Battery question

Paulkaul

New Member
Does anybody here know how long approx. a Rad battery lasts?

I've had a RadCity for close to 1.5 years now but commute daily with it (yes, even in the snow) and have about 3200 miles on there battery.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
If its main use is commuting, why not ride it as long as it has enough capacity to do your daily commute. Then you replace it so you don't get stuck.

I don't commute, but my original first ebike from 2015 has five summers on it, with an indifferent worst practices charging protocol. The battery is down to about 60% of original advertised capacity but that's still more than enough for what I do with that bike.
 

Jed

New Member
I have about 5200 miles on my rover, I usually charge at home and work and it is just barely starting to show some signs of getting weaker.
 

Browneye

Well-Known Member
Every battery is going to be a little different - some will hold up better than others. Best to use it while you can and replace it when it no longer does it's job.

These are all factors in battery capacity degradation:
Type of cells used in the pack
Cell rating used in the pack
Length of time the pack has been in use
Number of charge cycles
Length of time and number of times left in discharge state
Length of time and number of tiems left in full charge state
Average Ah pull when used
Tempurature
Charge rate
Lowest discharge level and how many times it hits it.
Highest charge level and how many times it hits that.

Most people don't worry so much about battery conditioning, they just charge them up after use, leave them 50-80% for storage, and charge with the supplied trickle charger they come with. When they don't work so well anymore - won't hold a charge - then have them rebuilt with new cells, or just buy a new one.

There are companies popping up around the country that will install new cells in your pack to restore it's capacity, or even increase it.
 

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
I have two 2016 Radrovers with the older 11.5ah batteries (also have a 3rd battery as a spare in rotate in/out). I have +3500 miles on each rover. Mostly work commute and do max charge once a day for my 14 mile roundtrip. My range seems to be around 22-26 miles at PAS 3. So far, a stiff headwind has a greater effect on my range compared to age. I was only expecting 3 years with the rover because of the battery. I might go 5 years or more at the same usage level.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
I ride for pleasure only, so many of my rides aren't even 10 miles. So I don't charge after every ride. I let the battery voltage get down to 47-48 volts, then charge fully.

Beyond that, I agree that battery life is going to vary depending on usage. Thinking 3 years should be easy, but they may go 5 or 6.

If you see reduced range, or a battery that's taking an extra long time to charge fully, it might be time to check into it thoroughly with an eye on replacement.
 

Alex M

Well-Known Member
Does anybody here know how long approx. a Rad battery lasts?

I've had a RadCity for close to 1.5 years now but commute daily with it (yes, even in the snow) and have about 3200 miles on there battery.
Short answer: 900-1000 full cycles.

Long answer: Mileage is a proper measure of a motor wear but doesn't directly relate to battery life. Battery life is measured in cycles - shall we say 1000 full cycles for a medium quality pack? If your daily ride is starts from 90% (recommended) and ends with 30%, you use 60% of a full cycle and your battery (hypothetically) will last 4.6 years before capacity drops to 50% or lower. If it still fits your goals with 50% capacity, you can still use it until it doesn't.

It also matters how you charge and store it. Store or use it at high temps and it will die sooner. Charge it over 90% or discharge below 30% and it will die sooner. Charge it at higher current and it will die sooner. It doesn't like giving high output on the ride either. The more you push on throttle or PAS, the sooner it will die, given other conditions equal.

Time is the outer limit of battery life. Battery is a chemical machine, electricity is a by-product. It's slowly degrading since the day one, eating itself from inside, whether it's used or not. Put it in storage for 6 years (charging a little once in a while) and it will lose 50% capacity - irreversibly.

So... Charge to 90-95% max. Don't discharge below 30%. Begin long storage with 50% charge, not 90%, and top up again to 50% after 2-3 months. And be prepared that it will be half-dead (=half capacity lost) after 4-5 years OR SOONER, no matter how much you baby it.
 
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Browneye

Well-Known Member
Target lifespan is 80% capacity at 5 years. Shouldn't be too hard to hit that unless you abuse it.
 
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Alex M

Well-Known Member
To stretch the battery life for 5 years of daily riding, one would have to start from 90% and shut it down when it drops to 35%.
The capacity would likely drop below 80% by the end of those 5 years.

Not sure how many people are running it in 90-35% range. Though, not everybody is riding daily, either.

In any event.... it's about cycles, not mileage.
 

Browneye

Well-Known Member
How can you make such a prediction? I ride about once a week for half the year, more when the weather is better.
I'll bet you my bottom dollar my battery will last 5 years without serious capacity degradation. In fact, it's guaranteed to. 👍

I have not experienced early failure of other li-ion batteries in other appliances either.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
In any event.... it's about cycles, not mileage.
IMHO, it's about a lot more than that. For starters you can add charge rates, discharge rates (e.g. do you pedal?, do you live in an area with a lot of big hills? Or, do you ride in PAS 1 only while pedaling full time?), battery age is a big factor, maybe % of your riding done in below freezing weather, and I'm sure a few more that aren't coming to mind at the moment. That's why it's pretty near impossible to come up with anything conclusive regarding battery life expectancy. There's WAY too many variables!
 

Alex M

Well-Known Member
IMHO, it's about a lot more than that. For starters you can add charge rates, discharge rates (e.g. do you pedal?, do you live in an area with a lot of big hills? Or, do you ride in PAS 1 only while pedaling full time?), battery age is a big factor, maybe % of your riding done in below freezing weather, and I'm sure a few more that aren't coming to mind at the moment.
This, and a few more were mentioned in my post, 5 posts above this one. You are welcome :)

@Browneye: I am curious, what battery manufacturer "guarantees" that it will last 5 years without serious capacity degradation.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
This, and a few more were mentioned in my post, 5 posts above this one. You are welcome :)

@Browneye: I am curious, what battery manufacturer "guarantees" that it will last 5 years without serious capacity degradation.
Guilty as charged Alex. I did not read the entire string prior to replying. Obviously we're on the same page here.... -Al
 

Browneye

Well-Known Member
This, and a few more were mentioned in my post, 5 posts above this one. You are welcome :)

@Browneye: I am curious, what battery manufacturer "guarantees" that it will last 5 years without serious capacity degradation.
Giant FTW.

Edit: It's not as generous as I thought...
I'm surely not losing any sleep over it though. LOL

"Warranty of two years for electronical equipments such as: • RideControl display & buttons • SyncDrive motor • EnergyPak battery; - for 60% of its original nominal capacity at a maximum of 600 charges.. "

I may have been thinking Leaf - they bought a lot of new battery packs under warranty for those owners. Some serious degradation in just a couple of years. It wouldn't have been so bad, but the starting capacity was originally not much more than our ebikes. :rolleyes:
IIRC they cost about $1200. I tried to talk the wife into one, I thought they were a cool little car. It turns out she doesn't drive much so I traded her car in for a Challenger R/T with a 5.7L V8. 🤣 It passes everything but a gas station.

Edit2: Now I distinctly remember my sales guy telling me Giant had a 5 year warranty on the battery. I'll have to ask him about that again.
 
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BlueGenes

New Member
My 2018 Rad City has 3500 miles. I ride it 95% of the time at PAS 2, in town, on flat ground, and rarely use the throttle. Currently, my range is 10-12 miles. I've been kind to the battery, nearly always recharging inside while I work (and storing the bike at home inside as well). I'm rather disappointed the battery has deteriorated so much, so fast. I will replace the battery soon, but will do so with a non-RAD battery.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
2 thoughts. First, you might consider having your battery rebuilt be somebody that does them professionally. 2nd, what kind of temps are you riding in? Cold weather can have quite an impact on battery performance.
 

BlueGenes

New Member
2 thoughts. First, you might consider having your battery rebuilt be somebody that does them professionally. 2nd, what kind of temps are you riding in? Cold weather can have quite an impact on battery performance.
Thanks for the advice. I looked into having the battery rebuilt, but the cost (including shipping) was far more than buying a new battery (from Luna, for example). I'm comfortable with rewiring the bike to accept another battery.
While it's currently cold outside, it is (on average) well above freezing. This time last year, the bike got far better range (over 20).
I'm sure I simply have a defective battery. Unfortunately, it's out of warranty, so it's my loss.
I have contacted RAD about this. They replied that it was impossible I have a defective battery and I must have done something to cause the problem. As a result RAD's unhelpful and accusatory attitude, I no longer recommend them to people who ask me about the bike (it happens a lot!), nor will I buy anything from RAD again. Once bitten, twice shy.......
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Are you leaving the charger on for FULL charge cycles, not trying to follow the 80% thing for instance?

What is your final charge voltage(total)?
 

Browneye

Well-Known Member
Did you try these folks? https://www.fthpower.com/
They're saying less than $300 to replace all the cells in your pack, but they test it and determine if there are bad cells or other problem or mis-match capacity.
IMO it would be worth the $50 or $80 or whatever it is to send the pack for a repair estimate. Also in my opinion, you should be getting more like a 40 mile range.

Here's Court's vid on them:

 
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BlueGenes

New Member
Are you leaving the charger on for FULL charge cycles, not trying to follow the 80% thing for instance?

What is your final charge voltage(total)?
I charge the battery while I work a normal 8-10 hour day. Does RAD expect me to invest in a charger that cuts off at 80%? That doesn't seem right.
 
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