Forums » Off-Topic Discussions

NYC electric bike fires on pace to double in 2021

    • 3038 posts
    June 24, 2022 9:22 PM EDT

    While cycling boomed during the pandemic, e-bikes represented the biggest area of growth. A report by market research group NPD found that e-bike sales grew by 240% over the past year, now making the vehicles the third-largest cycling sales category, an even larger category than road bikes. The report found that riders have been drawn to the ease and enjoyment of powered bikes, especially as the availability of e-bikes on city streets has also made consumers more familiar and comfortable with them.To get more news about ebike accessories, you can visit official website.

    Another potential catalyst for e-bike adoption is a specific e-bike tax credit included in the current Build Back Better bill being debated by Democrats in Congress.To get more news about rad rover 5, you can visit official website.
    However, the lightweight lithium-ion batteries that allow riders to power up hills and commute without too much of a workout harbor some risk. The batteries — similar to the technology that powers cell phones, laptops and other lightweight electronics — carry a significant amount of energy for their weight, which also means there is a danger of the energy being released out of control due to an equipment failure or accident. “The reality is the chances of a fire are minimal, but the effects can be dangerous,” said Mike Fritz, chief technology officer with the micromobility consulting firm Human Powered Solutions.To get more news about waterproof bag for bike, you can visit official website.

    Fritz was involved in the 1990s on an effort with EV Global Motors to build one of the first e-bikes for sale and more recently worked with Pedego Electric Bikes. He said that the battery has always been a challenge for the industry, since it needs to be light enough to not weigh down the bike, but energy-dense enough to deliver sufficient power. While lithium-ion batteries carry some risks, he said, there are “common-sense rules” to follow that can minimize the danger.

    A 2020 report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which identified an overall 41 fatalities and 132,800 emergency room visits related to micromobility products between 2017 and 2019, found a handful of fire issues with e-scooters, bikes and hoverboards. Of the 97 fires identified in that time span, 93 were related to hoverboards. Incomplete data released by the CPSC in September reported 71 fatalities for the three-year period ending in 2020, but did not identify battery fires or other causes.

    In 2019, Lyft suspended its fleet of e-bikes after two batteries caught fire (the e-bike were returned to streets and deemed safe about five months later). Previously, Lime in 2018 recalled some scooters over a fire risk.

    This year, Austin Fire Department officials said a September fire at a hotel was linked to an e-scooter battery being charged. The London Fire Brigade in July issued a warning over what they called a “spike in ferocious fires” linked to micromobility vehicles.

    In an October press conference, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said the fires were a “very serious problem that keeps increasing.”

    “We’ve not had that problem with phones or other devices. The problem has started with the proliferation of battery-operated bikes,” Nigro said.

    Fritz has worked with bike dealers and fire officials on a safe charging and storage guide, including recommendations such as not letting vehicles charge unattended and not storing many of them to charge overnight in one place. That may present a challenge for some fleets, he said, but is necessary while manufacturers work on safer alternatives.

    “Gasoline is much more energy dense than a battery … but technologically we have learned how to manage the risks associated,” Fritz said. “I am convinced that there will come a time in the not-so-distant future that this issue goes away entirely.”