Why the surge in e-bikes is causing concerns about fire hazards


Delivery rider Ollie from York, England, recently had his e-bike stolen outside a supermarket. Despite the convenience and benefits of e-bikes, Ollie believes that investing in an expensive e-bike would be a risk due to theft. The market for electric bikes, scooters, and mopeds is expanding, which is positive for cutting carbon emissions. However, there are safety concerns related to the use of e-bikes, particularly the risk of fires caused by lithium-ion batteries. In the UK, there are currently no regulations on e-bike chargers or kits to convert standard bikes into electric ones. Incompatible and uncertified batteries are major contributors to fire risks. For people on tight incomes, manufacturer-approved components and reputable repair shops may be out of reach. There are ways to limit fire risks, such as charging e-bikes on flat hard surfaces and not leaving charging batteries unattended. Some countries have implemented safety standards for e-bike chargers and electrical systems to ensure safer batteries and reduce risks. Supportive infrastructure and funding from delivery companies, food chains, and governments are needed to protect lives and promote the use of e-bikes.

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