Riding around town to get to college or your office on a modern-day electric bike is a fantastic luxury. It’s also something that continues to become more popular across the globe with every passing year.
From riding enthusiasts and older people to young children and everyone else in between, electric bikes have successfully managed to offer high-speed, eco-friendly, and efficient travel to people who give it a shot.
Perhaps the only issue that discourages people from trying an electric bike is its limited battery pack size and charge storing capacity.
However, you don’t have to worry about your battery running out when you’re riding through the streets of your local city in the USA.
If you’re in a dire situation when it comes to your e-bike’s battery level, you can always top up your battery at an electric car charging station.
Can You Charge an Electric Bike at a Car Charging Station?
Electric bikes are pretty well hidden. You might have seen loads of people riding these wonderful means of transport, but you’ve never noticed that they were riding e-bikes.
The main reason you probably didn’t spot any difference is that an electric bike’s basic design and structural concept are based on the blueprint used to make the traditional bicycle we are all familiar with.
However, when it comes to technological advancement and modernization, an electric bike surpasses a basic traditional bicycle in every way you can think of.
Its battery-powered motorized system makes riding around town far more convenient, and it is also designed to keep any damaging stress off your limbs, knees, and ankles.
Moreover, its top speed is usually perfect for getting from point A to B in a timely fashion. What’s more, this added speed and convenience comes at no extra cost to the environment.
This quality makes the eco-friendly electric bike the perfect replacement for your gasoline-powered car, allowing you the opportunity to play your part in environmental betterment by letting you control your average and annual carbon footprint.
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However, to enjoy all of the multiple benefits an electric bike is designed to offer its riders, all you need to do is keep its lithium-ion battery sufficiently charged to enjoy a good range and a high top speed.
To simplify this task for riders, electric bike manufacturers have designed the e-bike so that one can charge their e-bikes at a car charging station if their e-bike’s battery runs out during a trip.
All they need to do is plug in their electric bike’s lithium-ion battery to the appropriate cord at the charging station and wait a while to allow the bike to charge fully.
Although some car charging stations in the USA have the appropriate charging cord to charge an electric bike, not all have these cords, which means you might find yourself in a sticky situation.
Hence, carrying your electric bike’s manufacturer-provided charging in your bag is advisable, especially when you are planning to ride longer distances.
However, the question many electric bike owners have is whether it is safe to charge their electric bikes at a charging station specifically designed to charge up electric cars.
The simple answer is that although it is possible to charge up an electric bike at a car station, it is not always advisable, and there are many technical reasons for that.
Continue reading to learn the key differences between an electric bike and an electric car’s battery that makes the e-bike sort of unsuitable for the car charging station.
Moreover, the article also discusses the potential pros and cons of charging the electric bike on a car charging station and highlights some key tips to help you keep your battery charge high so that you depend less on these car charging stations.
Finally, the article ends by shedding light on other ways to charge an electric bike during a trip.
Let’s get started!
What Are the Key Differences Between an Electric Bike and an Electric Car’s Battery?
Although an electric bike is clearly very different from an electric car, its unique mechanism is designed to work almost the same way.
Both modern automobiles are designed to run on chemical batteries, which usually have a lithium-ion composition.
Moreover, both electric vehicles come with a limited charge storing capacity that affects their traveling range, top speed, and usability.
However, despite some technical similarities, there are still multiple differences that one should never ignore if they’re looking to maintain the quality and performance of their electric bike.
The most major and obvious difference is the size of the batteries. An electric bike is much smaller in size and designed to perform under the weight of a single passenger.
Hence, its battery’s size and wattage are designed according to these needs and requirements. Basically, it doesn’t output anywhere near the power that an electric car can.
Usually, an electric bike’s lithium-ion battery’s size or wattage will be around 300 to 1000 Wh, depending on the electric bike’s size, features, and intended use.
On the contrary, an electric car is usually designed to perform under the collective weight of two to seven passengers, along with heavy cargo.
Hence, its lithium-ion battery pack is significantly larger in comparison and has a much higher charge storing capacity and range.
Usually, an electric car’s lithium-ion battery’s size or wattage will be around 40 kWh to 100 kWh, depending on the electric car’s size, curb weight, uses, and features.
Hence, when an electric car is plugged-in at a car charging station, its lithium-ion battery is designed to pull the required amount of power to charge its battery and also keep the battery safe at the same time.
On the contrary, since an electric bike’s lithium-ion battery pack is much smaller, it is usually unable to withstand the charging station’s high amperage and voltage.
Moreover, another key technical difference between these electric automobiles is that an electric car cannot overcharge since they have systems built in to stop overcharging.
However, an electric bike can overcharge, and this can damage the battery in the long run.
A majority of electric car batteries are designed in a way that they stop the influx of electric charge once their battery is full.
Hence, even if you keep your electric car plugged in for longer than advised, its lithium-ion battery will not get damaged.
On the contrary, this feature is not yet available in electric bike batteries. So when you plug their batteries into a high-voltage car charging station, you run the risk of overcharging their batteries.
The Potential Pros and Cons of Charging the Electric Bike at a Car Charging Station
The Pros of Charging the Electric Bike on a Car Charging Station
- The best advantage of being able to charge your electric bike at a car charging station is the convenience it offers in times of emergency.
- For instance, if your electric bike’s battery is fully depleted and you do have the physical strength to pedal the bike to your destination, a nearby car charging station will be nothing less than a savior for you.
- Moreover, while charging your electric bike at home can take up to three to six hours, depending on the size and condition of the battery, charging at a car charging station will take less than half that time.
- Hence, if you are in a hurry and you need to charge your e-bike battery immediately, there is no better way to charge it than at the local electric car charging station.
- Furthermore, since the easy availability of a car charging station allows you to recharge your electric bike’s battery whenever needed, this convenience encourages you to ride your electric bike as much as possible.
- As a result, your dependency on gasoline-powered vehicles is reduced, and you also benefit from a fantastic cardio workout (provided you don’t ride at the highest level of pedal assist).
The Cons of Charging the Electric Bike on a Car Charging Station
- As explained above, a car charging station’s amperage and high voltage are specifically and primarily designed for massive electric car batteries.
- Hence, any time you expose your small electric bike battery to such high voltage, you run the risk of overcharging your battery and frying its cells in the process.
- If this is repeated frequently, the electric bike’s battery eventually and permanently loses some of its charge-storing capacity and lifespan.
- As a result, the electric bike will not be able to offer a high traveling range or a high top speed. Once that happens, it’s pretty much a fancy bicycle at that point, and you probably won’t find much use for it. You’ve effectively wasted your investment.
- Eventually, when the battery damage is enough to affect the electric bike’s usability, you will have no choice but to pay for a costly battery replacement.
- Moreover, although traveling on an electric bike keeps your traveling costs considerably low, frequently charging at a car charging station can cause these costs to go up.
How to Keep Your e-Bike’s Battery Charged at All Times
Although a car charging station can offer great convenience to riders who need to cover long distances on their electric bikes, its downsides overshadow the benefits.
Hence, it is more advisable that riders focus on trying to keep their battery charge and range high to reduce their dependence on these stations.
If you live in the USA and you’re trying to keep your e-bike’s battery in good health at all times, here is what you can do:
- Always fully charge your electric bike at home before leaving for work, college, or a long trip.
- Not only will your house’s electricity perfectly suit your electric bike’s battery size, but the slow charging will also help protect the battery’s cell from frying or any permanent damage.
- However, it is important that you set an alarm to ensure you unplug the battery from the power source once it is fully charged to avoid the risk of overcharging it.
- Try to put in as much physical effort as you can while riding the electric bike, and refrain from only riding at the highest modes of pedal assistance.
- Not only will doing so help you burn some calories and stay fit, but it will also reduce the rate of battery depletion, allowing you to enjoy a longer range without having to stop at a car charging station.
- Moreover, refrain from frequently riding at high speeds and maintain a stable acceleration as much as possible.
- The less you accelerate your electric bike, the less battery it will use. On the contrary, the more you “floor it,” the more battery you’ll use.
- Do not make unnecessary stops, and avoid hitting the brakes too often.
- Furthermore, don’t deliberately ride on difficult terrain and inclined slopes, and check for alternate riding routes that are smoother, shorter, and flatter.
Other Ways to Charge an Electric Bike While Away from Home
If you have tried all the tips mentioned above and your electric bike’s battery is still running low, you need to find other ways to charge your electric bike so that you do not have to run to the nearest supercharger.
Here’s what you can do:
- Carry your electric bike’s charging cord and plug your bike in at the office to ensure you have enough charge to ride your electric bike back home.
- If you are not at the office, you can always charge up the battery at the nearest café or restaurant; however, it is important to seek the management’s permission before doing so.
- Finally, if your friend has an electric bike and lives near where you are, the best option is to physically pedal to their house and charge your electric bike there.
Although having an electric bike can completely transform the quality and comfort of your daily commute, keeping its charge level and range high is not easy for novice or unaware riders.
However, although one can charge their electric bike at a car charging station in case of an emergency, it is rarely recommended and should be avoided whenever possible.
Instead, the best tip is to carry around your electric bike’s charging cord so that you have the opportunity to plug it in at your office, your friend’s place, the mall, at a restaurant, etc., whenever the battery level begins to drop.
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My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric Vehicles (Electric Cars & Electric bikes) caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric cars and bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my electric vehicle (e-bike and electric car). Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric cars and electric bikes. Check out more.