The right care for your battery in winter
26 October 2021 Christian
The golden autumn days let the temperatures drop noticeably and so it is not surprising that less and less e-bikes are on the streets. But where are they all hiding? And where/how do you actually winter an e-bike properly? We have put together a few tips on how to get the heart of your e-bike, the battery, safely through the winter:
Batteries are like people: they feel most comfortable at room temperature, i.e. a temperature range of around 20 °C (68 °F). If it gets bitterly cold outside and temperatures drop to degrees below -10 to -20 °C (14 °F to -4 °F), they may become sluggish and can even suffer a drop in performance of up to 40 %. So, if you are planning a winter ride, you should keep in mind that icy temperatures not only affect your power but also reduce the range of your e-bike.
For longer rides below freezing point, you can protect your battery from freezing using a thermal protection cover. After the ride, we recommend cleaning the contacts on the e-bike with a clean cloth as road salt can affect even the most robust battery. If you want to go the extra mile, you can also protect the contacts using a special lubricant from the specialty store.
In general, you should not leave the battery outside on the bike as soon as the temperatures drop towards freezing point. In this respect all manufacturers agree: Batteries should be stored in a temperature range of 10-20 °C (50-68 °F) in dry interiors. If you like to use your bike in winter, insert your battery shortly before setting off and take it back to the warm home or office afterwards. In case your bike is equipped with a battery mounted in the frame, you better already start clearing space in your storage room as it is strongly advised not to leave these bikes outside during winter...
Once the battery has made it into the warm, we should give it a short rest and charge it after a warm-up period. Wetness is, of course, absolutely taboo during charging and storage: there is a risk of short circuits!
If you know it is going to rest for longer and want to prepare your bike for a well-deserved winter break, disconnect the battery from the charger after charging. As lithium-ion batteries no longer know the memory effect of older technology, they can be recharged even if there is still enough buffer. For that reason, it is recommended to send the battery into hibernation with a charge level between 30 and 80 %, depending on the manufacturer. Discharging the battery completely will damage it as it slowly discharges itself during winter sleep. Accordingly, the battery should be checked every two to three months and be recharged, if necessary, thus it will have a restful hibernation...