On January 27, at the Advanced Automotive Battery Conference in Mainz, I had the honor to share my experiences with lithium batteries during my long distance electric bikes trips. The expeditions through Morocco, Mongolia, Iceland and the first leg of E-Bike Africa ever again make for entertaining stories with battery logistics and charging being the biggest challenge on every single journey.
In Track 2 of the well-attended event mostly automotive battery developers learned about the electric bicycle market and battery needs.
As the conclusion of my experiences, here is my wish list for pedelec batteries, especially with regards to traveling and tourism:
• Plug & Play of single units with each one being under 160 Wh
>> If under 160 Wh they can be taken on airplanes and don't have to be shipped as hazardous good class 9 which is costly and requires a lot of paper work.
• Modularly scalable
>> take as many batteries as Watt-hours are needed
>> Chargers and batteries of different chemistries should be compatible which is possible with the EnergyBus connector and protocol standard
• Robust, reliable, secure
• As small and light weight as possible
• Less temperature sensitive
>> Cold temperatures (below 10°C) especially when charging causes severe losses in battery capacity. In combination with rough surfaces and strong wind we lost about 50% capacity in Iceland.
• Reasonably priced
>> Important aspect for private users and fleet operators. Ideally the battery is rented and the user pays for the energy consumed. This way it will be in the industry's interest to make batteries last as long as possible.
• Smaller & lighter chargers compatible with 220, 110 and 12 Volts.