Like any other device that uses a lithium-ion battery, the range and performance of your e-bike can be dramatically affected by temperature changes. Have you noticed that your iPhone or Android battery life goes down while skiing or hiking on cold days, but returns to normal when you go back inside? Temperature plays a big role in the effectiveness of the battery.
Since e-bikes can be ridden in very hot, and very cold temps, it's important to keep your battery in mind when riding in extreme conditions. Here are some tips to preserve the life and performance of your battery:
- Charge and store your battery indoors at normal room temperature. This may mean removing the battery from your bike for charging.
- If you won't ride your bike for a while, charge the battery first, and then store it fully charged.
- Store and charge your battery in a dry location. Water, humidity, and damp conditions are not good for any electrical device.
- Inspect and maintain the electrical contacts between the battery and the controller (the connection where you plug the battery into the bike) on a regular basis. Make sure the prongs aren't bent. If the interface becomes contaminated with grit, mud, or snow, clean it before connecting your battery.
- Don't leave your bike in the trunk of a hot car (think Phoenix in July) with the battery attached. Remove the battery and take it with you instead.
- When you ride your e-bike in cold temperatures, the range will be reduced. If you park outside overnight, bring the battery back outside only when you are ready to ride to minimize the impact of temperature on range.
- It's fine to ride most e-bikes, including Populo, in the rain. You should dry the contacts on the battery to prevent corrosion and oxidizing. Electrical contact cleaner can be used to keep that connection clean if needed. In extreme weather (for example, in a community where roads are salted in winter) you can apply battery terminal grease as a preventative.
If you can't remember the specifics, keep in mind this rule of thumb: "if it's too hot or too cold for YOU, it's also too hot or too cold for your battery." Your battery is comfortable at the same temperatures you are!
With these tips in mind, your e-bike and battery will live a long, healthy life. Happy riding!