We need to talk about batteries!
The number of e-bike and e-scooter battery fires has quadrupled in the UK since 2020, injuring at least 190 people.
Recent fatalities were in Cambridge when an e-bike caught fire, and in London where a man died after an e-bike left on charge burst into flames. The London fire brigade is responding to e-bike fires every other day in the capital.
When a faulty e-bike battery catches fire it can lead to an explosion, with 600C heat and “thermal runaway” that can quickly cause a major, life-threatening blaze.
But experts say the problem is caused by cheaper unregulated batteries, and people using the wrong chargers with the batteries left plugged in unattended overnight.
Lesley Rudd, of the ESF (Electrical Safety First charity) chief executive, said: “There are too many reckless operators in this space, such as third-party sellers on online marketplaces, who are risking the lives of the public and giving responsible manufacturers of these products a bad name.”
One of the biggest reputable manufacturers of batteries, Bosch, has this to say.
“Bosch batteries are tested to meet the highest consumer certification standards, more specifically, UL 2849. (UL 2849 is a standard covering the electrical system of ebikes powered by a lithium-based, rechargeable battery.) UL 2849 has strict requirements for electrical shock, mechanical, and fire hazards.”
16 Mar 2023
Buy from reputable stores and look for UL certification.
Bosch says; “That means if you're buying a product with a larger lithium-ion battery like an electric scooter or bike, buy from a trusted website or store. Be wary of brands that are far cheaper than those of competitors.” 30 Jun 2023
The Bicycle Association trade body said there was a “growing issue with e-bike and e-scooter battery packs and chargers, especially those sold via online marketplaces, which pose a serious risk to the public. The UK cycle industry will fully support swift regulatory measures to address this issue, to safeguard the reputation of the e-bike category and its potential to transform our cities with healthy, enjoyable low-carbon transportation.”
Here at Cotswoldetours we echo these statements and want to assure you that all our bikes are supplied by major manufacturers using the correct charging unit supplied for that bike. You can be confident the bike you ride is safe and properly prepared for your enjoyment.
Inspired by an original article published in the Guardian newspaper