9 tips for a longer range, meaning your e-bike’s battery will last longer in winter.

Winter temperatures can damage an e-bike battery. But why is this? The ions of the lithium-ion battery move in a viscous electrolyte. With decreasing temperatures, the electrolyte becomes even more viscous. This increases resistance for the ions, which means the ions have difficulty penetrating the electrolyte. This ultimately results in the battery supplying less energy than it does at normal temperatures. So, how do you ensure that your e-bike battery lasts for a long time in winter?


1. Store the battery indoors.

Take the battery with you into the warmth, keep it at room temperature and only insert it just before you want to set off. This is because an e-bike battery prefers to work in a temperature range of ten to twenty-five degrees. Do not forget to take the battery with you into the warmth during longer lunch breaks or working hours, too, so that it does not have to stay in the cold for too long.


2. Charge it properly.

When charging, the outside temperature must be right for the power stores to charge correctly. It is therefore best not to start charging until the battery has reached room temperature. Do not run the battery completely empty either, but rather recharge it whenever it is has a ten-percent charge left.


3. Use the assistance.

Cycling only in eco mode does not do the battery any good in winter. Just like humans, the battery has to work in the winter in order to be efficient. Cycle in a way that suits the surface and use a high assistance level. In a high-assistance mode, the discharge current allows the battery to warm itself up.


4. Keep it smooth.

Like when you drive a car, frequent stops and starts waste energy unnecessarily when you’re e-biking. So look ahead when you ride and maintain a constant pedal frequency. Smooth and continuous pressure on the pedals provides a steady signal to the motor, which saves energy and increases the range of your e-bike battery.


5. Take it down a gear.

With the motor running, you are often tempted to relax and pedal less or slower. However, the efficiency of the e-bike motor keeps improving when you pedal at a higher frequency. We therefore advise you to shift down a gear and pedal faster. A pedal frequency of around 80 revolutions optimises consumption and extends the range of your e-bike’s battery.


6. Check your tyre pressure.

Having the right tyre pressure is also decisive for the range of your e-bike battery. Cycling on firm, hard surfaces – such as on a paved road – with too little air in the tyres increases friction, which means you quickly lose speed. You should therefore make sure that you have enough pressure in your tyres. Off-road, the correlation is exactly the reverse. Especially when e-mountain biking, lower air pressure is important so that power from the drive can be transferred to the ground. You can find the optimum tyre pressure on your e-bike tyre. If you have any further questions, your specialist dealer will be happy to advise you.


7. Lubricate the chain properly.

Friction shortens the range. As well as having the right tyre pressure, you should therefore also regularly check the chain. It is best to clean the chain with a dry cloth and then apply some chain oil. To take care of your bike, it is also worth taking it to your specialist dealer for a general check-up on a regular basis.


8. Use a second battery.

If you don’t have time for longer charging times or you want to cover longer distances, purchasing a second battery is worthwhile. Don’t forget to take the second battery with you into the warmth and insulate it when you transport it around. Special e-bike bags usually have an insulated compartment. Otherwise, you can wrap the second battery in a jacket and carry it in your bag next to a Thermos flask.


9. Offload heavy items.

Heavy luggage and additional loads affect the range of your e-bike battery. The heavier the total weight, the shorter the range. So before you start your trip, think carefully about what you need and, if necessary, repack your backpack or bag, leaving heavy items you don’t need at home.


by Yvonne Wyss
03 January 2020