Electric Skateboard Battery Life? How Important
The advent of the electric skateboard was nothing short of revolutionary for enthusiastic skaters all over the world. By virtue of its nature, though, electric skateboards have one inherent disadvantage over their non-electric predecessors: the battery life.
For most people looking to buy the best electric skateboards, the foremost question they consider is “how much does an electric skateboard cost?” While this is no doubt an important factor, you need to be able to weigh that cost against something to determine whether it’s worth the price.
Of course, that “something” is the electric skateboard battery life.
After all, what’s the point of investing in something if it won’t last long?
Now that we’re on the same page about the importance of battery life let’s take a look at how long you should realistically expect your electric skateboard to last.
How Long is an Electric Skateboard Battery Life?
The battery life of an electric skateboard can refer to two things: the run-time of the skateboard per full charge and the number of expected charge cycles until the end of the battery’s useful life.
Of course, both the aforementioned factors are important measures of your skateboard’s battery life.
The run-time per full charge lets you know how long you can ride your skateboard after you charge it fully. Typically, manufacturers will specify this measure as a range or the distance you can travel at a given speed.
On the other hand, the number of expected charge cycles reveals how long the skateboard will last until you have to replace the battery (or even the entire skateboard).
The most common range for a standard electric skateboard is 8-20 miles or 13-32 kilometers. On the other hand, you can expect anything between 300-1000 charge cycles. Assuming that you ride your board every day (and therefore charge it once a day), it can last you for 1-3 years.
Of course, not all electric skateboards are built the same, and some models will invariably perform better than others. So, what is it about these different models that affect their battery life?
Well, there are a number of factors to consider, the most important of which is the type and quality of battery used.
Type of Batteries In Electric Skateboards
If you’re wondering “how much does the electric skateboard cost,” you might want to figure out which type of battery it uses: Li-ion, LiPo, or LiFePo.
Battery life of up to 3 years
Most common battery types
Cheapest battery type
Easy to find and replace
Modern-day standards have regulated the Lithium-Ion (Li-ion) battery types, not only in electric skateboards but across all your electronic devices.
Hence, the proliferation of these battery types means that they are relatively cheap and efficient. Furthermore, Li-ion batteries are easy to find and therefore easy to replace. Still, you won’t have to replace the battery for at least three years since they boast a minimum of 1000 charge cycles.
On the downside, skaters despise the unavoidable voltage sag that occurs when the Li-ion battery is under distress. This leads to a drop in both torque and voltage speed once the battery drops below 50% charge.
Battery life of less than a year
Less common in electric skateboards
Store less energy than Li-ion
Less voltage sag than Li-ion
You won’t face the problem of voltage sag when it comes to LiPo batteries. Instead, these battery types have a steady performance regardless of their discharge.
Furthermore, LiPo batteries charge faster than their Li-ion counterparts. But while these batteries may charge quicker, they can endure significantly fewer charge cycles— around 150-250. This means that you will be scrambling to replace the battery at least once or twice a year.
Battery life of 5-7 years
Most expensive battery type
Rarely used in the industry
Lithium-ion-phosphate batteries boast an impressive battery life of 5-7 years. Additionally, they’re much less susceptible to damage and voltage sag.
Sadly, these battery types are still untapped in the E-skateboard industry. Therefore, you won’t be able to find a lot of commercial electronic skateboards that use this type of battery.
What Factors Impact the Electric Skateboard Battery Life?
Up until this point, we have seen how battery life is one of the most important factors that determine the longevity of your electric skateboard.
Now, let’s take a further step back and determine which factors affect the battery life. Here, we will also consider the factors that affect the battery life per charge, as this directly determines how many charge cycles you will use.
1. Riding style
Your riding style constitutes a number of different factors. But for the sake of convenience, we can specify it to your average speed per skating session.
As a general rule, your electric skateboard’s battery lifespan is inversely proportional to your speed. In other words, you can't have both speed and a long battery duration on full charge—you have to choose between one or the other.
2. Rider’s Weight
You don’t have to be a physicist to know that the more you weigh, the harder your skateboard’s motor has to work to propel you forward.
Subsequently, the motor drains more power from the battery to overcome the force your body exerts on the skateboard.
3. Frequency of Stops And Acceleration
Acceleration is more stressful on your skateboard’s battery as opposed to cruising at a sustained speed. However, it is unavoidable if you are constantly braking and stopping.
Additionally, the road and weather conditions will affect how frequently you have to brake and accelerate.
4. Frequency of Use
When it comes to electronic skateboards, the frequency of use is a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, riding your board too frequently will drain its battery a lot quicker. This, in turn, means that you will have to charge it multiple times a day, thereby chipping away at the expected charge cycles.
On the other hand, you might inadvertently end up discharging and damaging the battery by leaving your skateboard unused for too long.
5. Uphill or Downhill Riding
When you’re skateboarding, it helps to have gravity on your side. Think about it: when you’re going downhill, you end up accelerating without meaning to since the force of gravity is pulling you downhill.
It’s like you’re giving your battery a breather while gravity does most of the work.
Conversely, riding uphill discharges your battery faster since you’re working against the force of gravity.
For this reason, you’ll notice that your skateboard’s lifespan is shorter if you live in mountainous terrains.
6. Cold Weather And Battery Discharge
Did you know that Li-ion batteries can discharge even if you’re not using them? While this can be annoying, it is an inherent quality of many modern-day batteries.
Moreover, the rate at which the batteries discharge is correlated with temperature. At higher temperatures, the chemical reactions that occur within the battery accelerate, thereby discharging them quicker.
Conversely, lower temperatures decrease the self-discharge rate when your skateboard is not in use.
Electric Skateboard With The Longest Battery Life
By now, you’ve probably realized how much an electric longboard cost is interlinked with its battery lifespan. Obviously, long-range skateboards with a long battery life will invariably cost you more.
Of course, you can find a compromise between battery life and cost by referring to the top 10 cheap electric skateboards.
But if money isn’t an issue, the Boosted Stealth electric skateboard boasts an extended range of 14 miles, that too at its maximum speed. Additionally, the Boosted Stealth can maintain this range over a 25% hill grade, which makes it ideal for those mountain-side skating sessions.
Tips to Improve Skateboard Battery Life and Performance
Manufacturers will often provide you an estimate of the battery’s lifetime, typically in the form of a range. Whether your skateboard falls near the upper or lower bound of that range depends on how you use the skateboard.
Hence, it is ultimately on you and your habits to determine how long your electric skateboard will actually last.
With that in mind, here are some crucial tips to help you lengthen the lifetime of your board's battery.
Keep the battery in an 80%-20% range. Very high charges and very low discharges are considerably more stressful on a Li-ion battery. On the other hand, keeping your battery between 20% and 80% is ideal for prolonging its lifespan.
Store it in cool temperatures. Many people wrongfully believe the myth that batteries don’t function well at cool temperatures. However, they don’t realize that they self-discharge faster in higher temperatures when you’re not using them.
Don’t exceed the weight limit. The weight limit isn’t just there to keep your board from breaking—far from it! You see, the greater the weight on your skateboard, the more power it requires to propel you forward. Therefore, as you approach the weight limit, the quicker your battery drains, forcing you to charge it more frequently.
Don’t let your electric skateboard sit unused for months. Li-ion batteries have a tendency to discharge themselves when they are not in use. Once it becomes fully discharged, the battery will start to degrade until it becomes damaged beyond repair. Therefore, you should use the board as frequently as possible so that you can charge it on time.
Generally speaking, an electric skateboard can last for 8-20 miles per charge for up to 1-3 years. Of course, this depends on a number of different factors.
Luckily, you now know what those factors are. With this knowledge, you can help take certain measures to prolong your skateboard’s overall lifespan.
Additionally, you must have also realized how much an electric skateboard costs heavily depends on the type of battery it uses.
Therefore, you should never forgo the battery type when buying a new electric skateboard.