Is there a fire risk from electric bicycles and e-scooters?

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Categories: Motorcycle

As the use of battery-powered bikes and scooters becomes increasingly popular, is there a greater risk of fire? London firefighters last year dealt with over 70 blazes caused by electric bicycle and e-scooters.
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson told The Standard, which obtained the figures: “Many of the fires we are seeing involve batteries which have been sourced on the internet, which may not meet the correct safety standards. We know that lithium-ion batteries are susceptible to failure if incorrect chargers are used, so it’s important to always use the correct charger for the product and buy an official one from a reputable seller.”

The risk posed by the incorrect charging of lithium-ion batteries has led to them being banned from all parliamentary buildings and e-scooters and e-bikes are no longer permitted on the London underground.

A Department for Transport spokesman told the paper: “The risks associated with lithium-ion battery packs in e-bikes are well understood and numerous technical measures are in place throughout the life cycle of an e-bike lithium ion battery to ensure their safe and compliant use.

“Regulations in place to ensure their safety include: safeguards at the design stage, testing of complete battery packs and clear requirements for battery usage to be included in the e-bike user manual, including specific information about charging.”

The lesson from all of this is only buy aftermarket lithium ion batteries from a reputable supplier and always use the correct charger to minimise the risk of the battery overheating.

Insurance for electric bicycles
The ETA was established in 1990 as an ethical provider of green, reliable travel services. Over 30 years on, we continue to offer cycle insurance (including e-bikes), breakdown cover and mobility scooter insurance while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.