best battery use

Gordon71

Member
Mine is a 2020 Rad Rover step through. The way I ride is to put the bike in PAS3 most of the time and bump it up to 4&5 on certain hills. My usual ride is 18 miles or less. At the end of 18 miles I have 3 bars still showing. I've been charging the battery after each ride unless it's been just a short errand. Now I'm assuming that if I have 3 bars left after an 18 mile ride that I should be able to easily do another 18 miles. The question is should I do the two rides before charging or continue to charge after each ride or does it really make any difference at all. Thanks.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Trusting that bar graph is like trusting a gas gauge on a car. You're rolling the dice on a walk home until you do some testing while getting used to it.

That said, riding a Rover in PAS 3 for 18 miles, with occasional use of 4&5, I'm not sure there's going to be another 18 miles left in it. I would want to try several shorter rides totalling 18 miles, after that initial 18 mile run, to see if you can get 2 runs on it between charges.
 

Gordon71

Member
Trusting that bar graph is like trusting a gas gauge on a car. You're rolling the dice on a walk home until you do some testing while getting used to it.

That said, riding a Rover in PAS 3 for 18 miles, with occasional use of 4&5, I'm not sure there's going to be another 18 miles left in it. I would want to try several shorter rides totalling 18 miles, after that initial 18 mile run, to see if you can get 2 runs on it between charges.
Thanks for that but what I really want to know is does it make any difference regarding the life of the battery. If it doesn't then I have no problem charging after every run. If, on the other hand, charging more often shortens battery life to any degree then I might think about putting more miles between charges.
 

radtxmatt

New Member
If convenient, you might charge to 100% immediately before you ride and then leave in the partially-charged state until charging before your next ride. Lithium batteries degrade more quickly if kept in a fully-charged state. I cant’t say how much difference that would ultimately make on the lifespan of the battery.
 
My usual ride is 18 miles or less. At the end of 18 miles I have 3 bars still showing.
2019 radrover here. In my measured opinion (measured with voltmeter), the bar display on the radrover is an optimistic lying dog. My daily commute is 10 miles roundtrip with one 400 foot climb&descent each way, PAS 3 the whole way, maybe 10 stops forced from lights.

I know the bike is good for max 35 miles on PAS 3, with the last 3-5 miles being on lower wattage than I'd like. Yet, after my first completed 10 mile day, the bar meter reverts to 100% as soon as I stop drawing power. Now, I know this is bullshit, because I've just used up the best (highest voltage) 29% of the range. After the 2nd 10 miles (for 20 miles total), I sometimes see 80% charge on the bar meter, even though I know I'm touching the last third of the range. Mind you, I'm measuring 47.5 to 48.1 volts on the battery after the 2nd ride. Meanwhile I know from experience that when the bar meter shows a steady 40% I'd better be within 5 miles of home or car.

Getting 36 miles on PAS 3 with more hills than me will likely be a stretch. Stop using higher PAS on climbs, or sub in PAS2 at 1/6th power (yes, that's how they programmed it) on some of the flats. It is at least a good workout. Also, ride the bike without power for a couple miles (you can put it on PAS0) so you'll know what to expect if/when you run out of juice. Then try to stretch to two 18 mile round trips on one charge.
 

Gordon71

Member
If convenient, you might charge to 100% immediately before you ride and then leave in the partially-charged state until charging before your next ride. Lithium batteries degrade more quickly if kept in a fully-charged state. I cant’t say how much difference that would ultimately make on the lifespan of the battery.
Thank you. That's a good idea and one that I actually recently started doing. My rides are mid to late afternoon and in the past I would put it on the charger as soon as I got home. The problem with that was occasionally I would forget and it would be on the charger all night. Now the charger does shut off when fully charged but I don't think it's a great idea to leave it connected for over 12 hours so I changed to putting it on the charger after breakfast instead and it would be ready to go in the afternoon. I think I will continue that routine. If it's obvious in the morning that the weather will not allow my afternoon ride then I'll just wait another day to charge.
 

Gordon71

Member
2019 radrover here. In my measured opinion (measured with voltmeter), the bar display on the radrover is an optimistic lying dog. My daily commute is 10 miles roundtrip with one 400 foot climb&descent each way, PAS 3 the whole way, maybe 10 stops forced from lights.

I know the bike is good for max 35 miles on PAS 3, with the last 3-5 miles being on lower wattage than I'd like. Yet, after my first completed 10 mile day, the bar meter reverts to 100% as soon as I stop drawing power. Now, I know this is bullshit, because I've just used up the best (highest voltage) 29% of the range. After the 2nd 10 miles (for 20 miles total), I sometimes see 80% charge on the bar meter, even though I know I'm touching the last third of the range. Mind you, I'm measuring 47.5 to 48.1 volts on the battery after the 2nd ride. Meanwhile I know from experience that when the bar meter shows a steady 40% I'd better be within 5 miles of home or car.

Getting 36 miles on PAS 3 with more hills than me will likely be a stretch. Stop using higher PAS on climbs, or sub in PAS2 at 1/6th power (yes, that's how they programmed it) on some of the flats. It is at least a good workout. Also, ride the bike without power for a couple miles (you can put it on PAS0) so you'll know what to expect if/when you run out of juice. Then try to stretch to two 18 mile round trips on one charge.
Seems like sound advice. Thanks.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Gordon, I would just add that a lot of us suck as riders when first climbing aboard our first e-bikes. It takes a while to coordinate speed, PAS level, correct gear, conditions, etc. in a manner where we start making advertised battery mileage. After a couple hundred miles or more, it's something you don't think about as much. After a couple of thousand miles, I STILL enjoy riding the bike in a manner that uses the minimum amount of battery. That's me though....

To answer your charging question, there's nothing written in stone, and a LOT of "best guesses" regarding best practices. Myself, I wouldn't be overly concerned about overnight charges, or charging the battery fully if you suspect your next ride is:

1. Going to be soon (within 24 hours)
2. Leaving you wondering if you'll make it on the existing charge.

-Al
 

Gordon71

Member
Gordon, I would just add that a lot of us suck as riders when first climbing aboard our first e-bikes. It takes a while to coordinate speed, PAS level, correct gear, conditions, etc. in a manner where we start making advertised battery mileage. After a couple hundred miles or more, it's something you don't think about as much. After a couple of thousand miles, I STILL enjoy riding the bike in a manner that uses the minimum amount of battery. That's me though....

To answer your charging question, there's nothing written in stone, and a LOT of "best guesses" regarding best practices. Myself, I wouldn't be overly concerned about overnight charges, or charging the battery fully if you suspect your next ride is:

1. Going to be soon (within 24 hours)
2. Leaving you wondering if you'll make it on the existing charge.

-Al
Thanks for the great advice. I've only got a little over 600 miles on the bike so far. I've played around with various ways of riding and found that 3 is my go to level most of the time. I even find that I'm using the gears a bit more effectively so I'm actually not bumping up to 4 or 5 as often as I used to. I expect you're right regarding charging practices. Charging in the morning before my expected ride seems like a good way to go as I'll have the latest weather and how I feel at my disposal. If I decide not to ride that day for whatever reason I'll put off fully charging for another day.
 
Now the charger does shut off when fully charged but I don't think it's a great idea to leave it connected for over 12 hours
The manual says to disconnect as soon as charging is complete, but once a month to leave the charger connected for an extra six hours for cell balancing. I have been following these practices and after 2400 miles my battery still reads 54.0x volts after full charge, which is pretty good (when new was 54.2 volts).

One last piece of advice for milking range: when you're coasting towards an intersection where you will have to stop, and you cycle the pedals a couple times to gear down, pull a brake lever a little bit, so that you don't waste a kick of juice to the motor.
 

Gordon71

Member
The other day I did a 9 mile ride and decided not to charge. Today I did my usual 18 miles. I observed the gauge during the final few miles. It read 2 bars most of the time and sometimes 3 when using no power. I bumped the pas to 5 on the last hill to my house and it briefly dropped to one bar and was reading 2 bars when I was done. I'm guessing that means maybe 20-25% battery remaining? In the future I'll charge after most rides a little before I know I'm going out. I wonder if these gauges are designed at all like a car in that, when they read empty ,there is still some fuel left.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
The other day I did a 9 mile ride and decided not to charge. Today I did my usual 18 miles. I observed the gauge during the final few miles. It read 2 bars most of the time and sometimes 3 when using no power. I bumped the pas to 5 on the last hill to my house and it briefly dropped to one bar and was reading 2 bars when I was done. I'm guessing that means maybe 20-25% battery remaining? In the future I'll charge after most rides a little before I know I'm going out. I wonder if these gauges are designed at all like a car in that, when they read empty ,there is still some fuel left.
There's still some left, BUT, heavy throttle application might just shut the whole kit an caboodle down. When the system reads that the voltage is at the low voltage cut off point, the controller or battery management system will turn the power off to protect the battery from being damaged by dangerously low voltage (or over discharge). This would NOT be handy if you were trying to cross a busy road for instance....

If that does happen to you, you'll need to shut the system down, then on again to do a reset. That's time to be on your way home for sure! You will likely make it as long as you avoid heavy use of the throttle.

For that reason, and battery best practices, 3 bars is time to head for the barn, hoping that by time you get to 2 bars, it won't be long until you charge it up.
 

Gordon71

Member
The manual says to disconnect as soon as charging is complete, but once a month to leave the charger connected for an extra six hours for cell balancing. I have been following these practices and after 2400 miles my battery still reads 54.0x volts after full charge, which is pretty good (when new was 54.2 volts).

One last piece of advice for milking range: when you're coasting towards an intersection where you will have to stop, and you cycle the pedals a couple times to gear down, pull a brake lever a little bit, so that you don't waste a kick of juice to the motor.
There's still some left, BUT, heavy throttle application might just shut the whole kit an caboodle down. When the system reads that the voltage is at the low voltage cut off point, the controller or battery management system will turn the power off to protect the battery from being damaged by dangerously low voltage (or over discharge). This would NOT be handy if you were trying to cross a busy road for instance....

If that does happen to you, you'll need to shut the system down, then on again to do a reset. That's time to be on your way home for sure! You will likely make it as long as you avoid heavy use of the throttle.

For that reason, and battery best practices, 3 bars is time to head for the barn, hoping that by time you get to 2 bars, it won't be long until you charge it up.
Sounds reasonable. I only use my throttle to get going from a dead stop which means I rarely use it at all. Where I live there is no such thing as a busy road. I do of course come to stop signs but it's rare (1 time out of 10) that I actually have to stop.
 
I wonder if these gauges are designed at all like a car in that, when they read empty ,there is still some fuel left.
The opposite. There is still charge in the battery, but the battery management system (BMS) shuts down the battery when the voltage is around 42V. The battery shutdown comes quicker than you expect: I did it once just to see what would happen. At the end it was giving me just 110W on PAS3, the last 20% bar was blinking, and it shut off hard. Power cycling the bike did nothing, so I rode the two blocks home the hard way. BTW, when you lose the battery you also lose your built in lights.

Like I said above, steady 40% showing if you've got 5+ miles to go is time to think about lower PAS or shortening your route.
 

Gordon71

Member
The opposite. There is still charge in the battery, but the battery management system (BMS) shuts down the battery when the voltage is around 42V. The battery shutdown comes quicker than you expect: I did it once just to see what would happen. At the end it was giving me just 110W on PAS3, the last 20% bar was blinking, and it shut off hard. Power cycling the bike did nothing, so I rode the two blocks home the hard way. BTW, when you lose the battery you also lose your built in lights.

Like I said above, steady 40% showing if you've got 5+ miles to go is time to think about lower PAS or shortening your route.
That's good information. Thanks. I don't think I'll let things get that close.
 

Gordon71

Member
As a final post to this thread I just finished charging my battery after two rides totaling 27 miles. It took 5.5 hours. According to the manual that is how long it should take on average to charge after 30 miles. Time to go for a ride. Thank you to those that responded.
 
It took 5.5 hours. According to the manual that is how long it should take on average to charge after 30 miles.
I never get claimed charging times. Usually it's about 7.5 to 8.5 hours for a more than half-discharged battery (2 amp charger). But I'm not really complaining, while the charge times are longer than advertised and the power remaining display is rather optimistic, the bike delivers where it counts, on advertised range. I do get the 25 mile minimum using PAS4&5, and got 55 (not the claimed 45) miles on PAS2. You just have to learn the bike and use the odometer as your remaining range meter. Also, after last night's balancing charge I'm reading 54.33 volts on the battery. It'll be a little extra frisky Monday.
 

Kyogiro

Member
I don't have issues getting 40 km (24 miles) on almost PAS5 on my 2020 Rhino (EU Rover) on mostly flat roads and in Paris. Because of the traffic, I'm not always pushing the bike when I know I'm gonna stop in a few meters (red light, traffic ahead, pedestrians, etc...).

I guess, in my city riding style, I'm close to 50 km (27-28 miles).
 

BKing

Member
The battery meter is just that, it’s more of a voltage meter. This is why it can noticeably dip when near the end of a bar and throttle is maxed out. The voltage drops under heavy load. It’s not a mileage meter. To make it a mileage meter they would have to incorporate some fancy software with calculations and testing beyond what a typical coder can do. The first bar has the most distance because it has the most voltage. The controller decides how much current to deliver and the wattage displayed is that current times the available voltage. The sag in power you see starting somewhere in the third bar is due to the voltage being lower. They might have also limited the available current with software during late bar 3, 2 and 1 so the advertised range could be higher and for some help to get you back home.