How to charge your e-bike

E-bikes have become incredibly popular over the years, providing a quick battery-powered boost to help you pedal further for longer.

While e-bikes are fun to ride and are great for keeping active, it’s important to charge the battery correctly to keep yourself and others safe. Take a look at our guide on how to charge your e-bike to ensure you’re following the correct procedure.

Before you charge your e-bike battery

IMPORTANT: only use the charger that has been provided with your e-bike, or a replacement that has come directly from the manufacturer. Using a cheap alternative or non-branded charger poses a potential risk to both yourself, the battery and the bike.

The exact method of charging your e-bike battery can vary depending on the make and model. So, start by checking your owner’s manual and ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

If you’ve just bought a new e-bike, you’ll need to give it a full charge before riding. Although it may be tempting to ride it straight away if the battery has a small level of charge, it’s best to give it a full 24-hour charge before taking it out on the road. It won’t take this long every time (3 – 8 hours for a normal charge depending on your e-bike battery capacity). Always check the manufacturer’s instructions for recommended charge times and be careful not to overcharge the battery.

Don’t overload socket outlets while charging your battery and only use uncoiled extension leads that are suitably rated for your charger. Never charge batteries while you’re asleep or away from home so you can respond quickly if needed. Remember to always unplug your charger from the wall once the battery is fully charged.

Before charging, we recommended that you have a fully functioning smoke alarm as damaged batteries or counterfeit electrical goods can be a fire hazard. Additionally, if you store your e-bike in a garage or kitchen, you could also have a heat detector installed.

Always avoid storing your e-bike in communal areas of a multi occupied building to allow others to escape safely in the event of an emergency. It’s also important to make sure that your storage space is consistently kept at a temperature that isn’t too hot or too cold.

How to look after your e-bike battery

Although you’ll be using your e-bike outside, we recommend charging it indoors, but be mindful to not block a fire escape route. Performing a charge outside, especially in the cold, runs the risk of reducing the power capacity of the battery. Ensure you never charge or store your battery near flammable materials and never cover the charger or battery pack while it’s charging as this could lead to overheating.

In the event of a lithium-ion battery fire, never attempt to extinguish the fire yourself. Quickly evacuate the area and immediately call 999.

When using your e-bike regularly, try not to let the battery fall under 25%. It’s best to recharge within 24 hours rather than let the battery run totally flat. If you don’t maintain your e-bike’s charge level, you could end up affecting your e-bike warranty.

Finally, don’t forget after charging to leave the battery for 10-15 minutes before refitting it to your bike to allow it to cool down.

How to store your e-bike battery when not in use

If you’re not going to use your bike for a while, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for storage and maintenance guidance. We recommend you remove the battery from the bike and check it at least once a month to ensure no signs of damage and try to keep the charge above 60%. And remember, only use the charger that came with the bike. Should your charger start to show signs of wear and tear, make sure you buy an official replacement charger from a reputable seller.

Disposing of an old e-bike battery

Never dispose of an old e-bike battery in your household waste or normal recycling. Check if your manufacturer offers a recycling service or check with your local authority for their advice.

Be aware that batteries can become damaged by dropping them or in the event of a crash. Damaged batteries can also overheat and catch fire so it’s essential to dispose of them safely and replace as soon as possible.

Safety tips when buying a new e-bike battery

The key point to highlight when buying a new e-bike battery is to only buy batteries and chargers from reputable sellers. Many e-bike related fires tend to be down to counterfeit goods that don’t meet British or European safety standards. While genuine e-bike chargers and battery packs often cost more, it’s not worth putting your life at risk by buying a fake charger to save a few pounds.

We recommend registering your product with the manufacturer to validate any warranties. Registering makes it easier for manufacturers to contact you in the event of safety or recall information.

Check any e-bike products you have bought are not subject to a product recall. You can do this but checking Electrical Safety First’s website or the government website.

As you can see, there are many aspects to consider once you’ve purchased an e-bike. If you have any e-bike questions or want to find out more about charging your e-bike battery, then call into a local Halfords store and one of our bike experts will be able to help.

Check out our full e-bike range