Electric Scooter Battery Guide – Everything you need to know
Without any shadow of a doubt, an electric scooter battery is a critical component because it powers the scooter. Due to this battery, you can easily distinguish an electric scooter from the conventional models. Without this battery, your scooter is not going to go anywhere at all.
All electric scooters require different types of batteries. And they all have their pros and cons in different scenarios. No single type can serve to be your ultimate choice. Don't know much about these electric scooter batteries? Want to know which battery is used in electric scooter?
Read on to find everything you need to know about electric scooter batteries.
Electric Scooter Battery - Different Types
Identifying the type of battery used in an electric scooter is necessary because each type has its traits. Each type has a different charging type, life, portability, and cost. In this section, we are going to explore how each of these types differs from one another.
SLA or Sealed Lead Acid batteries have been in use for some time now. These batteries carry the heaviest weight, and this is the particular reason why SLAs are not very popular anymore. More and more manufacturers are introducing new, more convenient, and portable designs of everything, including electric scooters, and portability is not a trait of SLAs.
As they are losing their ground against many popular lithium batteries due to their weight, they are becoming cheaper too. So, if you are short on your budget, then an SLA will get the job done for you.
Additionally, SLAs are better in terms of power, and this is exactly why they are used frequently in the auto industry. They tend to create a high current instantly, and it is perhaps the only reason why some manufacturers still use SLAs in their electric scooters. These batteries are very long-lasting, but they are extremely bulky as well.
NiMH or nickel-metal hydride battery is also a decent type of battery that falls right between the SLAs and lithiums in terms of performance. This type is way lighter than an SLA but not as ultralight as lithium.
Due to their convenience and compactness, NiMH batteries are more expensive than SLAs. There is a special type of NiMH battery that comes fixed in your scooter. Therefore, replacing this special piece becomes trouble as your scooter, and the battery grows old. Although these batteries can last longer than SLAs, they are not as long-lasting as lithiums.
Lithium batteries are the latest one of all and have amassed a lot of popularity during this time. It is more expensive than other battery types, but it will provide you with the value of your investment as well. These batteries have metallic lithium anode in them.
Lithium disposable batteries are slightly different from lithium-ion and lithium polymer batteries. The latter two are rechargeable. Lithium is the lightest but still very long-lasting. There are different types of lithium batteries, and we are going to explore them briefly in the following section.
Types of Lithium Batteries
Lithium-ions are the best in terms of longevity, and you don't need to replace or even charge them as quickly as any other battery type. The primary difference between lithium and lithium-ion batteries is that the latter is rechargeable.
You can conveniently recharge lithium-ion batteries hundreds of times. This type of battery is frequently used in consumer and portable electronics, as well as in electric vehicles.
These are becoming even more popular for different applications in the aerospace and military industry. With the innovation and development in this industry, more and more types of lithium batteries with varying chemistries entered the market.
There is a Lithium Cobalt Oxide battery, Lithium Manganese Oxide battery, and many others. They all differ in their life span, performance, safety, and cost.
Another type of lithium-ion battery features manganese oxide as its cathode material. A manganese-oxide battery is non-toxic, inexpensive, earth-abundant, and has better thermal tolerance.
This chemistry is the safest one, and it also provides high output. Due to manganese, the internal resistance remains on the lower side with low temperature and high current.
These batteries have polymer electrolytes in them instead of the conventional liquid electrolyte. With the semisolid electrolyte present, there is greater conductivity. Therefore, you will get better specific energy. These batteries are lightweight, and they are commonly used in small electronic devices such as smartphones, or radio-controlled drones.
Let's focus on Lithium-Ion Batteries
Lithium batteries have been the center of attention for a long time because of the convenience they have to offer. Another exceptional feature of these batteries is that they are available in different chemistries. There have been a lot of changes in the designs according to the requirements or applications. Therefore, they are one of the best choices for electric scooters.
The battery packs designed for electric scooters are made of numerous individual battery cells. To be specific, these battery packs have 18650 battery cells in them. And each one of them is 18mm x 65mm in size. Each of these cells can only generate 3.5V with a capacity of 3Amp hour, which is quite unimpressive.
Therefore, a pack of many of these cells is created. And it is assembled into a structure that resembles a brick. This structure is regulated and monitored through a management system called BMS. This system controls the electricity flow in and out of the battery.
You will see that your electric scooter's battery capacity comes with a watt-hour rating (Wh). It is a way to measure energy, and there is nothing complicated about it. With more energy capacity, there are higher watt-hours. Your electric scooter will go for a longer range with its current motor size.
An average electric scooter powered by a lithium-ion battery and a motor-wheel consumes from 12 to 16 Wh per kilometer. You can divide Wh first by 12, and then by 16 to get a maximum travel distance at an average speed of 20 km/h.
If an electric scooter has a capacity of approximately 250 watt-hours, it can travel for about 18 kilometers ((250/12 + 250/16)/2).
The extreme performance models go over a thousand-watt hour with a traveling capacity of almost 100 kilometers or 60 miles.
There are only a few companies that make the lithium-ion cells in the battery packs. The cells that are highest in quality come from Sony, Sanyo, Samsung, LG, and Panasonic. These cells are only present in the battery packs of high-quality electric scooters.
Most of the mid and low-end electric scooters feature battery packs from Chinese manufacturers. Chinese cells vary in terms of quality and performance. You can find good quality as well as poor quality individual cells. There is a difference between the generic Chinese individual cells and their branded counterparts.
If budget is your concern, then go for a manufacturer with some market reputation. It should be known for using quality components and parts and decent quality control in place. Segway Ninebot and Xiaomi are among such companies.
Though amazing, your electric scooter lithium battery featuring 18650 cells is less forgiving. They tend to explode if a proper management system is not in place. Therefore, these cells are always assembled into a battery pack and attached to a battery management system (BMS) to control and regulate them.
A BMS is a small component that can monitor a battery pack and control its charging/discharging. The Li-ion batteries can operate between 2.5V and 4V. If you charge or discharge them excessively, their lifespan will significantly reduce. It can also trigger thermal runaways that are not safe. There are even more sophisticated BMS components also available. They can monitor the battery pack's temperature and, upon any trigger, can cut off power supply instantly.
Comparison of different types of Electric Scooter batteries
|Technology||Energy (Wh / kg)||Number of cycles||Energy efficiency %|
|SLA acid lead||40||500||82.5|
|Nickel - NiMH||70||1250||72.5|
|Lithium Ions - LFP||125||1000||90|
|Lithium Polymer - LiPo||200||1000||90|
Electric Scooter Battery Guide and Questions
For your convenience, we have developed this electric scooter battery guide. We have listed down some of the questions that frequently pop up in the user's mind. We will try to cover the most important ones and as many as possible in this guide to get you all sorted out.
How can I replace the batteries of my electric scooter?
For electric scooter battery replacement, you need to start by drawing the diagram of the wiring to make sure that you memorize all the intricate details. After completing your diagram, take the ground wires off for the terminals of the battery.
After removing the negative wires, your battery will become inactive, and you can safely work around it. Also, take the positive wires off as well from the red terminal. Now you can take out the battery safely.
The part numbers of your batteries should come with all the things you need to replace them correctly. If you don't find any identification marks or part numbers, you can check your battery status with the help of a voltmeter.
Before placing it in your new battery, make sure that it is of the correct dimensions. You can put in smaller batteries with the same amount of output. Still, you cannot place larger units because there's not much space available.
Using the diagram that you made earlier, set your battery back into the compartment according to the diagram. Make sure that all the positives and negatives are on the right points. All the wires should be intact, and you should have connected them all to your controller and the scooter's throttle.
Therefore, you need to keep in mind that everything is turned off. It will make sure that your scooter doesn't jump-start when you connect the motor with the battery pack.
Make sure that you hook those positive terminals up first, and then go for the negative ones.
How long does an electric scooter battery last?
Electric scooter battery range or life is one of the major concerns for many. These batteries will last for between 2 and 4 years or between 3000 and 5000 miles based on how you use them, what their capacity is, and how carefully you store them. Its battery life will be a lot shorter if you don't store it properly, or you do use your scooter a lot.
Many people are of the view that an electric scooter battery life becomes weak with every charge right from the word go. But that is not true. These batteries lose their capacity after they have gone through 300 - 500 charge cycles and not before that.
Most of the modern electric scooters feature lithium-ion batteries or battery packs. One of the most frequently used battery chemistries for these electric scooters is lithium manganese. For prolonging your battery life, it is better for you to store your scooter with a 75-percent charge.
Make sure to charge it with current under 2-Amp. Also make sure that you don't use your scooter if it is too cold or hot outside, the normal temperature range for you to use your electric scooter is between 32F and 114F. If you store your scooter for a very long time, then recharge your batteries at regular intervals.
What is the best way to store an electric scooter battery for long?
You need to make sure that you keep your electric scooter battery charged to 75% for prolonging its battery life before storing it.
Also, make sure that you charge it with a current of under 2-Amp and store it in temperature between 32F and 114F. To prevent discharge, make sure to keep charging them regularly when you are not using them.
Is there any recommended battery charging procedure?
Using a battery charger for electric scooter shouldn't involve any technical issues. Still, there are if you want your battery to last for a long time. Your battery needs to be fully charged when the light on your scooter illuminates solid green. It is the case when you have put your scooter through a charging period of 12 hours.
If the solid green color appears after a very short time, then your battery is not charged properly. You need to continue charging it for at least 8 hours. A good practice is to charge your battery after ever ride, even if the battery hasn't been drained entirely.
You need to be certain that your charger is working properly. Use the recommended charger for your electric scooter battery. Its voltage needs to be accurate. Now plug your charger into your power outlet, and the LED light on your charger needs to be solid green.
Now plug your charger into the port on your scooter and ensure that you have connected it properly. The LED light should now be a solid red. Now when charging is over and the LED light is green, unplug it and take your scooter for a ride.
Recommended battery charging procedure
Here are a few steps that you need to consider before charging your electric scooter battery:
- Don't place it on charging right after you have stepped off. The battery will be hot before you start recharging it, allowing it to cool down to increase its overall lifespan significantly.
- Make sure to charge your battery for an hour after your ride. Don't leave your battery partially charged for many days, because it will decrease the overall life of your battery.
- Always use certified chargers to charge your batteries. Using a temperature sensor for this purpose is a good choice. With a proper temperature management system in place, you can prevent the overheating of your charger and prevent your battery from any damage.
- Don't use the wrong type of a charger because it will damage your battery for sure. Fast charging is not good for your battery. Slow charging is better and more potent for your batteries.
- Before you try something out, make sure that you consult your owner's manual first.
- If you are looking to store your scooter for many months, make sure that you fully charge it and keep charging it once a month during its hiatus.
- If your charger is not working, then you need to make sure to replace it as soon as possible. You can also take it to your nearest electric shop for a quick diagnosis. At times there is a fail-safe mechanism in place if your battery is faulty, but your charger is okay. If this is the case, then you need to replace the battery as soon as you can.
Can I use any battery charger for my electric scooter battery?
Different scooters are featuring different battery types. They vary in wattage and voltage, and it is very dangerous to use any charger for your electric scooter battery. With varying wattage and voltage, a charger can burn the battery and or set fire to it.
You should only use a compatible charger with your battery. Make sure they both have the same voltage and wattage.
With a full charger, how far can I go on an electric scooter?
The electric scooter battery range varies from one model to another. The distance that you can go per full charge depends upon the battery power as well as the type of ground. Your body weight also contributes to these numbers.
So, in short, there is no definitive answer to this question. Different models have different battery capacities. A scooter will drain more battery if you are going on rough terrain too. If your rides are slopped, then it will also influence the battery life of your scooter.
While considering all the factors, the average number for a scooter to travel on full charge ranges between 15 to 20 miles. Some high-end models can go up to 50 miles per charge.
If you use your batteries for longer periods, then there are a greater number of chances that their capacities will diminish over time. With more charges, you will consume your battery faster and will have to replace it to continue using your scooter.
What is an electric scooter battery cost?
Electric scooter batteries price is another factor to consider. Different types of these batteries come with different price tags.
Lithium-ion batteries are usually the most expensive ones, and their prices range between $100 and $500. The prices differ due to their lifespan, weight, and battery quality. The nickel hydride batteries are usually available under $100, while the SLAs approximately cost $80 on average.
When going for a battery, only consider buying from a manufacturer that you can rely. Brand reputation is valuable, even if you have to pay some extra bucks for your battery. You won't regret it in the end.
Where to buy electric scooter batteries?
You can reach out to a nearby distributor or buy them online. When buying online, it is better for you to go through the reviews in detail before you finalize any product.
Are these batteries of electric scooters safe to use?
If you have used an electric scooter before, you might have noticed that there are so many warning signs. Usually, these warning signs are regarding:
- Do not disassemble.
- Keep the water away.
- Do not store in a high humidity area.
- Don't allow shot circuit or reverse charge.
- Remove the batteries when not in use.
Apart from that, there are several other instructions. Now, does this mean that your electric scooter is not at all a safe option for transportation? Well, no, it is not.
You might have heard a few of those scary stories where the electric scooter exploded or burst into flames due to the battery issues. But these products are always the low-budget knock-offs from which you need to stay away. The battery types of these scooters are incredibly poor.
If you want to be safe with your electric scooter, then only consider investing in a high-end model from a reputable manufacturer. Your scooter must also come with a good warranty and a plethora of great customer reviews.
Electric scooter battery is one of the essential part of an electric scooter. Without it, your scooter is not going to go anywhere. But these batteries have a hefty price tag on them. You can't just be careless around them; it is a matter of your physical and financial security.
You need to make sure that you use your electric scooter battery carefully. You should charge and discharge it properly. It is better for you only to use the right kind of charger for your battery. An inappropriate battery charger will not charge your battery properly, and it will damage your battery too.
Also, charge your battery after every ride whether or not the battery has drained. Do not store your scooter or its battery for months without fully charging it.