The 6 Best Electric Bike Chargers
This wiki has been updated 15 times since it was first published in August of 2018. Whether you're looking to help save the planet, save money on the cost of gas, or just get out and about in the fresh air, an e-bike can be perfect for the job. But to get the best out of it, you’re going to need an electric bike charger. The models on this list range from basic to programmable, and we’ve included a wide enough variety to cover all the most common battery types. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
May 26, 2020:
During this busy round of updates, due to a combination of availability issues and advancements in the category, virtually all of our previous selections needed to be replaced. Some of our new additions included the Li Do UY360 — a three-stage unit with an eight-amp output, the HoneyCare G100-L10 L13 — a 48-volt model with alligator-clamp output connectors, and the Wingsmoto Sealed — a budget-friendly selection with a 2.5-amp output and an internal cooling fan. However, in terms of performance, none of our new inclusions come close to the single option that made it through from our last round of updates: the Cycle Satiator — a sealed, universal unit that remains the gold standard in this category.
If you’re not too electrically inclined, sorting through each charger's individual ratings to select a model that’s compatible with your electric bike can be intimidating. So, without getting too deep into the theory of it all, here’s a few things to keep track of to make sure you’re selecting an appropriate option:
Voltage: Every charger should be labelled with two voltage ratings, one for input and the other for output.
Input voltage refers to the supply you’ll be plugging the charger into. If you live in North America you’ll want to make sure that 120 volts falls into this range. Or, if it’s just nominally labelled as 110 volts, that’s ok, too. Certain models – like the Mouow HK-42-2000 and Cycle Satiator – have input voltage ratings that extend up to 240 volts, which allows you some added flexibility, if you ever plan on traveling through Europe, for example, although such use may require a separately purchased power cord.
Output voltage is the rating you want to match with your bikes battery system. For example, the LotFancy QL-09005 has a 36-volt output, and therefore is compatible only with 36-volt battery packs. At times, the output voltage rating might be an oddball number that’s slightly higher than your battery’s rating. In cases like this, it’s appropriate (and correct) to round down to the nearest nominal voltage. For instance, the Wingsmoto Sealed has a rated output voltage of 55.5 volts, which is appropriate for use with 48-volt batteries.
Current: Once you’ve gathered up a few selections with voltage ratings that jive with your circumstance, the next differentiator you’ll want to sort out is their output current. Put simply, the higher the output current, the faster the charge. So, you can expect a 2.5-amp version of the Li Do UY360 to work significantly slower than its eight-amp model. Top-end models like the Cycle Satiator allow you to set the output current, as there is some argument for slower charging leading to increased battery longevity.
Connector: This might seem obvious, but you won’t be able to plug your charger into your battery pack unless the charger’s connector jives with the battery’s port, so make sure they match up. Or, make sure you have an adapter on hand that facilitates their compatibility. While barrel-style connectors – like that of the Mouow HK-42-2000 – are typically reserved for low-current applications, XLR cables – like that of the Wingsmoto Sealed – tend to have better ampacity.