Life span of an eBike

Jack Tyler

Active Member
Just to clarify, some battery manufacturers rate their batteries against an industry standard longevity scale. Applications in off-grid homes, golf carts and long distance sailing boats are all examples where the buyer expects the mfgr to publish rated longevity (in 'cycles') to a common standard. So e.g. a 240 amp/hr 6V storage battery will be rated in cycles based on how many times the battery can support a 20 amp load to its half-discharge point, then be recharged 100% and the draw down repeated UNTIL the battery is only capable of supplying half of its rated amp/hr capacity (or 120 amp/hrs). A good cycle rating for these applications and with premium, conventional lead acid storage batteries is ~700 cycles.

I'm a newbie re: ebikes. But from what I've read here so far, the Li-ion batteries used in ebikes these days come from multiple named and some unnamed manufacturers, and are assembled from a mix of bike mfgrs and contract mfgrs, located in multiple countries. So it's easy to understand why bike manufacturers don't (or are not able to) provide meaningful info on battery performance.

Here's a partial step towards what a 'real' answer would be for ebike battery cycles. The bike's battery assembly is actually a composite collection of many smaller batteries connected in serial/parallel fashion to provide the voltage required. E.g. the Samsung 18650 Li-ion battery we see referenced so often is 3.7V. That suggests to me that ten 18650 batteries are connected in series to provide one 36-37V bank. And the number of those banks, wired in parallel, will determine the amp/hr capacity of the bike's battery. But how long will that composite battery assembly "last"? For the Samsung Li-ion chemistry in electric scooters, here's how Samsung answers that Q: "
"The capacity of lead-acid batteries is about 50% of the initial capacity after 1.5 years of use (about 400 cycles), but that of Li-ion batteries is about 75% of the initial capacity after 3 years of use (about 800 cycles). "

That's a help...but since they don't cite the draw-down rate or level of discharge, it isn't fully informative. When I choose my ebike, I'll want to contact that Li-ion battery mfgr and try to get the whole 'cycles' standard they have been using. But another general rule WRT battery capacity is not to draw down the battery more than 50% for maximum battery life (in cycles)...which of course is why battery mfgrs choose that draw down regimen. That way their product looks as good as it can be.

Jack
 

Jim123

Member
Court interviewed the electrical engineer that runs GRIN technologies in Canada. The engineer was testing to weed out old wives tales, and see what really goes on. Good batteries like Samsung have protection circuits that prevent overlow discharge damages. But the biggest factor in battery life was heat. Running at 100% was much hotter for batteries and cut their life the most. Avoid 100% charge was the take away message.
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
It seems like many of the good chargers are already limiting the charge to less than 100% aren't they? I've read several accounts talking about 85% being considered "full charge" with many setups. As with the automobiles, built in battery protection as it were.
 

Waterobert

New Member
I want at least 3 years from bike and 1-2 years from battery . Let's face it , we the consumers like to get new and better staff . It would be great if you could make bike last forever for few hundred dollars, however it is not realistic. Most off today's products are made to last only few years since custumers will buy new product every few years anyway. I am sure that you could make e-Bike last 10 years ,however 90 percent off riders will eather buy new one because better models are available or they will lose interest in riding bikes. It is all about money. You produce what will satisfy 90 percent of custumers for year or two. Look at cell phones, I had probably 5 or 7 phones and only one time phone died on me. I get new one always because technology gets better and I don't want to have old and unpopular one.
 

Trail Cruiser

Well-Known Member
I have a Rayos electric bike that I acquired new in 2009.

http://www.electrikmotion.com/Rayos-electric-bicycle.htm

and it is now much better than 7 years ago since I modified it. Aside from the weight issue of the heavy Lead acid batteries, I enjoy riding this bike more from its own unique qualities. The factory set up was a frustration to me since the motor comes in very forcefully early on and then dies off at 18 MPH. Example, when I am climbing a steep hill then use the throttle, it will rocket up and I cannot catch it with my cadence.

I did a couples of modifications. I changed the sprocket on the motor side to increase top speed from 18 MPH to 28 MPH (of course there is also a torque reduction in the same proportion). It now gives a milder "pull" as opposed to a violent "punch". The second thing I did is add a PWM controller with a dial type potentiometer. I itch marked the side of the dial to correspond to percentage of voltage fed to the motor. This gave an even milder assist and provided a very "bike-like" feeling.

Since it has throttle power to full speed (no cut off at 20 MPH), it gave me full control on how much power to feed in addition to my pedal effort. I can continue to pedal while pulsing my motor every now and then even above 20 MPH. This made it more satisfying to ride than my newer ebikes. Surprisingly, if I dial it to 100%, it has about the same feel of power as my 2015 IZIP E3 Dash.

So the answer is yes, an ebike can last a long long time ( mine is 7 years old).
 
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MLB

Well-Known Member
Add 20lbs and 15mph to any bicycle and you'll shorten it's life considerably as the impacts are so much greater at higher speeds.
Some of the cheaper bikes I've seen have felt/looked like cheaper bicycles,not just the motor. Others have learned already and are making heavier duty components (frames for one) and such.
I'd expect at least 5 years out of any new high quality product and really hope for more than that if cared for.
 
any quality ebike should last at least 3 years at that time will probably need a new battery ($$) and will need to make major decision on whether to buy a new bike which will be much improved in its technology and will probably cost less than my current ebike. i dont need a new ebike my current ebike does everything i need it to do and well enough for me. as far a wanting a new ebike of course i love new toys.
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
I love shiny new toys too, but the Haibike is so good (not saying it's best) that it's everything I can possibly need so I expect to give it a good long term test. It's my primary street bike too with street tires on it. The suspension just spoils you so much!
It's so much fun and I can ride it so many places that my dirt motorcycles are going up for sale this fall. I have to drive at least 3 hrs to get to any decent (legal) trails for them. And I love the freedom of a 60lb bike versus 275lb cycle (that does still kick your butt even without pedaling.)

Has anyone else noticed the dropping recharge (warranty) specs on battery packs? I've seen some new bikes down to 500 charge cycles now. Which isn't a lot if you are charging everyday! I don't charge my batteries till they approach 25% left but not low enough to be draining them too low . That often gets me 3-4 rides between charges. With 3 bikes, I'm not charging anything more than once every 2 weeks or so. I hope they stay viable for 5 years. (crossing fingers)
I could be wrong but for now I'm going with the idea that charging to 'full' each time I ride is not the best answer for longevity. Doubtless others are going the opposite direction (as most chargers used to recommend) and charging each time. We'll have some anecdotal evidence in a couple years. :)
 
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NoDTMF

Active Member
I have a funny story about when to charge, I may have posted before. I can do 3 rides to work and back before needing to charge. One day on the way home, a truck went over the barriers and landed on the bike trail. Sadly the driver was killed and the trail closed. That forced all trail users to use the "hiking only" trail which is a knarley steep, up hill, tight twisty trail.

Well I was on ride 3 of my charge cycle, meaning I had 1/3 of a charge. I was living in fear of making it up, but I did. I was passing other cyclists on the trail who were somewhat surprised that I was peddling!

Now I only go two rides between a charge!
 
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EddieJ

Well-Known Member
In the last two weeks of riding in the Swiss Alps, and carrying two batteries, I have done a total of 20 battery cycles, 10 per battery. Crazy.
 

Cory151

Active Member
I expect my Stealth Bomber to last another 10 years, at least. These bikes are overbuilt with seriously robust components that make it much different from my Stromers or Juiced bike. The battery is about 3 years old with 458 charge cycles on it I keep waiting on it to die since there are lighter yet higher capacity batteries out there for this bike. Eventually, it will need a battery but I do believe Stealth not only makes the fastest but also the toughest bikes in the world.
 

santerim

New Member
I've driven roughly 5000km (dont know the actual number since the bike is tuned) my ride is 2015 haibike sduro cross rc and i drive about 20kms daily. This far the bike and its yamaha electronics have faired well (also in demanding winter conditions with temperatures below -15c). I checked the battery and it says 100-200 cycles and 100-75% capacity left. I have nothing to complain and strongly believe that one battery will easily last 5 years+
 

Toast

New Member
My goal is to ride 400miles a month. That’s commuting an average of 4 days a week. If I ride for my commute as much as I think I will I’m hoping to get at least 2 years out of the battery and 4 years out of the bike, but I expect about half of that.
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
any quality ebike should last at least 3 years at that time will probably need a new battery ($$) and will need to make major decision on whether to buy a new bike which will be much improved in its technology and will probably cost less than my current ebike. i dont need a new ebike my current ebike does everything i need it to do and well enough for me. as far a wanting a new ebike of course i love new toys.

EasyMotionRider-Which of the Easy Motions do you currently ride? I have 2 myself and thinking of purchasing a third. I like the idea of interchanging components from one to another when needed. Great build quality on those bikes indeed...
 

lilrich

Member
As I have said in the past, you get what you pay for. Putting lipstick on a pig is still a pig. Having assembled, maintained, built, and repaired thousands of electric bikes from a wide range of manufactures I think I am qualified in offering an opinion. Usually I recommend against kits for a variety of reasons. First is economic. While many people feel that they can save a lot by adding a kit to a substandard bike they are usually disappointed when components start failing. Manufactured Ebikes are designed to withstand the extra stress involved with extra weight, speed and increased use. Reputable manufactures also utilize the feedback from IBD and technicians such as myself provide to improve their products each year. Additionally when something does go wrong there is always someone to assist in resolving the issue, whether it be parts or service availability. While there are some quality kits out there that stand behind their products the particular set up is unique to your set up. Unless your bike is unique (recumbents, trikes etc.) and no manufactures are offering an electric model in that configuration I would not use a kit as my first choice. Most quality Ebikes are equipped with features such as hydraulic brakes, torque sensing, and integrated high quality components that are designed and tested to work well and dependably together. Finally well thought out wiring and battery placement (Emotion integrated batteries) make for a clean, attractive and well balanced and handling package. With so many quality manufactures and the abundance of add on components such as suspension seat posts you are likely to find a manufactured bike with all the features and components needed and the after sale support needed to have a long pleasurable experience with your bike. As far as longevity I have seen many customers with thousands of miles on their bikes with reasonable maintenance, as well as regular hard users under adverse conditions with only expected issues. Kits seem to require excessive maintenance and expence in my experience particularly in high powered (1500+w) machines. Most cases are resolved when the person gets a quality manufactured bike suited to their use.
 

Manu

Active Member
Region
Europe
City
Spain (Galicia)
the structure of a pedelec made by a manufacturer should hold about 20,000km.
batteries, brakes, chain, disk, cassette ..... tires,a lot less
 

Solom01

Well-Known Member
I would add that keeping the complexity as low as possible will also greatly increase the lifespan. Since I live in a flat area I use an SS-Glide. Being a single speed and with no suspension (except a seat post suspension I added) there's not much to go wrong. Even the battery which I found annoying because it doesn't have a quick release has turned out to be great after reading that quick release pins are one of the first things that can create problems. A lot of things that give a bike "bling" like custom integrated batteries, internal wiring, multiple speeds, fancy controllers and fast chargers will increase needed maintenance and make it hard to get parts. All the bling in the world is pretty worthless if your bike is stuck in a shop waiting for hard to find parts.
 

JayVee

Well-Known Member
getting 20,000K out of a chain is a formidable task. Just sayin...

The Haibike chains are very well designed on the Trekking Sduro series. I have 8000 kilometers on mine and expect it to last 20,000 or more. It was slightly overtensioned at the beginning, and settled in after 1000 kilometers. The trick is to clean it regularly so dirt and grime don’t stretch the chain. I’m pretty sure the whole drivechain will be good up to 20,000 as well.