This is a common question many ask when they encounter 52v batteries while looking at a 48v ebike conversion motor kit. Can you safely use a 52v battery on a 48v motor? The answer is yes, almost always. Let's take a look at why choosing a 52v battery is a good thing and not a cause for concern.

The advantages of 52v batteries:

  1. 52v batteries are faster. Increased voltage means increased motor RPM, and your motor will spin more quickly as the voltage increases. If you need a little extra speed or power, you’ve got it.
  2. 52v batteries are more powerful. Higher volts translate to higher watts, increasing your power for climbing hills and riding into headwinds.
  3. You get more range if you're not using that extra power for speed. You simply go further before requiring a recharge, and 52v is your best option for a more extended range on one charge.

The advantages of 48v batteries:

  1. It’s a few ounces lighter and not enough to matter. They are both typically the same size.
  2. Cheaper. Sometimes a little, but usually not at all.
  3. It’s necessary for some controllers and motors. However, most of the 48v controllers and motors available today can also use 52v batteries.

They both look the same but one has 4 more cells and that much more capacity and power.

Takeaway: It's simple; you get more power and range with a 52v battery than with a 48V battery. With more power for climbing hills, accelerating faster, and more capacity for going farther, 52v batteries have the advantage.

When is a 48v battery required?

Some motors and controllers are indeed rated as 48v, making some people nervous about putting a higher voltage battery on them.  Occasionally this concern is valid, and as mentioned above, the motor or controller only works with a 48v battery.  However, if the company you are buying it from sells a 52v battery with a 48v motor, that means they know it works, and in our experience, it probably works better.

52v batteries and Electrify Bike Company

We have sold thousands of 52v batteries on 48v motors and have had better results than with 48v batteries.  Hence we sell 52v batteries 10 to 1 over 48v batteries.  Here is a sampling of the 52v batteries we sell. When paired with a 52v battery, all the motors we sell have all the above advantages. 

52v batteries have performance benefits over 48v batteries, and the increased capacity and power allow you to go longer distances faster.

Deeper Dive

The preceding discussion is the simple version of why 52v batteries are a good choice. If you would like to dive a little deeper (but not a lot), keep reading.  Does that mean 48v batteries and other batteries are a bad choice? No. The truth is a lot more complicated, and there are reasons engineers design electric bikes with 36v, 48v, 52v, 60v, and 72v batteries. So, if 52v batteries are better than 48v batteries, does it follow that 60v batteries are better than 52v?  Once again, no, and the reason is more complicated. 52v batteries hit the sweet spot on several fronts. It turns out that most 48v and 52v controllers have electronic components that max out between 60v and 64v. Higher voltages will burn them out.  That is why it is safe for 48v controllers to tolerate voltages up to 60v.  52v batteries have a maximum voltage with a full charge of 58.8v, so this is a safe voltage for the components in a 48v controller.  Motors are even more tolerant. They just spin faster, given higher voltages. On the other hand, a 60v battery charges up to 67.2v, which would burn out many of the critical components in a 48v or 52v controller.

If 48v is slower than 52v, wouldn’t 36v be super slow? A motor designed to run with 36v will not be slower. Engineers have another way to determine the speed of the motor. The number of windings in the stator sets the rpm of the motor at a given voltage. Fewer windings in the motor stator cause the motor to spin faster, while more windings spin slower. A 36v motor and a 48v motor can have the same speed by adjusting the number of windings.  However, if you apply 48v to the 36v motor, it will spin much faster but have less torque.  Some DIYers do this deliberately to get a faster ebike, but you must know what you are doing because it is possible for the motor to overheat because of the amps required to get the torque necessary to move the bike.

So to circle back to 52v vs. 48v batteries, should we be leery of getting a 48v system to spin faster? Remember that we said 52v was in the sweet spot? It is only a few volts higher than 48v batteries and is within the safe zone for motor and controller components. You can use the extra cells in a 52v pack for a bump in power and speed, or if you take it easy, those extra cells will simply give you more range.

Dual battery

When someone wants a second battery on a 48v ebike, we often recommend a 52v battery tied together with a dual battery module to the original 48v battery.  It works well because there is a considerable voltage overlap between 52v and 48v batteries. 52v batteries range from a full 58.8v down to an empty 42v. In comparison, 48v batteries run from a full 54.6v down to an empty 41v. So the voltage overlap between them is from 54.6v on the high end to 42v on the low end. The dual battery module will use the 52v battery from its full charge at 58.8v down to 54.6v. At that time, it will tie both batteries together, providing the total amps of both batteries to the motor while the two batteries go from 54.6v down to 42v when they are empty. This process also happens when two 48v or two 52v batteries are tied together with a dual battery module, and the two batteries have different charge levels.


  • Dean Bush

    I’m looking for a battery for my buddy who has a buffing 500 W motor it’s now running on 48 V battery. My research came up for a 52 V using Samsung.217000-40T cells (15-17ah) from what little information I could find it seem that people prefer the 40t to the 50t cells as they were saying, they will last longer more charges. would appreciate your thoughts on it and if possible which battery do you have with Samsung 217000-40t, my buddy is retired and rides almost every day his 48 V battery is between two and three years old and he rides 35 to 50 miles on his trips with his friends and he uses a throttle control to assist his riding thanks in advance
    Electrify Bike replied:
    To get 15-17ah capacity with 40T cells, you would need a 14S4P battery. With 40T cells, that battery would put out over 100 amps or 5000 watts. We use 21700 50G and 50E cells for higher capacity but lower amps.

  • Norris Eiffel

    Hi electrifybike.com administrator, You always provide great insights.

  • Retrorockit
    This is mostly true. But if you compare a 20Ah 14S,4P52V 21700 (56 cell) battery to a 24Ah 13S,5P 21700 (65 cell) battery in the same Mega Shark case you might reach a different conclusion. 1040W/h 52V. vs 1152W/h 48V. More range and less Vdroop under load. if you have a 1500W BBSHD the extra range could be more useful than a few watts more power. You stopped offering these. I’m very happy with the one I got from you. I think I bought the last one you had.
    Electrify Bike replied:
    Actually, the Reention DP-7 2100 case we are using holds 70 21700 cells in a 52v 14S5P configuration. The same case in a 48v 13S5P configuration holds 65 cells. We use 5000mwh cells, so 52v is 1300WH and 48v is 1200WH. So 52v has more power and range. Perhaps you weren’t comparing apples to apples.

  • Gary Pashel

    I have a BAFANG motor BBS02B 48 V 750 W. What replacement battery for a 52V 17 5ah/910wh (Sanyo GA 14S 52)
    Electrify Bike replied:
    That was a great battery. We sold that exact configuration until the new 21700 cells came out. Now the replacement battery is 52v 20ah and 50 amps instead of 40 amps. It is still called the Jumbo Shark but is made with Samsung 21700 50E cells.

  • Steve

    I have a 52 volt battery on my bafang 750 watt motor. My controller has settings for 36, 48 and 52 volt battery, but my battery indicator never drops below a 100% charge. Any advise?
    Electrify Bike replied:
    I believe you are referring to your display. Just set it for 52v. If it stays at 100%, try setting the display to show volts. That is usually more accurate than percent but you must know what the voltage readings mean in terms of charge. This article explains it. https://www.electrifybike.com/blogs/news/how-much-gas-is-in-the-tank

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.