Choosing a different type of battery is the biggest change you will find from one product to another.
It is not just a simple question of choosing between a sealed lead-acid, nickel based battery or lithium battery, there are many variations of each type of battery and myriad results that each one has.
These batteries have been around for over 100 years, so the technology has been refined over time.
On the plus side, they are the cheapest out there and can be easily recycled. This is great for people who are building their own bikes on a limited budget.
However, with the introduction of the following two battery types, they have really been outdone in terms of performance.
They are very heavy, don’t last very long, have less capacity and are more vulnerable to changing weather conditions than their rivals.
Unless price is an absolute top priority for you, or you just want to experiment building your own e-bike, my advice would be to steer clear of lead-acid batteries.
There are no nickel-based batteries on this list due to their brief time as the cutting-edge technology, but to leave them out of a run down of e-bike batteries would be a disservice.
A step up in terms of energy density, nickel-cadmium can store more energy per pound than lead-acid batteries, which is one of the most important factors when choosing your e-bike battery.
Unfortunately, they are pretty poor in terms of recyclability and are quite a dangerous pollutant.
Nickel-metal hydride batteries beat cadmium versions when it comes to recyclability, and they are also more efficient, but they don’t represent a massive improvement on their Cadmium cousins.
The future of nickel-based batteries looked bright for a while, but since lithium batteries came on the scene, they have been somewhat cast into the shadows.
Lithium-ion batteries have been absolute game changers in the e-bike and many other industries, and I don’t think it will be long until they compete their rivals out of existence.
They improve further on the nickel batteries in terms of energy density, generating a truly impressive amount of power in exchange for very little weight. As opposed to older batteries, they also handle high and low temperatures better.
Their high energy density, slow rate of discharge when not in use, low maintenance and vast range of variations have caused a great leap forward in battery technology.