The growing popularity of e-bikes continues with ever-increasing sales numbers over the past several years. More than one million were imported in 2022, representing a significant increase from prior years. Owners and enthusiasts tout the ease of getting from place to place.
With that innovation has come calamity. Throughout the U.S., more than 200 battery-related fires in 39 states occurred over the past two years, with 19 fatalities.
In Florida alone, dozens of fires have broken out, with one store going up in flames. According to the local fire department, the inferno occurred due to a “failure of equipment or heat source” that involved the battery charger and rectifier. Overall damages were approximately $250,000.
Struggles for a relatively new industry
Not all is well in the e-bike industry. Numerous fires and explosions caused by the batteries that fuel the transports continue to occur. More than 200 fires nationwide, with one that resulted in the death of two children in New York, prompted state senators to propose legislation regulating the batteries and removing many improperly manufactured power sources from the market.
The problem is not exclusive to the Empire and Sunshine States. Nationwide, e-bike-fueled fires are becoming a growing concern, with a focus on lithium-ion batteries catching fire due to improper storage, charging, and care. Power sources getting in contact with water also present deadly dangers.
Voluntary standards are doing little to stem the tide. In response, consumer advocates and fire departments nationwide demand that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission create and implement mandatory safety standards while confiscating non-compliant imports. However, until that happens, more injuries and deaths caused by these infernos will continue to change and end lives.