E-bike usage worldwide has experienced rapid growth since 1998. In 2016 there were 210 million electric bikes worldwide used daily. It is estimated that there were roughly 120 million e-bikes in China in early 2010, and sales are expanding rapidly in India, the United States of America, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. A total of 700,000 e-bikes were sold in Europe in 2010, up from 200,000 in 2007 and 500,000 units in 2009.
Hi Micah, thank you for your advice. I am not going to touch that battery. I know this may be a lot to ask, but would you build me a battery for my velomini 1 ? It doesn’t have to be the one that fits in the frame, I could put it in a bag and hang it on the handlebars or something. If more convenient you can email me directly at dlimjr at yahoo. My sincere thanks and may you and your family have a happy holiday.. Don, San Francisco
Over the years our lineup has grown, and as a result, the offering has become more complicated than it needs to be. Specifically, this year we introduced a 500w geared motor option to the lineup and that has created some redundancy. Before outlining changes, we would like to ensure everyone that we will be stocking enough inventory of previously sold parts for a long enough time to ensure all warranties…
The Stromer ST1 uses a direct drive hub motor (like Bionx) made by the Taiwanese company TDCM. TDCM focuses on the development and production of electric drive systems for electric bikes as well as for other applications—including medical devices, starter systems, and wheelchairs, to name a few.
hello, firstly i would like to say that i think this is a brilliant article its really helped me understand a lot more about how this works and how i can use a similar system for my project but i am a little confused and i was hoping to pick your brains….
The most influential definition which distinguishes which e-bikes are pedelecs and which are not, comes from the EU. From the EU directive (EN15194 standard) for motor vehicles, a bicycle is considered a pedelec if:
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The only two ebike companies that sell LiPo to the public are Optibike and Pi-cycles, and both contain the battery in a strong metal box which makes up of the frame. The companies fire tested these enclosures and are confident that their frame are effective and safe vessels for LiPo storage.
I have a Stromer ST1 and I just got my wife the Optibike Pioneer allroad. We both are short (5’6″ and 5’4″, 150 pounds and 100 pounds) but we pull our sons in the Weehoo Trailer. So that adds another 60 pounds. We have very steep hills in our area. We just took our first ride with the optibike and it feels like it has about 1/2 the power on the steep hills as the Stromer. I thought the mid motor would do better on hills (optibike is 500W mid mount, stomer is 600W rear hub). Can you help me understand this and help with a better option for more power? Thanks! Oh, and I should add. We want peddle assist and throttle modes.
Hi Jeffrey, I’ll do my best to answer this question based on my experience testing. Mid-drive motors get a lot of attention for being efficient because they can be empowered through gear shifting if they are setup to pull the same drivetrain as you, the rider, and the bike actually has gears. So a mid-drive on a single-speed electric bike might actually be less efficient than a hub motor because it’s transferring energy through a chain or belt before reaching the rear wheel. There several mid-drive designes out there which pull a completely separate drivetrain like this, and are therefore not as efficient as they might otherwise be but still benefit the bike design by balancing weight at the center of the frame. And so, if you have something like the Bosch Centerdrive, Yamaha, Impulse, Brose or others which pull a chain or belt and benefit from the mechanical advantage of a cassette, internally geared planetary hub or continuously variable transmission AND you actually shift appropriately… then you will generally go further, climb easier and even accelerate faster than most hub motors. Geared and gearless hub motors usually have a sweet spot for efficient operating speed RPM and that is usually translated to above 10 mph on the bike. So when you start from zero the motor is struggling and only once you’re reaching those higher speeds does the motor start to “relax” and perform optimally. I hope this helps, there are some excellent hub motor designs out there… they tend to be easier on the drivetrain and less expensive but increase unsprung weight (if the wheel is on a suspension) and can create imbalanced weight distribution compared to mid-drives.
You can also add a label or other information to the outside of your pack for that professional look. If nothing else, it’s a good idea to at least write on the pack what the voltage and capacity is. Especially if you make multiple custom batteries, that will ensure you never forget what the correct charge voltage for the pack is.
I’d recommend going with a cell that can output 10A, giving you 40A continuous power rating. You’ll use less than that, meaning the cells will be happier (and cooler). Something like the Sanyo 18650GA or LG MJ1 would give you good power and capacity (both are around 3,400 mAH per cell).
Lithium chemistry is considerably more expensive than the “old school” lead acid chemistry. If you are buying a battery pack or a bike that already has a battery pack, be familiar with the chemistry that you’re buying. For example, its hard to find a good e-bike for under a thousand dollars with a decent-sized lithium pack. Lithium is pricey. Be realistic in your expectations when e-bike shopping on how much the electric bike will cost compared to what kind of range, performance, and life expectancy you will get out of a lithium battery pack.
hello sir. nice guide FOR battery pack li-ion… i will try an electric bike kit for my 26″ MTB. and buy 1000w hub motor kit. i can solve my battery problem (expensive you know) with li ion pack. i have some questions,
Well, you’re right that I wouldn’t recommend it! I admire your ingenuity but there are a couple big issues with this setup: 1) You have 4 groups of 10 series cells but no way to balance between them. The 4 cells need to be paralled before they are wired in series otherwise they will get increasingly out of balance with each charge/discharge cycle. 2) I’m not sure you’d get a good enough contact from a copper spring or busbar that is just held on the end of the cells in compression. The copper will also corrode over time and caused increase resistance at the point it touches the cells and problems down the road.
Some of the less expensive e-bikes used bulky lead acid batteries, whereas newer models generally used NiMH, NiCd, and/or Li-ion batteries, which offered lighter, denser capacity batteries. Performance varies; however, in general there is an increase in range and speed with the latter battery types.
I’m not familiar with this copper serial connection you’re talking about. I guess you mean to reinforce the series connections to handle more current? As long as you are using enough strips of nickel (and ensuring that it’s pure nickel and not nickel coated steel) then you shouldn’t need copper reinforcements. I try to use at least 1 strip of nickel for every 5A my battery will carry. So if I’m looking for a 20A max load, I’d use 4 strips of nickel in each series connection. That’s easy to do if each cell in a parallel group of 4 cells is connected to the next group by one strip each.
Hi Court, great site and appreciate your insight, and obvious care. I am also ebike noobie, but have been doing my homework (hours of googling). Personal specs are, old guy, out of shape (5′ 10″ 270# but physically intact), looking to “upgrade” self. I am a mechanic for living, so nothing technical worries me. You have done great job of laying out the general parameters and options, so now I “get” that, and have evolved to the confused info overload stage. Application would be recreational/touring, hills/long grades are always in play, some trail riding, but no serious mountain biking at all. Range not so much a big deal, and plan to “pedal” for the exercise, assist would be for hills, and overextending (needing a lift back to the barn). Issues for me are quality/durability, and rider stability including push off and simple shifting (as opposed to complicated timing and planning routines). I may also see a fair amount of urban stop and go when vacationing etc.I don’t see myself speeding along at 30mph (scares the bejeebers out of me to even think about that speed on a bike). Lots of questions, but will focus on one … It seems like most of the issues (other than battery, range, regeneration and such) revolve around drive train concerns. I like the idea of the mid-mount, but am concerned about the shifting and stress on chain etc. Can a quality mid-mount add on kit, easily work with an internal shifting rear hub. The idea being simplicity…no front shifter, single cog, and easy rear shifting (especially when stopped, or going slow). I am a little confused over the internal geared options, seems like several methods Including external gear set for more increments). Problem may be the shifting while motor engaged. But I believe the internal shifting (similar to the old 3-speed bikes) can be done while pedaling or not, so likewise would not be affected by motor load. If true, that reduces the need(benefit?) of a motor disengage feedback when shifting. This setup also seems like it would benefit from a torque(? not sure I understand this) aware http://bestelectricbikebattery.com mechanism (seems cadence ones are not really so great) for the “assist” with a few selectable assist modes. If not applied to an external geared internal hub, then only 2 cogs now, and perhaps can use the gates belt system, which seems like a good (dependable) upgrade (not sure how well gates deals with hard shifts if that is a concern). Anyways, hopefully I have asked a reasonable (as opposed to ridiculous!!) application question. If viable, could you suggest the actual brands/models you would use? Thx again.
Sorry if this has been asked already but there are a ton of comments to wade through. Ten individual 18650 cells in series at a nominal voltage of 3.6 Volts would give me 36 volts. Assuming they are 2500 mAh a piece, then if I put 4 of these 10 cell in series packs together in parallel I would have a 10 Amp Hour battery correct? The same applies if I were to wire a pack together with 10 “4p” cells together in series. I’m trying to determine what the benefit of 10s4p over I guess what would be “4s10p”.
my questions are obviously related to sla’s as this is what i have now but if answers differ according to battery chemistry i would like to know this as well for future reference any info much appreciated cheers craig