Technology

Do You Know Why & How Your E-Scooter’s Batteries Age?

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And you thought aging happens only to people. True, appliances break down, houses deteriorate, foods rot, plants wither, pictures fade, and people grow old. 

But batteries? Really? How and why do batteries age?

First, you need to understand what goes on inside your electric scooter. Did you know that lithium ion batteries ‘age’ when internal corrosion occurs within individual battery cells? This is a typical process that occurs during charging and discharging. However, it can also be hastened through improper care. Yes, neglect, abuse, also constitute taking improper care of your e-scooter and this quickens the so-called aging progression.

There’s no better way to explain the technical route than by simply saying it as it is. During charging, lithium ion is shuttled into the graphite anode. During discharging, the lithium ion is released from the anode. In time, however, the lithium ion will begin to cover or plate over the anode and this forms a solid electrolyte interface that grows and as a result, diminishes the capacity of the battery.

Over charging, completely discharging, and extreme temperatures accelerate the plating of the lithium ion to anode, thereby degrading it. Now you know.

Next question. Why is it important to store partially charged e-scooter batteries?

During storage, battery cells will continue to lose charge. When it is below 2.7 volts/cell, the battery seriously degrades and can even become unstable and potentially hazardous.

The third question. Why shouldn’t you leave the scooter plugged in after charging?

Once the electric scooter battery is fully charged, the extra charge will cause further plating of metallic lithium onto the anode in the battery. This metallic lithium will accumulate in time and will degrade the battery capacity by blocking the flow of lithium ions and consequently, electrons.

The fourth question. Why is plugging into the wall first the e-scooter charger the best practice?

Plugging your charger into the wall first before plugging it into the e-scooter is the safest way for charging if you don’t have a reliable instruction manual.

Another information you need to remember: 

The charger has an output capacitor that is sitting 0 volts of potential when NOT plugged in. If you connect the un-powered charger to your scooter’s battery, which is typically at 36 V up to 84 V (depending on the e-scooter), it will discharge a huge amount of current into the 0 V capacitor.  

This is dangerous as it can result in sparking and cause damage to the charger.  

What to do then? If you plug the charger in first, you are bringing the output capacitor voltage much closer to that of the battery. So when you plug it in, the voltage difference will be miniscule and you shouldn’t get a current spike. 

The fifth question. Is it okay to charge the electric scooter everyday?

It is really not necessary to charge your scooter every time you ride it. But you must be conscious to always keep the battery between 30 percent to 80 percent of capacity at all times. And if you’re planning to go on a long leisure trip, just make sure the scooter is charged 100 percent, to capacity. 

Lastly, what must you do if your electric scooter’s battery ‘dies’?

You need to know for sure. Try to fix a dead battery by simply charging it. Do take note that it will take a bit longer to completely charge the battery. How to avoid then? To avoid this from happening in the future, make sure that your battery never runs out of charge. Always, always charge your electric scooter battery at the end of the day after using it. 

In closing, here are practical tips for maximizing your e-scooter battery:

1. Store your e-scooter in a cool, dry place whether for short or long periods and keep it charged at least 40 percent;

2. Operate or use your scooter within 30 percent to a maximum of 80 percent of its battery capacity;

3. Always make sure that you charge the e-scooter battery when it is between 32 F and 113 F (0 C to 45 C);

4. Never leave your e-scooter charger plugged in after you have finished charging;

5. Don’t fully discharge your scooter for less than an hour;

6. Don’t fully charge your scooter for less than an hour.

Follow this basic advice so you can enjoy the benefits of riding all the way. 

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