eBike Batteries Explained
There is a wide assortment of different batteries used on eBikes. eBike Batteries come in various styles, shapes, and sizes. We will discuss here the most common ebike batteries found in the industry, how they work, and what actually is inside an electric bike battery pack.
The most predominant style of battery in the ebike market these days is the large case battery. It is what we have on the Tower electric cruiser bike. These types of batteries are usually an internal frame battery, meaning they slide in or are within the frame of the bike. On many ebikes there is the internal frame pack that would go into a proprietary frame designed bike. Read our electric bike industry warning to see why we do not recommend buying an ebike with this styled battery pack.
eBike Battery Industry Standards
All these battery packs have a commonality of having individual cells inside them. The current industry standard for the dimensions of these batteries is 18 x 6.50 inches. Each ebike battery has a circuit board inside which is called the battery management system which keeps all the individual cell packs at the same charge level, and also handles the charging and discharging of the battery pack.
There are a lot of different ebike battery manufacturers. The best batteries usually come from very reputable companies like Samsung, Panasonic, Bosch, or LG. We caution people when purchasing inexpensive batteries, as they are most likely Chinese knockoffs. These knockoffs will not perform nearly as well compared to trusted and reputable batteries who have quality control manufacturing systems and a trusted brand name. It's important to remember you are buying from the brand that made the bike, not the battery. When ebike shopping make sure the battery on whatever ebike you choose to purchase is a reputable brand. Don't settle for anything less. when an ebike company does not provide the name fo the cells in their battery, you can assume there battery is non branded and are generally sourced for low cost, meaning low quality.
Battery Performance Explained
As for the performance of an ebike battery, it is quantified by its storage capacity of each individual cell and the maximum discharge of the cell. The storage capacity translates into the range that you can use the bike. The maximum discharge will translate into the power in can deliver to the wheel. The battery capacity is measured in either Amp hours (Ah) or Watt hours (Wh).
It's a good idea to look for an ebike that can give you a good range with good power, and ideally with a reputable battery brand as well.
The industry standard continues to improve, but generally any bike with a 500+ watt motor and a 48v + battery is considered good and more than satisfactory.
Additionally, you must also know that the range and power correlate with one another. The range will vary depending also on how much power level or pedal assist you will be riding on. If you travel on a low level of pedal assist, you can have a good range even on a small sized battery. And likewise, if you require a higher level of pedal assist, it might be best to opt for a battery with a higher range capacity.
If you're interested in learning more about electric bikes check out our article on how an electric bike works from start to finish.