Everything you need to know about electric scooter batteries
The battery is one of the most important parts of an electric scooter. Think of it as its fuel, something that provides energy for your riding. Without electric scooter batteries, your electric scooter will have nowhere to go.
Unfortunately, most electric scooter batteries are expensive, so it is not easy to replace them. The best way is to maximize the performance of the battery and take good care of it to extend its service life.
The good news is that there are some simple ways to keep your battery well maintained and work in the best possible way. Some common small problems with scooter batteries can even be solved at home. Read on to learn more about battery maintenance for electric scooters.
Types of batteries used in electric scooters
Lithium-ion batteries are the most commonly used batteries in electric scooters today. That’s because lithium-ion batteries actually have many battery chemistries. Some of them are lithium manganate, lithium iron phosphate, lithium cobalt oxide and so on.
But many electric scooters are equipped with lithium-ion batteries because of their high energy density. Energy density is one of the energy that a battery can store according to its weight.
Lithium-ion batteries are also known for their long service life because they can maintain their capacity over multiple charging cycles.
There are two types of lithium manganese batteries, INR and NMC. Most electric scooters use INR, which is one of the safest battery chemistries available today. It is also known for its high storage capacity and output current.
The manganese in the battery helps keep the temperature low. Even with high output current, the risk of overheating is small.
Lead-acid batteries are one of the most affordable batteries used today because it is an old chemical substance. You can usually find these in cars and large vehicles. But some cheap scooters still have this.
Although the price is cheap, the disadvantage of lead-acid batteries is their poor energy density. Lithium-ion batteries can store ten times more energy than lead acid.
Things to pay attention to for electric scooter batteries
Voltage and voltage dip
First of all, you must remember that most electric scooters are equipped with battery packs. The battery pack consists of thousands of lithium-ion batteries, designed as a structure and maintained by a battery management system (BMS). Each individual battery in the battery pack is operated by volts.
Voltage dips are something that every battery will experience. This may be caused by different factors such as battery chemistry and temperature. Sometimes adding a load to the battery will cause the voltage to drop, which may indicate that you are losing battery capacity.
When you ride long distances, voltage drops may also occur because your battery needs to keep up with the discharge rate.
This is nothing to worry about, because it will resolve itself eventually. For example, removing the load from the scooter will restore the voltage to its true level. If you want to ride a long distance, let the battery rest for a period of time to restore it to the true voltage level.
The proper battery capacity of an electric scooter depends on the type of riding you need. Generally, entry-level and commuter scooters have lower battery capacity because they are slower and have a shorter range. A 250Wh battery is usually sufficient for short commutes.
More powerful commuter scooters and extreme electric scooters require thousands of watt-hours to achieve optimal performance because they travel faster and have significantly longer cruising ranges.
The battery brand will affect the performance of the scooter because the brand battery has better quality control. Notable brands include LG, Samsung, Dynavolt and Panasonic.
General-purpose batteries are mainly manufactured in China and are usually used in commuter scooters with lower budgets and power. Although they will work well, the quality is not always on par with their brand counterparts.
Some companies, such as Xiaomi and Segway, use ordinary Chinese batteries but have good quality control measures that can help you relax. This means that even without branded batteries, they can still provide excellent and reliable performance.
Battery Management System (BMS)
The battery management system (BMS) helps maintain the battery pack and controls its charging and discharging. According to the situation, the system prevents unnecessary situations such as overcharging and overheating by cutting off or turning on the power of the battery.
Common electric scooter battery problems and how to solve this problem
There are several reasons why your scooter may not charge. Although this may be a battery problem, it is sometimes as simple as replacing the charger. The following are common scenarios that need attention:
Make sure you are using the charger that came with the scooter. If you have more than one scooter in your home, it is common to confuse the charger. Not all electric scooters, even if they are from the same brand, use the same type of charger.
To avoid confusion, please clearly mark your charger and use it only with the correct electric scooter.
Plug the charger into the socket and check if the light is on. If there is no green light, please take out the voltmeter or multimeter and test the voltage output of the charger. If the voltage reading is 0 or lower than the expected voltage of the battery, you need to buy a new one.
Open the deck and check for any leaks in the battery. If there is no visible problem, please use a voltmeter to test the battery voltage. If the voltage is low, replace the battery.
If you notice that the charger lights up green faster than before, your battery may be aging. Continue to fully charge the battery (change to set aside time manually). Then, test your scooter to see if it can still reach its maximum speed and maximum range.
You must remember that as batteries age, they also lose voltage. Therefore, if your battery cannot provide enough power to power your scooter, it’s time to replace it.
How to use a voltmeter to check the charging status
When you think your battery is not at its best performance, you can actually check it at home before repairing it. A simple check with a voltmeter can tell you if the battery needs to be replaced.
An easy way is to charge your scooter for about 7 to 8 hours or until it is fully charged (100%). Then turn off your scooter and make sure to secure it. If you want to put it on top of something so that it does not move when you open it, please do so.
Then, take your voltmeter and set it to DC Volts V or 200 VDC. Connect the probe to the battery pack terminal and read the voltage.
Turn on the scooter, press the accelerator a few times, and read the voltage again. You will want your scooter to display a rated voltage equal to or close to the manufacturer’s voltage. If it is less than 2V or more, you may need to replace the battery.
If you need an intuitive step-by-step guide to help you use the voltmeter, there are many videos on YouTube that can help you.
Frequently asked questions about electric scooter batteries
How long can the battery last?
Generally speaking, the battery of an electric scooter can be used for one to three years. However, in fact, the service life of the battery is affected by many factors.
Some things that can affect battery life are:
How do you charge the battery
How do you ride
Your weight or the load often on the scooter
How often do you maintain your electric scooter
How often do you use the electric scooter
Where you park or store your electric scooter
Whether you are riding on a rainy day or on a wet road
Rough riding, improper storage, improper charging, and failure to maintain your scooter can significantly shorten the battery life. But the good news is that modern BMS helps keep your battery in top operating condition and can even extend battery life.
In addition, conscious riding practice can also go a long way in ensuring a longer battery life.
How many times can I charge the battery in a day?
This largely depends on your battery capacity, charging time and riding time. If you have a short-distance scooter and need to travel long distances, you need to charge the scooter more than once a day. If you can use the remaining battery power to travel to and from the destination of your choice, you can reduce the number of recharges of the remote scooter.
But as a general guide, it’s a good habit to charge the electric scooter after every ride, so you can make sure you have enough juice during the trip. Just make sure to let your scooter cool down for a few minutes before charging.
Can the battery be overcharged?
Yes they can. Although most batteries now have a battery management system to prevent overheating, sometimes it may malfunction. Overcharging the battery can cause death and can be dangerous. At best, your battery may just swell and not work. In the worst case, it may explode.
Modern chargers have an automatic shutdown function to minimize the risk of overcharging. But this is still not a foolproof plan.
The best way to prevent this is to stick to the manufacturer’s charging time. It is also a good idea to keep an eye on your scooter while charging. If you find that the charging is very hot, please unplug it and let it cool down.
How to extend battery life?
Generally speaking, electric scooter batteries are durable and require little maintenance. But you cannot change the fact that extending battery life depends largely on how you use the scooter and how to maintain it. Don’t worry, most of them are easy to do.
Keep in mind the following points to help extend battery life:
Before you ride for the first time, charge your scooter once (make sure it reaches 100%). This helps to set the battery level.
Store or park your electric scooter in a cool (but not icy) place, such as a garage or house in winter. It is also beneficial to cover it with a tarp in cold weather.
When the battery is fully charged, unplug it from the charger to avoid overheating and overcharging.
Do not directly charge the electric scooter after riding. Let it cool for a few minutes.
Do not let the battery drain completely. Charge frequently.
If you have not used the electric scooter for a long time, please use a soft charger for the battery to avoid overcharging.
Don’t ride on the puddles, don’t ride when it’s raining
Can you replace the battery of the electric scooter? Are they worth the price?
Yes, they can be replaced. But electric scooters can be expensive. Their value depends on the battery model (brand and ease of finding) you are looking for. Some batteries are marked with high prices, so checking a brand new scooter may be better than replacing the battery.
Useful electric scooter battery tips
Charge the battery regularly
A good habit is to fully charge the battery of the electric scooter. This way, you won’t get annoying surprises because it stops moving on the way to and from work. It is best to charge the battery to 100% after each ride.
Regular charging can also extend the life of the battery, because it has less impact on the charging cycle. When you completely drain the battery and then recharge it to full capacity, a charging cycle occurs. The number of charging cycles of an electric scooter battery is limited. By not draining the battery, you can keep it fully charged for a long time.
Charge at the right time
You should know when to charge the battery. Charging directly after a short ride is no problem. But if you have been riding for more than 30 minutes, please let your electric scooter cool down for half an hour before charging.
If you ride a lot of bikes during the day, please don’t let the battery discharge for too long. Make sure to charge immediately after cooling down.
Use original charger
The universal charger is one of the most tempting accessories you can buy, but it’s best not to give in. Although it seems to be a cheaper option, you never know how compatible they are with your battery. If your battery needs to be replaced, this may result in more costs.
According to experience, even if the price is expensive, it is best to buy the original charger. Guaranteed, they are more affordable than new batteries.
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