Are eBike batteries dangerous?

Electric bike battery fires have been in the news a lot in recent months, with a surge in incidents. In the first half of 2023, on average, the London Fire Brigade (LFB) had been called to an ebike or escooter fire once every two days – a 60 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.

When reporting that the first three months of 2023 saw four UK deaths due to exploding lithium-ion batteries in ebikes and escooters, the MailOnline described battery-powered bikes and scooters as the “deadly e-bombs in Britain’s homes”.

If you believed the headlines then you would think all e.bikes are a danger ,but are they ? . In simple term the answer is …NO..if you buy one from a legitimate shop . Here at Saddle safari we have been selling e bikes for over 20 years, and despite selling thousands have NEVER had a customer experience a fire . The same story can be told throughout the UK’s bicycle dealer network.

However buying a “cheaper” bike online and the outcomes are different.

“Selling dangerous goods is an offence (under the General Product Safety Regulations),” says Peter Eland, technical and policy director at the Bicycle Association, the national trade association for the UK cycle industry.

“But, of course, that can be impossible for the UK authorities to enforce if the seller is overseas or is using a disposable seller account on an online marketplace platform”

The vast majority of fire are caused by substandard goods (ebikes and also third-party batteries, chargers and ebike conversion kits) coming from overseas sellers via online marketplaces, direct to end users.

We have all seen people in our towns and cities riding bikes that do not even require pedalling, or travelling at speeds in excess of 20 mph. These will all be illegal as UK regulation states all e.bikes must be pedal assist only and with assistance limited to 15.5 mph. The majority of these bikes are used in food delivery services. Dangerous bikes seem to be a product of our gig economy .

In conclusion buy from a real shop and you needn’t worry !!

Written on January 23rd, 2024 by Saddle Safari


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