As it’s now getting a lot colder and few of my friends have been asking if there is a danger that the battery in their Vespa might freeze.
My understanding is that a battery will not freeze as long as it is charged. In the past I have had motorcycles that had to stay outside or in unheated storage facilities. As long as I was riding them periodically I left the batteries in them. If I knew that I wouldn’t be riding at all for a month or two during the Winter, I would take the battery out and put it on a smart charger in the house. But I have had motorcycles left outside for several days in single digit temperatures with the battery in them without it freezing or losing its charge.
My car sits in the driveway no matter how cold it gets outside – the battery doesn’t freeze. My scooters are in an unheated garage. I leave the batteries in them – every once in awhile I get to ride during the Winter (depending on road conditions). I used to keep them plugged in to smart chargers, but the last couple of Winters I’ve just started them and let them run for 1/2 hour or so a couple of times each month. I’ve ridden for many years, and I’ve always lived in places that could get seriously cold in the Winter – I’ve never had a frozen battery.
With the old style batteries that had water in them, if you let them discharge completely there was a danger of freezing. If that happened, the frozen water would expand and the battery casing would probably crack, resulting in a serious mess as Tom mentioned. With these new jell filled no maintenance batteries, I’m not sure if that would still happen. But even though battery technology has changed, I think it is still safe to say that as long as you maintain a charge in the battery – it won’t freeze.