How Do You Charge an Electric Bike: Charging Methods and Best Practices

Are you wondering how to charge your electric bike the right way? If yes, then this guide on how do you charge an electric bike is just what you need!   

Fast, fun, and environmentally-friendly– electric bikes are readily gaining popularity worldwide. Whether you are looking for a convenient, eco-friendly ride for your daily commute or want to embark on exciting off-road adventures in remote areas, electric bikes may be the ideal transportation choice for you.

Also, check out 5 Ways to Charge Your electric Bikes in Remote Areas and Can an Electric Bike Get Wet?

They can traverse different terrains and offer a commendable range perfect for traveling short and long distances. However, to make the most of your electric bike, it is essential to know how to charge an electric bike the right way.

how do you charge an electric bike
how do you charge an electric bike

Charging is an important aspect that affects the longevity of your e-bike as well as your riding experience. The way you charge your electric bike affects your battery’s lifespan, which is the most important and expensive component of an electric bike.

Unfortunately, incorrect charging can damage the battery, and you most certainly don’t want that, as replacing the battery can be a costly affair. Therefore, the best approach is to learn the right way to charge your electric bike. So, how do you charge an electric bike? Let’s find out!

How Do You Charge An Electric Bike?

It is important to understand that the question “How do you charge an electric bike” is not as straight forward as it may seem at first. In fact, to understand how to charge an electric bike the right way, you must know two things – different charging methods and the best practices for charging an electric bike.

The good news is that we are going to discuss both these aspects of charging an electric bike in this article. Read on to learn everything you need to know about how to charge an electric bike to improve its performance and prolong the battery lifespan.

Different Ways to Charge an Electric Bike

So, how do you charge your electric bike? Do you use a charger or take your e-bike to a charging station? Perhaps, you use your car to charge your bike. The truth is that there are many different ways to charge an electric bike. Scroll down to look at the top three!  

1. Use the Charger

When you buy an electric bike, it comes with a battery pack and a charger. The charger generally features a power supply that has two slots for cable.

On one end, you attach a cable that plugs into the main power outlet, while, on the other end, you attach a cable that connects to the electric bike battery.

Most electric bikes chargers also come with an LED light that indicates when the battery is fully charged.

Charging an electric bike is not much different than charging a laptop or mobile phone. The best practice is to use the charger that comes with your electric bike.

However, depending on how you charge an electric bike and how you plan to use it, sometimes, it is good to look at other chargers.

There are different kinds of chargers available in the market. Some chargers work faster to charge the battery as compared to others. However, we have a word of caution for you – fast charging or overcharging can damage the battery and reduce its overall life and performance.

This is an essential factor to keep in mind while picking a charger for your electric bike. The two most common types of chargers used for electric bikes include the following.

Fixed-Rate Charger

Mostly, the chargers that come with your electric bike are fixed-rate chargers. These chargers are designed to operate on a fixed Amp rating. The higher the charger’s Amp rating, the less time your electric bike will take to charge.

They are available in different Amp rating. So if you wish to charge your electric bike quickly, you can buy a fixed-rate charger with a higher Amp rating.    

Fully Featured Chargers

Fully featured chargers are highly preferable as they can be used to charge the electric bike at different Amp ratings.

These chargers offer complete control over the charging time by allowing you to set the Amp ratings before plugging in the battery. Some fully-featured chargers even allow you to vary the voltage.

With a fully-featured charger, you can charge your electric bike quickly when you are running short on time or charging your electric bike on the go during your traveling adventures.

However, you can also use the same charger at a lower Amp rating to minimize battery damage due to fast charging. As a result, these chargers are often deemed more suitable for electric bikes.

The downfall to fully-featured chargers is that they are quite expensive as compared to fixed-rate chargers. They are also heavier, which means excessive weight if you want to travel with your charger.

Moreover, if the charger’s voltage is not set to match the battery’s requirements, battery damage is highly likely.

Therefore, you need to be a bit more cautious when using a fully-featured charger to charge your electric bike. Ultimately, the best choice of charger boils down to your personal needs and preferences.

Check out, Best Self-Charging Electric Bikes On the Market.

2. Use Electric Bike Charging Stations

how to charge an electric bike
An electric bike charging at an electric bike charging station

With the growing popularity of electric bikes, it is no surprise the electric bike charging stations are popping up everywhere, especially in North America and Europe.

For example, in the USA, you can find electric power charging stations in San Diego, Commerce, Dallas, Claremont, San Francisco, Phoenix, and almost all other major cities.

Similarly, hundreds of electric power stations are installed in Canadian cities, including Calgary, Orangeville, Golden, Merritt, Milton, Vancouver, Lamloops, Burnaby, Val-d’Or, and many more!

Many people use these charging stations to charge their electric bikes on the go. However, keep in mind that charging your electric bike at a charging station is not free of cost. You must pay a small fee to use the charging station.

Usually, electric bike charging stations work quickly to charge your electric bike within a few minutes. This is because the Amp rating of charging stations is generally higher than that of your charger. So, while stopping at a charging station may save you plenty of time, it can lead to battery damage over time.

Here are some of the options that the US and European residents can consider when it comes to finding an electric bike charging station.

Bosch Power Stations

If your electric bike is equipped with a Bosch battery, you are in luck, as Bosch has set up electric bike charging stations across Europe. These stations are mainly indoors, which means you can charge your bike even in harsh weather conditions. Check out Bosch Electric Bike Power Stations in your area here.

Bike Energy Charging Stations

Bike energy stations are also fairly popular. However, while these charging stations cater to all common electric bike brands, you may need certain adaptor cables to use Bike Energy Charging Station to charge your electric bike.

These adaptors are usually easily available at the charging station. However, it is always better to prepare ahead of time. You can check out the ideal charging cable for your electric bike here.

So, if you plan on charging your electric bike at one of the Bike Energy Charging Stations, it is best to check out the requirements beforehand and prepare accordingly. You can easily find information regarding Bike Energy Charging Stations around you here.      

3. Use a Car Charger

Did you know you can use your car to charge your electric bike? Yes, you read that right!

While it may not be the most common answer to the question “how do you charge an electric bike,” many people use this unconventional method to charge their e-bikes, especially when traveling off-road or in remote areas.

Keep in mind that while it is possible to charge your electric bike by connecting it to your car, it is not always the ideal option. You must be super cautious to make sure you don’t end up damaging your electric bike battery or draining your car battery.

Therefore, it is best to use this charging method as your last resort. That being said – let’s take a look at how you can charge your electric bike using a car.

The first and the most important thing to consider is that the voltage and the Amp rating of the in-car inverter. Typically, cigarette or car accessory sockets that are used to charge electric devices in the car have a 150-watts limit.

So, as long as you use a charger that draws out power less than 150 watts, you are good to go. However, if you use a high amp charger that exceeds the power limit, be prepared to deal with a blown fuse!

Considering all, it is not recommended to use your car to charge your electric bike on a daily basis. On the other hand, if you find yourself in a pinch with no other way to charge your e-bike, connecting it to a car might be your best bet.

If you plan on using your car to charge your electric bike on an off-road adventure, make sure you try it a few times at home first to make sure you understand how it works.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that charging an electric bike using your car when the engine is off can easily drain the car’s battery within minutes. An easy solution is to leave the engine running as you charge your electric bike.    

Best Practices for Charging Electric Bikes

How to charge an electric bike
An electric bike with battery

Now that you know all about the different ways to charge an electric bike, let’s move on to the second most important aspect of charging electric bikes – the best charging practices.

How do you charge your electric bike, and what practices do you follow? Do you charge it daily or before heading out of the house? Do you leave the charger plugged in overnight or charge your e-bike just enough to take you to your destination? Do you consider the weather and room temperature before plugging your electric bike for charging?

Believe it or not – all these factors affect the lifespan of your electric bike battery. Therefore, to make the most of your electric bike, you must consider a number of factors when charging the battery.

Here are some tried and tested tips and tricks that can help you charge your electric bike the right way.

1. Charge New Electric Bikes for 12 Hours

Most electric bikes take around 6 to 8 hours on average to charge fully. But when you bring a new electric bike home and charge it for the first time, it is best to leave it plugged in for around 12 hours.

While overcharging a battery is generally discourages, the first long charge ensures that the electric current reaches and flows through all the cells in the battery. This initial charge will condition the out-of-the-box battery and amp its performance over time.

2. Charge Your Electric Bike Regularly

Most batteries perform better and last longer when they are used and charged regularly. It is recommended to NOT let the electric bike battery drain completely before plugging it in for charging.

Instead, try to charge your electric bike when the battery charge is between 30% and 60%. This is an excellent practice for daily charging. However, it must be noted that some experts suggest letting the battery drain completely every once in a while.

So, for the most effective performance, stick to charging the electric bike when the remaining charge is between 30% and 60% and let it drain to 0% after every 30 to 40 charges.  

3. Avoid Storing Empty Battery

It is best to use the electric bike and charge the batteries regularly. However, if you must store the battery for a long period, make sure you don’t store the battery empty.

Instead, store the battery in a dry place when it is charged at least 40%to 70% of the full capacity. Doing so can help increase the overall battery life and performance.

Another important tip to remember is that even if you are not using the electric bike battery at all, it is still advisable to charge it at least once a month. It is important because batteries tend to discharge over time, whether you use them or not.

So, charging the battery once a month will make sure that the battery is never completely empty. As a result, it will last longer and perform better when you use it again.

4. Do Not Cover the Battery

You probably already know that batteries tend to warm up as they are plugged in for charging. The same goes for the charger.

Therefore, whatever you do, don’t cover your electric bike, especially the battery or charger when the e-bike is charging. Otherwise, the battery or charger may heat up excessively and damage.

5. Mind the Temperature While Charging

Whether the weather is too cold or too hot, your electric bike battery will not like it. In fact, charging your electric bikes in extreme temperatures can actually damage the battery.

The suitable environment for charging a battery is considered to be warmer than freezing but warmer than 110° F. However, it is always better to avoid extremes.

The best approach is to charge your electric bike when the temperature is around 60° F to 70° F. 

On the other hand, if you want to store the battery for a long time, make sure you store it in a dry area between 15 °C (59 °F) and 25 °C (77 °F).

6. Avoid Overcharging

One of the most common reasons why electric bike batteries malfunction or get damaged is overcharging.

It is recommended to remove the battery from the power outlet as soon as it is charged fully. Avoid leaving it plugged in for longer periods as the charger won’t give the battery a chance to discharge.

For example, let’s say the battery discharges to 98% or 95%. The charger will go into action and charge it fully within minutes.

As a result, a poor cycle of minor discharges is created within the battery, damaging the battery over time. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid overcharging.

If you tend to forget to remove the charger, something as simple as setting a timer on your mobile phone can help you keep your battery in the best shape.

electric bike charging
electric bike charging

You may like following electric bike blogs:

The Bottom Line

When you buy an electric bike, the first thing you should do is go through the manufacturer’s instructions on charging the battery. This is a crucial step, as the charging instructions vary from manufacture to manufacture.

However, the general guidelines for charging the battery are usually the same. All you have to do is choose the way you want to charge the electric bike and then follow the best charging practices to prolong the battery life and upgrade its performance. Simple, right?

This brings up to the end of our guide on how do you charge an electric bike. Now you can charge your electric bike like a pro and forget about replacement batteries!