About e-bike battery theft protection in a nutshell:
- An e-bike battery is the heart of the e-bike. Protecting it from theft is not easy. Unfortunately, there is currently no really optimal solution.
- Battery locks are easy to break open in many cases, hiding the battery is risky and battery safes are cumbersome to install and expensive. It’s best to always take your battery with you. But we know how inconvenient it can be.
- But until the market offers better solutions, you can protect your e-bike from theft in the best possible way. With the GPS tracker BikeTrax from PowUnity, you can see in real time via an app where your e-bike and therefore also your battery are at any given moment – all over Europe.
The battery is the heart of an electric bike and expensive. Depending on the model, a new battery can cost around 800 euros. No wonder that some thieves specifically target it. Unfortunately, not even the best e-bike anti-theft protection, the BikeTrax GPS tracker in combination with a high-quality bike lock, can help in this case.
To prevent theft, you need your own solution. You can find out what this could look like and what options are available on the market here.
What is the risk of your battery being stolen?
Before we talk about theft protection for your e-bike battery, we want to address a question you might be asking yourself: Is it worth the effort? In other words, what is the risk of returning to your e-bike and finding the battery no longer in place?
There are no official statistics on theft of e-bike batteries for each country. A recent report by NL Times indicates for the Netherlands for example that e-bike battery theft saw a 300-percent spike in 2022 compared to 2021. It was written that until December 2022, almost 4,500 batteries were stolen, while last year there just under 1,500 were taken. Not only in the bicycle country No. 1 but also in other European countries it is happening more and more often that citizens come back to their parked e-bike and no longer find the battery.
Actually, this trend is not surprising. Because there are at least two reasons why the battery of an e-bike is a sought-after stolen good:
- An e-bike battery is expensive.
- It is usually much easier to steal an electric bike battery than an entire e-bike.
The first point also makes it particularly annoying if your battery is suddenly missing. What’s more, bike thieves often take a brutal approach to battery theft and damage other parts of your pedelec. If you are unlucky, you will have to buy a new battery and pay for an expensive repair.
What are the options to prevent battery theft?
The issue of battery theft has only recently gained importance. Therefore, there is not yet a wide range of anti-theft devices like for e-bikes (bike locks, gps trackers, alarm systems etc.)
First and foremost, you have the following options to keep the e-bike battery safe:
Hiding the battery
Some resourceful e-bike owners remove their battery and hide it in an old, unsightly bicycle bag, for example. The idea behind this: This way it looks to a potential bike thief as if the owner has taken the battery with him.
This method costs no money and can work. If the thief looks in the bike bag, you are out of luck. Above all, make sure that no one is watching you when you hide the battery. In places with a lot of public traffic, that alone is a challenge.
Using battery bike locks
Many frame batteries of modern e-bikes, for example from Bosch (Performance line CX or younger), are secured with a lock. This usually consists of a lock cylinder and a pair of keys. Both can be easily purchased and are not expensive.
Unfortunately, this combination is not really effective. While many conventional bike locks can be picked in no time at all, a well-aimed kick may be enough with battery locks.
- Easy to use
- Battery remains on the electric bike
- Cheap to buy
- only suitable for certain batteries
- Mostly low protection function
Some e-bike owners have taken to purchasing a battery safe and attaching it to their e-bike. Depending on the safe and the mounting, this type of theft protection is indeed effective.
However, a battery safe quickly costs several hundred euros and the (fixed) installation on the e-bike is anything but easy. Therefore, this method is only suitable for very expensive batteries – and with the appropriate skill. You also have no guarantee that the thief will not remove the safe.
- depending on the installation, high security
- Suitable for all batteries
- very expensive
- awkward mounting
Take battery with you – best with cover
Finally, there is a third possibility. It may seem banal at first glance. However, experts believe it is currently the safest way to protect an e-bike battery from theft.
You remove your bike battery when you park your bike and take it with you.
One thing is clear: if you have your battery with you, thieves can’t steal it. However, this type of anti-theft device has one serious disadvantage: depending on where you are and what you are doing, it is not very convenient to carry a battery around with you. In addition, the battery can be damaged if you pack it naked in your backpack or handbag.
That’s why we recommend a battery bag for protection. You can get them in different sizes for different batteries at fair prices. At least your battery will be safe.
By the way, a battery bag also protects against battery accidents. The risk of this happening is much smaller than the lurid headlines would have you believe. But more safety than necessary rarely does any harm.
Übrigens: Eine Akku-Tasche schützt auch vor Batterieunfällen. Zwar ist das Risiko dafür deutlich kleiner, als es reißerische Überschriften glauben machen. Mehr Sicherheit als notwendig schadet aber selten.
- maximum safety
- Does not cost any money (except for a battery bag)
- Battery can get damaged (without bag)
- very uncomfortable
Is an e-bike battery insurance worth it?
There are now a growing number of insurance policies for bicycles and electric bikes. The benefits vary depending on the provider and the tariff. Some cover not only bicycle theft, but also theft and even wear and tear of components.
Every electric bicycle owner must decide for themselves whether this is worthwhile. If you are interested in bicycle insurance, we recommend that you compare offers carefully and read the insurance conditions thoroughly.
Pay particular attention to the following points or topics:
- Is the theft of batteries and other components included?
- What are the requirements?
- How do you have to react after a theft in order to be entitled to reimbursement, and how much is it?
- How do other customers rate the support of the insurance?
We think: Especially for very high-value e-bikes and components, a good insurance policy can be worthwhile as a supplement. However, it does not replace effective protection against e-bike theft. It is also important to read the insurance conditions carefully, especially if you want to insure components in addition to your bike.
Also be aware: It usually takes a long time, sometimes even a long time, for the insurance company to reimburse you for a theft.
Securing other electric bicycle components – these options are available
Batteries are not the only electric bicycle components that are targeted by bike thieves.
Also at risk are, for example
- Front or rear wheel
- Bicycle saddles
- Luggage racks
You can also secure these components separately, for example with the HexLox security system. Read more about securing bike parts and the advantages and disadvantages of different solutions in our blog.
Conclusion: The ideal solution for electric bike battery protection does not yet exist.
Securing e-bike batteries that are not integrated into the frame against theft is becoming increasingly important. For a long time now, thieves have not only been targeting entire bicycles. The more popular e-bikes become, the more attractive their components become as prey for thieves. Because they are expensive, this is especially true for batteries.
There are various measures you can take to protect your battery from thieves. None of them is ideal at the moment. Battery locks are often easy to break open, hiding the battery is risky and battery safes are difficult to install and expensive.
If you want to be on the safe side, the only option is to remove the battery from the pedelec and take it with you. This is certainly a good option if you are going to a hotel after a day’s cycling. If you want to go to a restaurant, club or exhibition, it quickly spoils the fun.
So it looks like we still have to wait for the optimal battery theft protection. Because manufacturers should be aware of the problem, this wait will hopefully not be long. Until then, you can take comfort in the fact that the ideal protection for e-bike theft already exists. With a good bike lock (f.ex. a U-lock or folding lock) and the GPS tracker BikeTrax from PowUnity, your e-bike will remain yours, even if you spend a lot of time in big cities.