In the late 1970s, M. S. Whittingham was the first researcher who proposed Lithium batteries at Binghamton University. It is used in cell phones, laptops, iPods, digital cameras, and even e-bikes. Ebikes are becoming so common now. It is a new technology that helps people travel short distances without gasoline.
Lithium-ion batteries play a vital role in the running of an e-bike. Without a battery, your e-bike is a regular bike. In this insightful post, we’ll be looking at all the aspects of lithium battery and how to choose it.
What Is Lithium Battery?
The lithium-ion battery is a rechargeable battery. Unlike a traditional battery, lithium ions move from the positive electrode to the negative electrode during discharge and from the negative electrode to the positive electrode during charging and recombine with the electrons of the cathode.
As Li-ions are small in size, they can move through the carbon-based material with ease which makes it more efficient. That's why the voltage is high, and it provides longer life.
Classifications of Lithium Battery
Whether it is an electric car or an electric bike, lithium batteries are most commonly found in these two types.In fact, the principle of these two types of lithium batteries are the same, the difference is their cathode material.
Ternary Lithium Batteries - This terpolymer is generally composed of manganese, cobalt, and nickel salts and is mainly used in the positive electrode of batteries. It has the advantage of lighter material, contains more lithium ions, and has more range. In colder temperatures, the ternary lithium battery's power decays more slowly.
Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries - Lithium-iron-phosphate batteries use lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) as cathode material. The advantage of this is has high energy density, lower cost per unit energy, safer than most ternary lithium batteries.
The debate which one is better between ternary lithium batteries and lithium iron phosphate batteries has been going on for a long time. They each have advantages and disadvantages, so you can't say who is necessarily good and who is necessarily bad.
Is Lithium Battery Safe?
Well, lots of concerns have been raised about the safety of Lithium batteries. That's right.
In any battery, the main components that might cause a safety hazard are the electrolyte and electrode. Electrolytes are unsafe if swallowed or exposed to open flames. The electrode, in particular, can be dangerous if they come into contact with the skin.
So, you should always be careful when using these batteries. Follow the safety guidelines to prevent accidents.
How Does a Lithium Battery Work?
When you ride an e-bike, the battery delivers energy to the motor and makes it rotate. The motor uses this energy to make the wheels rotate. Lithium-Ion batteries consist of the following four main parts:
1. Positive electrode
2. Negative electrode
3. Electrolyte fluid or a porous material holding the electrolyte
4. Separator which keeps the negative and positive electrodes apart
For a detailed depiction of Lithium-ion batteries check out the following illustration.
Charging of a Battery:
When the battery is being charged, the lithium ions are discharged from the positive electrode to the negative electrode. The electrolyte fluid helps in transporting these ions. And the electrons move also but take the path of the outer circuit and then recombine with Li ions to neutralize the ions. When all Li-ions are removed from the positive electrode, the battery is said to be charged.
As illustrated in the following picture.
Discharging of Battery:
When the battery discharges, all Li-ions move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode. And to balance the ions, electrons move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode through the external circuit and interact with Li-ions to provide a complete circuit. When all the electrons from the negative electrode are discharged, the battery is said to be discharged.
As illustrated in the following picture.
To visualize the whole process check out the animation created by the US Department of Energy.
What is the Lifespan of an Ebike Lithium Battery?
The lifespan of a Lithium-ion is not a fixed number, it varies according to the use of the battery. The lifespan can be increased by charging more often at low levels and reducing the discharge rate.
The following factors can affect the lifespan of a Lithium-ion battery.
1. The temperature or surrounding condition affects the lifespan of a Lithium-ion 2. battery.
3. Overcharging and over-discharging the battery will decrease its lifespan.
4. How fast and slow you charge the battery will affect its lifespan.
Battery Terms That Every Rider Should Know!
Now that you know the basic concept of lithium batteries, there are some battery terms you must know as a rider.
An electromotive force or "pressure" causes electrons to flow. In simple words, voltage is the potential energy of an electron. To measure voltage, we use Volts (V). Higher the voltage, the more power it can store.
So, e-bike batteries with 48V voltage are more efficient and provide more energy to the bike as compared to 36V batteries. The HAOQI e-bikes come with 48V batteries.
It is the ability of a battery to store energy. Ampere-Hour (Ah) is a unit of measure for battery capacity. The more power your battery has, the faster it can perform.
The Wh stands for watt-hours (Wh), and it is the total energy stored by a battery. It is obtained by multiplying the watts with time in hours. And you know one watt is equal to one Volt multiplied by one Ampare, so the energy can be measured in Ah x V.
For example, If a battery has a voltage of 48V and a capacity of 16Ah, then by multiplying these two values, you will get the total energy of 768 in watt-hours. This formula can help you to find the range of battery or mileage per charge as follows.
Ebike Lithium Battery Choose Guide
If you are planning to upgrade, replace or install a Lithium battery for your e-bike. This knowledge will help you to make a better decision.
Voltage: Higher the voltage, the higher the speed. For e-bikes, we recommend a least voltage of 48 volts. This high voltage provides higher speeds and the pedal-assist systems get activated much faster than 36-volt batteries.
Every HAOQI e-bike model uses a 48-volt battery for its high performance and quick acceleration.
Amperes: The higher ampere a battery has, the faster speed and more mileage you will get. So, You should always look for a battery with a higher ampere count. Preferably 16Ah and 768Wh energy or higher.
Charge times: Usually, Lithium batteries take a lesser time to charge and you can get a full charge within 3-6 hours. This makes them perfect for long-distance riding.
Weight: You should also look for a battery that weighs less and takes up less space. Lithium batteries are lighter compared to other types of batteries, they take up less space.
The HAOQI battery (only 9.0 lb) packs are designed with an ultra-lightweight material that makes them perfect for e-bike everyday use. You can buy our battery pack at the price of $499.