The 400Wh & 500Wh PowerPacks used on Bosch powered eBikes, and the 650Wh on the Brose system are among the most advanced batteries currently on the electric bike market. They offer a superior range, reliability & longevity compared to many other batteries. However this all comes at a price; with a replacement pack currently costing around $1,700.00. Some people are put off by the price of a replacement battery, thinking that it will have to be replaced every other year, but this is just not true.
If you don't want to read all the info below just remember this:
The main points are – Top the battery up, keep it at a good temperature, make sure the overall eBike is well maintained & keep the battery about 60% capacity when not being used for longer periods of time.
If you treat your Bosch eBike Battery well it will treat you well in return. Your battery should last 8-10 years in the perfect conditions. It could last even longer.. Who knows?.. You are in charge now (Pun intended!)
What is the warranty on the battery and drive motor?
The batteries and drive motor are warrantied for 2 years This doesn’t mean you’re battery will pack up after 2 years and 1 day. The battery should be good for around 8-9 years or 1000 full charge cycles. After 1000 cycles the battery will still work, but any battery will age over time so it will start to lose capacity and therefore not power your electric bike as far.
Many people think that a part charge counts as a full charge cycle. Well it doesn’t, if you just top the battery up a small amount, only this is recorded and will not be counted until there are enough of these partial charges to count towards a full charge cycle.
When a Bulls powered eBike visits our service department we can use our diagnostics tool to read into the battery itself. The battery is very clever and records many different parameters, these are then saved within the system .
We can tap into the system and see exactly how many ‘Full Charge Cycles’ this particular battery has had. We can also view many other parameters for example – maximum / minimum battery temperature, charge state, usage etc. etc. Interesting stuff eh? Anyway back to the point..
Certain measures explained in this article can help extend the life of your eBike battery and keep it well maintained. OK so here are some of the most common questions we hear regarding Bosch batteries (It’s the easiest way to structure the article) –
I have just received my brand new eBike, what’s the first step?
If your eBike came from us, we normally charge the battery fully as we know you’ll be itching to ride it the minute you receive it. However if your battery arrives partially charged then it’s best to charge it fully before the first ride. This helps condition the battery and gives it a start point from which to gauge the rest of its operation. It should take about 3.5 hours from fully discharged to charged.
How often should you charge your Bulls eBike battery?
The new Lithium cells used within the battery packs are very advanced.
Unlike the older style batteries where you had to completely discharge the battery and then fully charge it back up again to avoid any damage; this is not the case on the PowerPacks. In fact it’s much better to just top up the battery after every trip. So if you have just cycled 10 miles on your electric bike, it’s better to top it back up to full when you get home rather than incorporating a few trips before charging back fully.
Should I keep my battery clean?
Yes of course it is good to keep any component of your eBike clean.
Although this will not affect the internals of the battery at all if the exterior case is dirty. The best way to clean the battery, or any components of your electric bike for that matter, is with a wet sponge or low pressure hose. A typical garden hose is perfect at washing away grime without applying too much pressure.
Although Bosch and Brose batteries are weather proof it is never advised to use any sort of high pressure jet / pressure washer on your bike. This pressure can force water into the battery case itself and cause problems. It can also force water into other parts of your electric bike where you don’t want water to exist (motor, bearing internals, suspension seals etc.). So although it may be quicker to clean please don’t use pressure washers at all. You may also consider one of our battery covers to keep your battery clean.
Will my battery range be affected if using a inverter in from my vehicle or motor home? –
No, you can use inverters to charge your electric bike for example from the cigarette lighter port in most cars.
But please make sure that the inverter itself is rated for the correct output for the Bosch or Brose charger. You can normally find all of this information on the inverters packaging or on a sticker on the inverter itself.
The charger only charges the battery at a low 4 amp current so is fine for most inverters and car batteries. Please check these values to make sure the inverter is compatible before plugging it in. Also remember depending on the inverter itself that the battery may take a little longer to charge than if it was plugged into the mains.
Most importantly of all make sure the vehicle engine is running whilst the battery is on charge because it could drain your battery faster than you think.
Will it reduce my battery life if riding in very harsh conditions or using full power a lot?
Remember the power of the motor can peak at 500w so can draw power from the battery quicker and put a higher load on it. Think of it this way; the harder you use your eBike the faster the battery will discharge.
The faster it discharges, then the more you will be charging it back up. This means that you could end up performing many more charge cycles than someone who is using their eBike lightly in the same time period.
We recommend using an assistance level that works for you. If you use your eBike flat out in the maximum assistance mode ‘Turbo’. The eBike will use more power and therefore you will get a shorter assisted distance out of it.
You don’t ‘need’ to use the eBike flat out in ‘Turbo’ all of the time (it is fun though!). Reality is that the "Eco" mode will give you most of what you will ever need to get up and over a hill in style.
In "Turbo Mode" The bike wont go any faster (km/hr) but it will have more ‘grunt’, in fact the eBike will only go as fast as you pedal, it’s just the amount of assistance the motor gives you that changes.
I’m putting my eBike away for the winter, will this damage the battery at all?
No, you can store your eBike away, it’s not a problem; however there are some steps you can take to keep your battery healthy during these times –
If you are keeping your eBike outside in a shed or garage, then it’s always best to bring your battery indoors. Around room temperature is perfect. So the eBike can stay in the shed but bring the battery inside with you.
Once in the house at room temperature, store the battery in a dry and secure place.
When storing your eBike battery for long periods of time it’s best to keep the battery partially charged. If you store the battery completely flat then you run the risk of damaging the internals of the cells themselves. Also if you store the battery fully charged this can leave the cells under more pressure. So it’s best to keep the battery stored in between.
For the Bosch battery in particular the optimum charge state to leave it in is 60% (Or 3 LED’s lit on the battery level indicator). For very long periods try to check the capacity every 6 months or so. When the battery reaches 1 LED showing, then top it back up to 3 LED’s again. Many people think it’s best to keep the battery on the charger so its always topped up in storage, but this is simply not the case. The Bosch charger won’t ‘overcharge’ the battery at all but again it does leave the battery under more pressure.
Will it harm the battery if I run it completely flat on a ride?
No, it’s never recommended to run the battery completely flat, but for longer rides it obviously can happen. The Bosch Battery is protected by its on board BMS (Battery Management System). This means it’s protected for deep discharging, the BMS won’t allow the battery to run completely flat.
It may seem that you have no power left, but the BMS will have already shut off the power to the motor before it can hurt itself. We all know that the beauty of the Bosch drive is you can still ride without any resistance with the power switched off. On a side note here, if you are running lights directly powered from the Bosch motor and you do run out of power, the BMS will allow a small amount of power still to the lights so you will still remain visible!
I ride in very cold conditions during the winter will this affect battery life?
The simple answer is yes. Cold or very hot conditions can affect your battery range considerably.
The battery can be affected up to 30% in sub zero conditions. So if you are consistently riding in these conditions it can really affect not just your range; but the battery has to work a lot harder to perform the same function, this will decrease the overall lifespan of the battery as well.
There are certain actions you can take to prevent this. You can wrap your battery up to keep it to temperature.
Some people use a sock, some knit a woolen jumper for it, we actually have available a perfect neoprene Battery Cover that really hugs all styles of the Bosch battery to not just keep them within temperature but can keep the battery clean, protected from knocks and out of direct sunlight. It's good for summer and winter!
Should I clean the connections between the Battery and the eBike itself?
Yes it is always good to keep these connections clean. This can minimize the risk of short circuit and damage to the battery itself. We advise to clean the battery mount connections on the bike with a cloth and if you are feeling really adventurous apply a small amount of grease (dielectric preferably). Just a tiny bit to wipe over the connectors to keep them from corroding. Its not good to plaster these with grease. It will not help at all. All it will do is attract more dirt and dust from the terrain which will stick to these connectors.
We suggest to play with the connections on the bottom of the battery itself as you run the risk of short circuiting here, although 36v won’t kill you it could make your hair stand on end and your wallet about $1,700.00 + lighter.
Should I remove the battery when transporting my bike on the bike rack of my vehicle/motorhome?
Yes this is strongly advised, stick it in a dry & safe place inside the vehicle.
The best place to store the battery is under the driver’s seat, this means it’s out of the way and also shouldn’t move around too much. Wrap it in a towel to prevent any knocks. Do not leave the battery on the dashboard, or rear window sill if you end up braking hard, the 2kg+ battery is the last thing you want hitting you in the back of the head. It will leave you with a headache!
Also by storing in within the car it keeps the battery from getting wet. Although the battery is rain proof, if you’re travelling at 100km/hr down the motorway, the water & air travelling over your car is then doubled in speed as it wraps round the back of your vehicle. This means the battery could be being sprayed with water at around 200km/hr. This is stronger than a pressure washer and can force water into the battery and components of the eBike itself.
I dropped my battery and the case is cracked what shall I do?
If your battery is damaged in anyway then it should be replaced. Even if it seems OK on the outside one of the cells inside may be damaged, this can then move onto other cells and the whole pack can become a ticking time bomb. The battery could seem fine and work but weeks later the effects of the damage could become apparent. The battery could heat up or even ignite.
So my battery needs replacing, what shall I do?
It may be that none of the above factors are affecting your battery. It possibly time to call it a day and have the battery replaced. But to be sure you should have the capacity of the battery checked first, just to make sure. If you are not competent with a testing meter we do not advise poking around on the Battery connections to test anything. You could easily cross two of the connectors and be in for a shock, you could destroy your battery this way too.
You should visit a Bosch dealer and have the battery capacity checked properly. We won’t take a meter near it, we will plug it into our computers and be able to give you an decision straight away if the battery needs to be replaced.
When a new battery is purchased it comes with a new Warranty from a Bosch dealer, so be sure to keep the receipt of purchase date safe.
Can I open up the case & replace the cells myself?
There are various reasons why this should not be done –
There is risk of short circuiting, burning your fingers, fire and even harmful acids. Batteries are assembled in strictly controlled environments by specialists to ensure maximum safety. Going at with a screwdriver in the garden shed probably won’t end up well.
As soon as you open it up, your warranty will be void from Bosch and the CE certification from Bosch will be invalid. This also holds you responsible if you or others are harmed by the battery in the event of a future problem.
Fitting an aftermarket battery or new internal cells not only could harm others but could harm the rest of your electric bikes components.
You probably won’t be able to achieve this anyway as the battery is very intelligent and the on board BMS makes contact with the rest of the Bosch system. The chances are you will probably waste money on new cells or the new cells will be a cheap imitation and won’t last very long anyway. It’s really not worth the risk.
Should I perform a full conditioning cycle often?
No, the Bosch battery is very intelligent, the on board BMS takes the hassle away to make a really user friendly battery. Really all you have to do is charge it and the Bosch system will take care of the rest.
The BMS will self balance the cells when charging, it will control everything from deep discharging, over charging through to short circuiting. If you do wish to perform a full conditioning cycle then you can do this by simply discharging the battery completely by riding it until it is flat, then charging it back up fully with no interruptions. This can be done twice in a row to make sure it has fully conditioned.
This is not recommended to do all of the time. Once a year is sufficient but like I say above it’s not necessary in most cases.