Yessir, yessir, three bags full!!
That was the humorous answer I received just the other day when I went to an electric bikes’ shop for my Mama and asked, “Can you buy replacement electric bike batteries? If so, how much do they cost?”
Now, if there is anything my late pappy warned me about, it’s salesmen who are too familiar, funny, and full of jokes.
“Son, such salesmen are dangerous, always put your guard up when dealing with their kind!” Pappy had warned me at his last breath.
You can therefore understand when, immediately after the salesman had responded in such fashion, I, as they say, “turned and ran” out shouting,
“I will be back, I just need to go and ask the professor-by which I meant Google, of course!
Below were the professor’s responses to my questions.
Can you buy replacement electric bike batteries?
Without perhaps being as familiar as the salesman at the electric bike shop had been, Prof Goggle treated the question as if I was asking whether the sea contains fish?! As a result, he could not wait to get to my next question.
Anyway, in a nutshell, Prof. responded with a loud, YES, you can buy replacement electric batteries-that’s why they are apparently called-R-E-P-L-A-C-E-EM-E-N-T!
Though you should not be in a hurry to buy one of your electric bike’s (also known as an e-bike), the battery has not yet started to give you problems or play up. This is because, on average, a good quality e-bike battery should and can last for hundreds of cycles. If used averagely, this could mean several years.
However, as with most man-made things under the sun, in due course, electric bike batteries need and must be replaced, especially as their life span nears its end.
Finding all this not only the most informative, but interesting as well, I asked one of the questions I know must be foremost in some of your minds- cost?
How To Tell When To Replace an Electric Bike Battery?
Fast as lightning, the response came back.
Signs that your electric bike’s battery is about to bid you farewell or reaching the end of its life-span is mainly when it and you can’t reach the distances you used to cover together. Fortunately, certain high-quality batteries like B—-h come with a battery management system (BMS) fitted in the battery. This BMS will usually keep you informed and updated about your electric bike’s battery current capacity as well as how much charge cycles it has gone through.
Should you happen to have access to the UK’s electric bikes network, then you can have your e-bike’s battery examined and assessed. It offers battery diagnosis (refundable against a replacement battery or recell if required). The ETS reports that it has stocks of Battery Management System chips that can be used on certain packs, usually on older e-bikes. So, should your e-bike be first-generation like Mama’s, then get in touch with the ETS and enquire.
That question satisfactorily answered, I next turned to the all-important question when it comes to new technologies-the cost of e-bike replacement batteries!
How Much Do They Cost?
Cheap Means Cheap Quality
While the battery on any electric bike will need replacement after some time and use, but if you take care of your battery to extend its useful life as long as possible, you’ll find shopping for a new e-bike battery is a very rare occurrence.
However, “Forewarned is forearmed”. Instead of beginning with a list of the prices of e-bike replacement batteries, Prof started by warning me about the cheap batteries and their places of origin.
According to Prof. Goggle, “There are many cheaper battery options through direct sellers from China, but these batteries will be of lower quality and could have some of the following issues”:
- Although Japan, South Korea, and to some extent Taiwan, try to manufacture quality products, reportedly China is unknown for quality especially 18650 cells.
- Apparently, most so-called “name brand” cell packs coming from out of China are sometimes, in fact, made up of clones that perform badly cells or re-wraps.
- Such rewrapped batteries will normally not last for very long.
- BE WARNED, rewrapped or low-quality batteries can also have a higher potential fire hazard.
Given the above, “Buyer beware” or you will pay dearly for what you cheaply paid for!
The battery on an electric bike is one of the most expensive components to replace. Compromising quality for affordability will generally result in lower quality, shorter lifespan of the battery, and lower performance.
That said, Prof. turned to some of his picks when it comes to some of the best e-bike replacement batteries on the market.
Whether in the market to replace an old e-bike battery, as with almost everything these days, knowing its cost is vital. How much do e-bike replacement batteries cost? Let’s look at Prof’s chosen few.
Yamaha E-Bike Batteries
Yamaha has integrated, rack-mounted and frame-mounted options ranging between 400Wh and 600Wh. Their systems appear on Haibike models and in the US on their own branded models.
Bosch brand battery packs are some of the most expensive, with prices ranging from $670 – $920, with an average cost per Wh of capacity around $1.70/Wh.
Shimano STEPS batteries range in price from $500 – $800, with an average cost per Wh of capacity around $1.40/Wh.
Last but not at all least, off-brand batteries with high-quality cells (Panasonic or Samsung typically, or sometimes LG) have an average cost per Wh for a capacity of around $0.80/Wh.
Normally, new high-quality electric bike replacement batteries will cost anywhere between $500 to $900 plus depending on the brand and capacity. Usually, this would be for a battery with a capacity of around 400wh to 700wh. Name brand battery packs are characteristically more expensive when looking at cost per Wh of capacity versus high-quality off-brand battery packs.
Remember, should you buy your e-bike replacement battery online, always add additional shipping costs to the final total. Shipping batteries, especially Lithium-ion batteries, are complicated and will usually increase your shipping costs by an additional $40-50 depending on the destination amount. Most battery packs only have a 1-year warranty, so think carefully about where you purchase your e-bike battery from.
My primary research over, and with some time to spare before returning to the e-bike shop and its familiar salesman, I googled some Frequently Asked Questions to test the salesman.
When I thought I had been informed enough about e-bike replacement batteries, I this time went to interrogate the salesman. The visit went something like this….
Frequently Asked Questions and Salesman’s Answers.
Q1. Which battery is best for an electric bike?
A. Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are the best option for e-bikes. Although lead-acid batteries are significantly cheaper, they’re three times as heavy as their li-ion equivalents.
Q2. Range, how far can you go on a full charge?
A. Range Estimates! Every company, website, and salesperson struggles with this. On one side, you have the desire to claim the best-case scenario as it makes the best sales pitch, but on the flip side, if it looks too good to be true, it usually is. The fact is this, expect typically 20 miles / 32 Km from an average 6 to 8 Lb Lithium battery, that is the universal truth and pretty much the most honest statement a company can make.
Q3. How can you influence service life?
A. To get the longest service life out of a battery, eBikers need only to follow a few simple rules in respect of protection, transport, and storage. They include storing the battery in a dry environment and protecting it from direct sunlight at a room temperature of around 50°F (10°C) to 68°F (20°C). The ideal charging level for a battery is between 30% and 60%. Ideally, the battery should be recharged at room temperature. When transporting an e-Bike, it is important to remove the battery from the bike and store it safely in the car.
Q4. How do you dispose of an old battery?
The dealer will ensure that Bosch Power Packs are disposed of in an environmentally sound way free of charge. Disposal in the United States is handled by CALL2RECYCLE at (877) 723-1297.
Feeling that all my FAQs had been more than satisfactorily and professionally answered, I bought Mama’s electric bike a replacement battery.