New E Bike battery initial charge / break-in information

George_E

New Member
Just purchased a new E bike battery and I'm seeing different recommendations regard break in. Some say to do 3 complete charge / discharge cycles, while others say to only discharge to 50% for the first 3 rides. Who is correct?

Also, I have a Cycle Satiator charger and want to know if I should charge the brand new battery to 100%(54.5v), or charge to 85 or 90%?
 

smorgasbord

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
My advice:
  • Avoiding discharging the battery all the way, ever, if possible.
  • Charging to 100% enables the BMS (Battery Management System) to balance the pack. This is good for your battery. Some BMS's will balance at lower SoCs, but not most.
  • Leaving a battery charged at 100% for long periods of time, especially in hot weather, is not good for your battery.
  • Charging to 100% isn't bad for the battery - sitting at 100% for long periods of time is.
  • New packs typically need to be balanced.
  • If you know you won't need the full battery capacity, charging to 90% (some say 85% some say 80%, but I don't believe those are worth the difference) and riding is better for the battery, as long as you do a 100% charge to balance the pack every month or two or three.
  • My personal regime is to charge to 80% if I know I'm not going to ride for a couple of days or more. I charge to 90% the night before if I know I'm going to ride the next day, then wake up the next day and charge to 100% while I'm getting ready.
But, don't fret too much about this. Better to charge to 100% overnight and not run out while you're riding the next day than to charge to 80% and run out, or almost run out. Going below 20% is worse than charging to 100%, for instance.
 

George_E

New Member
Thanks very much for the quick response smorgasbord!! I have my Cycle Satiator set up with 2 profiles, one for 100% and the other for 85%. I will use the 85% profile most of the time, and use the 100% profile at least once a month, and also just before very long rides.

Should the initial charge on the new battery be to 100% for just the first ride, or for the first 3 rides?
 

Alex M

Well-Known Member
Charge to 100% the first time, maybe the 2nd time too. Then charge 100% once or twice a year.
If stored for a week or longer, it's better to keep it at 50-60%.
In frequent use, charge to 85%-90% if you can finish with at least 30% remaining. If you need full capacity then you have no choice but to charge to full capacity.
 

steve marino

Active Member
This is the sort of thing that will drive you nuts if you let it. I know a lot of us have stressed way too much over this one. I always charge my battery all the way up, never let it get discharged too much, and its going on over 3 years now at what appears to be almost the same power it had when the bike was new. There are so many variables in this regarding how long the battery may have set in the box whilst waiting on a customer. Anyway, this works well for me.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Although what @smorgasbord wrote is true, the school I believe in teaches "The battery is important but riding your e-bike is importanter" :D If I charged to 80% and discharged to 20%, I would have ridden nowhere even with my two batteries for each e-bike I own. I rotate the batteries and I rotate the bikes, riding at least once in every two days. To each their own :)

1588130866027.png

"The battery is important but riding your e-bike is importanter".
 

George_E

New Member
Hi Smorgas!
1. Just finished building an E Bike battery discharger and have some questions regarding charge levels. If I need to discharge my battery to say 60% for storage, would that be 60% of the voltage level
(48v x .6 = 28.8v)? If so, should I use the nominal 48v value or the actual charged battery voltage of 54V?

2. The meter I used lists lots of information regarding Current, Voltage, Peak Watts, Watt Hours, Amp Hours etc. How can I use this information to quantify the condition of my battery?

Thanks for the help!!
 

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Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
If I need to discharge my battery to say 60% for storage, would that be 60% of the voltage level
(48v x .6 = 28.8v)? If so, should I use the nominal 48v value or the actual charged battery voltage of 54V?

Refer these two charts. If you are in the same ballpark figure of 1st decimal place, you're fine.

1589828579719.png


1589828589060.png
 

George_E

New Member
Thanks for the help Ravi!!

BTW, I purchased a new battery because the original (3 yr old) battery would barely make it for a 20 mile run at power level 1. Do you think it's possible to restore the old battery to some degree by cycling(charging/discharging) it several times? I purchased a Cycle Satiator charger and built the discharger to help with this if possible..
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Hi Smorgas!
1. Just finished building an E Bike battery discharger and have some questions regarding charge levels. If I need to discharge my battery to say 60% for storage, would that be 60% of the voltage level
(48v x .6 = 28.8v)? If so, should I use the nominal 48v value or the actual charged battery voltage of 54V?

2. The meter I used lists lots of information regarding Current, Voltage, Peak Watts, Watt Hours, Amp Hours etc. How can I use this information to quantify the condition of my battery?

Thanks for the help!!
60% of battery capacity is not the same as 60% of nominal voltage. Drawing a 48V lithium pack down to 29V could actually damage cells, if the BMS would let you do it.

The chart @Ravi Kempaiah posted is right on showing a nominal 48v pack is at 60% capacity at 48V.
 

ADNATROB

New Member
My battery is 10.5 years old, has carried me many thousands of miles and performs almost like new. I say almost, as recently I sent the battery off to Jimmy at Insat for a recell, we both were of the belief that a battery that old must be close to end of life. It didn't feel that way, but maybe I had grown to adapt to the change in performance. Started life at 16ah and Jimmy measured it at 14ah and promptly returned it as delivered.

We discussed how the battery had held up so well. The bike was originally used for a 20 mile round trip commute. but now mainly for leisure 60-80 miles a week March to October. I explained my charging routine which is in the main to charge fully after every ride and also that I use the bike for fitness, so put quite some effort in. Jimmy's view was that it was probably a combination of a good BMS not charging the battery to full charge and the fact that by putting a lot of effort in, the battery is under less load. Where we differed was that November through February when the bike is idle I still leave the battery fully charged.
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
My battery is 10.5 years old, has carried me many thousands of miles and performs almost like new. I say almost, as recently I sent the battery off to Jimmy at Insat for a recell, we both were of the belief that a battery that old must be close to end of life. It didn't feel that way, but maybe I had grown to adapt to the change in performance. Started life at 16ah and Jimmy measured it at 14ah and promptly returned it as delivered.

We discussed how the battery had held up so well. The bike was originally used for a 20 mile round trip commute. but now mainly for leisure 60-80 miles a week March to October. I explained my charging routine which is in the main to charge fully after every ride and also that I use the bike for fitness, so put quite some effort in. Jimmy's view was that it was probably a combination of a good BMS not charging the battery to full charge and the fact that by putting a lot of effort in, the battery is under less load. Where we differed was that November through February when the bike is idle I still leave the battery fully charged.
Pretty much our routine as well. I do bring the batteries into the house when the temps drop in late Fall to early Spring.
 

George_E

New Member
Thanks for sharing the encouraging battery life info! I can relate in that I have a 13 year old Toyota Prius I purchased new back in 2007. in the last few years I've had to replace 3 bad cells that cost me $35 each on Amazon, and I'm still getting over 50 mpg! Regarding the E bikes, I just want to make sure I'm following the best advice from those who know. Thanks again!