I have used electric scooters for a while now and they’re my go to means of commuting short distances. They’re compact, easy to use, quite dangerous at times, fast moving and are available at various hubs in the city making them easily accessible quite like electric bikes.
But the one thing you need to remember apart from storing the electric scooter safely is to keep the batteries charged. Having ready-to-go charged batteries for your electric scooter makes owning it all the more convenient.
But how do you charge an electric scooter?
With the advancement in battery and charging technology, charging your electric scooter has become easier than before. Typically, anyone will plug their charger into a power source and the scooter’s batteries will get charged. Now you wouldn’t need the scooter itself to have the batteries charged, you can simply unplug the battery and charge it separately.
Sounds easy right? Unfortunately there are a few complications and key points you will have to follow while charging your electric scooter.
Let me take you through How to charge an Electric Scooter and the checklist to be followed while doing so.
How to Charge an Electric Scooter
Charging your electric scooter may seem like it’s going to be an impossible feat to have a charging dock occupying space in your garage.
Electric Scooters are not that complicated, you just need to plug in the scooter to any power source in your home or office and voila, charged batteries.
Depending on the model of your Electric Scooter, there are two methods by which you can recharge its batteries:
- Plugging your Electric Scooter Directly to a Wall Outlet Power Source
- Charging a Removable Battery
Both are pretty down to earth and as mentioned earlier, charging a removable battery can only be done if the electric scooter comes with a removable battery and is specified by the manufacturers themselves.
Do not attempt to remove the battery as this can void the warranty and can be dangerous.
Plugging your Electric Scooter Directly to a Wall Outlet Power Source
The standard method to charge your electric scooter is by plugging the scooter directly to any power source. This is by far the most common used method and has proven to be pretty effective.
- You need to locate the charging terminal on your electric scooter. This unit is normally located underneath the floor-board with a rubber nozzle protecting the socket from water damage.
- Remove the nozzle and plug in the charger firmly until you hear a click.
Make sure the charger is the original charger and uses the right voltage, you DO NOT want to ruin your electric scooter or its battery by using an incorrect charger.
- Now that the charger is connected firmly to the scooter, connect the other end of the charger to a wall plug socket. A standard one should do but if you’re looking for a bit more protection you can use a surge protector with an in-built fuse.
- Once you turn on the switch for your power source the LED charging indicator will begin to blink telling you that the batteries are in the process of getting recharged.
- Once the electric scooter has been charged, turn off the switch and remove the charger from the wall socket and the scooter. Make sure to remember to fit back the nozzle/charging socket cap so it does not get damaged.
Charging a Removable Battery
Most electric scooter manufacturers have made a few changes to how you can charge their products, making it easier and more convenient than before.
This is possible thanks to the use of removable batteries rather than the traditional non-removable mounted battery packs. Make sure you have the electric scooter with removable batteries before you start pulling your scooter apart.
This is a generic step-by-step as some of the electric scooters will have a slightly different configuration so make sure you read the owners manual before proceeding with your electric scooter.
IMPORTANT : MAKE SURE YOUR ELECTRIC SCOOTER IS TURNED OFF BEFORE YOU TAKE OUT THE BATTERY. TRY AND AVOID TOUCHING LIVE WIRES WITH YOUR BARE HANDS.
- First and foremost, you need to locate the battery bay. This is normally situated under the floor-board of the electric scooter. Take out your tool kit and with a screwdriver remove the screws holding the battery bay in place.
- Most batteries come with cables with plastic tips that lock in place, remove them carefully to slide the battery out. Other older models will have a bolt holding the wire down in place, using a wrench carefully take out the bolt to reveal the wire.
- Once the wire has been detached, lift the battery out of the hub and place it flat on a sturdy table.
- Take the two ends of the battery wire and plug them into the corresponding adapter to charge, like a power brick for the removable battery. You will hear a click when they’re connected.
Make sure that the red cable always goes into the positive terminal and the black goes in the negative terminal, changing polarity will damage the battery.
- If you’re using an older model you can connect the exposed wires to a two-pronged charger that comes with the scooter. This has a clip located within that holds the exposed wires in place for charging.
Here the cables have to be attached with their corresponding colors, connect the red wire of the battery with the red wire of the charger and the black cable of the battery with the black wire of the charger.
- Now proceed to plug in the charger to the wall socket power source to charge.
- The red light on the charger will turn on when there’s current flow and the battery is charging successfully.
The charger should always be the one you received with the electric scooter or at least a replacement provided by the company for that particular model of scooter. Using a charger with incorrect voltage or one that’s not made for your model can damage the battery.
How long do you Need to Charge your Electric Scooter for?
To know how long your electric scooter must remain plugged in for, you first have to know what type of battery is powering your electric scooter.
Electric scooters come with three available battery types and these can be charged anywhere between 2-4 hours and some will take 12 hours.
These batteries are lightweight and are not commonly used in electric scooters. They’re so portable that they can be charged to full capacity within 2-4 hours.
They charge faster and last quite long so you would not have to change the battery for up to 4 to 5 years from the day it’s bought.
Lithium-ion batteries can be quite expensive but if they’re looked after right, they can last you well over 3000 charging cycles.
The Lead-Acid batteries are more commonly used and seem to be the oldest kind of battery to power the electric scooter.
Compared to Lithium-ion batteries, lead-acid will allow you to cover longer distances as the higher Ah (ampere-hour) rating of the battery allows it to do so.
Lead-Acid batteries are rather affordable and charge slowly, taking them up to 12 hours at a time to attain full charge.
Nicd or Nicad batteries are those larger batteries that have a nickel anode and a cadmium cathode with a potassium hydroxide electrolyte in them.
These batteries are relatively good but are rather heavy and not a recommended power source.
Nicd batteries have to be drained completely before they can be recharged and this caused a lot of problems in the past. Though they’re much cheaper than Lithium-ion and Lead-Acid batteries they’re the least used kind of batteries to be used in an electric scooter.
So ultimately the time you need to keep your battery on charge depends on the type of battery it is. For Li-ion batteries it’s 2-4 hours, lead-acid batteries take about 12 hours to charge and NiCad batteries can only be charged once they’re completely drained and will take about 12-18 hours to completely charge.
How Long can a Battery Last on an Electric Scooter?
Batteries on electric scooters have different life times depending on their make, voltage and usage. On average, electric scooter batteries have a lifespan of anywhere between 2-4 years with about 1000 charging cycles being carried out.
The life of the battery is difficult to assess as the numbers fluctuate if the battery is charged often or if it’s not looked after in the appropriate manner.
How to Make your Electric Scooter Battery Last Longer?
As with every electrical gadget out there, you can prolong the life of your electric scooter battery by following a few simple techniques.
- Make sure to always charge your batteries after each ride.
- Charging your electric scooter battery up to 70-80% before taking a vacation can help increase its lifespan and preserve the battery..
- Always use the recommended charger that comes with the product, using local or wrong chargers for the battery will result in you damaging your battery.
- Exposing your battery to sun, heat, water or rain will damage it and in order for the battery to last longer it’s ideal to park your electric scooter in a dry and dark room when not in use.
- If you’re contemplating charging your battery as soon as you complete your ride, as a suggestion, wait for 10-25 minutes for the battery to cool off completely before plugging in the charger.
Charging your Battery must always be carried out in a safe and protected manner. They are easy to unplug if you’re using an electric scooter with a removable battery or if not then they’re still pretty portable so the scooter can be taken physically into your home or office to be charged.
Make sure to always follow the instructions laid out by the manufacturer and never over charge your batteries.
How do I know if my Electric Scooter is charging?
If your charger is connected in the right fashion with the battery you’ll see a red light blink on the charger unit. Once the battery has been charged completely, the color of the light will turn green as an indicator your battery is ready to be unplugged.
How do I charge my Electric Scooter without a charger?
It’s not recommended to charge your electric scooter without a certified charger. Connecting the battery to jumper cables and other sources of current will only damage the battery. It’s best to buy a new charger or find your old one than spend hundreds more on procuring a new battery.
How Do I know that my electric scooter battery is low?
With electric scooters you will be able to tell if your battery is low when the performance of the scooter drops. On some newer models that have display units, you’ll be shown the battery percentage in real-time o you’ll know when it’s ideal to charge the electric scooter’s battery.