An electric bike’s eco-friendly green technology significantly reduces an individual’s average and annual footprint while also reducing their global dependency on fossil fuel reserves and mining processes.
However, a consumer can only enjoy owning an electric bike when they know how to charge an electric bike and keep it in good condition while maintaining its battery life.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at different ways to charge an electric bike in the USA and the various charging methods available to you.
How to Charge an Electric Bike?
Owning an electric bike in today’s economic conditions can be a fantastic luxury. Not only does it allow for high-speed travel around town over long distances, but it also considerably reduces your average traveling costs.
Moreover, since an electric bike is much smaller in size than a standard car or public transport, the chances of you getting stuck in traffic and reaching late for work or school will always be super low.
However, all these benefits of owning and traveling on an electric bike can only be enjoyed when its battery is sufficiently charged to offer you the pedaling assistance required to travel at high speeds and uninterrupted momentums.
If the owner fails to charge their electric bike on time or charges in a way that damages the electric bike’s battery cells, range, charge storing capacity, and average lifespan, this will stop the electric bike from performing as advertised.
Consequently, the electric bike’s ride will become slow, and the rider will have no choice but to start depending on the traditional gasoline-powered vehicle for their daily commute all over again.
Fortunately, no matter if you have a small and compact foldable Brompton Electric e-bike or you have a massive DirtySixer electric bike, you can always charge either of these electric bikes using the same methods.
All you need is an appropriate electric bike charging cord and a power source. Once you have both available, charging the electric bike at home or at a public point will become quite easy.
You must check whether your electric bike’s battery pack in the USA is built-in or detachable to locate the charging slot.
Then connect one side of the charging cord to the battery while the other needs to be plugged into the available power source.
Usually, it will take three to six hours to fully charge an electric bike’s battery; however, the exact duration will depend on the battery’s size, wattage, and working condition.
Finally, if the small LED light on the battery has changed its color from red to green, your electric bike’s battery has been charged sufficiently successfully.
However, if there is no LED light on your battery, you can also check the electric bike’s built-in LCD screen to check the battery’s exact charging level.
Continue reading the remaining article below to learn more about why it is important to keep the electric bike’s battery charged up and the different ways one can charge their electric bike.
Moreover, the article also sheds light on why it is so important to charge the electric bike a certain way and what happens when the electric bike’s in not charged properly.
Finally, the article will list down key tips that people can follow to charge their e-bike to increase the traveling range while decreasing the average recharging costs.
Let’s get started!
Why is it Important to Keep the Electric Bike’s Battery Sufficiently Charged Up?
The lithium-ion battery of an electric bike is its most vital and sensitive component. The electric bike’s entire mechanism depends on its lithium-ion battery’s condition and charging level.
Hence, if an electric bike’s battery is fully depleted or cannot store sufficient electrical charge due to internal damage, the electric bike will be nothing more than a fancy and overpriced traditional bike.
To understand why you need to keep your electric bike’s battery charged, let us walk you through how an electric bike works and what role its lithium-ion battery plays.
Whenever you connect your electric bike’s battery to a power source, the influx of electrons rushes to the battery’s multiple cells.
As they move around inside the battery, they are converted to chemical energy for storage. Usually, an electric bike’s battery is said to be sufficiently charged once it reaches the 80 to 90% charging level.
Once you begin to pedal the electric bike with a sufficiently charged battery, the electric bike’s motion sensors begin to pick up on your pedaling motion and carry the gathered signals to the bike’s electric motor.
On receiving the signals, the motor begins its function by discharging the electric bike’s lithium-ion battery of its stored chemical energy in order to convert it into kinetic energy.
The newly produced kinetic energy is then carried to the electric bike’s tires, which causes the bike to pick up speed and gain momentum without requiring any aggressive physical pedaling by the rider.
Hence, the more the stored battery charge or chemical energy in an electric bike’s lithium-ion battery, the higher the amount of kinetic energy the electric motor will be able to produce.
As a result, the electric bike will have a higher traveling range and a higher top speed, and you will consequently be able to cover a greater distance on a single battery charge while also reaching your destination on time.
On the other hand, if you do not charge your electric bike’s battery sufficiently, the battery will sustain permanent damage after being pushed to perform on a low charge, and your range and top speed will drop.
What Are the Different Ways People Can Charge Their Electric Bikes?
In order to encourage more people in the USA to ride electric bikes as frequently as possible, e-bike manufacturers and designers have made the charging process super easy.
As mentioned above, all that one needs is a suitable charging cord which usually comes with the purchase of the electric bike, along with an appropriate power source.
Some different forms of power sources that will allow you to charge your electric bike are as follows:
If you live anywhere in the United States of America, there are high chances for your house to have a reliable connection to the local electricity grid.
Hence, you probably will have more than one socket at your house that works as a power source supplying electricity.
Moreover, although the at-home battery charging is relatively slower due to the low amperage, it is highly advisable to charge the electric battery using this kind of slow charging.
As a matter of fact, Elon Musk, the pioneer of commercial EV technology, advises that people should charge their batteries at home as frequently as possible to minimize battery cell damage and increase the average lifespan.
However, if you only use the power source at your home to charge your electric bike’s battery every time, your average and annual battery charging costs will be high.
Fortunately, there is a way to reduce this cost and even charge your electric bike for free. Keep reading to learn more about this.
At the Office
If you want to keep your electric bike completely charged at all times to protect it from permanent damage while also being able to enjoy free recharging, the best tip is to take your electric bike’s charging cord to work with you.
If your electric bike’s lithium-ion battery pack is detachable, you can simply park your electric bike in the building’s parking area and can carry the battery pack and its charging cord to your workspace.
Then, enjoy the free charging by connecting the power pack to your office’s power socket.
Moreover, even if your electric bike’s battery pack is not detachable, you can always connect your electric bike to a power source available in the parking area.
However, if your office discourages this, it is better to avoid using this charging source for ethical reasons. After all, if you live in the USA, you might get in trouble with the law if you use a building’s charging facilities without their permission.
At a Café
Just as you can benefit from recharging your electric bike’s battery by using your office’s power source, you can also connect it to a café or restaurant’s power socket.
However, this will not be possible if your electric bike’s battery is built inside the bike’s frame and is detachable.
Using a Solar Power Grid
Many people in the USA have invested in solar power grids to reduce their electricity bills.
By using the same solar power grid to charge your electric bike’s battery, you can control and reduce your annual recharging costs.
Public Electric Vehicle Charging Station
Although the public DC electric vehicle charging stations are designed for electric cars and trucks, one can still charge their electric bike’s battery at these stations if no other option is available.
However, since the amperage of these stations is significantly higher than at your home or office, using them to charge the electric bike’s battery frequently can cause permanent damage to the battery’s cells and range.
Hence, this option should only be considered in case of an emergency.
Although this option is not yet available in most countries of the world, it is still an excellent way to keep an electric bike’s battery charged.
The electric bike simply needs to be taken to a battery replacement station, where the mechanic will remove the bike’s depleted battery with a fully charged one for a certain fee.
What is the Importance of Charging an Electric Bike’s Battery a Certain Way?
As mentioned above, the lithium-ion battery of an electric bike is its most sensitive and vital component.
If the electric bike’s battery is not charged in the advised manner, the battery may lose its quality and performance.
For instance, if the rider fails to charge the electric bike’s battery on time and continues to ride it on a low charge, the stress to perform will cause lasting damage to the battery’s cells.
Similarly, if the electric bike’s owner uses an outsourced charging cord, the unsuitable amount of electric charge may cause the battery’s cells to get fried.
Moreover, if the owner leaves their electric bike’s battery connected to a charging source for an extended period of time, the overcharging may fry the battery cells and cause permanent internal damage.
If any of these cases are repeated frequently, the electric bike’s lithium-ion battery will permanently lose some of its charge capacity, and its expected lifespan will drop.
As a result, the electric bike will not be able to fulfill its advertised range, and the rider will have to frequently incur the electric bike recharging costs to reach their destination.
Moreover, with less stored charge, the electric bike’s top speed will drop, which will equate to a longer commute time.
If the range and performance of the battery continue to drop, the owner will have no choice but to incur highly expensive battery repair or replacement costs.
However, if the owner does not have the resources to afford these costs, they might eventually revert back to using their gasoline-powered vehicle or public transport.
As a result, they will end up polluting the environment once again. What’s more, since they’re now dependent on gas to travel, their average commute costs will go up, especially with the rising cost of gas in the USA.
As long as you have your electric bike’s charging cord and an available power source, you will never have to worry about the battery charging going down.
However, to keep your battery’s charging level and range high, you can follow these additional bonus tips:
- Always leave your home with a fully charged battery.
- If your office permits, charge the electric bike at the office, so your battery charging is full once again before you leave for home.
- Try to physically pedal as much as you can and do not ride at a high mode of pedal assistance frequently.
- Keep your top speed low and try to ride at stable accelerations.
- Refrain from hitting the brakes unnecessarily.
Try to find flatter and smoother routes for riding.
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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.