When it comes to choosing an e-bike, an element that is often overlooked is the importance of choosing the right battery. This can not only save you money and time, but it is actually a crucial safety issue. You may be surprised to learn that not all batteries are created equal, we are going to talk to you about why.
While e-bikes are one of the safest ways for people to get around, you might have heard a few stories about e-bike battery fires. These fires happen for a number of reasons, whether charging or lying idle, but the important thing to note is that they are often preventable. In this article, we’re going to run through the key criteria to look out for in your e-bike battery so as to ensure years of safe riding!
Before you click away from the blog thinking that we’re going to get super technical, don’t worry! We’re going to keep this easy to read with actionable tips…
Whilst some older e-bike models will include heavy lead acid batteries, almost all newer models have switched to lithium ion- and for good reason! Not only is lithium ion safer than other materials, but it can deliver longevity, range and reliability in a way that other battery types don’t. It’s important to check certification for Lithium ion testing too- a list of our manufacturer’s testing policies can be found here.
The battery of an e-bike is the most expensive component, and when it comes to battery cell types, the more reputable the brand, the higher quality. You should always look for an e-bike battery that utilises cells from well-known brands like Samsung and Panasonic. At Zoomo, we use Tier 1 Samsung cells, renowned for their ability to handle high temperatures through their high density. This is key in preventing fires which often occur due to cells reaching a high temperature and becoming deformed or spontaneously combusting. That we have chosen to use Tier 1 over Tier 2 cells is important- Tier 1 cells are not only safer, but provide more charging cycles which result in longer battery lifetimes.
A battery management system- or BMS- is a microprocessor that controls the way that the battery functions in order to prevent unsafe activity. Your e-bike’s BMS should be of a high quality with the ability to closely monitor the battery cells for overheating and shut down operations as necessary. Since short-circuits are another reason for e-bike fires, it’s crucial that, a BMS also protects against this. Not only does the BMS used by Zoomo cover both of these points, but it importantly suppresses the current when the battery turns on so as to protect the entire circuit at work in the bike.
Of course, with any purchase checking the small print is advisable, but when it comes to e-bike batteries, taking a closer look at the conditions of battery manufacture is key. You’ll want to ensure that the company you buy your e-bike from has invested in a high standard of Quality Control measures as well as Production Control procedures.
While none of these are essential, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to describe some of the additional features that our batteries have:
This indicates not only the state of charge, but any errors that might have occurred with the battery. The process for resolving these errors is just as easy.
Zoomo has partnered with a leading IoT technology provider to build a ground-breaking IoT system for our bikes. Key battery parameters for each bike will be sent to the cloud via a webhook. Zoomo will record key data relating to the battery several times a day. This includes the number of times the battery pack has been charged and its master temperature. Zoomo can then monitor these parameters in the cloud and automatically flag problematic batteries in the fleet, before they would experience charging problems or similar.
The standard choice as far as motor controllers go is a Sine Wave controller. At Zoomo, on the other hand, we opt for the, more expensive, Field Oriented Control system which allows for a significant improvement on motor efficiency. Overall our bikes have a 15-20% higher range than those which use Sine Wave controllers.
Our controllers- like many components of our e-bikes- also boost rider experience. The FOC technology allows the motor to remain silent and acceleration to remain smooth.
Unlike many suppliers, we provide detailed specifications on the components of our bikes and how they benefit our riders.
To find out more about our upcoming IoT integration or our batteries generally, follow up on social media or reach out to our R&D team via Hello@RideZoomo.com.