Anyone who owns an electric scooter worries about the performance of their battery packs. The reason is apparent; a bad battery means a short-range electric scooter.
Just as fuel is crucial to scooters, batteries are indispensable to electric scooters. Through them, the controller, DC motor, lights, and other electrical parts of your scooter obtain energy to function. A standard battery pack should be strong enough to run your electric scooter for up to or close to the maximum range the manufacturer promises.
Most electric scooters use lithium-ion batteries as a source of power because they are lightweight, efficient, durable, and have a long life span. Although a few scooters use lead-acid batteries, they are primarily used in scooters made for children. Nevertheless, bigger battery packs pose a threat to your electric scooter. It makes your e-scooter heavier, and this can make navigation difficult.
There are two main types of batteries used for scooters. We have:
Do you want to hear a piece of information that’s boring? Here’s a long list of the types of lithium-ion batteries;
Of all these batteries, Lithium manganese nickel (LiNiMnCoO2), aka INR, NMC, is commonly used for scooters. It’s the best in that it gives high capacity and output current. The manganese in its chemistry drastically reduces internal resistance. This means lower odds of fire or overheating.
Although lithium-ion batteries store more energy than their weight, lead-acid batteries store less energy compared to their weight and are inexpensive. Nonetheless, they are incomparable to lithium-ion batteries in capacity, performance, recharge, and longevity.
Simply put, lithium Ion batteries are better than lead-acid batteries.
Batteries are one of the most expensive components of electric scooters. Individual cells are organized into packs to form a battery management system to ensure maximum efficiency. The bigger the battery pack, the more power available to the motors of the electric scooter. It also means an extended range for these scooters during rides.
Usually, the individual battery cell that makes up a battery pack are 18650 Li-IoN batteries. These batteries are cylindrical with dimensions of 18 mm by 65 mm.
On its own, any of these battery cells have an inadequate output for an electric scooter. Ideally, one of these battery cells has an electric potential of 3.6 volts and is rated 9.4 watts-hour (equal to 2.6 A.h).
A Battery management system controls the overall circuit and flow of current. A battery pack consists of individual cells arranged in series in a brick-like structure.
By setting up each of these batteries, the individual voltage and capacities are multiplied. This is how we arrive at 36 V, 48 V, 52 V, 60 V and 72V batteries. There can be higher voltages as long as the weight is safe for your scooter.
While voltages are multiplied by arranging these batteries in series, the output current is also increased by arranging individual cells in series and parallel.
Each battery cell is regulated through this setup from 3.0 volts (0%) to 4.2 volts (100%). For example, a 36 V battery is operated from 30V (0%) charge to 42 V (100%).
Voltage sag can make you misread battery ratings. All batteries experience a voltage sag due to battery chemistry and internal resistance. Sometimes it is caused by abandoning the batteries for too long. This is how it happens: when reading the battery load, it would be 10V short, but after removing the load, it’s restored to its ideal voltage.
Batteries are affected by the power consumption of the motors of electric scooters.
There are two types of DC motors that all-electric scooters use: brushed and brushless DC motors, both of which works the same way. The first uses brushes to power different coils, while the second uses digital circuitry to generate power.
Brushless DC motors consume more power and generate more energy. This means they have more speed, acceleration, and hill-climbing force. The more watts the electric scooter has, the more energy it would use in a short amount of time compared to motors with less wattage.
Most budget electric scooters have a power wattage of between 200 and 600. High-power electric scooters can have wattages of up to 5000.
You can expect them to have more range than cheap scooters. If the battery pack and wattage are satisfactory, you can get up to 100 kilometers of range from a single charge.
With your electric scooter tuned off
Charge your scooter’s battery and position the scooter so it can’t move. Get your multimeter, set it to DC volts and connect it to the battery terminal of your electric scooter. Take the readings.
With your electric scooter tuned on
Stand/sit on the electric scooter and press the throttle for a few seconds. You’re standing or sitting to ensure the scooter doesn’t move. Take the voltage reading with your multimeter.
If your battery pack is up to the standard, the voltage reading, when turned off, would be a few volts more than your scooter’s voltage reading. If it’s less than your scooter’s voltage, it’s short of the standard.
With your electric scooter turned on and fully engaged. The voltage should drop by a few volts but no lower than the voltage of your e-scooter. If it falls short, then it’s below the standard.
Do not forget that attery packs experience voltage sag. Always consider this in your readings. Before performing battery standard tests, ensure your battery is well charged. This is especially important when the battery hasn’t been used for a long time.
FIDICO electric scooters have perfect battery pack testing standards.