Guide to Storing Electric Bike Batteries

BULLS Outlaw electric bike batteryBy Edward Benjamin, LEVA Technician Training Program

One of the problems for ebikes is this: They can spend months inactive, and that is not good for batteries. And a dead battery, damaged by misuse or neglect, is both expensive and frustrating.

Different types of batteries have different needs. Here is a rough guide:

For all batteries: Charging and using them is the best way to keep the battery in good shape. An old saying from Aviation: “To keep em flying, keep em flying…” [Read more…]

How to Become an Electric Bike Technician

Ed Benjamin reviews the work members of the class who installed a Watts Up meter on a a ProdecoTech electric bike.

Ed Benjamin reviews the work members of the class who installed a Watts Up meter on a a ProdecoTech electric bike.

By Edward Benjamin, LEVA Founder & Chairman

Life and work in the bike biz is getting more difficult.

As I write this, the trade journals are reporting big decreases in bike shop revenues. (And we all know that there are a lot fewer bike shops today than a few years ago…)

Pay for folks who work in bike shops is not so good…. [Read more…]

Electric Bikes and “Quality”

ed-benjaminBy Edward Benjamin.

When I started assembling bikes as a teenager in the back of a bicycle shop, the widely hailed “best quality” bikes in the USA were Schwinn Bicycles that were manufactured in Chicago.

Those bikes arrived at the bike shop with many parts (brakes, saddle, pedals, cables, and more) yet to be attached. Good news for me and my peers – it took most of us 30 – 45 minutes or more of practiced effort to finish the assembly of the bike. And when we were finished, we had a bike that almost always had tiny flecks of paint missing. And there were bikes that needed [Read more…]

Report on Electric Bicycle Imports to USA by Brand in 2014-2015

ProdecoTech assembly facility 3By Edward Benjamin.

One of the challenges of tracking the ebike business in the USA is created by a lack of a uniform tariff or HTS numbers that are specific to electric bicycles.

So a researcher is limited to a process of using descriptions such as ebike, electric bike, etc.

The descriptions can be vague or misleading, so our team then checks for [Read more…]

Electric Bike Shops: Tips On Safer Battery Charging [VIDEO]

battery charging cartBy Edward Benjamin, Lead Instructor of the Light Electric Vehicle Association Technician Training.

Electric Bike Batteries rarely catch fire. But when they do, it can be a serious danger and problem. Lithium batteries are not easy to extinguish, and both training and preparation is needed to reduce the hazard.

Cases of ebike battery fires are very, very rare at home. But in the bike shop, where damaged and defective batteries can be expected, with customers bringing their ‘problem’ batteries to the service center — extra care is [Read more…]

Electric Bike Battery Fires and How to Prevent Them [VIDEO]

A lithium ion electric bike battery pack with its cells exposed.By Edward Benjamin, Lead Instructor of the Light Electric Vehicle Association Technician Training.

For a battery of any sort to catch fire is rare. For an electric bicycle battery to catch fire is, perhaps, even more rare.

There are about 220 million electric bikes in daily service around the globe, and fires are so rare as to attract [Read more…]

The USA Electric Bike Market Numbers

This is a guest post by Edward Benjamin and Audra Poynter, eCycleElectric Staff

With a population of more than 316 Million people, buying about 15 million normal bicycles most years, and a demographic that is shifting to an older, but active generation of baby boomers…the USA seems a natural market for electric powered two wheelers.

The European market, about 742 million people, buying about 20 million bicycles most years, is both larger, and buys fewer bicycles per capita than the USA.

However, much of Europe regards a bicycle of any type as transportation. (As well as for sports, fitness, and recreation.) This is a cultural norm and in such cultures ebike markets grow more quickly.

The USA is almost universal in [Read more…]

What Happened, What Comes Next: A Recap of Important Events from the 2013 Electric Bike Industry

This is a guest post from Ed Benjamin, Senior Managing Director of eCE and LEVA Chairman.

Reviewing 2013:

The electric bike industry enjoyed a successful year in 2013. Here is recap of what happened in some of the most important markets.

Electric bikes sales in China grew, but slowly. There is now an estimated 170 million electric bikes in use in China and the replacement of aging electric bikes is around [Read more…]

USA E-Bike Market Doubles to 159,000 bikes, 908 dealers, & 134 brands!

This is a press release from eCycle Electric International Consultants.

eCycleElectric International Consultants announces results of research into USA ebike market size for 2013.

During the one-year period July 2012 to July 2013, the USA Electric Bike market appears to have doubled over numbers published by Electric Bike Reports WorldWide for 2012.

Searches of Customs and Border Protection records, phone surveys of dealers, Internet searches and interviews of [Read more…]

Glossary of Electric Bike Terms

Guest post by Edward Benjamin, Senior Managing Director of eCycleElectric Consultants LLC. 

AC Current – alternating current is used in electrical mains, but very rarely in Light Electric Vehicles.

Advanced Battery – a battery using NiMH or Lithium cells. Usually requiring a battery management system (BMS). Higher performance and higher cost.

After Market Kit – a kit of components to convert a manual bicycle to an electric bicycle.

Amp – From Ampere, which is a measure of the amount of electrical [Read more…]