Is a Bigger E-Bike Battery Always Better?

Updated on July 27, 2022

It is generally assumed that since bigger electric bike batteries usually come with larger capacities, bikers should go for bigger ones. However, depending on the specific functions you prefer for your bike to provide, this may not always be the case. Most riders in the United States are more likely to ride for short periods. Factors like power, weight, durability, and cost are all important considerations in picking a battery size.

In this article, we will be discussing how size matters when it comes to your e-bike battery.

What are the key performance indicators of an electric bike battery?

The key performance indicators of e-bike batteries include:

  • Voltage: It determines how fast electricity flows.
  • Amps: A measurement of the current that is being drawn. Voltage is comparable to water pressure, and amperage to the rate at which water moves through a pipe.
  • Watt is measured by multiplying the amps and volts.
  • Amp-hour normally ranges from 10 to 20ah, which is a measurement of how many set number of Amps a battery can maintain for one hour. Or, twice the amps for half the time, or half for twice the time.
  • Watt-hour is a much more precise method for determining how much usable energy is contained in a battery. A pack with a capacity of 1000 watts-hours can supply 1000 watts for one hour, 2000 watts for thirty minutes, 5000 watts for two hours, etc. Most electric bicycles do not consume power at a constant level, so this does not directly translate into range.

According to Wikipedia, e-bike batteries are typically motor-powered up to 16 to 20 mph and long-range electric bicycle varieties can often travel more than 28 mph. However, it is easy to see how a larger battery capacity can deliver lower power levels for longer periods resulting in further travel on a single charge.

Charging an ebike battery in bicycle service.

A larger battery does not always give a greater range

How far can an e-bike go? Think of a bike that could operate on both 36 and 48 volts and that, when operated at full throttle on 48 volts, travels more quickly. It’ll take more energy to go faster.

Therefore, even if the 48v battery has an additional 120wh when compared to the 36v pack, you won’t always have more range if you travel faster. But aside from that, you should expect a bike to have a greater range the more Wh it has.

When choosing what pack to purchase, three factors should be taken into account: size, weight, and shape. Once mounted on your bike, it must fit snugly, shouldn’t be excessively heavy, and look excellent. While a pack is unlikely to have all the optimal components, some are essential and others are not as important.

A massive pack is the most typical error that e-bikers commit. This is terrific until you need to fit it onto your e-bike, or worse, have to lug it the stairs or lift it onto a rack!

The more advanced the technology, the more battery performance

Innovations are currently being made in battery production to optimize battery performance while reducing size. One of the examples of this case is in comparing Lead Acid battery packs to lithium iron phosphate batteries. One lead acid battery with 100ah capacity weighs 61.7lbs, at 12.8 by 8.46 by 6.61inches. However, lithium batteries of the same capacity weigh 22.9lbs at 12 by 6.8 by 8.5 inches, making them far more compact and lightweight.

According to Wikipedia, some of the less expensive e-bikes used bulky lead acid batteries, whereas newer models generally used NiMH, NiCd, and/or Li-ion batteries, which offered lighter, denser capacity batteries. Performance varies; however, in general, there is an increase in range and speed with the latter battery types. The lead acid battery can handle approximately 2000 cycles at a depth-of-discharge (DOD) of 50 percent. The lithium-ion battery can handle 6000 cycles at the same DOD level. This indicates that the lithium-ion battery will last almost three times as long!

Size matters

Having a pack with twice as much energy as you require could seem like a smart idea so that you never run out on even the longest rides. However, this can be a mistake if you don’t factor in what you need first. As stated on Fancy Apple, your bike decisions should suit your needs. Most of the time, what most of us need is a lightweight e-bike. The majority of riders rarely go more than 20 miles without stopping and are more likely to take many rides during the day. On those short runs, it can be more practical to charge between stops before leaving again with a full charge. 

An e-bike with a smaller battery pack is lighter, cheaper, and far more fun to ride. It also charges rapidly and gives you all the range you need, even if it doesn’t entirely do so in one charge. However, if your needs require heavy lifting, greater capacity packs are available that can handle the tougher duties. In these cases, you might also need more powerful bikes to pair with them.

Quality and production technologies are more important than size.

Beyond the size your battery is, you need to be able to trust the quality. This is what decides the durability, which is what matters. Having to frequently change batteries preterm can be frustrating, so you should be able to accurately predict the lifespan of the battery. Also, the battery itself should be able to stay as stable as possible after being charged and discharged. This can be guaranteed if the batteries are purchased from a reliable vendor who also offers a warranty on their products.

Conclusion

If you truly want to go deep into the topic of suitable electric bike battery packs, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration. In general, as a buyer, the most important thing for you to keep in mind is what kind of battery pack will be best suited to your riding needs. You also need to consider where to buy it from. To do this you will need to do your research and make sure the seller is reputable and the packs are legally shipped UN-certified battery packs. And finally, you need to understand what to look out for when searching for the perfect battery pack.

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