Electric Scooter Battery | Everything You Need to Know

Do you want to know what the specifications of the battery of your electric scooter mean? Has your battery broken and you need to change it? Do you know that you can change certain parameters to improve scooter autonomy? Everything you need to know you will find here.
In this article we will not go into very deep technical details nor will you find formulas on volts and amps. The purpose of this content is to be very practical, to quickly and easily understand what you need to know about batteries.
If there is a component that has enabled the appearance of electric bicycles, electric scooters and hover boards is the battery. We want these vehicles to have a lot of autonomy and weigh little.
Do you know the difference between a gel battery and a lithium? How important is the nominal voltage? How many cells does a battery have? If you do not know how to answer any of these questions, this article will interest you.
There are 3 important parameters to consider when knowing if one battery is better than another:
  • Voltage
  • Capacity
  • Type of battery: lead, nickel or lithium
This parameter depends on the type of battery. Lead has a chemical and produces a voltage. Thus, nickel or lithium provide another voltage.
Your electric scooter needs a voltage to work. This voltage must match that of your battery to be compatible.
What happens if we place a battery with more voltage than is specified in our electric scooter? In this case there may be components that do not withstand so much tension and may stop working. There is always a reasonable range of voltage, since when the battery is new the voltage supplied by the battery is somewhat higher than the manufacturer’s specifications, in the same way as at the end of the battery’s life, the voltage decreases slightly.
In the case of supplying less voltage to the scooter, although it has no consequences for the components, the scooter usually does not work . Need more voltage.
Voltage is a parameter that you must always respect to avoid problems.

Current Capacity - Amps

The battery capacity can be given to us in amps / hour (AH) or milliamps / hour (mAH). Assume the case in which a battery has 8000mAH. This battery can provide us:
  • 8 amps for one hour
  • 1 amp for 8 hours
  • 4 amps for 2 hours
To compare batteries , in addition to the type of battery, you must look at this value. It is what really counts . A 2000mAh battery lasts twice as long as a 1000mAh battery in the same conditions of use on the same scooter: speed, ground inclination, load weight … A scooter at 30 km / h may require 2000mAh, but at 15km / h may need 1000mAh.
What happens if I connect a higher amperage battery ? If your electric scooter consumes 1000mAh and the battery can give 2000mAh, is it harmful to the scooter? No. The scooter will continue to consume only 1000mAh, and in addition the battery will only have to supply half the energy of what it can give. In this case the battery will last twice as long as a 1000mAh battery.
And what happens if I put a battery with less amperage? That is, let’s imagine that my scooter needs 2000mAh according to the manufacturer’s specifications and I put a 1000mAh battery. In this case, the battery can burn. Here the battery protections will come into play to cut the output and not damage the battery.
You can always increase the amperage of a battery, respecting the voltage, to increase the autonomy of an electric scooter. Instead, you cannot reduce the amperage recommended by the device, since you can burn the battery.

Battery types

Lead acid batteries

The cheapest electric scooters opt for sealed lead acid or SLA (sealed lead acid) battery types. Although these types of batteries are quite heavy (lead is what it has) and highly polluting, they also have their advantages:
  • Support fast charging
  • They keep the load stored for a long time
  • They have no memory effect
  • The SLA lead batteries used in electric scooters are of 2 types:
AGM
  • Manufacturers use them for their low cost
  • They do not admit overloads or cycles of total discharge, since this supposes an important loss of his useful life
  • Relatively high load voltage
  • Resistance to overload: medium
Gel
  • Duration much longer than AGM
  • They allow a large number of total download cycles without problems
  • Overload resistance far superior to AGM
  • They cost more than AGM
For these reasons, in the case of electric scooters, gel batteries are used for their greater autonomy and durability.
We have seen Chinese electric scooters that, to lower the price, use AGM batteries. If you want your electric scooter to perform well over time and last, make sure the lead acid battery is not AGM .

Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries

These batteries were the great revolution of portable electronic devices. They are long-lasting batteries and 30-40% lighter than those of lead ones. Although they have been in the market for a long time, they are still more expensive than these.
A disadvantage that NiMH has is its high rate of self-discharge (loss of charge after hours), so it is necessary to recharge at night, after use during the day. Even so, it has a good load capacity, which allows the scooters that mount this type of batteries to have good autonomy.
The best
  • They support a wide range of operating temperatures
  • They admit overloads, they can continue charging when they no longer support load, although it does not store it
Disadvantages
  • Longevity: High memory effect. However, defects can be solved / repaired.

Lithium

Electric vehicles received a great boost with the appearance of lithium batteries. It has a high price, and greatly influences the final price of the electric scooter. Even so, it is becoming a basic component in electric scooters.
While they are expensive with respect to lead and nickel batteries, they have many advantages:
They are the lightest in the market. They weigh 3 times less than those of lead and 30% less than those of Nimh. This is because it has a high energy density (they weigh little and last a lot). A lead or nickel battery would need a larger size and weight to match the capacity of a lithium battery.
It has no “memory effect . ” This is when the battery lasts less and less if it is not fully charged. This is what happened to mobile phones at the beginning with nickel batteries. This is why you can put it to charge at any time without waiting for it to download.
They can be downloaded almost completely without hardly being damaged. Lead-acid batteries only support discharges of up to 50%.
Increased number of recharge cycles. They last longer . Many more years.
They require less maintenance when not in use. You can basically stop using them for long periods of time without causing any problems.
Higher voltage. By having a higher voltage in the cell, they need less current to introduce the same energy. While a lead-acid battery may need between 8 and 12 hours, an equivalent lithium battery will need a maximum of 4 hours.
There are 2 types of lithium-ion batteries:
LiPo (lithium polymer): they are more flexible batteries, and it is easier to adapt them to curved shapes. On the contrary, they are more flammable.
LFP (lithium ferrophosphate batteries): they have a longer life than LiPo and are safer. They are also a bit more expensive than LiPo.
Comparison of the different types of battery
Technology Energy (Wh / kg) Number of cycles Energy efficiency %
SLA acid lead
40
500
82.5
Nickel - NiMH
70
1,350
70.0
Lithium Ions - LFP
125
1,000
90.0
Lithium Polymer - LiPo
200
1,000
90.0

Energy density

Represents the amount of energy accumulated per unit volume. A low energy density assumes that the battery needs larger size and weight than another battery with a higher energy density.
The lithium batteries are the highest energy density offer because they store a lot of energy in a small space and light weight. This is what interests us in electric vehicles, right?

Memory effect

It is a phenomenon that some types of batteries suffer because of which their maximum capacity is reduced each time they are made incomplete, that is, when a battery is charged without being completely discharged. Part of the remaining battery is lost forever. Is this true?
It really only happens in NiCd nickel-cadmium batteries (of these we have not talked about in this article because the electric scooters do not incorporate them) and to a lesser extent in those of NiMH.
What is true is that the other types of battery are losing their capacity over time. And this you will notice in the battery of your smartphone. To what is due?
Over time, batteries are losing capacity . This is true with all types of batteries.
For the voltage drop with the use of the battery. The battery capacity is the same, but the meter of the remaining charge (the one that shows us the battery status) is likely to really measure the voltage. This is why it can give a false reading of the remaining battery .
Although there is no memory effect on lithium batteries, there is another phenomenon that does affect them: passivation . It is an internal resistance that is created due to battery wear. This effect grows if it is not loaded and unloaded from time to time to its limits.
For lithium batteries that are used daily, it is convenient to make a full charge (full discharge followed by a full charge) once a month. In this way the effect of passivation disappears completely.
It is important to know that the loss of capacity due to passivation is a reversible process . It is completely solved when you make a full charge, regardless of the time since the last full charge.
However, as a general rule, what people commonly call “memory effect” is simply the aging of the battery.

Tips for use in a lithium battery

Lithium batteries have no memory effect, but they do suffer from the passivation effect. As I have detailed before, to reverse this problem, it is recommended to perform a full load (total download followed by a full load) every so often.
The electric scooters software does not let the battery charge 100%. To fully charge the battery, the device must be turned off. In the case of electric scooters, they cannot be charged if the device is turned on.
And the other times as you have to charge them? It is advisable to charge them when the battery indicator shows low battery . As a rule it will be at 10-20% capacity. In any case, it does not affect them at all to charge it when they are in the middle of use.
Do you use fast chargers ? Electric scooters have an estimated charge time but if you use fast chargers this time can be reduced. The problem is that these types of charges generate heat in the battery and lithium batteries are very sensitive to temperature changes. To avoid damaging the battery, it is better to use the charger that comes with the electric scooter, or another one that has the same charging intensity.
Finally, to prevent the battery from overheating and suffering any damage, it is advisable to unplug the charger once the battery is complete .
Is it advisable to change the battery of my electric scooter?
Our recommendation is to always use the battery that the manufacturer incorporates with the electric scooter.

If you still want to increase autonomy , you have to check if your model allows a removable battery . In this case the best option will be to buy a replacement battery from the manufacturer for this model. This will force you to carry this charged battery in a backpack, and in case the scooter runs out, you can change it and keep rolling.

In case you do not have a removable battery option, you can check if the manufacturer has a compatible battery with greater capacity.

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