EV Simplified: Things that affect the battery life of e-bikes and e-scooters
Batteries are one of the essential components of electric vehicles. At present, lithium-ion batteries are the ones that are widely used for high-speed electric vehicles and, like any component, their lifespan is affected by various factors. They are also the most expensive part of an EV, and it is imperative for any discerning EV owner that they should be maintained to ensure their longevity. We dig deeper into the factors that affect EV battery life:
The most obvious aspect that affects a battery’s lifespan is its charge cycle. It is the process of fully charging a battery and then discharging it through normal use. As batteries are charged and discharged over a period of time, their cycle count increases.
Typically, EV batteries come with a specific cycle count, which gives us a rough estimate of battery life. The higher the number, the longer the battery will last. But as the battery goes through its cycles, its total charge capacity (also called State Of Health – SOH) slowly degrades over time. That said, modern battery management systems automatically optimize their charge cycles to ensure better battery life. So EV batteries may not degrade as quickly as the smaller capacity ones we use in our electronics.
Batteries contain mostly chemicals, and charging and discharging are basically chemical reactions, with the by-product being electricity. Therefore, they are reactive to the outside temperature. Extreme heat or cold are the worst enemies of battery life. Most electric two-wheeler batteries are passively air-cooled, so make sure they are charged in the shade or somewhere with good air circulation.
Additionally, fast charging also affects the battery life over a period of time as it involves sending large amounts of electricity to the battery which also causes the batteries to heat up quickly. We’ve covered more on the advantages and disadvantages of fast charging technology here. Batteries need to operate in a cool environment, however, extreme cold also affects its efficiency, including its charge capacity and therefore range.
Just like ICE vehicles, a battery’s life is also affected by how you run the engine. Driving aggressively with hard acceleration drains the battery much faster than driving at a calm pace. This not only affects the range, but also reduces the overall charge capacity of the battery over a period of time. Learn more about driving style affects the range of an electric scooter, check this.
Like any sophisticated machine, batteries must be treated with care to ensure their longevity, and these factors also largely apply to vehicles using lead-acid batteries. Maintaining the health of a battery is crucial as batteries cannot be repaired and will only need to be replaced. While battery costs will drop significantly in the near future, replacing them will still cost a lot of money. In addition, exhausted batteries will also need to be disposed of appropriately. You can read more about whether electric vehicles are really green or not in our analysis here.