Ultimate Guide to Electric scooter Batteries & How to Make It Last
One of the most integral components of an electric scooter is the battery. Without it, the electric scooter will not run, thus the need for proper maintenance. This way, the power source will last longer than it should and give you more time to enjoy the electric scooter battery life.
Electric scooter batteries have a certain life cycle and after a number of charge cycles, it’s health is bound to decrease a little. This doesn’t mean that the electric scooter battery is broken, but it will not have the same capacity as it used to when it was brand new.
Every electric scooter requires a battery to run, but not all electric scooters are equipped with the same type of battery. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about the battery for electric-powered scooters. From electric scooter battery power, charging tips, battery types, and everything else in between.
What Type of Batteries do Electric Scooters Use?
There are three types of batteries that are commonly used for electric scooters. When looking for the best electric-powered scooter, you will come across these battery types:
- Lithium-ion Battery (commonly known as Li-ion or LEP)
- Sealed-Acid Battery (commonly known as SLA)
- Nickel-metal hydride (commonly known as NiMH)
A lithium-ion electric scooter battery is the latest battery option, but it has become the most popular, especially for the newer models. This premium type is more expensive than the other varieties, but it is worth the price because of its performance.
Here are some of the advantages of choosing an electric scooter with Li-ion batteries:
- Lithium-ion batteries are the lightest type of electric scooter batteries
- These batteries do not need to be charged as frequently as others.
- They are low maintenance.
- They can last through more life cycles than the other types of batteries.
There are two types of lithium-ion batteries. One of the two-sub categories is lithium iron phosphate (1), which is known to have a longer lifespan than the standard type of lithium-ion battery. They are also much safer to use.
Lithium polymer (2), the other sub-category, is a much smaller option that is much more suitable for compact and portable electric scooters. The reason they are much flatter is that because they are manufactured slightly differently than lithium iron phosphate.
Sealed Lead-acid Battery
Sealed lead-acid batteries have been used for electric scooters much longer than Li-ion batteries. Most Razor scooters still use this type of battery to make their products much cheaper than others. SLA batteries shine when it comes to power. Because of their weight, they’ve become a less popular choice.
These type of batteries, however, are more popular in the auto industry because of its power and ability to produce a higher current. If you are looking for a budget scooter under $300, it will most likely be heavier and equipped with this type of electric scooter battery.
Nickel-metal Hydride Batteries
This type of battery is much lighter than sealed lead-acid batteries, but they still don’t come close to the incredible lightweight of Li-ion batteries. Nickel-metal hydride batteries have been an option for electric scooters for a while, but ever since lithium-ion batteries came out, manufacturers are slowly switching to the lighter and better choice.
Basically, Nickel-metal hydride batteries lie in the middle ground between Li-ion and SLA in almost all aspects. It is more expensive than SLA batteries but cheaper than Li-ion batteries. These types of batteries are specifically made for each type of scooter, which means there might be problems and issues when it comes to battery replacement down the road.
How Long Does the Battery Last on an Electric Scooter?
The lifespan of an electric scooter battery will depend on the type. Although it is inevitable that a battery will need to be replaced at some point, the quality will determine when you will need to buy a replacement.
Some batteries are advertised to last about 300 full charge cycles. If you rarely use your electric scooter and charge it once a week, your battery can last years before needing a replacement. When used daily, however, frequent charging contributes to quicker depreciation. Then again, you get to use the scooter for what it’s made for. Whichever is the case, make sure the scooter you buy has a battery that is easy to acquire.
There are some practices that can actually prolong a battery’s lifespan.
- Do not overcharge the battery
- Use the proper charger that came with the package
- Do not use a different charge to prevent damage to the electric scooter battery pack
- Store the electric scooter at room temperature
- Charge the battery at optimum levels. The low battery voltage will cause degradation to the scooter battery lifespan.
How Much Does it Cost to Replace an Electric Scooter Battery?
The price of a replacement battery will vary depending on the battery type and the brand of the scooter. Lithium electric scooter battery costs the most, starting from $100 up to $500, depending on the quality and brand.
Nickel metal hydride batteries cost somewhere between $80 to $100. While the most affordable batteries that cost $80 and below are sealed acid-lead batteries.
It is wise to purchase replacement batteries from a trusted manufacturer. You can check the electric scooter owner’s manual to get more information about battery replacement. Some manufactures offer free battery replacement as part of their warranty policy.
The Unagi Model One has an excellent warranty policy (3), and they will replace the battery of the Unagi scooter within 2 years of purchase.
Purchasing higher quality batteries may cost more than sub-class battery replacements, but it is worth investing in something that would not only last longer but will also be safer to use. Electric scooters don’t come cheap, so it is better to protect your investment by not settling for low-quality components. If you are not sure which battery is used in an electric scooter, you can always do your research and read customer reviews. Online stores like Amazon carry replacement batteries for specific brands of electric scooters.
Battery Capacity of an Electric Scooter
The range of an electric scooter’s battery depends on how you use it. Some scooters have different riding modes that include an economy mode that helps to optimize the battery efficiency.
There are a lot of factors that affect the maximum distance of a fully charged electric scooter battery such as:
The type of terrain affects battery life and max distance. When you are going downhill on an inclined plane, the electric scooter’s battery power will not decrease as much. However, when going uphill, it requires more power, causing the battery to drain much faster.
The weight of the rider will also affect the range and power output. If the motor is required to use more power, the battery will drain much faster.
The common range of a mid-range electric scooter is from 15 to 20 miles. Some high-end scooters, such as the Wolf Warrior or Mercane Wide Wheel, can reach distances up to 50 miles on a single charge.
The method of charging will depend on the type of battery used on your electric scooter. Some come with a charger that you can plug directly to a charging port in your electric scooter, while others need to be charged using an external charger. Most nickel-metal hydride batteries need to be taken out of the scooter to be charged.
The owner’s manual is your best friend if you want to understand the specifics of battery maintenance. Normally, manufacturers do not recommend using a different charger or overcharging the battery. Some scooters can charge faster than others, but the average charging time of an electric scooter battery takes between 3 to 6 hours.
Never disassemble, reverse charge, or wet an electric scooter battery. Doing these bad practices will not only cause damage but can be hazardous to the rider as well. Make sure that you strictly follow ever safety precaution listed on the owner’s manual.
One good thing about owning an electric scooter with a replaceable battery is that it is sure to last long. If you maintain the battery and change it when it is required, your electric scooter will last for years. Of course, you will also need to maintain the motor and the scooter itself by keeping it clean and riding it properly at all times.
Make sure you always read customer reviews and the owner’s manual for information about the battery for electric scooters and what type of suitable replacement you must acquire.