battery. Older battery technologies, such as nickel-cadmium batteries, can develop a memory if they’re only partially discharged before recharging.

4. Don’t Leave Your Battery Plugged in For Long Periods of Time

Avoid overcharging your battery. When it reaches 100%, unplug it. Don’t leave it plugged in all the time. It can cause the battery to overheat, which is bad for the battery

Leaving the battery plugged in can also cause waste charge cycles. If you leave the battery plugged in for a long time, the battery will charge to full. It will then stop charging automatically. Over time, it will lose a bit of charge and then start charging again. This constant charging and discharging causes wear and tear. Leaving your battery plugged in can shorten your battery’s lifespan.

Ebike batteries take a long time to charge. Most take 4-6 hours to charge from 0% to 100%. You might want to charge overnight. This is not ideal but it is okay if you do it once in a while.

If you want to charge your battery overnight, plug it in right before you go to bed then take it off the charger first thing when you wake up. This way, it will only be on the charger for an extra hour or so. You should only charge overnight if your battery was completely drained.

If you accidentally leave your ebike battery plugged in for a few hours too long, it’s usually not a big deal. Most modern chargers are programmed to stop charging when the battery reaches 100%. Some don’t.

If you’re worried about overcharging your battery, you can use a power strip with an automatic timer that can shut the charger off after a certain amount of time.

A woman riding an electric folding bike

5. Always Use a Manufacturer-Approved Charger

Different e-bike batteries require different chargers. Oftentimes, the charger is proprietary. You have to buy it from the e-bike manufacturer.

Using a non-approved charger can damage your battery. It could deliver too much power and cause overheating, which can reduce your battery’s lifespan. It could also cause a short circuit. In a worst-case scenario, using the wrong charger could cause a fire. Using the wrong charger is a fire hazard.

You should also never use a fast charger to charge your e-bike battery, even if it is approved by the manufacturer. Fast chargers will reduce the charge time. The problem is that they put unnecessary wear and tear on the battery. If you fast charge, your battery won’t last as long.

6. Avoid Charging the Battery When It’s Too Hot or Too cold

Charging your battery while it’s below freezing can damage the cells and reduce the lifespan of your battery. After riding your e-bike in below-freezing temperatures, bring the battery inside and let it warm up to room temperature before you charge it.

It is fine to ride your e-bike in below-freezing temperatures. This doesn’t harm the battery. You will notice a significant drop in range and power when you ride in extremely cold conditions.

You can reduce the impact of cold weather by storing your bike inside while you’re not riding. The battery will stay warm while it’s in use. This will give you a bit more power and range while riding in cold weather.

You should also avoid charging your battery when it’s extremely hot. It is not safe to charge your e-bike in temperatures above 113°F (45°C). You should also never charge your battery in direct sunlight. The battery can overheat and potentially catch fire. If your battery is too hot move it into the shade or bring it indoors to cool down before you charge it.

7. Avoid Getting Your Battery Wet

Ebike batteries are water-resistant. They are not waterproof. You need to be careful when riding your electric bike in wet conditions.

Water can ruin your battery. Moisture could cause your battery to short-circuit. It can also cause your battery to corrode. This can cause the battery to fail prematurely.

Most e-bikes are designed to be ridden in the rain. If some water splashes on your e-bike battery, it will be okay. You should never submerge your e-bike battery in water. This means no stream crossings.

You should also be careful when cleaning your electric bike. Never hose off an e-bike. Pressure from the hose can push water into the battery and other electronic components and cause damage. To wash your battery, just wipe it down with a damp cloth.

8. Ride Efficiently

Riding efficiently can prolong the life of your battery. If you ride smoothly, use the lower levels of pedal assist, and carry as little weight as possible, you’ll achieve more range. The more range you get, the less often you’ll have to charge your battery.

When you charge less frequently, the battery will last longer because you won’t go through as many charge cycles. Riding smoothly also creates less heat. The battery won’t suffer as much wear and tear.

If you ride inefficiently and have to charge your bike’s battery every day, it might only last two years. If you ride efficiently and only have to charge every other day, it might last 3 years.

9. Remove the Battery When Transporting Your Ebike

Transporting an e-bike can cause some harsh shocks and vibrations. A hard hit could damage the battery. If it rains, the battery could also get wet while you’re transporting the bike.

To be safe, it’s best to remove the battery during transit. As an added benefit, the bike will be lighter and easier to move around when the battery is not in it.

When you remove the battery, it’s a good idea to cover the pins. This way, they won’t get wet and corrode. You can buy battery terminal covers or make your own.

10. Check Your Battery’s Warranty

Many e-bike batteries come with a 2 year warranty from the manufacturer. If the battery starts discharging faster than expected or if it malfunctions in some way, you can get a replacement for free during the warranty period.

If your current battery stops working, check to see if you have a warranty before buying a replacement. This can save you a lot of money.

An ebike on a forest road

Different Types of Electric Bike Batteries

  • Lithium-Ion Batteries- Lithium-ion is most common type of battery used in e-bikes. These batteries have a higher energy density than other types of batteries. They are also lighter and have a low self-discharge rate. In addition, lithium batteries also have a longer lifespan than most other types of batteries. A quality lithium-ion battery can last for up to 1000 charge cycles. Lithium-ion batteries also recharge quickly. Other types of lithium batteries also exist. Lithium polymer (or LiPo) batteries are becoming increasingly common. They are lightweight and offer excellent energy density and performance. They are more expensive than lithium-ion.
  • Nickel Batteries– Nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries are an older battery technology. They offer around the same energy density as lithium batteries. Nickel batteries are cheaper than lithium because they have a simpler design. The main drawback of nickel batteries is that they are slow to recharge. These batteries also do not perform well in extremely cold or hot conditions. Nickel batteries also self-discharge faster than lithium batteries. In addition, they don’t last as long. On average, a nickel battery can survive about 500 charge cycles.
  • Lead Acid Batteries- Lead-acid batteries are not commonly used on e-bikes but they are available. Their biggest advantage is that they are much cheaper than other types of batteries. Lead acid batteries are not as efficient as lithium batteries. They are much heavier due to their lower energy density. They are also far less powerful than lithium batteries. Lead acid batteries also don’t last nearly as long as lithium. They need to be replaced after around 300 charge cycles.
A Bosch electric bike battery

When Should You Replace an E-bike Battery?

You should replace your battery when your e-bike’s range starts to decrease. For example, maybe when the bike was new, you got 50 miles of range. If you’re only getting 35 miles of range now, it’s time to consider replacing the battery. Once the battery’s capacity drops below 70% of its original capacity, it’s considered degraded. You should consider replacing it.

A decrease in performance is another sign that it’s time to replace the battery. For example, your bike doesn’t feel as powerful as it used to. Maybe you can’t make it up a hill that you used to ride up. This means you may need a replacement battery. Sometimes, the voltage will also fluctuate when riding.

It’s also important to keep an eye on the physical condition of your battery. If there is visible damage to the battery itself, such as corrosion or swelling, you should replace it for safety reasons. A damaged e-bike battery is a fire hazard.

An electric bike with a large seat tube mounted battery

How Many Hours Does an E-bike Battery Last?

A battery on an electric bike can last anywhere from 2 to 8 hours, depending on the battery size, the terrain you’re riding on, the rider weight, your speed, the outside temperature, and the level of pedal assist you’re using. While riding on flat terrain, a battery may last 8 hours. While riding steep hills, at higher speeds, in cold weather, or with a heavy load, You might only get a couple of hours of ride time.

If an electric bike battery is capable of 500-1000 charge cycles and you get an average of 4 hours of ride time per charge, that means a battery will last 2000-4000 hours. E-bike battery longevity usually isn’t measured in hours because the hours you get out of each charge varies so much.

Ebike Battery Replacement Cost

On average, a new lithium-ion e-bike battery costs $500-$900 depending on the size and the quality. E-bike batteries are expensive. The battery alone can account for about 1/3 of the value of the bike. Smaller batteries with fewer cells are cheaper.


An ebike with a seat tube mounted battery

My Experience

I usually get about 3 years out of an e-bike battery. I ride my bike most days bus not every day. To maximize the life of my batteries, I am careful about how I charge. I usually run my battery down to about 20-30% then charge it to 80%. I don’t leave it on the charger overnight. To prevent the battery from getting too hot or too cold, I also store my e-bike indoors. I know that’s not an option for everybody.

If you care for your battery properly, most e-bike batteries last anywhere from three to five years depending on usage. Battery longevity can vary greatly depending on the terrain you ride, your weight, the quality of your battery, and how well you take care of your battery. Some batteries only last a couple of years. With heavy use or improper charging, your battery might not even last that long.

To get the most out of your battery, follow the charging instructions from your manufacturer. Use the proper charger. Avoid allowing your battery to get too hot or cold. Don’t run your battery down to zero percent. If you take good care of your electric bike’s battery, it will last for thousands of miles.

Do you ride an electric bicycle? Share your experience with ebike batteries in the comments below!

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