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 Hey, guys, Mike here from Ebike school. And today we're going to be talking about which is better a 48 volts or a 52 volts electric bicycle battery. Now, to start this discussion, we have to go back and look at why are batteries available in these two voltages? Or why do batteries come in these twelve volt voltages to begin with? So most electric bicycles will come with these twelve volt battery increments, usually starting with 24 volts, which would be a pretty weak small ebike up to 36 volts, which is your standard medium power bike.

And then on the top end, 48 volts, which is generally the upgrade to a higher power bike. Now there of course, you guys running 60 72 volts 96 all the way up there batteries. But the vast majority of Ebikes are in this 24 volts, 48 volts range. And this is really an artifact left over from the days of lead acid batteries, when lead acids were used for all ebikes. Now let acid batteries. The cells inside are rated at about 2 volts, so it was very easy to put them together in groups of six.

And then you've got twelve volt batteries from there. You can just make increments 24, 36, 48 volts et cetera. And that's how those voltages came to be common in the ebike world. Now, in the last five to ten years, there's been this big shift from lead acid batteries, which are heavy and weak and don't last long to lithium batteries, which are much lighter. They can last much longer, they're more energy dense, etcetera. The problem is that lithium batteries don't always fit nicely into these twelve volt increments that were already in place due to the lat acid days.

And that is because lithium battery cells are rated at a higher voltage. They're not 2 volts per cell. They're about 3.6 volts per cell, and this can cause some problems. If you look at 36 volts batteries, it actually works pretty well because you take a 3.6 volts cell, use ten of them in series, and that gives you three six times ten is 36 volts. But now if you look at 48 volts batteries, the general convention has been to use 13 cells in series. But if you do the math and you take 13 cells, you multiply that by 3.6 volts per cell, you get 46.8 volts per battery. And you can read for how to convert manual to ebike in previous article.

And obviously that's less than 48 volts. Now, the way that the Ebike vendors and manufacturers have basically solved this problem is to say, all right, let's not take 3.6 volts per cell. Let's take 3.7 volts nominal per cell because the actual rating is somewhere in between. There it could be three point 65 really depends on the cell. But if you take three 7 volts per cell, you multiply that by 13 cells in series. Suddenly you've got 48.1 volt. Perfect. Now we're above 48 volts, so we can call this a 48 volts battery. The problem is that even though the voltage is rated at 48.1 volt, the actual voltage of the battery is going to change during the discharge curve. So it's going to start at about 54.6 volts when it's fully charged, but then it can drop down to the very low for even 39 volts or so when you fully discharge 13s battery. And that means that the majority of the time you're using that 48 volts battery is going to be below 48 volts.

So if you were to compare that to a lead acid battery, you'd actually have a little bit less power because you'd have less volts from that lithium battery if it's 13 cells. So the interesting solution that became popular in the last three to four years or so has been to create what's called a 52 volts battery. So you just take one extra cell and you add it in series. So instead of building a 13s battery or a 13 cell battery, you build a 14s battery. What this does is gives you one more battery cell, and so you get another 3.6 volts added onto your voltage.

So if you take 3.6 volts as your nominal voltage, multiply that by 14, you get a 54 volts battery. If you use three 7 volts, you actually get a 51.8 volts battery. And so generally people have rounded that up. And that's where you get the name 52 volts battery. So 52 volts battery comes from rounding up this 51. 8 volts that you get from using 14 cells in series instead of 13 cells. Now there's a little bit of confusion because not everyone calls it a 52 volts battery.

One big battery vendor, Em Three EV actually calls these batteries a 50 volts battery because they use the 3.6 volts nominal voltage, which gives you 50.4 volts for your final battery voltage. And so they say, all right, it's 54 volts. We'll call it 50 customer gets more than what they paid for. Generally, this is awesome. It's the kind of ethos I try to run my businesses by, but it's a little bit confusing in this case because you hear 50 volts on this side, 52 volts. On that side, it sounds like one battery would be bigger than the other.

In actuality, they're both 14s batteries. We're using 14 cells in series. So it's the same thing, but we'll call it a 52 volts battery because that's what most of the industry does. So now what are the advantages of a 52 volts battery? Why would you consider upgrading? Now, many people upgrade from a 48 volts battery to a 52 volts battery, mostly because it gives them two things more power and more speed. Power in Watts is just volts times amps. So if your answer is staying the same, but you increase your volts, you're also going to be increasing your Watts or your power.

Also, electric Motors. The speed that they spin at is based on the voltage. So if you increase the voltage, you're going to increase the speed as well. So by simply increasing your battery from 48 to 52 volts, you're increasing both the power of your bike and the speed. And now pretty much every electric bicycle controller, the ESC electronic speed controller that can handle 48 volts can also handle 52 volts. Most of these are going to have a maximum input voltage of around 63 volts, usually limited by the capacitors, but pretty much any Ebike part that's meant for 48 volts can also fit 52 volts, which is why this is a very popular upgrade because it's very easy to just switch out your 48 volts battery for 52 volts battery without having to change anything else.

And this makes it so you can easily add that extra speed and extra power. Now, there's one common misconception that people think this is an advantage of 52 volts batteries, but isn't really the case. And that's where people often say that a 52 volts battery, when compared to a 48 volts battery, will run cooler and it will pull less current. And that's really not true in reality. And I'll explain why the main reason here is that most electronic speed controllers for ebikes using amp limit, not a Watt limit.

And what that means is that they're going to limit your power based on the amount of amps that they're drawing from the battery. So whether you've got a 48 volts battery or 52 volts battery, if your controller is a 20 amp controller, it's only going to pull 20 amps maximum from that battery. And so people say, all right, you've got a higher voltage battery. That means that you can pull less current. And while that is true, you can get the same power by increasing the voltage and decreasing the current.

In actuality, that Ebike speed controller is not going to pull less current. It's going to pull the exact same current it was before with the 48 volts battery. So that means that you're actually using more power using the same current, more voltage, which means more power. And that's why you're getting that increase in speed because you're using more power. Think about it this way. It'd be impossible to go faster without a little bit more power. Right. So it makes sense that since you're going faster, you're using more power and you're not actually using less current.

So running a 52 volts battery, it's not going to be more efficient. And then it's going to use less current. You're still basically going to use the same current. It's not going to run any cooler. People will say, all right, 52 volts battery will run a little cooler than a 48 volts battery because it's pulling lesess current. But again, you're not going to pull less current because the current is based on your controller, not based on your battery. So there are a lot of advantages, mostly the speed and the power advantages that come with 52 volts batteries. But when people say it's going to pull less current or it's going to run cooler, that's not actually the case. And that's not really an advantage of a 52 volts battery. Now, are there any disadvantages of upgrading from a 48 volts battery to a 52 volts battery? Not really. The main disadvantage is just the price. If you compare how much more battery you're getting. If you divide 14 by 13 or 14 cells over 13 cells, you get about a seven and a half percent increase in battery.

But many vendors you'll notice will actually charge more than seven and a half percent over the price of a 48 volts battery. You think you're getting about seven and a half percent more battery. You should pay about that much more money. But if you calculate the prices on some ebike battery sites, you'll find that two volt battery can cost more than a 48 volts battery or or even more. And at that point, you're paying a lot more than the incremental amount of battery that you're getting. So at that point, it's up to you to decide how much more do you want to pay for this upgrade to able to go a little bit faster and have a little bit of power. Generally, you think that more battery would be wort seven more money. But sometimes this is seen as like a premium feature, so some vendors will charge a premium price for it. So that's something that you have to decide. For video WHICH IS BETTERY 48V OR 52V FOR EBIKE

Let's pause here for just one moment. There's one other disadvantage I forgot to mention while I was filming this, and that is just the charger. You will have to change to a different charger if you upgrade to a 52 volts battery, because the charger that came with your 48 volts battery only charges to 54. 6 volts, and a 52 volts battery needs to charge up to 58. 8 volts to reach full charge. So you will have to buy a new battery charger or find a battery that comes with a charger. So that's just one other small disadvantage to upgrading from a 48 volts battery to a 52 volts battery.