While many ebike owners are hardy and like to ride in winter, your ebike might not like the cold as much — especially your ebike’s battery. That doesn’t mean you need to stop riding in winter – but some tips to take care of your battery will help you out a lot. And don’t worry, if you’re looking to store your electric bike battery there are best practices below.
Ebike winter battery tips: Bring it inside
Make sure to keep your ebike battery inside during the winter. Rad Power Bikes suggests keeping the battery at room temperature, or around 50-77 F (or 10-25 C). And, according to Juiced, you should charge it inside too. You should never charge your battery at or below freezing, and if you just brought it inside, you should give it a couple of hours to warm up before charging. BTW, this is more than just good advice. Not following these guidelines can actually void your warranty, depending on the manufacturer.
Ebike winter battery tips: Storage
If you won’t be using your electric bike battery for more than two weeks, don’t leave it completely charged. Battery manufacturer Bosch recommends only keeping it charged between 30-60%. Keeping a full battery can actually diminish the range over time, leaving you with less time to ride your bike. If it’s only a couple of days, it’s not a big deal, but the range costs add up over time. *See note
Rad Power Bikes recommends keeping your battery between 50% – 75% for long term storage. They also recommend balancing your battery after long term storage. You can learn more about electric bike batter balancing here. Other popular electric bike companies like Juiced and Ride1Up recommend an 80% charge for long term ebike battery storage.
The easiest way to accomplish this is to charge your battery completely and then go out for a short ride. Using throttle only will deplete your battery faster. If you have 5 battery indicator bars, ride until you only have 4 remaining to achieve a charge level of 80%.
Ebike winter battery tips: Charging
I like Ride1Up’s simple advice when it comes to charging your ebike battery – the 30-80 rule. If possible, you should keep your battery at between 30 and 80% charge level to prolong the longevity of your ebike battery. This means not charging your battery fully before every ride unless you need the full range. The 30-80 applies to year-round riding.
Juiced Bikes also recommends to charge your battery frequently, every few days is better than once ever two weeks or even once per month.
Ebike winter battery tips: Winter Riding
Remember, excessive heat and excessive cold are bad for electric bike batteries. For winter riding Rad Power Bikes recommends not riding in temperatures below 4 °F. Just keep in mind that riding in lower temperatures will also decrease your range, much like your cell phone battery lasts less time in cold weather.
Don’t get it wet!
Yeah, it’s probably obvious, but just like the Mogwai in Gremlins, your ebike battery shouldn’t get submerged in water. Melting snow in the winter tends to form puddles so you might have to be a little careful about this. And when it’s inside, try to store the battery in a dry place. A basement with a dehumidifier will probably do the trick.
By the way, according to Bosch it’s not a bad idea to get a neoprene cover for your ebike battery to help keep it dry. That’s right, a beer koozie for your battery! And if you’re a Rad Power Bikes owner there are various ebike battery jackets available on Etsy. Otherwise just give your ebike and battery a quick wipe down when you arrive home.
Riding in the winter is completely possible and even better, thanks the motor assist, you can bundle up without sweating as much thanks to pedal assist. But it does mean a little extra TLC for your ebike battery. Take care of it, and it will take care of you! Happy riding!
*NOTE: According to Bosch, its PowerPack Batteries don’t need to be charged frequently like other batteries, so some of this advice doesn’t necessarily apply.