The battery to an electric scooter is what the motor is to a car. Without a battery, you won’t be getting very far on your electric scooter. Just like car motors, not all electric scooter models operate on the same battery, so if you’re a new electric scooter owner or want to learn more about these electric vehicles, this guide will explain everything there is to know about e-scooter batteries.
The main topics covered are:
- Types of electric scooter batteries
- How to recharge an electric scooter battery
- How far an electric scooter can go before needing to be recharged
- How long an electric scooter battery will last
- How much it costs to replace an electric scooter battery
- How to maximize electric scooter battery life
- Where to buy electric scooter battery replacements
Types of electric scooter batteries
There are three main types of e-scooter batteries:
- Lithium-ion batteries
- Sealed lead-acid batteries
- Nickel-metal hydride batteries
So, what’s the difference? Below is everything you need to know about these different types of batteries.
Lithium-ion batteries are incredibly popular today, not only for electric scooters but also laptops, mobile phones and other smart devices. The reason for their popularity is because they are much lighter than other types of rechargeable batteries and they can store more hours of electricity. It also takes a lot longer for lithium-ion batteries to lose their charge (only about 5% per month), compared to 20% loss per month for nickel-metal hydride batteries.
It’s also worth mentioning that there are subcategories of lithium-ion batteries that you can find in newer models, including the lithium iron phosphate, which has a longer lifespan than standard lithium ions. Also, the lithium polymer battery which is a smaller, flatter design making them easier to fit into compact e-scooters.
The downside to Lithium-ion batteries is they start to degrade as soon as they leave the factory and are sensitive to high temperatures.
Sealed lead-acid battery
These batteries are bulky in size, which makes them inconvenient to be used for electric scooters. They are also quite heavy and are commonly found in larger vehicles such as cars or golf carts. Another disadvantage of the lead-acid battery is that it takes a long time to recharge, which isn’t ideal if you’re in a hurry.
The benefit of lead-acid batteries is that they are inexpensive and were the first rechargeable battery to be invented. They’ve been around long enough that the technology is well-understood and is a reliable battery type.
Nickel-metal hydride battery
Nickel-metal hydride batteries (also known as NiMH) are one of the most common rechargeable batteries seen in electronics. They have a high energy density and are safer than lithium-ion batteries as they have fewer active materials.
However, like the lead-acid batteries they are slow to charge (up to 10-12 hours), and fast charging them can result in damage. Nickel-metal hydride batteries also don’t do well in extreme temperatures, and the voltage output will drop if it’s too cold or hot.
How to recharge an electric scooter battery
It depends on your model of electric scooter. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure you recharge it correctly as this can increase the battery life. Overcharging batteries can also reduce their lifespan.
All electric scooter batteries are rechargeable. Some e-scooter models will require you to take out the battery and place it in an external charger. Others can be internally charged, only requiring you to plug the charger into the designated area of the scooter and then the other end into the wall outlet.
How far an electric scooter can go before needing to be recharged
It completely depends on the electric scooter model you have. The range on an e-scooter varies depending on the battery type and the make-up of the scooter. The average electric scooter range on a full charge is between 24 and 32 km (15-20 miles).
The Raine One electric scooter has a range of 40 km (25 miles), which is perfect for your everyday commute. Remember, every time you recharge your e-scooter it diminishes its capacity, so only recharge it when the battery is getting low.
There’s no definitive answer for the lifespan of a battery as it depends on your scooter model and battery type. An average lithium-ion battery can handle 300 to 500 charges before it starts to lose capacity. That’ll give you around 4,800 to 16,000 km (3,000 to 10,000 miles) use out of it before you need to replace the battery.
If you only recharge your e-scooter battery every fortnight, you’ll get many years of use out of it before needing to replace it.
How much it costs to replace an electric scooter battery
It depends on the battery type you need to buy. Sealed lead-acid batteries are the cheapest at around $110 (USD$80), while nickel-metal hydride batteries are around the $140 (USD$100) mark.
Lithium-ion batteries are the most expensive to replace and can range in cost between $140 and $700 ($USD100-500). The price varies depending on the weight, lifespan and quality of the battery.
It’s a good idea to purchase a replacement battery from a trusted manufacturer. Although you might have to pay more, you’ll know you’re buying a better-quality product that’s designed to last. Read reviews online from previous customers, and don’t just buy from the first place you find. Don’t purchase batteries if the price seems too good to be true.
How to maximize electric scooter battery life
Looking after your electric scooter battery is important to ensuring it has a long lifespan. Below are some handy tips to keep your battery running longer.
Tip #1: Don’t operate the e-scooter battery in extreme temperatures
Extreme temperatures can damage the e-scooter battery - that means both riding and storing it in extreme temperatures. Keep your electric scooter out of the sun (store below 45°C) and don’t leave it in the freezing cold (store above 0°C). Rain can also be damaging to a scooter, so keep a protective shade cloth over your electric scooter to keep it away from the elements.
Tip #2: Charge your electric scooter battery at the right time
It’s fine to charge your electric scooter after a short ride, but if you’ve been giving your e-scooter a workout it’s best to wait 30 minutes before recharging. This allows the battery to cool down first. Another no-no is waiting a few hours to charge your battery, especially if it’s low on power.
Tip #3: Don’t wait until the battery is completely depleted
You can increase the lifespan of an electric scooter battery by charging it before it hits 0%. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking it’s better for the battery to be completely out of power before recharging it, but that’s not true. You should keep your e-scooter charged at a minimum 10%. Even if you don’t ride your e-scooter daily, keep an eye on the battery level before it gets too low.
Tip #4: Don’t store your electric scooter fully discharged
You’d think having your battery juice completely topped up would be the way to go, but most manufacturers actually recommend storing your scooter with a battery percentage between 30-50%. That’s because batteries can degrade if they are fully discharged for too long without use. It’s also advised to recharge an electric scooter once a month even if you’re not using it much. If you’re not planning on using your electric scooter for a long period of time, such as during the winter, it’s better to disassemble the battery and remove it from the e-scooter.
Tip #5: Use the appropriate charger
Don’t risk using a different charger as this can affect the battery. If you have lost your original charger, it’s better to get the same one as opposed to borrowing someone else’s for a different model. A charger is significantly cheaper than replacing a battery.
Tip #6: Don’t leave an electric scooter charging unattended
Don’t leave your electric scooter to charge out of sight, and don’t leave it charging overnight. Remember that these batteries are powerful, and although they might be small, they can occasionally overheat, potentially causing a fire. If you’re worried that your battery has become damaged in any way, it’s better to get it checked before using the e-scooter again.
Where to buy electric scooter battery replacements
Always read your electric scooter manual to check if your battery is still under warranty. If it’s not, you should find out first if your e-scooter company stocks battery replacements.
There are a few other places you can go to for electric scooter repairs:
- Bike repair shops
- Moped repair shops
Bike shops are unlikely to stock e-scooter batteries, so you’ll most likely have to buy one yourself and get them to do the actual replacement.
Moped or PEV (personal electrical vehicle) repair shops will more likely be able to help you with battery issues. They have professional mechanics and often buy parts directly from the manufacturer. They are usually more expensive compared to independent scooter mechanics.
The Raine One electric scooter has a lithium-ion battery with a range of 40 km (25 miles). Lithium-ion batteries have a quick charge time and the Raine One is no different. The battery can be fully recharged in 5 hours, or less than two hours for a half charge. For the everyday commute, the Raine One is the best choice.