‘Quarter of All E-Bike Batteries Faulty’


Well-Known Member
From Bike Europe, 11-19-15

HILVERSUM, the Netherlands – An earlier this week broadcasted Dutch TV program on consumer affairs presented the outcome of a survey under its test-panel of 20,000 electric bikers. The conclusion was that over 25% of all e-bike batteries are faulty.

The TV program reported on disappointing expectations about the quality and lifetime of batteries. Next to the fact that over 25% of all e-bike batteries prove to be faulty; nearly 40% of them presented problems already within one year after purchase.

Batteries not functioning properly
The vast majority of battery problems – 84% – occurred within three years after purchase. 60% of the panelists having an e-bike presenting problems said that they wouldn’t have purchased it if they had known in advance about batteries not functioning properly. The test-panel of some 20,000 e-bikers also reported on display’s presenting unreliable information about how many kilometers still to be made with pedaling support.

‘Deceptive practices’
A lawyer specialized in consumer affairs said in this TV program called ‘Radar’ that. “The consumer is entitled to a proper product” and that “The life of a product must meet the expectations of an informed consumer. When a manufacturer provides a three year warranty and in the brochure mentions an expected lifetime of 4 to 8 years then you stand as a consumer strong when the battery breaks down after 4 or 5 years or when the capacity is declining dramatically.” The lawyer indicated further that, “There appears to be deceptive practices when it comes to manufacturers informing about the lifetime of e-bike batteries.”

Published by Jack Oortwijn on 19 Nov 2015


George S.

Well-Known Member
The vast majority of battery problems – 84% – occurred within three years after purchase. 60% of the panelists having an e-bike presenting problems said that they wouldn’t have purchased it if they had known in advance about batteries not functioning properly.

Obviously, Europe is where ebikes generate sales. The EU matters. I can buy a little meter that tracks amp hours as they are used. You can do this on the bike, from the battery, or to the battery, from the charger. You could put this in any display and the cost would be very low. You could build it into the charger, like the Satiator does. I have a $20 hobby LiPo charger that does this. But, they (you know who they are) don't do it. If you had this meter, you would know how many amp hours you could get from your battery, and you could track it over time. If a manufacturer doesn't want you knowing this, it says a lot about batteries on ebikes.

On top of this, the batteries are expensive and they are often proprietary. All I can say is that three kit vendors I follow, Paul at EM3ev, LunaCycle, and LectricCycle, are very open about their packs. They give a lot of detail about the cells and how they are made. They are all now providing 1 kWh packs. Basically, the kit vendors provide information and choice. What is the ideal size of a pack, and how will it affect lifespan?

I'm not sure what the problem is, here. Ebike packs are basically half a kilowatt hour and a few dozen cells. Tesla, Nissan, GM, BMW, Audi, etc, put maybe a hundred times more cells in a pack, and they provide precise information. People seem fairly satisfied with electric car batteries, and they use the same cells.

The car companies are very careful with their packs. They tend not to fully charge them, and limit the discharge. The ebike companies almost want people to have their packs die an early death, to sell another. I don't know.

(I use a 15AH LiFePo pack from China, and haven't had a any problems with it. I paid $260 with ocean shipping)

Thanks, @J.R. You dig up a lot of great stuff.


Well-Known Member
Hey @George S.

It's interesting data, not sure how the data was gathered and whether these numbers can be extrapolated industry wide. The sample size is impressive though. I hope those figures are telling of the past and not the future. Recently I've been thinking that far too much emphasis has been placed on advertising Samsung or Panasonic cells, when in fact there are several brands of cells that are considered high grade. Yet within all the quality cell manufactures there are high, mid and low grade cells being manufactured. Placing all the value on one or two brand names does little to educate the buying public.

Very detailed information of cells used by manufacture X is needed to know anything. So much information is being hidden from the end user, including something as simple as the watts from one's own battery. I couldn't agree more about the displays and the lack of useable information.

Pressure on the industry by more consumer groups is needed, as was done in the Netherlands. The dissemination of information is key, but that's not as easy as you might think. I've come across current ebike industry news and sales reports available, but for sale and I'm not ready to pay for them. I'm hoping for one of the major bloggers in green-tech will get some of the hard data out. Maybe with the information out, there will be more ebike owners demanding better manuals and proper displays with useable readouts. It's going to need more than a few hundred EBR members. Inquiring minds want to know! I can be really anal-retentive at times!
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