The Dutch, already ranked first in the world for per-capita-bicycle ridership, have adopted electric-motorized bicycles in record numbers. It is reported that e-bike sales have already surpassed the sales of human-powered bicycles (excluding children and racing bikes) in the Netherlands. With this increase in e-bike usage comes a not-so-surprising increase in fires linked to e-bike battery charging disasters.
The NL Times is reporting that Dutch fire agencies and insurers are troubled by the increase in fires caused by battery charging. The article reports that e-bike fires in 2017 surpassed fires linked to toys, computers and power tools. The article claims the Dutch fire brigade suggests to “keep an eye on them while charging.” That is a weak suggestion. We believe a little more understanding of battery charging could reduce the possibility of setting your home or garage on fire.
Tips riders can use today
Until a company offers an e-bike-specific, certified, consumer-level, battery storage container, here are a few tips e-bike owners can adopt today to protect themselves:
1. Never leave a battery charging unattended. Day or night.
2. Don’t overcharge batteries. Experts feel an 80% capacity charge is best for storage.
3. Never charge batteries near combustible or explosive materials.
4. Never charge a battery that has been dropped, damaged or dinged.
5. Charge batteries on wire shelving with rollers. This allows an overheating or flaming battery to be quickly rolled away from structures.
6. Charge your battery in a barbecue grill outside of the house.
While e-bike battery fires are statistically small, it is not something you want to gamble with. Taking appropriate precautions now could save you major heartache in the future. More information on proper battery charging is available from this article.