Best electric bikes on the market - April 2017

Best Electric Bicycle on the Market

Electric Bicycles / April 24, 2024

Nickel-metal Hydride (NiMh) Electric Bike Batteries

NiMh batteries are somewhat more efficient than NiCd batteries, but they are also more expensive. Most people’s report that NiMh offers little improvement in range over NiCd. On the other hand, they will last longer and are easier to dispose of correctly. Nonetheless, NiMH batteries are also becoming a rarity, because the market place is being taken over by Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries.

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) Electric Bike Batteries

These have become the default battery, capturing over 90% of the market. But to complicate matters, there are many different kinds of Li-ion batteries. On the plus side, Li-ion batteries last longer and generate more power for their weight than other batteries. On the negative side, they are fussy little creatures, and require a genius-inspired smorgasbord of electronic features to prevent them from self-destruction and even catching fire! Of course, none of those are your problems, as the manufacturer will have sorted out the genius side. But like all good things in life, this comes at a price: this battery type is very expensive, and shows little sign of getting cheaper.

Lithium-ion Polymer (Li-pol) Electric Bike Batteries

This is a new one, and promises to be no better than the Li-ion battery type in terms of range, weight, or price. However, it can be molded into interesting shapes. They contain no liquid, so they don’t require the heavy protective cases that other batteries need. Also, this absence of free liquid theoretically means that they should be more stable and less vulnerable to problems caused by overcharge, damage or abuse. In general, they seem to be ideal for use in high capacity, low power applications – such as electric bikes.

Given the new trend to make electric bikes look just like other bikes, I am guessing that some creative manufacturers will come up with some radically cool ideas. I wouldn’t rush into buying one of these battery types, however, until they prove themselves in terms of battery life.

Lithium Cobalt (LCO) Electric Bike Batteries

This is another variation on Li-ion. It’s a relatively new kid on the block, and its proponents claim it has much higher energy density than other lithium batteries, so that it offers optimum power in a light, compact package. For example it is used in Optibikes, and the manufacturers claim “no other electric bike can go as far as an Optibike, guaranteed”.Yet another one that still has to prove itself, though.

Lithium Manganese (LiMg204) Electric Bike Batteries

This is another new kid on the block, and is the same battery technology used in the Nissan Leaf hybrid car. Some claim it is the best of all. For example it is used in Elite Electric Bikes, and the manufacturers claim that it lasts longer and generates more power than other Lithium batteries.

Wrapping up the Electric Bike Batteries Debate