When it's getting cold: Before you put your pedelec, e-bike or scooter in storage for the winter––charge the battery!
Batteries discharge themselves when not in use. If they are stored for a longer time completely discharged they will be damaged.
Here's our advice:
If you don't use your vehicle for a few months, CHARGE the battery and store it in a cool, dry place at a temperature of about +10°C / +50°F (not below 0°C / 32°F).
This refers to all common battery chemistries: Lead, Nickel-Cadmium, Nickel-Metal-Hydride. Lithium batteries should ideally be charged no more than 40 percent because they loose capacity on the long run if they are stored at full charge for a long time. If there is no possibility to check the level of charge, it is still better to fully charge your Lithium battery than not charge it at all.
Recharge the battery every two months, no matter what chemistry. If you are using a Ni-Cd or Ni-MH battery (not Lead or Lithium), and your charger has a discharge function, the battery should be completely discharged before it is charged. This discharge-charge cycle can take up to 24 hours.
Important: Charge the battery again BEFORE you use your bike/scooter for the first time after a long period of standing still. Charge it at least for 10 hours. Discharge Ni-Cd and Ni-MH batteries first before you charge them.
This way, your battery should be back to full performance and reliability for the next cycling season.
Unfortunately owner's manuals often don't give any instructions on how to store the battery or even give wrong advice. So did the Germany based manufacturer Sachs Fahrzeug- und Motorentechnik GmbH recommending to store the battery fully discharged. This mistake has been corrected in the new edition of the owner's manual.
Last update: Dec 3, 2003