Known Issues & Problems with ECOTRIC Products + Help, Solutions & Fixes

derekg8881

New Member
I posted this in a different thread but seeing as this thread if for ECOTRIC problem + solutions...I might as well see if anyone has any info on my situation.

I have the 20" Foldable Ecotric bike with the 36v12.5 AH battery and the battery seems to possibly be dead or malfunctioned of some sort.

It had been maybe close to a month since the last time I rode my bike and I charged the battery full or to near fully charged. So when I push the button on top of the battery to check the battery level (3 lights; 1 red and two green) it will dimly flash for a split second and then the lights will turn off even though I am still holding the button. This happens every time I push/hold the button. When you hold the button down the lights are normally a lot brighter and it stays on until you release the button. When I go to charge the battery the charger light will be red for a couple seconds like it's charging. During that couple of seconds, if I push the button on top of the battery, it lights up bright and stays lit like it's supposed to. That's until the battery charger light goes green and then it's back to what it was doing before which figures since the battery stops accepting current because the charger sees the battery as being fully charged. Here is a picture of the voltage:


Voltage Meter.jpg



My 1 year warranty just expired 3 weeks ago to exchange the battery for free so they told me right now it's going to be a little about $220 for a replacement which is absolutely frustrating when I probably have maybe 100 easy, leveled pavement miles on this bike in a year. It's never been ridden in the rain and the battery has ALWAYS been stored indoors. So for this to have problems right when the warranty expires is infuriating.

Can anyone help me possibly diagnose what's going on here and if it's fixable?

Thanks!
 

GypsyTreker

Well-Known Member
I posted this in a different thread but seeing as this thread if for ECOTRIC problem + solutions...I might as well see if anyone has any info on my situation.

I have the 20" Foldable Ecotric bike with the 36v12.5 AH battery and the battery seems to possibly be dead or malfunctioned of some sort.

It had been maybe close to a month since the last time I rode my bike and I charged the battery full or to near fully charged. So when I push the button on top of the battery to check the battery level (3 lights; 1 red and two green) it will dimly flash for a split second and then the lights will turn off even though I am still holding the button. This happens every time I push/hold the button. When you hold the button down the lights are normally a lot brighter and it stays on until you release the button. When I go to charge the battery the charger light will be red for a couple seconds like it's charging. During that couple of seconds, if I push the button on top of the battery, it lights up bright and stays lit like it's supposed to. That's until the battery charger light goes green and then it's back to what it was doing before which figures since the battery stops accepting current because the charger sees the battery as being fully charged. Here is a picture of the voltage:


Voltage Meter.jpg



My 1 year warranty just expired 3 weeks ago to exchange the battery for free so they told me right now it's going to be a little about $220 for a replacement which is absolutely frustrating when I probably have maybe 100 easy, leveled pavement miles on this bike in a year. It's never been ridden in the rain and the battery has ALWAYS been stored indoors. So for this to have problems right when the warranty expires is infuriating.

Can anyone help me possibly diagnose what's going on here and if it's fixable?

Thanks!

Actually $220 to replace the battery is customer relations price. With the low milage you state it's very possible your lipo wasn't stored properly,they are not maintenance free. Personally, if it were me, I'd grab the replacement they offered and get a better charger.
 

derekg8881

New Member
Actually $220 to replace the battery is customer relations price. With the low milage you state it's very possible your lipo wasn't stored properly,they are not maintenance free. Personally, if it were me, I'd grab the replacement they offered and get a better charger.
Ya it was like 56% of the original price of the battery. What's the lipo? And why I better charger? Just for faster charging times or the one they give you tends to have problems with the battery?
 

GypsyTreker

Well-Known Member
Ya it was like 56% of the original price of the battery. What's the lipo? And why I better charger? Just for faster charging times or the one they give you tends to have problems with the battery?

To maintain a Lithium/Ion (Lipo) battery you have to maintain a charging regiman that keeps the multiple batteries (individual cells) balanced and at a proper charge level. I think you might get much from Micah's Electric Bike School series on YouTube. Frankly the attitude of LBS ( local bike store) in my area ( Asheville) has made it mandatory I handle my 26" and 20" Ecotric if a problem does arise. As you will come to realise, if you watch YouTube, is that you have a bicycle with a bunch of bolt-on components. That, to my way of thinking, is an advantage.
 

derekg8881

New Member
To maintain a Lithium/Ion (Lipo) battery you have to maintain a charging regiman that keeps the multiple batteries (individual cells) balanced and at a proper charge level. I think you might get much from Micah's Electric Bike School series on YouTube. Frankly the attitude of LBS ( local bike store) in my area ( Asheville) has made it mandatory I handle my 26" and 20" Ecotric if a problem does arise. As you will come to realise, if you watch YouTube, is that you have a bicycle with a bunch of bolt-on components. That, to my way of thinking, is an advantage.
Well the battery was stored 100% of the time indoors...in my room after I would ride the bike. It was never stored and left in any heat or cold once. There were a couple times where I left it plugged in charging for a day or two because I forgot to unplug it but I don't think that would have caused this issue.

I just watched one of his vids on how to double the life of a lithium battery and he talked about not leaving the cells at 100% charged for long durations of time? Ya after I would use it, I would charge it back up til it was full and then unplug the charger. Wasn't aware of the extra maintenance required to keep the battery lasting...but I also think that me not doing that definitely shouldn't result in the battery going out on me this quickly.

For the charger, what are you recommending?

This was my first electric bike I got and obviously now after having the battery die on me after minimal use...kinda sucks.
 

GypsyTreker

Well-Known Member
Well the battery was stored 100% of the time indoors...in my room after I would ride the bike. It was never stored and left in any heat or cold once. There were a couple times where I left it plugged in charging for a day or two because I forgot to unplug it but I don't think that would have caused this issue.

I just watched one of his vids on how to double the life of a lithium battery and he talked about not leaving the cells at 100% charged for long durations of time? Ya after I would use it, I would charge it back up til it was full and then unplug the charger. Wasn't aware of the extra maintenance required to keep the battery lasting...but I also think that me not doing that definitely shouldn't result in the battery going out on me this quickly.

For the charger, what are you recommending?

This was my first electric bike I got and obviously now after having the battery die on me after minimal use...kinda sucks.

No doubt its frustrating but its also physics. There is a thread on here that offers info on chargers. I ride on average 4 or 5x a month and simply charge my batteries before we ride. Never have they run out. This is not only an issue with eBike batteries but also drones. Anyway I'd bite the bullet, take Ecotric's totally reasonable offer and educate yourself on maintenance. Good luck, ride safe :)
 

DGab

New Member
Howdy everyone, Thanks again for all your help. Did the electrical change suggested by HarryS and was up and running in a few hours after delivery of parts. Kinda kicking myself now for not getting the nifty new LCD displays. Winter upgrade may be in the works. The KT-LCD8H has caught my eye. My biggest concern now is battery range. I need to visit my Mom and that is about 25-30 miles round trip. Peddling all that weight the last 5 miles is rough. Got to say ECOTRIC has been real good about email responses to questions. They may respond at 3am but it is within 24-36 hours.
 

DGab

New Member
To maintain a Lithium/Ion (Lipo) battery you have to maintain a charging regiman that keeps the multiple batteries (individual cells) balanced and at a proper charge level. I think you might get much from Micah's Electric Bike School series on YouTube. Frankly the attitude of LBS ( local bike store) in my area ( Asheville) has made it mandatory I handle my 26" and 20" Ecotric if a problem does arise. As you will come to realise, if you watch YouTube, is that you have a bicycle with a bunch of bolt-on components. That, to my way of thinking, is an advantage.

I experience the same type of reaction from my LBS mostly. In the end it is a good thing as it requires you to be a little bit educated about the bike and the industry. Because of range issues I am in the market for purchasing a new battery and am considering purchasing a 52v 17.5 ah battery, https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08BRPK277/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_4?smid=A323YRGVBR4QGU&th=1 . After doing research including this most excellent thread which is almost mandatory reading for ebike owners, https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/e-bike-battery-guide.24443/, it appears to me that my controller, http://www.pswpower.com/ven.php?cargo.2020-3y-gq0f, and the KT LCD 8H should be compatible with running a 52 volt battery. Anyone have any advice on why this is a bad idea?
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Might have an overheat problem running the PSW controller inside the Ecotric compartment, If you keep the bottom of the controller sitting on the floor, maybe not.

I've run that same model 20A controller on another bike on a regular 52V battery, but it was mounted in an open air stream and had excellent cooling. Inside the Ecotric compartment, it may get too hot.

I say this because I was goofing around with a DC-DC boost converter, and used it to boost my 36V Ecotric battery to 52V. It worked great in chilly April and I rode around for a 20 mile ride. When it got warmer, I tried 60V, and the bike was faster, but it would shut down before I could see how fast. I backed it down to 52V again, and it shut down after 30 minutes. I believe it was overheating, but I never investigated. Turned out the converter was using an extra 30% out of my battery to generate the extra DC, so there was no free lunch. I did rearrange my wires so the controller box sat on the floor inside the Ecotric.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
I have the 20" Foldable Ecotric bike with the 36v12.5 AH battery and the battery seems to possibly be dead or malfunctioned of some sort.

Thanks!
Didn't notice either thread until now, Derek. I hope the new one arrived and solved your problem.

You probably had a circuit failure inside your first battery that killed some cells. Charging a pack to 100% is not going to kill a battery quick, but it shortens the life. They rate these cells as typically being able to take 300 full 100-0% discharge cycles and still hold about 80% of the original capacity. Most ebikers are more like 100-50% discharge, at least I am, and that is much more forgiving.

Most of my 36V packs, including the Ecotric 36V pack, I do charge to 100% and don't worry about life. That doesn't mean you should should do it. Just saying it probably was not the cause of your early failure.

What I do follow is to leave my packs at 50% when they sit during winter, However, when I started ebiking in 2015, no one was really pushing these battery protocols. The ebike shop told me in July 2015, just charge it after each ride, and once a month in winter. I was too lazy to do the winter bit, but I charged my first three batteries to 100% for two summers before the new charging strategies came out. I tried to follow them for a while, but went back to my full charge, unless I knew I wasn't going to need the bike. I still use those three original packs today, I know they're weaker, but they still work for our riding habits.
 
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DGab

New Member
Might have an overheat problem running the PSW controller inside the Ecotric compartment, If you keep the bottom of the controller sitting on the floor, maybe not.

I've run that same model 20A controller on another bike on a regular 52V battery, but it was mounted in an open air stream and had excellent cooling. Inside the Ecotric compartment, it may get too hot.

I say this because I was goofing around with a DC-DC boost converter, and used it to boost my 36V Ecotric battery to 52V. It worked great in chilly April and I rode around for a 20 mile ride. When it got warmer, I tried 60V, and the bike was faster, but it would shut down before I could see how fast. I backed it down to 52V again, and it shut down after 30 minutes. I believe it was overheating, but I never investigated. Turned out the converter was using an extra 30% out of my battery to generate the extra DC, so there was no free lunch. I did rearrange my wires so the controller box sat on the floor inside the Ecotric.
Thanks for your response. Would I run into the same problem with a 48volt 17.5 ah battery and if so is there a controller that would work with the 500 watt motor and the 48 volt battery? Just not seeing a lot of 36 volt batteries that look legit at 17.5ah (and I would kinda like the option to upgrade the 500 watt motor) In general the issue isn't speed but distance.
 

DGab

New Member
Installed the 52v 17.5ah UPP battery a week ago and it is wonderful. Running a 500w motor and 36/48v 20 amp controller and it is right as rain. No noticeable overheat issues so far but if pushed to hard you can see the potential to slag the motor very quickly. Running PAS 5 and uphill the wattage on the controller showed over 1k (if that is possible) which I immediately throttled back to avoid catastrophic failure. Put in about 35 miles this morning and the battery is still at over half charge. At no point did the battery or controller case feel hot to the touch. Brisk morning though. The battery is slightly longer but lower profile then the stock battery. Easy fit. Must avoid the temptation to go fast.
 

JES2020

Active Member
Installed the 52v 17.5ah UPP battery a week ago and it is wonderful. Running a 500w motor and 36/48v 20 amp controller and it is right as rain. No noticeable overheat issues so far but if pushed to hard you can see the potential to slag the motor very quickly. Running PAS 5 and uphill the wattage on the controller showed over 1k (if that is possible) which I immediately throttled back to avoid catastrophic failure. Put in about 35 miles this morning and the battery is still at over half charge. At no point did the battery or controller case feel hot to the touch. Brisk morning though. The battery is slightly longer but lower profile then the stock battery. Easy fit. Must avoid the temptation to go fast.
"Must avoid the temptation to go fast."
Good luck with dat !
I was at the lake doing about 25 mph came around the corner and the sheriff was just pulling into the same parking lot head on giving me the eye!
You never seen someone start pedaling their ass off :oops:.
 
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basstzar

New Member
I just got a Rocket and have been having fun with for the past couple of days. I'm wondering if anyone knows a way (or a mod) to make the throttle not be tied to the PAS setting. I'd like the throttle to always be full power irrespective of the PAS. My RAD and Juiced bikes work that way so I'm hopeful I can make my Ecotric do so as well.
 

JES2020

Active Member
I just got a Rocket and have been having fun with for the past couple of days. I'm wondering if anyone knows a way (or a mod) to make the throttle not be tied to the PAS setting. I'd like the throttle to always be full power irrespective of the PAS. My RAD and Juiced bikes work that way so I'm hopeful I can make my Ecotric do so as well.
Personally I recently found out how to tie the throttle to the PAS setting...I like it better that way because the thumb throttle is much less sensitive and the walk function works instead of it being a run function.
I just changed the p 3 parameter in my KT lcd5 display. If you don't have that option, I would contact the seller to see if there is another way to do it.
 

DGab

New Member
I just got a Rocket and have been having fun with for the past couple of days. I'm wondering if anyone knows a way (or a mod) to make the throttle not be tied to the PAS setting. I'd like the throttle to always be full power irrespective of the PAS. My RAD and Juiced bikes work that way so I'm hopeful I can make my Ecotric do so as well.

This link,
, is to a decent video on programming the KT LCD3 & 8. I know it mentions this issue and others. Also the first page of this thread has a post with a picture of the various settings which pretty much matches what you probably want for your settings. Not sure what display the rocket has but I am assuming it's a KT LCD.
 

Ratbuilder

New Member
Didn't notice either thread until now, Derek. I hope the new one arrived and solved your problem.

You probably had a circuit failure inside your first battery that killed some cells. Charging a pack to 100% is not going to kill a battery quick, but it shortens the life. They rate these cells as typically being able to take 300 full 100-0% discharge cycles and still hold about 80% of the original capacity. Most ebikers are more like 100-50% discharge, at least I am, and that is much more forgiving.

Most of my 36V packs, including the Ecotric 36V pack, I do charge to 100% and don't worry about life. That doesn't mean you should should do it. Just saying it probably was not the cause of your early failure.

What I do follow is to leave my packs at 50% when they sit during winter, However, when I started ebiking in 2015, no one was really pushing these battery protocols. The ebike shop told me in July 2015, just charge it after each ride, and once a month in winter. I was too lazy to do the winter bit, but I charged my first three batteries to 100% for two summers before the new charging strategies came out. I tried to follow them for a while, but went back to my full charge, unless I knew I wasn't going to need the bike. I still use those three original packs today, I know they're weaker, but they still work for our riding habits.
Hi HarryS. I have a 26" fat tire Ecotric bike, and I love it. My Girlfriend is only 5'4" tall, so she could never ride a bike like mine. I bought her a 20" Ecotric folding bike, and it fits her just fine. The problem is the 810 controller. Unless you are going up a hill the power delivery is irritating, plus the sudden surge has caused her to crash 2 times. I would like to put the same controller in the 20" that is in my 26". If you have already explained this, could you please direct me to the correct post? I am 73 years old, and I am not what you would call proficient with a computer. LOL Also, I do not understand what some of the abbreviations mean. I am a retired heavy equipment mechanic, so I do understand basic DC electricity. I just found these forums, and they are interesting to say the least. I am sorry if I am asking you questions that you have already answered, but you seem to be a fountain of information. I like information!!! LOL
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Hey Ratbuilder. Nice cars that you built! A new controller is easier than an aftermarket ignition. You should have no issues.

One way to do this is to buy the whole controller with brakes, throttle, display, pedal sensor and waterproof harness. Replace everything on the 20". Mount the controller in a plastic box they sell for that purpose. You might retain the original throttle. Just splice it in.


I bought one in July, but they shipped it to Brooklyn instead of Illinois, and I had to get Paypal to refund me my $108, I haven't tried to re-order. I think Alice, the rep at PSW, is ticked off at me. You could buy a controller/display alone for about $75 and splice wires, but why do that. The waterproof cables are a tight fit under the pedals, so I'd try the external box.

I would use the Ecotric forum instead of this thread to discuss future topics.
 

Ratbuilder

New Member
Hey Ratbuilder. Nice cars that you built! A new controller is easier than an aftermarket ignition. You should have no issues.

One way to do this is to buy the whole controller with brakes, throttle, display, pedal sensor and waterproof harness. Replace everything on the 20". Mount the controller in a plastic box they sell for that purpose. You might retain the original throttle. Just splice it in.


I bought one in July, but they shipped it to Brooklyn instead of Illinois, and I had to get Paypal to refund me my $108, I haven't tried to re-order. I think Alice, the rep at PSW, is ticked off at me. You could buy a controller/display alone for about $75 and splice wires, but why do that. The waterproof cables are a tight fit under the pedals, so I'd try the external box.

I would use the Ecotric forum instead of this thread to discuss future topics.
Thanks HarryS, for the information. The Hot Rod took 3 years to build. I hope that I have few issues with the 20". Does it get rid of all the surging and make the throttle more user friendly? Again, thanks for the information.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
The KT controllers have 5 level assist. It smooths out the rougher 3 level of the 810LED.