Electric Skateboard Battery Explained


What type should I get? Are they safe? How do they compare? 

You’ve got the best eSkate trucks for your setup already. You’ve also found the best ESC for your needs and have the right board deck pinned to a T, BUT, without a suitable electric skateboard battery to match, though, that beautiful setup isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Slow down, rider!

This is not the time to rush out and get any old kind of battery that you can lay your hands on.

 

The battery is usually the most important and expensive part of any DIY setup for a reason but, if you want to spend your budget wisely, continue reading.

 


Types of e-Skateboard Batteries

There are three (3) main types of battery to concern yourself with in regards to your electric skateboard.

The two (2) most common types which always come to mind first are the lithium-ion (Li-Ion) and lithium polymer (Li-Po) batteries.

 

Lithium-Ion

These Li-Ion batteries were the first on the scene and that’s what is in most battery-powered skateboards around the world today.

 

Li-Ion electric skateboar battery 36v with charger

 

Because they have a wide range of applications, they’re the ideal pick for first-time builders – and it’s easy to see why they are the best battery for electric skateboard users and builders.

They have also been well-tested over time so you can be sure you’re not diving head-on into something that you might regret later.

 

Lithium polymer

Well, this guy came with the promise of stealing the market from Li-ion batteries; it hasn’t quite been able to take over, but it does have some strong selling points to consider.

For one, they are sold at a better price range while maintaining a lesser voltage sag. Likewise, their liquid form makes it easier to customize builds around them. Only if you know what you are doing though.

For a more comprehensive outlook on both, we have developed the comparison table below.

 

FactorLi-IonLi-Po
SafetyFar safer. Packs microchips for safer charging/ dischargingBrings some danger: can catch fire when overheated and more susceptible to temperature changes, etc.
Beginner-friendlyWins by a landslideRequires knowledge of handing batteries and installing BMSs
LifespanMuch longer than Li-PoRelatively shorter battery life
Voltage sagThe biggest disadvantage of a Li-ion batteryDoesn’t suffer as much voltage sag
Track recordBeen around, and performing well for a long timeA relatively newer entry into the market
CostRelatively more expensiveGenerally less expensive
SizeGenerally bulkierLess weight and more battery density

 

LiFePo4

What about this battery?

 

Common electric skateboard battery array

 

While the Li-Po battery could claim to be new, this one is even newer.

The best thing about them is how it combines the best of both worlds.

 

That is, you get both the safety and longevity that comes with a Li-Ion cell and also the power that a Li-Po battery delivers.

 

However, the fact that they are new means that they are also expensive – and still generally being studied for a better understanding of how they work.

That is why you might have trouble hunting one down, or they’re at a premium cost when you do find one.


The Battery Specs to Know

Understanding the battery type is not enough. There are other specifications you should look into, which dictate how each battery type will work, so that you can get the ideal one for your build.

The most important details to consider for the best battery for an electric skateboard include:

 

Electric skateboard battery voltage (V)

The voltage (V) from your battery could impact the power and torque the motor will receive.

Most batteries don’t have a defined voltage, and instead, use a range allowing it to function over a wider bracket of voltage generations in the board.

Always look for batteries that can handle at least 36V though, otherwise the motor won’t be efficient. At the same time, more is not always better, since the electronic speed controller (ESC) might not be able to handle all that load.

 

Ampere (A)

This is also the current rating of the battery.

 

As a rule, ensure the battery Amp reference is 5% higher than what the power combined of the motor can draw.

 

That is, if your motors require 95A rating, the battery should be able to handle 100A. Otherwise, you’ll be cruising on a board waiting to get fried.

Ampere hours (Ah)

The Ah influences the range of the battery. It is the number of amperes (current – which influences speed) that the battery can supply under one (1) hour from a full charge. In simple terms, it lets you know just how long it can hold a charge for.

 

Watt-hours (Wh)

The watt is a measure of power. Thus, the Wh rating tells you how much power the battery can supply under an hour of being fully charged.

It is important to know the Wh to give you an idea on how far the battery pack will power the board.

 

If unknown: simply get the V and multiply it by the Ah.

 


Battery Pack Configuration

Electric skateboard batteries come in different arrangements but all of them have the same two (2) configuration: series and parallel.

 

All lands on efficiency per hour.

 

From what we have heard, parallel batteries are best chosen as a measure of range while series batteries are selected as a measure of speed.

 

Series (s)

In this case, each single cell is connected to its opposite charge (anode (negative end) or cathode (positive terminal)), in other words, negative to positive.

 

Series configuration for e-board cells

 

The more cells connected this way, the more speed the motor will provide as there is more current flowing.

 

Parallel (p)

For the parallel configuration, the cells are connected to its same anode or cathode. This means that a single cell will become a large storage cell.

 

Parallet electric skateboard battery configuration

 

As you can imagine, if you have more cells connected this way, you will have more range.

Lastly, it is known that the arrangement of the cells also influences the internal temperature of the system, something important for hot areas.

 

The enclosure

Many people don’t realized this is a very important part of the e-board:

– Protects all the electronic parts from dirt, water and hits and,

– Lets you define the maximum size of the battery.

With the information give in the last bullet, you should now realized that the first thing to consider is, what enclosure should I get?

 

Carbon Fiber (21 x 7 cm) for Long Deck

 

Carbon Fiber (21x7 cm) Hard enclosure for longboard

 

 Plastic (21 x 7 cm) for Long Deck

 

Plastic (21x7 cm) Hard electric skateboard enclosure for longboard

 

Plastic (12 x 7 cm) for Short Decks

 

Battery enclosure (12x7 cm) for short skateboard decks

 

 

Once you have established the size of the enclosure, you could think about the size of the battery.

 

Also, please consider the flexibility of the deck and the enclosure.

 

If your deck is very flexible, you could have two (2) enclosure – 1 for the battery and another for the ESC. If this is not the case, then a single long one would possibly suffice.


How long does a skateboard battery last?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. But generally, will depend on the battery array as explained above.

From the battery comparisons above, it is clear that a Li-ion one will last longer than a Li-Po battery, but that doesn’t necessarily answer that question.

A battery-powered skateboard with the exact rating, model and build from the same brand could get more or less power and last longer or shorter than another.

The difference would be based on how they have both been used and maintained over time.

 

On average, a standard Li-ion battery should be able to go 2 – 3 years on a skateboard that is used and charged regularly.

 

Maintained properly, it could even take as much as a thousand cycles to get the battery depreciating to just 80% of its full capacity.


The Battery and the Overall Weight

We know you are wondering what range you could get from a battery pack.

Some people say to calculate it based on the Wh, which translate into the size of the battery. It could give you a rough estimate but there are so many factors that it could be pretentious to say “this is your range”.

Some of those factors are:

– Your weight and system’s weight.

– Terrain (including surface condition and inclination).

– Air temperature and,

– Last but not least, skating mode (eg; eco or turbo).

Our best advise it to follow the given number by the manufacturer. If you haven’t been provided with a range, ask them.


Electric Skateboard Battery Maintenance Tips

If you want your e-skateboard battery to last longer, these are non-negotiable practices to keep in mind.

Temperature management

Never expose your batteries to high temperatures after charging them – especially when charged to 100%.

For optimal operating performance, Li-ion batteries are best kept between 20-25 ℃ (77 °F).

Lucky for you, the newest technology comes with a battery management system (BMS), that allows it to last longer and protects it while charging and discharging.

 

Optimize charging cycles

A charging cycle measures when a battery goes from 0 – 100%.

Most manufacturers help users to understand how long their battery will last by providing an estimate of how many cycles it would take before you start seeing a decline in the battery power.

A good way to gauge this system is by not allowing the batteries to get to 0% before you re-charge. That way, every charging time doesn’t count as a cycle, only part of a cycle.

 

There are some claims about not charging the battery to 100%. However, that could keep you from getting peak power.

 

For the best results, never let your batteries drain lower than 20% (15% at the most critical) and unplug them at 95% (98% at the max).

 

Electric skateboard battery usage

 

Li-ion batteries are born to do a job and will get mad when you don’t put them to work regularly.

 

Even if your skateboard isn’t used that regularly, make sure to use the batteries too. This charge-discharge cycle, believe it or not, keeps them at optimal standards.

 

Discharge Voltage Vs battery % left
Source: Solacity Inc

 

Choice of charger

There are a lot of compatible chargers you will find out there.

That does not mean they are all great for you, though. Most of these chargers only transfer ‘dirty’ energy into your battery and ruins them.

Likewise, the best chargers for your specific battery take into consideration its specs (like voltage and ampere). Thus, the power output to the battery is such that allows optimal charging without spikes in temperature or damaging breakdown of the cells.

 

Water safety

Anything electric has to be kept away from water if you want it to last long at all.

 

The same goes for batteries.

 

Avoid using your electric longboards or skateboards in wet conditions. More importantly, make sure you’re not charging it in a wet place – and that your chargers are kept away from moisture also.


Anything Else About E-Skate Batteries?

For now, we are waiting to see the price drop in LifePo4 batteries as more companies start getting in on it, boosting the competition and forcing more efficient manufacturing processes.

 

If you have extensive experience, look at what Li-Po batteries can offer you. 

 

The choice of the best electric skateboard battery for you should be easy at this point. If you just want something that works, we think you should go for the Li-Ion battery types without blinking.


 

Jono

Hi! I'm Jono from eBoards Advisor. What can I say? I'm a 25 year old school skater that loves the sport. Now with a motor and a battery to power it, this industry has just gone to a next level of entertainment! That is why I'm here; to give you some advise and tips from my point of view and have some fun while trying it.

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