How to Extend the Battery Life in Your eBike

Camron Stover

Electric bikes, also known as e-bikes, have become an integral part of the modern hunting experience and a preferred option for backcountry elk hunters, as well as midwest whitetail hunters. Quietkat ebikes offer a quiet and eco-friendly mode of transportation, they have revolutionized the way hunters navigate through various terrains. The only hindrance is whether or not they’re legal for you to use on public land and the battery life.  The performance of an e-bike is closely tied to the health and lifespan of its battery. So be sure to read through these tips to help you extend the life of your electric bicycle on your next hunting adventure.

In this guide, we will delve into the intricacies of e-bike batteries, discuss the best practices, and maintenance tips, and provide tips to help you extend the battery life of your hunting bike. Whether you’re tackling extreme terrains, extreme temperatures, or traveling deep into the Rocky Mountains, understanding how to care for your battery is essential for optimal performance.

Understanding Electric Bike Batteries

Most modern e-bikes are equipped with lithium-ion batteries, chosen for their high energy density, longer lifespan, and lighter weight compared to alternatives like lead-acid batteries. Lithium-ion batteries provide better performance for longer rides and varying terrains. However, their optimal functionality depends on proper care and maintenance.  A major portion of the cost of an ebike is the battery itself, with replacement costing nearly $1,000 sometimes.  Have you priced replacement batteries for a Tesla?  Talk about expensive!

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Environmental Factors That Effect Battery Life

Lithium-ion batteries operate optimally at moderate temperatures. Extreme heat or cold can significantly impact the performance of a lithium-ion battery in an ebike, just like the batteries in your trial camera or cellphone. When storing your e-bike, it’s best to charge and store it at room temperature to prevent chemical reactions that can damage the battery over time. Most electric hunting bikes have a removable battery, so if you’re going to store your ebike in the garage or barn, it’s best to remove the battery and store it appropriately.  Avoid exposing the bike battery to direct sunlight for extended periods.  Pay special attention to where to park your bike at camp or when hunting, as this is when most hunters make mistakes.

Cold temperatures can reduce the efficiency of your e-bike battery. Keep your e-bike in a warm, dry place when not in use.  There are battery covers specifically designed to keep your battery warm when riding in cold conditions.  When not in use, remove the battery and store at room temperature.   Extreme heat can also lead to a decrease in battery capacity. If possible, park your e-bike in the shade and avoid leaving it in direct sunlight for prolonged periods.

Riding Style Affects Battery Life

One of the easiest ways to more distance and life out of your battery during the ride is to adjust your riding style.  Typically, I run by ebike on Boost mode, which is the most aggressive mode and delivers more torque, therefore using more battery power.  Running at a lower setting like Eco Mode is better for conserving battery power throughout the ride.  The harder you push the bike without pedaling, the quicker you’ll drain the battery.

Pedal More to Extend eBike Battery Life

Pedaling isn’t fun but it’s the best way to increase your range and distance when operating an e-bike.  There’s a time and place for utilizing the throttle of the ebike but not using it will allow you to conserve it for when you will need it.  For instance, it’s easy to pedal on flat ground and it’s possible to coast on downhill descents and never have to pedal.  Consider turning the bike and battery off during these situations and enjoy the ride.  Save the battery life for climbing and you’ll get the most out of your bike.

Weight Reduction

The heavier the load, the more energy it takes to move the bike.  This includes manually pedaling, as well as using the throttle.  Reduce the amount of weight you’re hauling on the bike and avoid carrying unnecessary gear.  This also applies to the rider’s body weight.  A 200-pound rider is going to get more range and distance out of a single charge than a 300-pound rider.

If you have to haul a bunch of gear to and from, consider picking up an ebike trailer and be conservative during operation.

Best Practices for Charging eBike Batteries

1. Partial Charging

Charging your e-bike after every ride, even if you’ve only used a small portion of the battery, is a common practice. Lithium-ion batteries prefer a partial charge over frequent full charges.  Keeping your ebike at full-charge during short timeframes between rides or hunts allows you to deploy the bike and get the most out of each ride when the opportunity to hunt presents itself.

2. Battery Management System (BMS)

Modern e-bikes come equipped with a Battery Management System (BMS). This system helps balance the cells and prevents overcharging or discharging, optimizing the overall health of the battery.  This isn’t something that you can adjust as it’s incorporated into most electric bike batteries.

3. Full Charge Cycles

While frequent partial charges are good, it’s also advisable to allow a full discharge and recharge periodically. This helps calibrate the battery and prevents capacity loss due to the memory effect.  Drain the bike battery until it’s completely dead and fully charge it.  Have you noticed that your cell phone dies randomly even though it’s showing 5 or 10% remaining?  After it dissipates it’s energy and you recharge it to 100% from a true zero, the battery performs much better.  This is the same principle for your ebike battery.  You’ll be surprised how long it takes to completely drain the battery between big charges.  Power distribution will be reduced, so it makes it much harder to burn off the last 10% typically.

4. Chargers – Don’t Be Cheap When it Matters Most

Use only the manufacturer-supplied and/or recommended charging stations to ensure your battery is being properly maintained.   QuietKat offers a variety of charging accessories, including portable solar charging stations, 12V DC power cords, and the charging cable that comes with your ebike.  The solar chargers are cool for backcountry hunts and primitive camping adventures.  Having a DC charger might not be necessary if your truck has a 120-volt inverter inside already.

QuietKat Solar charger best price

Maintenance for Long-Term Performance

1. Regular Inspections

Routinely check your e-bike’s battery for signs of damage or wear. Look out for physical damage, leaks, or any irregularities in the casing.  Refer to the manufacturer’s maintenance and inspection procedures.  It’s a great idea to take your ebike to your local dealer for a thorough inspection.

2. Tire Pressure

Maintaining proper tire pressure not only ensures a smooth ride but also contributes to the overall efficiency of your e-bike, affecting the battery’s consumption.  Ensure that your tires or tubes are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommendations.  Reducing the tire pressure may sound like a good idea for better traction in the mud or snow, but this increases your likelihood that you’ll pinch the tube and get a flat.

3. Motor Efficiency

Keep the electric motor well-maintained. Regularly clean and lubricate moving parts, and address any issues promptly to ensure the motor operates efficiently, reducing strain on the battery.

4. Mud and Debris

During wet and snowy conditions, your ebike can collect mud and snow, adding additional weight to the bike and increasing resistance when moving.  The build up of snow and mud on tires, rims, and brake rotors will require more force (battery power) to move the bike.  Therefore the more battery power that will be consumed, thus reducing the life of your battery.  Muddy, wet, and snowy conditions decrease your traction and may cause your tires to slip and spin when power is applied.  This wasted battery power will waste battery power.  Stay safe, slow down, and conserve your battery when possible.

Choosing the Right E-bike and Battery Quality

1. High-Quality Batteries

When purchasing an e-bike, invest in one with a high-quality battery. The longevity of your battery is often directly related to its initial quality.  Cheaper ebikes often come with cheaper batteries.  Also, not all batteries are the same size,

2.  Volts vs Amp Hours

Understanding the lithium batteries is an important detail that you should know before buying an ebike.  An electrician can dive deeper into the definitions of amps, volts, and other electrical terms.  To keep things simple, remember the higher the battery voltage, the quicker power can be delivered and the faster it will accelerate.  When you see amp-hours, the higher the number, the longer the battery will last.  E-Bike batteries are designed to fit specific ebikes, so make sure you buy the correct battery.  If given an option for different battery sizes, whether amp hours or volts, always go with the bigger battery if you want to drive further and faster.  Just make sure it’s legal where you’re hunting.

3. Brand Considerations

Brands like QuietKat are known for producing reliable e-bikes with quality batteries. Consider the reputation and check out some of our e-bike reviews on HuntingGearDeals.com before making a purchase.

Conclusion

By incorporating these care and maintenance best practices, you can significantly extend the battery life of your hunting e-bike. Remember, the most important thing is to take care of your battery through proper charging, regular maintenance, and environmental considerations. Following these guidelines will not only ensure your e-bike performs optimally for longer rides but also enhance your overall hunting experience.

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AUTHOR BIO

Hi, I’m Camron the owner of Hunting Gear Deals. I’m an avid bowhunter with a knack for finding good deals on hunting gear and love to help you save money on hunting gear.  I’m also the owner of the popular Bucks, Bulls, & Bears email newsletter that’s built to educate and entertain hunters.  If you haven’t subscribed, you’re missing out!  Last but not least, I’m proud to say that I work for Whitetail Properties as a Land Specialist in Ohio.  If you’re in the market for hunting property, shoot me an email and I’d love to help you find your dream property.  

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