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How to charge an e-bike

Top tips on how to charge an e-bike, how to maintain the battery condition and more!

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Words by: Auto Trader

Dan Trent

Additional words by: Dan Trent

Last updated on 14 June 2023 | 0 min read

It’s straightforward to charge an e-bike battery, both at home and on the go. Handily you can charge e-bikes using regular UK three-pin plugs and domestic wall sockets. This means you can charge your e-bike pretty much anywhere and you won’t need to install a specific wallbox, as you might with an electric car.
Many e-bikes have removable batteries, which makes charging even more flexible. It is very easy to remove the battery and charge at work, at home or if you see a plug socket when you are out and about. Always read the charging instructions that come with your e-bike for the specific guidance from the manufacturer about the best practice for that particular model.

How long does it take to charge an e-bike?

The charging time for your e-bike will depend on the capacity of the battery and the charging rate. In general, charging an e-bike with an empty battery can take anywhere between three hours and five and a half hours to reach full charge.

How to charge an e-bike

To charge your e-bike you'll need to find your charging port and keep your charging unit and cable to hand.

1. Find your e-bike’s charging port

The charging port on an e-bike is usually located on the frame of the e-bike. If your e-bike has a removable battery, the port will be on the battery. The charging point should be marked with a charging symbol.

2. Prepare the charging cable

Connect one end of the charging unit’s cable to the charging port on your e-bike and the other end to a domestic three-pin plug socket. If your e-bike has a removable battery, plug one end of the charging cable into the charging port on the battery and the other into a plug socket.

3. Charge the battery

Once plugged in, let your battery charge.
The charging time for your e-bike will depend on the capacity of the battery and the charging rate. If your battery is empty it should take between three and five and a half hours to charge. Most e-bikes come with a charging indicator, which will show you the charging status of the battery. Keep an eye on the battery to check it is charging.

4. Once charged, unplug the charging cable

Once your e-bike’s battery is fully charged, unplug the charging cable from the e-bike and the power source. While most e-bike chargers will automatically switch off when the battery is fully charged avoid leaving it plugged in for prolonged periods of time.
Following these steps will ensure that your e-bike battery is charged and ready for your next ride.

Looking after your e-bike battery

Battery life is measured in charging cycles, which is to say the number of times it has been depleted and recharged. The number of charging cycles your battery will deliver varies on its type, the way you use it and various other factors but, typically, you can expect up to 1,000 charging cycles before performance starts to drop off. If you’re concerned about the longevity of the battery it is worth checking if the e-bike you want to buy comes with a warranty that covers the battery.
There are also steps you can take to look after your e-bike battery and give it as long a life as possible. These include:

Charge indoors

Charge your e-bike inside, in a dry space at room temperature. If you keep your bikes outside in a shed and you have a removable battery it makes sense to take it off the bike and bring it indoors to charge and for storage. Batteries are temperature sensitive so avoid extremes of cold and heat to keep them working their best.


When cleaning your bike avoid getting the battery wet, and be especially careful when using hose pipes or pressure washers. A wipe with a damp cloth is the best option for your battery.

Maximising battery life

Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific guidance for your e-bike’s battery but, to preserve its life and maximise charging cycles, most recommend keeping it at around three-quarters charged unless you’re doing a long ride and really need every last mile of range. Running the battery from fully charged to fully depleted is best avoided as well, though some manufacturers recommend you fully discharge it at least once a quarter. As a general rule ‘little and often’ is the best charging policy to stick by when it comes to charging. Battery managers on the charger can help you monitor and control the status and sticking to the manufacturer’s specified care instructions will maximise the performance and charging cycles for the maximum life.

Looking for an e-bike?

You can browse lots of different e-bikes on Auto Trader bikes here.

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