Promising Research May Lead To Reduction Of E-Bike Fires

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Engineering are reporting that graphene (bonded carbon atoms in a sheet form one-atom thick) may take the oxygen out of lithium battery fires. The report explains that the reasons lithium batteries catch fire include rapid cycling or charging and discharging, and high temperatures in the battery. These conditions can cause the cathode inside the battery — which in the case of most lithium batteries is a lithium-containing oxide, usually lithium cobalt oxide — to decompose and release oxygen. If the…

Battery Fires Create Concerns For Every Electric Bike Owner – Updated 8/14/2019

Bike Europe, a publication claimed to be the “leading trade journal for the bicycle, e-bike market” recently published a courageous story on the dangers of Lithium-Ion batteries used in the majority of electric bikes (e-bikes). The publication had a fire safety engineer and battery safety professional examine the aftermath of a fire ignited by an unattended charging battery in a bicycle shop (click here to watch the ignition and blast-off). His observations are frightening. The expert is quoted as saying that Lithium-Ion batteries are, “rather unreliable, rather explosive. You are…

Lyft E-Bikes Pulled From San Francisco Bike Share Program After Two Fires

The San Francisco Examiner is reporting that Lyft has suspended its e-bike share program on the streets of San Francisco after two e-bikes caught fire in separate locations in the span of a week. Jonathan Baxter, a spokesperson for the San Francisco Fire Department, said the department classified the incident as a “battery pack issue” and a “fire from battery pack.” The fire was deemed not suspicious by the San Francisco Fire Department although a Lyft spokesperson has told media outlets that vandalism has not been ruled out (by Lyft)…

Another “Rare” Fire Destroys All MotoE Series Race Bikes

The UK’s Independent is reporting that all the bikes and equipment for MotoGP’s electric support series, MotoE, were destroyed in a paddock building fire at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain. This comes just a few weeks before the start of the 2019 series. All the bikes in the spec-class are provided by Italy’s Energica. It is difficult to imagine a scenario where 18 bikes could be safely made race-ready in time for the series’ beginning. It is also unimaginable that MotoE series management would allow this equipment to be…

UPDATE: E-Bikes Not Only Electric Vehicle To Poise Fire Hazards – The Finger Pointing Begins

November 3, 2018: Gizmodo is reporting that Segway, the supplier of the Lime Bikes scooters that have caught fire or overheated, fired off a response today that, while not mentioning Lime Bikes directly, points the finger at the scooter rider as the real source of the overheating problem. The response says: “We have observed that operational hazards do rise from extreme abuse and vandalism of the vehicles in the scooter-sharing market. Considering the fact that the management and maintenance of shared scooters and the identification of damaged vehicles highly rely…

E-Bike Storage Facility Destroyed By Massive Fire, Releases Toxic Smoke

Stella Fietsen, a bicycle company located in the Netherlands, suffered a devastating fire in their e-bike and e-bike battery storage facility. European News reports that the fire broke out around 2:30 p.m. in a store room at Stella Fietsen’s headquarters. The article reports that the store room where the fire originated contained 3,000 electric bikes and 6,000 batteries. The building collapsed and is considered a total loss. The fire was classified as a GRIP 3. This means the fire “threatened well-being of (large groups of) the population within a single…

E-bike Fires More Prevalent Than Claimed?

While e-bike publications claim fires are a rare occurrence, more reports of exploding e-bikes and e-bike fires seem to point to a larger problem. The latest report comes from the Sun, a British newspaper and website. The story includes video footage of the bike burning and exploding. You can read the story by clicking here. The exploding bike is a mountain bike that appears to have been converted to an electric-motorized bike with the addition of a hub motor. These inexpensive and popular conversion kits can turn bicycles into a…

E-BIKE FIRE SENDS TWO TO HOSPITAL AND QUESTIONS REMAIN

ABC Eyewitness News, WABC-TV in New York has an exclusive report on a fire that appears to have been sparked by an electric-motorized bicycle. The questions that remained unanswered by the coverage are many. Was there a defect in the bike’s design, electric motor or battery? Was there an assembly error? Was the battery being charged at the time of the fire? Had the bikes been recently ridden? EV World claim fires are a rare occurrence, but even electric bike shops have burned down. And e-bike fires are not limited…

E-BIKE EXPLODES INTO BALL OF FIRE

The Orange County Register is reporting that the rider of a new E-bike luckily escaped injury when the bike caught fire while parked during a break in an afternoon ride. “Lifeguards on scene reported that the battery was popping and sending projectiles dozens of yards from the fire,” said Mike Halphide, lifeguard battalion chief for the Newport Beach Fire Department. The Register reported that firefighters used a dry chemical to extinguish the blaze. It was fortunate that the bike was isolated on the sand instead of resting on a structure.…

BATTERY CHARGING FIRE HAZARD REAL FOR E-BIKE OWNERS

July 31, 2016 – The Madison Fire Department reported that a fire at Crazy Lenny’s E-Bikes back in April was likely caused by a lithium battery inside one of the e-bikes at the store. Madison, Wisconsin’s, WISC-TV  News 3 reports that the fire caused $350,000 worth of damage to the building and inventory. While battery fires are claimed to be a rare occurrence by E-bike battery suppliers, it is better to play it safe by not leaving a charging battery unattended in your garage or home. If at all possible,…