Ebike Range Anxiety

My bike and battery are now well over 2 years old, and my battery is begining to lose its capacity. I didn’t follow my own instructions on battery care and left it charged to 100% for a few months, and on more than one occasion. Plus when I did my 45 mile ride I dropped the charge all the way down to 2%… VERY NAUGHTY I know.

So as a result I’m now developing range anxiety, and instead of riding 25-30 miles in one go, I’m dropping this to 15 miles. So I’m worried and I need a new battery, but Halfords are currently out of stock of spare batteries. Then I started wondering if it’s possible to charge the battery with a power bank phone charger.
I’ve fired off an email to SR-Suntour to see if they can help, this is the email.

Hello to who ever reads this email.

Just over 2 years ago I bought the Carrera Crossfire-E from Halfords, and it’s been a blast riding this bike, your battery and motor make this bike awesome. I even made a website to share my thoughts and opinions https://the-bionic-cyclist.co.uk

Lately I’ve had a reduction in battery life, probably because I left it fully charged for too long, but hey this is England and the weather is totally unpredictable. The reduction is only around 10%, so even though I’ve not charged it the stated 500 times, I understand how Li-Ion batteries work and their limitations.

This brings me onto a couple of ways you the manufacturer could fix this in future.

1. Have the USB output stay on even when the LCD is off, this way I could easily discharge the battery and keep it around the 30%-40% mark for long term storage. Dendrites are the enemy after all.

2. The ability to charge the battery on the go, without mains power…. Wait whut? Yes, there’s now a metric tonne of power banks, some with 3, 4, 5, or even upto 20 18650 batteries installed. Sure they’re a little heavy, but so is a spare battery. So why not add another USB port that allows a rider to charge the battery while on the road. I realise there are limitations on powerbanks, mainly that they run only at 5v and a maximum of 5 amps. But a trickle charge still adds a few miles to a ride. Or you could manufacture a powerbank that outputs 36v and a socket to the main battery and charge a little faster.

The benefit of number 2 is simple, you could sell your own rechargeable power bank just for your battery packs (watch out for the input socket, it could get damaged, you could then have the spare power bank charged by another power bank… and so on,) and they would work with all your batteries out there now. It’s lighter than a spare battery and it should be a lot cheaper too. An extra 5-10 miles is still miles ahead of the competition.

The alternative is to add a USB INPUT to future products, but this leaves all current and future batteries limited to their initial state.

Personally I prefer number option 2, it’s flexible and adds a little more distance to all past present and future batteries.

Now on to a couple of questions I’d like an answer to please.

1. Where do I buy a new battery from? Halfords haven’t had the stock in a long time and mine is now giving me a huge amount of range anxiety.

2. Do you have a publicly available schematic for the battery? If I bought a new one then I’d like to teardown the old one and replace the 18650’s with improved new ones… thus giving me 2 batteries and preserving the old one to make it last another 2 years or more.

Please let me know what you think, personally I like the idea of charging on the fly, and I’m amazed that no one has yet thought of it. But if I’m wrong and it cannot be done or it would be impractical then just a quick reply will do.

 

What do you think, do the ideas have merit?

 

About The Bionic Cyclist

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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Dylan Thomas, 1914 - 1953

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

8 thoughts on “Ebike Range Anxiety

  1. Pingback: Carrera Crossfire-E 12 month re-review – The Bionic Cyclist E-Bike Rider

  2. Pingback: Carrera Crossfire-E Electric Bike Review – The Bionic Cyclist E-Bike Rider

  3. **UPDATE**

    I’ve tried charging the battery on the bike and moving the pedals by hand… there’s no assist while the power is connected and charging.
    1. It’s impossible to to charge while cycling, making charging with a power bank impossible.
    2. It’s a firmware issue and it could just need reprogramming. This too is unlikely, can Li-ion batteries charge at the same time as providing power, or it’s a safety switch in a PCB.

  4. Hello,

    Loving the blog.

    How about sending the battery pack to a refurb company? You might even have the technical ability to unpack the cells and replace the dead ones. I wouldn’t be able to. I do know lipo batteries are made up of standard cells.

    Best of luck!

    • To be honest, I rode 30 miles yesterday, on 100% power and the battery almost lasted the entire ride. So the battery is a little weaker than it used to be but not by much. Had I droopped the amount of assist to 50% it would have been fine and it probably would have lasted much longer. But I had the spare… so why bother.
      I have the technical ability to replace the cells, but not the confidence, plus do I really need too swap them out?

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