A Battery Standard?

Dunbar

Well-Known Member
Here's a picture of my Cross Current. Looks pretty darn close to the Yukon battery! The housing on the frame, latch etc are identical and also says "Reention" on it.

(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)
 

SuperGoop

Active Member
Here's a picture of my Cross Current. Looks pretty darn close to the Yukon battery! The housing on the frame, latch etc are identical and also says "Reention" on it.

(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)
Can you please repost your picture? It is not showing up for me.
 

Dunbar

Well-Known Member
Here's a direct link. It's on Google Plus which can be problematic on mobile browsers.

(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
I think that you will find more compatibility of components, including the battery, in the under $2k range bikes as they are mostly made in China and are sourced via Alibaba which if you look through there you will see a lot of repetition in the basic designs but with different grade components and frame styles.

I don't think you will see any battery standards implemented within the Specializeds, Haibikes, Bulls, Focus, etc. due to their need to have proprietary systems that they can advertise as better than the other guys. They can't even get together on bb standards!

In the battery world what I am most excited about are improvements in battery chemistry that will provide better c rates and charge rates in a lighter format. Not there yet but people are working on it every day. I do find it funny though that some manufacturers are "doubling" their mileage by adding another battery. Who knew it could be that simple until they came up with the concept?
 

007vsMagua

New Member
I think that you will find more compatibility of components, including the battery, in the under $2k range bikes as they are mostly made in China and are sourced via Alibaba which if you look through there you will see a lot of repetition in the basic designs but with different grade components and frame styles.

I don't think you will see any battery standards implemented within the Specializeds, Haibikes, Bulls, Focus, etc. due to their need to have proprietary systems that they can advertise as better than the other guys. They can't even get together on bb standards!

In the battery world what I am most excited about are improvements in battery chemistry that will provide better c rates and charge rates in a lighter format. Not there yet but people are working on it every day. I do find it funny though that some manufacturers are "doubling" their mileage by adding another battery. Who knew it could be that simple until they came up with the concept?

I think you're right about the current situation.

I still think that the battery form factor should be standardized. There are plenty of other ways to set yourself apart besides the form factor of a battery. Once you lock yourself into a proprietary system your stuck for the life of that generation of battery type, or the life of that company, which is growing and changing quickly. I'm sure the high end companies are thinking about making more money down the road by selling $700.00+ replacement batteries. Once a new generation of battery chemistry comes along it also seems to include a new form factor. I'm sure the next generation of battery chemistry should be better, smaller, and could also fit into a standardized container.

I don't think eBikes should be treated like iPhone's or cordless tools. I'm sure their are plenty of people willing to fork out large sums of cash for the latest and greatest eBike, but I need some confidence when looking at eBikes in the $3,000 to $5,000 range.
 

Tora Harris

Well-Known Member
Hi guys, Yeah so to clear up the mystery... there are basically Cell Suppliers, Case Makers, Packing Companies, BMS companies, Frame Makers and Assembly.

For our U500/U350 products, we designed and develop the case from the ground up.

For the downtube system that we and some others use:

http://reention.com/product/2

The case and downtube are purchased from the Case Maker, in this case the guys over at Reention. They supply the downtube case, the actual downtube, and the connection parts. They can be ordered in 1,2, 3,4 and 5 cell stack lengths, but could be any length as its just an extrusion. Its something like the old school "D-Cell" flashlights that have different lengths. We use the 4 stack for better flexibility in frame design. Some use the 5 stack, but its hard to fit the controller sometimes when its so long. They also make a wider one normally used on the 48V packs.

The downtube is sent to the frame maker to weld onto the rest of the frame. The connection parts are sent to Assembly. The case is sent to the battery Packing company. The battery Packer will order the cells from the Cell Suppliers (Samsung, LG, Sony, Panasonic or lower tier ones depending on your need) they look like beefed up AA sized cells. They tab weld them and attach the BMS that they get from the BMS supplier.

All finished parts sent to Assembly and installed to the bike with the other electrical and mechanical bits.

Reention makes at the moment a decent case and also some "water bottle" type as well that don't look too ugly.

The battery connector we use is the basic positive and negative so it extremely serviceable. You can use any pack on the system that has just the + and - connections.

Some other companies use the ones with multiple pins, the other pins are used to give more accurate info to the controller, lock out the pack and/or other functions.

Its hard to standardize to a high level as the technology is changing a lot. Also there are so many different suppliers and by the time everyone coordinates, the technology is obsolete.
 

_AleX_

New Member
I don't think eBikes should be treated like iPhone's or cordless tools. I'm sure their are plenty of people willing to fork out large sums of cash for the latest and greatest eBike, but I need some confidence when looking at eBikes in the $3,000 to $5,000 range.

^^ This right there!

I'm researching and reading up on e-bikes before making the jump. I'd like to end up as close as possible to a product that suits my needs without too much trial and error and money down the drain in the long run. Therefore, lots of reading and reading is half the fun! :D

This is a good thread!

I'm just trying to figure out where I stand on the wide range of options out there (DIY, factory built, hub drive, mid drive, etc...). (I had seen e-bikes before in bicycle shops years ago, but they looked rather "hacked together", and marketed to older people, in Europe at least). That has changed in the last few years!

And the first thing that struck me indeed is the amount of proprietary designs going around. I mean just look at the pictures cycling on the front page of this website. Aside from the BionX one, all are proprietary. We all know batteries don't have life eternal, and startup bicycle companies even less so! That for me is a serious issue.

To me, bicycles represent durability and sustainability more than any other product out there. They're not throw away toys to be replaced every three years like televisions have become nowadays. Frames in decent city bikes can basically go on forever, you just need to replace the items that wear out (brakes, chains, sprockets, ...) I know people riding around on their grandma's old bike (30+ years) with an old three speed internally gear hub with nothing more than basic maintenance. This to me is very important!

Classic human powered bikes don't need to be standardised too much. As long as axle diameters and wheel sizes are more or less common sizes, you're good to go. You will always be able to keep it running and throw some stuff together that works.

This has now totally changed with electric bikes as the range of possibilities and products is endless. Most manufactures are small compared to other industries, there's many more of them and a bicycle is an "easier" product to be creative with. It's a blank canvas. Everyone wants to market their solution as better than their competitors, which means they will all be slightly different.

The moment you "seat" your battery "in" the down tube it's proprietary. Or like what stromer is doing, completely housed inside the down tube.

I don't know how easy it is to refurbish these battery containers, or the fill them with fresh batteries three years down the road. But I certainly hope that manufacturers will respect their customers enough to support their products as long as possible. Maybe aftermarket companies will appear that can do exactly that.

I have little hope that small manufacturers will be able to develop new products and offer support for end of life products at the same time. Long term support always takes a back seat, there's always more effort put into creating new stuff. You're then basically s*it out of luck. Maybe not established companies like trek, stromer, bulls and the like, but definitely the kickstarter type start-ups. Margins are small and three years down the line the product might be discontinued and the company bust.

It's not about the money either, I can buy these 3-4k e-bikes just fine. I just need some assurance on the sustainability and long term support.

Mid-drives worry me too. Now you see the factory bikes coming out with frames that have very specific cut outs and moulding to receive, for example, a third generation bosch drive. You can bet on it that a fourth generation bosch drive will have a different shape. Will you be able to service a third generation bosch drive 5 years from now? Replace the engine? Will it require a lot of fabricating and tweaking? If so, not good for your average consumer (or your average bike shop). It's even going to be very difficult to revert those bikes back to human powered for extended life time (in case all else fails), just because of that very proprietary custom frame part.

I am still open to plenty of options. DIY or factory bike both. But I'll definitely keep on the look out for long term serviceability of the latter. I guess it's the price to pay for all that nifty integration we like so much. At least the very least, the battery should be externally mounted on the down tube and be user replaceable. A good well designed under stressed mid-drive setup should be able to run for 10 years. As long as they keep the gears available as spare parts. Otherwise it will be DIY with a hub drive I guess.
 
Last edited:

JohnT

Active Member
Long term support is an issue. There are a lot of small companies that won't be around in a few years, and a few larger companies that are bad at stocking replacement parts.

Pretty much any problem can be solved with a little extra money and skill. Pedego HQ is great at keeping parts for old models in stock, but if I had to, I could wire up an aftermarket battery. I don't have the skill to rebuild a battery pack in its original case, but I know people who can.

I was going to say you shouldn't worry too much, that there are professionals that can help you, but to be honest, it's really nice having reliable manufacturer support. If you do have someone custom build or refurbish a pack, be sure to research them thoroughly.
 

Tora Harris

Well-Known Member
We have now moved to the XT60 and XT90 Standard connectors for all our bikes to give the customers the ability to hack their bike if they want. Those connectors are super easy to get hold of these days.

Additionally now we have finished a 78 cell (48V/17.4Ah and 21.0Ah) case that has so much internal space that basically any pack can fit inside. This is a great feature for long term re-build of the pack. The performance is absolutely amazing. Its ready now and arrives in FEB 2017 for CrossCurrent owners to test for $699 (thats $300 and you can keep the stock pack), Its normally $999 alone.

(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)

But to be honest, we found that it is not a huge selling point. Most, 99% of the customers do not have any interest to take apart their e-bikes. Its somewhat difficult to coordinate with the suppliers and just adds complication for what is perceived as a very minor feature. But we did it anyway.




-Tora
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
I like these connectors, and still use Andersons. Have enough XT to convert but if it's not broke...

PF cell prices sure have dropped! Nice build!
 
Last edited:

ace20ri

Member
Hi @Tora Harris , based on the link you provided is it correct to say Juiced bikes use the Dorado -ID-1-PLUS form-factor? If so, I know on your website it states that the batteries are exclusive to Juiced bikes only. But if they are "Reention shells" what prohibits someone from buying one of your batteries and using it on another ebike with the same downtube interface? Hypothetically speaking of course ;)

The 21AH battery looks amazing especially if it is based on the same form factor as the Dorado-ID-1-PLUS.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Down tube interface? You mean water bottle bracket mounts? I can't see how they aren't compatible with other bies but are with the same charger i use. Sounds like sales double speak.
 
Last edited:

ace20ri

Member
Except, possibly, mechanically they would be compatible with other bikes.
Yes exactly! I would be interested in the 17.4Ah since that would fit on my eBike that uses the same Reention form-factor. The 21Ah seems too tall for the location of the downtube on my eBike and would interfere with the angled top tube.
 

Solom01

Well-Known Member
Not trying to be negative, but a part of this issue is consumer ignorance which is normal with a new category. I would expect that many ebike buyers are first time buyers who aren't aware of this issue. Part of the problem (and again no offense meant) are reviews that go on and on about the beauty and stealth factor of batteries that are in the frame or otherwise non-standard and how "clean" a bike looks with integrated controllers and so forth. I wish reviews would do a better job of pointing out that when the battery or controller dies - and they do die, replacing some of these is either impossible or, at the very least, takes someone with a fair amount of technical knowledge. I bought my first ebike partly based on a review that praised the in-frame battery - now I basically have a piece of junk since the manufacturer makes no replacement parts (and many times the manufacturer won't even be be business). This is even worse with ebikes were many bike shops won't work on a brand that they don't sell. You can't expect the manufacturer to care or help because it's in their self interest to lock you into their proprietary system. The only market force that would make a difference is if customers refused to buy bikes that weren't built with easy to replace modules and rewarded the companies that made them. When I purchased my second ebike I purposely selected the SS-Glide precisely because the review complained about how the battery was kind of generic and the bms controller was a separate module. People who buy electric cars at least are concerned about the price and availability of the batteries. Part of the problem is that companies like Apple have brainwashed people into believing that it makes sense to buy items where a critical part with a short life span has been made non-user replaceable. Besides being ecologically abhorrent, as someone pointed out that may make some sense in a product that costs less and where technological progress makes it quickly obsolete but in a bike which could last for years it's absurd. You can think of ebikes as being a "green" solution but if they end up in a landfill in a few years because the battery has died and can't be replaced it would have been greener to drive a car. And yes, it's possible to ride an ebike manually after the electrical system is gone - but considering a lot of these bikes weigh 50 pounds or more it's not very pleasant to do so.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
One argument against generic batteries and connectors is that the present situation makes for a very inefficient market for stolen e-bikes. If you steal an e-bike you probably have to buy a new charger and might have to buy a battery from the manufacturer. That makes stealing and fencing an e-bike a lot more hassle (and possibly gives you a way to recover your bike if the manufacturer asks for the serial number of the bike when someone orders a new battery).
 

ace20ri

Member
Bicycles are such a niche market, ebikes specifically so I do not see a "standard" on the horizon any time soon. I see positives and negatives for it so I'm really not for or against the idea. Considering the portable electronics industry as a data point has not gone that route and probably never will. Laptops, cell phones, 2-Way radios, GPS units and video recording devices to name a few examples all have their own proprietary battery solution. The nice thing those industries have is an established market with plenty of aftermarket suppliers that provide replacement batteries. The current ebike industry (remember ebikes are not new, they've been around since the 1890's) is still in it's "infancy" stage so I expect more and more aftermarket solutions to start popping up as it grows and becomes more main stream. Until then, ebike owners have to choose wisely on the invested ECO system similar to the EV market currently (Tesla with it's supercharger network vs the rest with sporadically placed third party destination only chargers). Both ebike and EV owners will have to have patience as the industries mature similar to MTB and ICE vehicle markets.

One thing to note is as the automotive industry keeps moving towards electrification, cell cost will continue to go down and capacity will continue to increase so ebikes will naturally benefit (this will help the aftermarket industry develop/mature).