Tips, Tricks & Trends

How Do You Charge an Electric Bike?

Electric bikes have become more popular in the past year and if you have been toying with the idea of buying one, then you have likely been doing your research. And while it’s easy to get caught up in all of the specs, features, and prices of the vast amount of electric bikes currently in the market, there are some simple questions that you might have when it comes to owning an e-bike. One such question is: How do you charge and electric bike?

The answer to charging an electric bike is simple

According to Electric Bicycle Planet, charging an e-bike is quite literally the same as charging any other appliance in your home; you remove the battery pack from the bike, make sure that the battery is switched off, and then connect the charging pack to an electrical outlet and then to the battery itself. The actual charging times can vary depending on how large the battery is, however, it typically takes anywhere from three to six hours for a full charge. Just note that the first 80 percent charges quicker than the last 20 percent due to the battery’s cooling efficiency.

Any electric bike that you purchase will have come with a charger that matches the battery. Most e-bike chargers will have a red light to signify that the battery is still charging and a green light that will notify you when it is full. Luckily, you don’t need to worry about overcharging, as the charger has a fail-safe feature built in to prevent it from doing so.

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Other places to charge your e-bike when you’re on the go

While it’s easy to charge your e-bike at home as you can just remove the battery from the bike and charge it, or even charge it while it’s on the bike, you might be wondering what you can do if you need to charge it while you’re out and about. In those cases, ebike Pursuits recommends that you remove the battery and charge it in the office while you’re at work or maybe even a friend’s home.

However, if you’re not at work or near a friend, then you can typically charge up the battery at a coffee shop or a public library as they usually have bike racks to keep your bike secure while you hang out inside to charge your battery. Also, if you happen to be near a bike shop, then they are usually pretty supportive of e-bike riders and will let you charge at their shop. There’s an added benefit if you actually shop there as well.

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Using your car is a possibility as well

While it’s not the most ideal charging situation, it is possible to utilize your car to charge your e-bike. Just keep in mind that a typical ebike battery can draw about 90 watts of power, which when compared to a 12-volt car cigarette outlet that emits up to 150 watts of power, you might end up draining the car battery quickly. Ebike Pursuits recommends getting a DC to AC power inverter that transforms the voltage from 12 volts to 110V and to keep your car running while charging the battery.

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electric bike getting plugged in
Man plugging cable in Li-ion battery pack to charge pedelec / e-bike / electric bicycle. (Photo by: Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

You can always carry a spare battery

If all else fails, then you can always just buy a spare battery to keep with you when you ride, that way you can just install the charged-up one if the battery power gets low or ends up dying. Of course, carrying a battery around could prove to be cumbersome in most situations, but it’s the quickest and easiest solution to replenishing the power on your electric bicycle in a pinch.