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How Long Does It Take To Recharge An Electric Bike?

When it comes to electric bikes, none of us want to wait! We just want to ride! If you use your bike once or twice a day for commuting and it’s plugged in the rest of the time, how long it takes to charge may be a moot point for you. But what about on longer trips, or in cases where you need to plan charging time into your schedule a little more precisely? How long do they take to charge?

Electric Bike Batteries can take 3 to 6 hours to fully charge, depending on battery size. A 36 Volt/13 Ah battery only needs to charge ~470Wh of energy and may be done in 3 hours, while a larger 42 Volt/12.8 Ah battery will need to charge closer to 615Wh of energy, which will take longer, maybe up to 6 hours.

You’ll want to watch out for bikes advertising “fast charging”, because they may be achieving this increased charge speed by decreasing the size of the battery! As your battery ages, the charge time can also go up, but you can slow down this process by regularly charging, avoiding extreme temperatures, and not overcharging.

How Long Does it Take To Recharge the Typical E-Bike Battery?

Red electric bike with charging cable plugged in

The charging time of Electric Bike Batteries will vary on the size of the battery, type of battery, and the amps of the charger. A typical lithium-Ion battery is going to take 3 to 6 hours to fully charge. 

It’s crucial the note that the charging time of a lithium-ion battery isn’t linear. On some bikes, most of the work can be in the first 60% of the charging time. Another thing to note is, usually the last hour of charging is to “top-off” the battery cells. It isn’t necessary to wait for this process, so you could charge your battery to 90% in less time.

When it comes to the amps on a charger, more does equal a faster charge. More amps have their limitations, though. Most electric bike battery chargers are going to max out at eight amps. This max range is to ensure the safety of the battery. Charging a battery too fast can damage it, cause early degradation, and potentially be a fire hazard. 

If you want to know the specifics of how long it will take a particular battery will charge, you can do some simple math. To figure this out, simply divide the amp-hour rating of your battery by the amp rating of your charger. For example, say you had a 20Ah battery and a 4amp charger; it would take you approximately 5 hours to charge. Now, if you had a maxed-out charger at eight amps, this would only take you 2.5 hours.

This gets slightly complicated around that “20Ah” number because to know the capacity of the battery you need to do a little multiplication with the voltage. If you consider the Anmor 7-Speed Powerful E-Bike (on Amazon), you’ll note that it says the 48V/12.8Ah battery charges in “4-6” hours, while the Macmission City Electric Bicycle (on Amazon) describes its 36V/13Ah battery as quick charging in 3 hours.

To compare the battery sizes directly, we multiply the Volts by the Amp Hours to get Watt Hours: 48V x 12.8Ah = ~615Wh, and 36V x 13Ah = ~470Wh. The “faster charging” battery is nearly 25% smaller, so it’s no wonder it charges much faster!

Will Bigger Batteries Take Longer to Charge?

Ukraine Dnipro - 13.05.2021 - an electro battery with an electric bike is recharged on a wooden floor, electro

Yes, bigger E-Bike Batteries will take longer to charge than smaller ones. If you take the math from before, a larger amp hour rating is going to take longer to charge with the same charger. 

Seeing as bigger batteries take longer to charge and could jump up 2.5 to 5 hours in time, we recommend you consider going with two smaller batteries. Having two smaller batteries come with a range of benefits besides charge time. Some of these advantages include having a contingency plan and fewer charge cycles.

Tips for Maintaining Your EBike Battery’s Health

An electric charger whose light is red, a sign that it is charging an electric bicycle

Maintaining your electric bike stems further than just the tires and paint job. Maintaining your e-bike’s battery is crucial to its performance and overall ride. Let’s go over some specific tips so you can get the most out of your battery!

  1. Charge new batteries for 12 hours.
  2. Charge the battery regularly.
  3. Don’t fully deplete a battery or fully charge it.
  4. Avoid any extreme temperatures.
  5. Don’t store an empty battery.
  6. Physically clean the battery regularly.

Charge New Batteries For 12 Hours

When you first get a battery straight out of the box, do your due diligence and charge it completely for 12 hours. We all want to get out and ride, but this initial charge conditions the battery and ensures a current is flowing throughout all the cells.

Charge Regularly

Make sure you’re charging your e-bike battery regularly. Letting your battery drop to a complete discharge will cause you to wait a full charge time and use a complete charge cycle. 

Watch Your Charge Cycle

The charge cycle of an electric bike battery is basically its overall lifespan. One charge cycle is a full charge from 0% to 100%. Most batteries have a range of 500-1,000 charge cycles before they completely bite the dust. If you can avoid it, only charge your battery to 85-90%. This will ensure you’re never using a complete charge cycle. A 50% battery charged to 75% is only one-fourth of a charge cycle. Charging your battery this way will give you more charges and life.

Overcharging your battery can cause poor charge cycles resulting in worse battery health. To prevent this, keep a timer on your phone to remind you to take the battery off the charger. 

Avoid Extreme Temperatures

Extreme temperatures are not conducive to a healthy battery. When charging or storing your battery, keep it in an environment of 45-85 Degrees Fahrenheit. This will ensure your battery isn’t reaching extreme temperatures and potentially being damaged.

Don’t Store An Empty Battery

Whether you’re storing a battery for the night or taking it with you on a trip, don’t store it completely empty. Keep a battery you’re not using around 40-70% capacity.

If you keep a battery fully drained for a long period of time, the battery’s cells could slightly degrade and decrease its overall lifespan.

Clean Your Battery Regularly

One thing you can’t overlook when taking care of your battery is keeping it clean and dry. Make sure you’re storing it correctly in the right environment. Clean the battery as needed or once every three months to ensure its health.

Keep in mind that over time your battery will age, losing performance and charging speed. Properly maintaining it with these tips is a surefire way to slow down that process and keep your battery performing at optimal levels for longer.

Can You Leave Your Ebike Charging Overnight?

Yes, you can charge your electric bike battery overnight, but we don’t recommend it. Charging an e-bike battery overnight can have some downsides that are best to avoid.

Keeping your battery on the charger or overcharging it can cause poor battery charge cycles. A battery left on a charger at 95% will cause the charger to continuously top the battery off. The battery will keep dropping below 100% while on the charger, which repeats the cycle. This cycle uses a lot of extra energy and damages the batteries’ health.

To avoid this, only charge your battery overnight when you absolutely need to. Alternatively, wake up early and throw your battery on the charger, so you aren’t overcharging. Another great option is to keep a timer on your phone to remind you to take the battery off the charger.

You should also consider investing in an outlet with a timer (on Amazon). This tool allows you to set a time to automatically shut off the charger, so you aren’t overcharging. If you purchase something like this, you can leave your battery on the charger overnight without fear of damaging it. It’s also important to note that over time, you will have a better idea of your battery’s charge time. This information will allow you to plan how you charge more effectively.

The Best E-Bike Battery Chargers

If you’re shopping for a new battery charger, you might be a little overwhelmed. Don’t worry; here are three of the best electric bike battery chargers. There are different options and price points ranging from $15 to $300.

The Cycle Satiator by Grin Technologies is one of the best chargers on the market. The Satiator is a programmable and universal charger that works with every battery type. It’s sealed, waterproof, and small in design, making it a triple threat. It comes with an informative display, so you’re never unsure of your battery’s condition. All that being said, depending on which option you choose, you can be paying upwards of $300. 

If you’re looking for something a little more affordable, check out the Li Do UY360 (on Amazon). It comes in just under $115, making it a great contender in the middle of the pack. This charger uses both a constant current and trickle charge system to make sure your battery is getting the optimal charge. It skimps out on a few bells and whistles that you would get in a higher price range, but it gets the job done very well.

If you’re looking for a complete budget-friendly option, look no further than the HoneyCare G100-L10 L13 (on Amazon). This charger is sure to pack a more potent punch than your standard charger out of the box. It comes with simple-to-read LEDs and a four-stage charging process. It’s relatively small in size and has a protection function to ensure your battery doesn’t short-circuit. For only $30, you can beef up your overall E-Bike setup.