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What Are the Different Types of Moped Battery?

By Mal Baxter
Updated May 17, 2024
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Different types of moped battery provide electrical power to these lightweight, motorized bicycles. One type, the lead acid battery, resembles a conventional car battery, containing sulfuric acid inside its chamber. A variation on this is the lead battery that requires manual filling with sulfuric acid. Other batteries include lithium ion (Li-ion), nickel metal hydride (NiMH), lithium polymer (Li-Po), and gel, which have sealed units containing a set electrolytic solution. These batteries can differ according to lifespan, level of maintenance, and capacities or output voltages.

Vital components for motorized cycles, batteries provide the amperage required to drive the electric motors that turn an electric bicycle or moped gear system. Some require more maintenance than others. For example, lead acid batteries require safety procedures when refilling with sulfuric acid. Acid is highly corrosive and potentially hazardous.

After initial filling, these batteries require topping up with deionized or distilled water. A battery with this design chemically charges itself or can be assisted with a small voltage battery charger. Both types of lead acid battery vent a gas, often hydrogen, and present a fire hazard.

These types of moped battery comprise two main subcategories, flooded and sealed lead varieties. The flooded type is traditionally found in cars and trucks; its container holds the electrolyte medium, while the top of the container is ventilated to expel dangerous hydrogen gas. Distilled water compensates for its electrolyte loss. These are often heavier batteries.

Other kinds of moped battery include Li-ion and NiMH. Li-ion types tend to provide maintenance-free, long battery life, as well as lighter weight, quicker charging, and stable performance. NiMH offers similar features at a lower cost but with less performance in cold climates. Li-Po is the lightest variety and usually the most expensive. It is good for weight reduction and improved efficiency, and typically require longer charge times, though innovations have dramatically improved the performance of this type.

Often, a moped battery's capacity is measured in amp hours, while its performance can be evaluated in terms of charging time, charging current, and the amp hour rating. Different types of power sources may affect charge rates as well. These may include trickle chargers, smart chargers, and rapid chargers.

One reason for the staying power of lead acid batteries is that they are easily produced and generally more affordable. Substances are usually concealed in a vented plastic container. They generally possess a nominal voltage somewhere between 1.9 and 2.1 volts (V). These types of moped battery, however, also present environmental hazards with disposal. Commonly found in cars, boats, and emergency power systems, these traditional kinds of moped batteries are capable of recharging many times while enduring long lifetimes of use and abuse.

Combining some benefits of more advanced designs with affordable techniques, sealed lead batteries tend to be maintenance-free and are designed to hold less electrolyte. Interior electrodes wind around each other while gases mix freely within the container. The point of this design is to provide a cleaner and safer alternative to a long-lived technology.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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