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Third step in creating a Betterbike is selecting the appropriate battery.
The battery selection is just important as the selection of the motor.
Batteries for e-bikes currently use four chemistries:
- Lead Acid is the least expensive, but heavy. ElectroRide LLC offers as low as $60 for standard 12V 12A battery that weighs about 10 lbs. Keep in mind, that shipping lead acid is about twice as much as for Li batteries because of the weight. Also, realistically lead acid batteries only last 300 charge cycles if you discharge them over 60% regularly.
- Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd) holds about twice as much "juice" as lead acid per pound, and offers high discharge rates and
excellent charge cycle life. However ElectroRide does not carry this or NiMh because of the recent costs of Nickel and other reasons.
- Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMh) is comparable to NiCd and works just as well in e-bikes as in electric cars. A quality NiMh pack approaches lithium polymer in cost. With NiMh, pack quality is very important. Because NiMh cell voltage is only 1.2V (vs 2V for SLA, 3.2V for LiFePO4, and 3.7V for lithium polymer), it takes 30 cells in series to make up a 36 Volt pack. With that many cells strung together it is very important that each cell have very low internal resistance. Otherwise, the pack voltage drops too much at high currents and you don't get good performance. Cheap NiMh cells either have high resistance or low resistance and low capacity.
- Lithium Ion Polymer (Li-Poly) holds about four times (4X) as much "juice" as lead acid per pound.
Combined with excellent charge cycle life, it offers significantly more value for
electric bike applications than lead acid - so expect to pay accordingly.
Makes even the lower powered e-bikes accelerate and go up hills better.
Electo Ride LLC now offers only the latest Lithium batteries: LiFePO4 (LFP).
LiMnCoO2 (LMCO) has been discontinued. It is recommended to use either LFP or go back to Lead Acid if
you are on a budget.
36V 10Ah LFP pack with 12 pin charger connect. Works with 12 pin LFP charger.
|ElectroRide, LLC, offers Li-Po batteries at discounted prices.
The prices listed below are when batteries are purchased
together with a drive kit. For batteries purchased separately, add about $100 to each price.
LFP batteries small (subject to change)
* These battery packs come with 2A charger with a multipin connect. This charges each cell individually so pack remains passively balanced.
- 26V (8 cells prismatic) 10Ah 35A max ~8 lbs $400
- 38V (12 cells prismatic) 10Ah 35A max ~12 lbs $550
- 24V (8 cells cylindrical) 12Ah 45A max ~11 lbs $500
- 36V (12 cells cylindrical) 12Ah 45A max ~16 lbs $750
* The 12Ah cylindrical cells come packed 4 cells in a 12V unit which is identical in size to standard 12V lead battery for easy upgrade.
* The 10Ah packs come packaged in a nice carrying case and individual cells are easy to replace if needed.
LFP batteries large (subject to change)
Price LFP battery ~= 3.3V*Ah*$1*number of cells + cost of cell assembly, case and charger
- Larger battery packs are custom made by ElectroRide usually from prismatic cells.
- Cost of cells starts at $1 per Watt hour plus cost of assembly into a pack. (see fomula above).
- A prismatic cell in a battery pack is easy to replace if needed.
- 20Ah is popular for power bikes and
- We can also get 40Ah, 60Ah, 100Ah and higher for larger electric vehicles such as motorcyles and cars.
* LFP can be charged rapidly if needed, so we can offer higher current chargers especially for the larger formats.
Some buy two chargers. Charge with lower current most of the time to increase lifetime of the battery and use the high current charger only when you
really need to get back on the road quickly.
Bulk purchases may qualify for discounts. Prices have increase recently to improved quality of both the batteries and the charges for both LFP and LMCO offerings.
Also the weakening US dollar is a factor.
Note that all prices above are estimates and subject to change.
Call for latest prices and estimates.
Restocking fee of up to 20% can be applied to cancelled orders.
Exchanges can be exempt from this fee.
Here is a chart listing typical sizes of cells and cases that can be made available in addition to the sizes above that are already stocked.
Pictures of a 36V 10Ah LFP with black case (90*90*350 mm)
Note the multipin port with protector cap for charging all 12 cells individually. An led for each cell lights up when
charging is complete.
Inside of the 12V 12Ah LFP with cylindrical cells. Has same dimension as a typical 12V lead acid battery used for ebikes. Perfect for upgrades.
Some general rules of thumb:
- LFP prismatic cells are about $1 per Wh same , and the cells are stacked together into battery packs.
- LFP cylindrical cells are slightly more expensive per Wh and assembly.
- Expect LFP batteries to be 30% larger and heavier for same Ah rating.
- LFP is about 2.5-3 times lighter than PbA.
- LFP can handle 2-3 C max continuous and 4-6 C for short periods. Cylindrical format does a little more C than prismatic
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practical battery knowledge through 1000-word papers addressing battery chemistries, best battery
choices and ways to make your battery last longer.
Here is a comparison between a Betterbike with a gas powered scooter:
Here is a study of the energy economics of e-bikes in general:
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