Electric Scooter Battery Types, and Different Configurations
Electric scooters are becoming more and more popular, so more companies are jumping on the new scooter trend with many different products. This technical blog is designed to help new or experienced scooter owners understand how their batteries work, and what it takes to replace, test, and diagnose the batteries in your scooter. With so many models and types of scooters you will need to use your mechanical knowledge and take the initiative to apply this general theory to your scooter's application.
An Electric Scooter Battery Powers The Scooter Motor
Your scooter may require new batteries due to wear, damage, or just old batteries, so you will need to know how to find, identify, and troubleshoot your scooter's battery system. There are usually identifying marks on the batteries that will give you the Volts, Watts, and Amp Hours, but sometimes this is taken off by the scooter manufacturers so they can sell you their batteries exclusively, and I'll tell you how to cover that trick too. A "volt meter" is the handy tool that will tell you everything that you need to know, so this may be a good investment if you are going to be working with charging systems often. Your batteries will need to be located. Most scooters have a deck and the batteries are under said deck, but there are many different places that manufacturers store the batteries. Once you locate your batteries, you will need to draw a diagram of how they are wired like the image at the beginning of this blog. You will need to mark Front, Back, how many batteries, draw the terminals (negative/positive), and the order of the wires. This will help you to re-install the batteries correctly. Check this out for more terminology and to better familiarize yourself with scooter parts.
Scooter Charging System Breakdown
- Batteries (multiple 6 or 12 volt batteries are usually used in series or in parallel wiring configurations)
- Controller (your scooter's "Brain", which tells the motor how much voltage to use from the throttle)
- Fuses (fuses are designed to "blow" at a certain voltage to prevent wires and batteries from damage)
- Wiring (connects the throttle, batteries, and controller so they work together)
Throttle (variable component that tells the Motor how much voltage to use from the batteries)
- Charger (plugs into the scooter and the wall outlet to charge the batteries in the scooter)
Your scooter's charging system will generally be hidden and out of the elements. Check under the scooter deck, or in the base of the scooter riding surface. Your scooter will have batteries wired together sometimes with a fuse box, and a controller that is mounted near the batteries. The controller will usually be out of the way, and mounted using a vibration dampening material like rubber, or foam. The throttle is usually on the handlebar, and is wired to the controller and the batteries. The wiring will tell you weather your batteries are in series, or parallel circuits by comparing to the image at the top of this blog. Draw your batteries how they sit in your scooter, then draw a throttle, and a controller and make sure you copy the wiring exactly. (+ and - terminals marked clearly)
Replacing Your Scooter's Batteries
After you carefully draw your wiring diagram to help you re-install your batteries, you can take the ground terminals off the batteries. Once you remove the ground wire (- or black terminal), no more power will be going through the charging system. You can take the wires off the positive terminals after this (+ or red terminal), and then take the batteries out. Your battery should have a number for Volts, a number for AMP Hours, and potentially a part number that will have these specifications in the number. If you have no identifying marks, you can use a volt-meter to determine the battery output. Your volt meter will tell you if it is 6 or 12 volts. Batteries should also be the proper dimensions to fit in the original compartment.
You will replace the batteries with new units, so you will need to use your wiring diagram to set the batteries back in the battery compartment properly. (+ and - terminals in the right places) The wiring should still be connected to the controller and the throttle, so be sure that the throttle is in the OFF position, as well as the scooter's ignition switch. Hook the positive terminals up first, and then the negative. The last connection to the negative terminal will complete the circut and your scooter should have power. It is a good idea to charge the batteries fully before using the scooter again. Put the deck back on and seal it up before you ride your scooter.
Signs of Battery Fatigue and When To Replace Them
Without using a Volt-meter, there are a few ways that you can diagnose your batteries performance. Your scooter will tend to slow down and run out of power quickly when the batteries are dying. Sometimes you will see the charger light change like your scooter is fully charged but there will be no power getting to the motor. Swelling of the batteries is bad, and can be dangerous. Overcharging or overheating will cause batteries to swell sometimes and they can swell to the point where they explode too, so be extremely cautious with swollen batteries. Leaking batteries are dangerous as well because the battery acid inside is exactly that, Acid. The battery acid will eat your skin, clothes, and could potentially cause serious injuries. Please be careful.
Where Do I Get Replacement Batteries and Charge System Parts
There are many options for replacement batteries, so be sure to buy from a reputable source. You can purchase most universal electric scooter batteries at this Online Electric Scooter Battery and Parts Store. There are also many battery specialty stores that will have good deals on quality products. If your scooter batteries are not marked, you will need to test them with a volt-meter to determine the batteries output. Most Electronics Repair Shops will have a volt meter and can test your batteries for a small fee, if you don't have a Volt-meter. Once you find out the batteries output, you can buy replacements according to the output, dimensions, and wiring configuration.
Preventative Maintenance, Parts Stores, and Electric Scooter Repair shop Locator
To properly care for your scooter's batteries, you should not overcharge them, undercharge them, expose them to extreme heat or cold, and do not let them sit for longer than three weeks without charging or using them. Batteries are dangerous and misuse can result in explosions, chemical burns, and potential serious injury or death.
1. Batteries For Your Scooter or Electric Bicycle
2. General Electric Scooter Parts, and Find a Repair Shop by Zip Code Feature
3. Electric-Scooters-info.com for questions, answers, discussions, modifications, and troubleshooting your scooter's issues