E3 Dash Battery No Longer Holding Optimal Charge

wwjd

Member
I have a 2014 E3 Dash that I purchased in August of 2014. Has anyone experienced seeing only 4 bars after charging their battery. I use to get about 18 miles using assist levels 1-3, more if just using level 1. But now I get only around 13 miles. I have charged this battery over the past year only once a week, or a little over 52 times. I would not think that this battery would be in need of replacing after only one year of service. It has just surpassed its one year warranty. And at several hundred dollars a pop it isn’t something that I am too keen on dishing out every year. It seems to me that I should be getting much more life out of this battery than I have. These things are just too expensive for this kind of thing to keep happening. I have an extra battery, as I like to go on 40 to 50 mile trips. But this weaker battery that originally came with the bike really limits me now from doing that.

I was just wondering if anyone else was experiencing this problem. If it is only peculiar to me, then maybe I will buy another replacement battery eventually. But if not, then I am a little weary of pulling the trigger and spending several hundred dollars on another battery.
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
@wwjd you probably have a problem with some cells within the battery itself. Oddly enough, we're processing a warranty claim for a similar issue on a 2014 Dash right now. Your battery is most likely still under warranty so get hold of the shop you bought it from and they can run the diags for you to see what the actual battery capacity is and to check the charger's output. I was able to run the diags via the console with the charger plugged into the wall to provide power, since the battery voltage was so low that the bike would power up for about 2 seconds and then go into an error mode. Of course, we got an invalid reading on the throttle test since the controller doesn't allow the throttle to engage with the charger plugged in. :) Currie Tech is good at handling these issues promptly. Let me know via PM if you need additional help. Been a Currie dealer for 12 years.

Here's the link for the 2014 Dash diags. Please follow the directions exactly. If your battery can't power you through these tests, then use my suggestion and plug in the charger to the battery & outlet and do this. Remember on any test where the rear wheel may turn, lift that wheel OFF the Ground so you don't rip any wires. BTW, the 2015/16 tests are not going to be the same, so this link is for your year model Dash.
 

wwjd

Member
Ann M.,

Thanks for your response. The shop where I bought my bike is inept at handling these types of issues. They just sell the bikes. They don't service them and are not up to snuff on how to fix them. And being that they are fifty miles away, I just don't deal with them anymore. And besides, the last time I took my bike to them to repair a faulty BB sensor, they damaged the replacement one as well. So I was able to get one from Currie and installed it myself to my complete satisfaction. I was also able to change out my rear motor at that time as well. Now it's my battery. I'll be honest, I am a little weary of all of this. But if I could get a replacement battery at no cost to me, I would sure appreciate it. It is now about three months past the warranty. By the way, what does "PM" stand for?
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
The Dash battery may have a longer warranty, @wwjd , so it's worth contacting Currie Tech again. Sounds like you're a pretty competent tech so try and do the Diagnostics from my link above before you call. PM means personal or private message and you access that at the upper right corner after logging in; mouse over the Inbox and choose start a new conversation. You put your @wwjd & my @Ann M. and write below that just like a post but only the folks invited to the conversation see it, not the whole forum!
 

Steve Ryu

Member
Ann M.,

Thanks for your response. The shop where I bought my bike is inept at handling these types of issues. They just sell the bikes. They don't service them and are not up to snuff on how to fix them. And being that they are fifty miles away, I just don't deal with them anymore. And besides, the last time I took my bike to them to repair a faulty BB sensor, they damaged the replacement one as well. So I was able to get one from Currie and installed it myself to my complete satisfaction. I was also able to change out my rear motor at that time as well. Now it's my battery. I'll be honest, I am a little weary of all of this. But if I could get a replacement battery at no cost to me, I would sure appreciate it. It is now about three months past the warranty. By the way, what does "PM" stand for?

@wwjd keep in mind if weather has changed, this will impact overall range. The range on the LCD unfortunately throws off a lot of riders as many have reported going from 17mi range to 15 than 13. Part of the reason for this is that 5% of the battery is used for the BMS, so the rider only really uses 95% of the battery (part of the reason why the AH meter in the diagnostic mode was taken out between 2014 and 2015 models). I have had a couple of customers come in for the same reason and have fully load tested the batteries as well as ran a battery condition test in which all the batteries passed to be good. Nevertheless, despite being a couple of months out, if there is something up with your battery, the warranty techs are Currie are normally lenient.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
The range on the LCD unfortunately throws off a lot of riders as many have reported going from 17mi range to 15 than 13. Part of the reason for this is that 5% of the battery is used for the BMS, so the rider only really uses 95% of the battery (part of the reason why the AH meter in the diagnostic mode was taken out between 2014 and 2015 models).

If you simply displayed the voltage and the amp hours consumed on a display, or the main display, everything would be clear. If the the OP was getting 10 amp hours a year ago, and he's now getting, say, 8 amp hours, that might be a problem. If it's now 6 amp hours, it is a problem. The amps used by the BMS are irrelevant. If an owner has a 10 amp hour battery, an amp hour meter will simply show the amps that are consumed over time, without regard for whether it is the BMS, the lights, or a satellite dish. So the LCD 'throws a lot of rider', but you keep it? Why? You removed 'real' information from the system? I bought a $260 Lifepo battery from China, rated 15 ah. I ride with an amp hour meter and voltmeter. I know what the battery really holds (around 15 ah, actually) and I'd know if I was losing capacity, month after month. I can watch the voltage drop, and know when the battery is getting run down during a ride. I can see exactly how many amp hours I have consumed, and how much is left. Why use 'bars' when you could have a precise measurement, anyway?

meter.JPG

Wouldn't it be nice if the original poster knew, a year ago, he had exactly xx amp hours in his battery. Wouldn't it be nice to know, right now, the same capacity? Yeah, it's cold, and maybe that has an effect, but mostly it would be nice to know precisely what the battery holds.
 

Steve Ryu

Member
If you simply displayed the voltage and the amp hours consumed on a display, or the main display, everything would be clear. If the the OP was getting 10 amp hours a year ago, and he's now getting, say, 8 amp hours, that might be a problem. If it's now 6 amp hours, it is a problem. The amps used by the BMS are irrelevant. If an owner has a 10 amp hour battery, an amp hour meter will simply show the amps that are consumed over time, without regard for whether it is the BMS, the lights, or a satellite dish. So the LCD 'throws a lot of rider', but you keep it? Why? You removed 'real' information from the system? I bought a $260 Lifepo battery from China, rated 15 ah. I ride with an amp hour meter and voltmeter. I know what the battery really holds (around 15 ah, actually) and I'd know if I was losing capacity, month after month. I can watch the voltage drop, and know when the battery is getting run down during a ride. I can see exactly how many amp hours I have consumed, and how much is left. Why use 'bars' when you could have a precise measurement, anyway?

View attachment 4965

Wouldn't it be nice if the original poster knew, a year ago, he had exactly xx amp hours in his battery. Wouldn't it be nice to know, right now, the same capacity? Yeah, it's cold, and maybe that has an effect, but mostly it would be nice to know precisely what the battery holds.
@George S. that's fine and perfect for you because you obviously have the capacity to understand the technology as you have the time to build bikes, however, i'm not answering your question to your capacity, i'm answering a question for a person that has a Dash that doesn't have the testing equipment, that didn't have the time or capacity to build a bike. If you're seeking acknowledgement that you know about eBikes I can acknowledge that, but at a certain point it becomes rude to chime in if you're not posting something that assists in answering a question, but rather a suggestion of how you would've built it in the first place. Let's stop trolling and check the elitist attitude at the door. Regards
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
Just include the proper monitors Steve, not garbage monitors. The question can't be answered now because we don't know what the battery capacity was a year ago.

I could use a 10 dollar meter and determine the battery capacity today. I could compare it to the ah on the battery. Why don't you just do that?

Understanding amp hours is like understanding the fuel gauge on a car, mpg, stuff like that. Really elitist.

Your answer is just a garbage answer. Why don't you just determine that amp hour capacity of the battery, today, and see if it is a reasonable percentage of what is marked on the battery?
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
@wwjd keep in mind if weather has changed, this will impact overall range. The range on the LCD unfortunately throws off a lot of riders as many have reported going from 17mi range to 15 than 13. Part of the reason for this is that 5% of the battery is used for the BMS, so the rider only really uses 95% of the battery (part of the reason why the AH meter in the diagnostic mode was taken out between 2014 and 2015 models). I have had a couple of customers come in for the same reason and have fully load tested the batteries as well as ran a battery condition test in which all the batteries passed to be good. Nevertheless, despite being a couple of months out, if there is something up with your battery, the warranty techs are Currie are normally lenient.
In the 1970's car manufactures started removing gauges for things like amps, volts and coolant temperature in favor of "warning lights". Those were called "idiot lights" by the motoring public, not because the public were too idiotic and needed something simple like a light to understand, but because the manufactures dumbed down the systems of information on vehicles. Most decent vehicles today have reverted to some kind of metering system because it's important to know the condition before it's too late.

It's dealer or manufacturer double speak and insulting to say the ebike buying public doesn't understand or is too stupid to learn the benefits of defined information. I like my Easy Motion bike very much, but the display is missing three crucial metrics: amps, volts and time of day. Pennies to add in bulk production, since all Easy Motion bikes use the same display.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
It's dealer or manufacturer double speak and insulting to say the ebike buying public doesn't understand or is too stupid to learn the benefits of defined information.

@J.R.

It’s a very new industry, and it barely exists in the US. You posted an article about European ebike owners and their batteries. There was a fairly high level of unhappiness, over time. It’s pretty similar to what the original post said. Just a bike losing range, maybe a battery losing capacity. From the information posted it seems like a pack lost about 30% of capacity, over 14 months and 50 charge cycles. That’s not really what ebike companies are specifying. They generally say 300 cycles to get to 80% capacity.


Contrast this with the electric car industry, where the much larger battery packs are staying pretty close to the original capacity over several years. The ebike and the Teslas use similar, sometimes identical, cells. What is going on? The electric car companies lean toward not using the full capacity of the battery. They charge to maybe 90%. That logic has spread to EBR, but ebike chargers rarely allow people to do a 90% charge. Why? I hope people buy large packs, which they can ‘baby’. Teslas sit in very hot and very cold garages. It’s really hard to understand the problems with ebike batteries.

Buyers have to be at least as smart with the battery as they are with the ebike. Prodeco put LiFePo4 packs on their bikes when I bought a PT bike. People complained about the size and weight. But I used the pack for 18 months and after around 250-300 charge cycles, it had great capacity. They rate LiFePo4 batteries for 2,000 cycles, in some data sheets.

If you put amp hour meters on bikes, people can say what the real capacity of their new battery is, just by running the battery down once. They can make a note of that somewhere and, over time, just see how the capacity is holding up. If they know they have a 12 amp hour ‘true capacity’ they can watch the amp hours on a long ride and know when they are really getting low, say at 10 amp hours consumed. I don’t think this is rocket science. From tests I’ve seen of new batteries, they don’t match the amp hour number in the specs, or printed on the battery, by maybe 5%. That’s a mile or two, on day one.

The more information a rider has, the better. Most ebike riders start to ride faster over time. That will consume more watts per mile, so less range. If they knew this, or just watched a wattmeter every now and then, they would be better able to understand the limits of the battery. If a rider starts out at 15 miles per hour when they get the bike, but then they ride at 20mph in a few months, the range will drop a lot because the motor is going to be doing a lot more of the work and there is a lot more aerodynamic drag.

If you say ‘people don’t need to know this stuff’ good luck with your warranty claims. In other words, if a rider is going 15 mph for a few months, getting 20 miles of range, he thinks that is normal. If the rider gradually moves to going 20 mph, and the range drops to 15 miles, what does he do? Does he file a warranty claim? Will the company be able to sort this out? The best protection for the company would be to have an amp hour meter on the bike, and just use that for warranty claims. There’s really no reason ebike batteries shouldn’t give a couple of years of service and maybe 400 cycles before being at 80% of capacity. If people charged to 90% the research says they would double that. The industry has to be willing to use standard measurements to gauge the condition of used batteries. That means putting this stuff on the bike. They could use diagnostic programming based on a profile of the battery on the bike, if they wanted to insure buyers got the battery pack performance they paid for. Which manufacturers really want their customers to get the exact performance they specify in the sales literature, from their batteries? Which ones are basically playing games with the batteries?

The ebike company should have a partnership with the owners of the products they sell, whether bikes or parts. Owners should be encouraged to use ‘good’ chargers that protect the capacity of the battery packs. People should know what capacity means, relative to ‘range’, which depends a lot on speed. Range is a function of speed and battery capacity, but range is not a good measure of battery capacity. It makes sense to get extra capacity and only charge to 90%.
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
@Paul E. your 2015 Dash should still be under warranty, so don't wait to call Currie Tech and speak with Chawn Weingarten in the Tech dept. He's the most experienced one there when it comes to battery issues and can walk you through the onboard diagnostic process to determine if the battery has a problem. It's also possible the charger has an issue; however, that is less likely. Currie Tech support phone # 800-377-4532, select customer support and then Tech option.

If you're game, you can go to Currie Tech's technical support pages for the Dash (be sure to select the 2015 version) and do the diagnostic ahead of time. Print out the sheet with the diagnostic test directions, note the data for each and then call Currie Tech. You'll learn a lot about your bike, including how the motor & battery are wearing, so it's an interesting set of tests to do and easy.
 

wwjd

Member
Thanks for all of your help, you guys. I ended up biting the bullet and ordering a new battery. And even though my battery was past the one year warranty of about two months, the dealer was able to give me a price break on shipping and taxes. He contacted Chawn Weingarten, whom I had already contacted, and they got the new battery shipped out for me. But I'll tell you, if this happens again, I am through with these kind of bikes, unless there becomes somehow a big improvement on these batteries and their cost---not to mention their inability to go the miles that I would like to travel sometimes of around 50 to 60 miles (they need to go at least 100 miles on a charge). Plus, my wife isn't too happy about me putting all of this money into this expensive toy that eventually becomes only dumpster fodder in the end. I am not just a bicyclist, but a bicyclist that likes to have the pedal assist. After all, I am 63 years old and appreciate all of the help that I can get. And a 50 or 60 mile beach ride going from Anaheim, CA along the Santa Ana river to Huntington Beach, and even further up the coast towards Sunset Beach, would be just too much for this old geezer with the ocean winds and all without the assist. And come to think of it, it would probably be too much for just about anybody who isn't extremely fit.
 

Donny

Active Member
I have to wonder about this as well. The laptop I am typing this on is over three years old, is used daily, and according to on board diagnostic software, I'm still at around 63% of original capacity (which isn't bad given how much I use it). My Samsung phone in my pocket is also a bit over three years old and I can still go 2 to 2 1/2 days between charges (down from 3 to 4 when I bought it). Given the battery technology is the same, I would expect these battery packs in the bikes to show similar longevity and durability. I'm looking at a Dash, but if I'm going to be looking at replacing the battery six to twelve months down the road, maybe I need to start re-thinking these bikes. Like some others, I'm only looking at these due to injuries and a traditional bike gives me grief. I'm just looking for the PAS to give me a bit of a boost so that I can ride again.