What type should I get? Are they safe? How do they compare?
You’ve got the best e-Skate 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, 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 on which you can lay your hands.
The battery is usually the most critical and expensive part of any DIY setup for a reason, but if you want to spend your budget wisely, continue reading.
Table of Contents
Types of e-Skateboard Batteries
There are three (3) main battery types to concern yourself with regarding 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.
These Li-Ion batteries were the first on the scene, which is what is in most battery-powered skateboards worldwide today.
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.
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.
We have developed the comparison table below for a more comprehensive outlook on both.
|Far safer. Packs microchips for safer charging/ discharging
|It brings some danger: it can catch fire when overheated and is more susceptible to temperature changes, etc.
|Wins by a landslide
|Requires knowledge of handing batteries and installing BMSs
|Much longer than Li-Po
|Relatively shorter battery life
|The most significant disadvantage of a Li-ion battery
|It doesn’t suffer as much voltage sag
|Been around and performing well for a long time
|A relatively newer entry into the market
|Relatively more expensive
|Generally less expensive
|Less weight and more battery density
What about this battery?
While the Li-Po battery could claim to be new, this one is even newer.
The best thing about them is how they combine 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 are still generally being studied to better understand how they work.
That is why you might have trouble hunting one down, or they’re at a premium cost when you 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 you can get the ideal one for your build.
The most important details to consider for the best battery for an electric skateboard include the following:
Electric skateboard battery voltage (V)
Your battery’s voltage (V) could impact the power and torque the motor will receive.
Most batteries don’t have a defined voltage and instead use a range, allowing them to function over a wider bracket of voltage generations in the board.
Always look for batteries that can handle at least 36V; 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.
This is also the current rating of the battery.
As a rule, ensure the battery Amp reference is 5% higher than the power combined of the motor can draw.
That is, if your motors require a 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 affects 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.
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.
Knowing the Wh gives you an idea of how far the battery pack will power the board.
If unknown, get the V and multiply it by the Ah.
Battery Pack Configuration
Electric skateboard batteries come in different arrangements, but they all have the same two (2) configurations: series and parallel.
All lands on efficiency per hour.
We have heard that parallel batteries are best chosen as a range measure, while series batteries are selected as a measure of speed.
In this case, every single cell is connected to its opposite charge (anode (negative end) or cathode (positive terminal)); in other words, negative to positive.
The more cells connected this way, the more speed the motor will provide as more current flows.
The cells are connected to the same anode or cathode for the parallel configuration. This means that a single cell will become a large storage cell.
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 essential for hot areas.
Many people don’t realize this is a vital part of the e-board:
– Protects all the electronic parts from dirt, water, and hits and,
– Let you define the maximum size of the battery.
With the information given in the last bullet, you should now realize that the first thing to consider is, what enclosure should I get?
|Carbon Fiber (21 x 7 cm) for Long Deck
| Plastic (21 x 7 cm) for Long Deck
|Plastic (12 x 7 cm) for Short Decks
Once you have established the size of the enclosure, you can 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) enclosures – 1 for the battery and another for the ESC. If this is not the case, then a single long one would suffice.
How Long Does a Skateboard Battery Last?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. But generally, it 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 same brand’s exact rating, model, and build could get more or less power and last longer or shorter than another.
The difference would be based on how they have 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.
Appropriately maintained, it could take as many as a thousand cycles to get the battery depreciating to 80% of its total capacity.
The Battery and 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 translates 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 the system’s weight.
– Terrain (including surface condition and inclination).
– Air temperature and,
– Last but not least, skating mode (e.g., eco or turbo).
Our best advice is 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.
Never expose your batteries to high temperatures after charging them – especially when charged to 100%.
Li-ion batteries are best kept between 20-25 ℃ (77 °F) for optimal operating performance.
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 understand how long their battery will last by estimating how many cycles it would take before they start seeing a decline in the battery power.
An excellent way to gauge this system is by not allowing the batteries to get to 0% before recharge. 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 regularly, make sure to use the batteries too. Believe it or not, this charge-discharge cycle keeps them at optimal standards.
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 ruin 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 it allows optimal charging without spikes in temperature or damaging breakdown of the cells.
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, ensure you’re not charging it in a damp place – and that your chargers are kept away from moisture also.
Anything Else About E-Skate Batteries?
We are waiting to see the price drop in LifePo4 batteries as more companies start getting in on them, boosting the competition and forcing more efficient manufacturing processes.
If you have extensive experience, look at what Li-Po batteries can offer you.
Choosing the best electric skateboard battery for you should be easy at this point. If you want something that works, we think you should go for the Li-Ion battery type without blinking.