Patabook News is reporting that New York State Governor Hochul will recommend that all e-bikes and e-scooters sold in her state be Underwriters Laboratory (UL) certified. The request is to be made during her 2024 state-of-the-state address. If successful, the new law would have a tremendous impact on the availability of e-bikes to New York consumers. Very few brands have adopted the UL standard and of the brands to adopt the standard, not all of their models have been submitted for certification.
Governor Hochul’s proposal comes after what seems like weekly reports of loss of life and property damage due to e-bike and e-scooter battery fires. I had hoped the bicycle industry would imposed UL 2849 certification on themselves but the industry has been slow to react to the documented danger of e-bike batteries and has even blamed other products for their problem. The industry’s reluctance to address the problem has forced government entities to intervene. I imagine that the industry is already strategizing a way to block the governor’s proposal. What happens in New York (if anything) could find its way to other state governments.
TIPS RIDERS CAN USE TODAY TO LIMIT FIRE DAMAGE FROM E-BIKES
1. Never leave a battery charging unattended. Day or night.
2. Don’t leave batteries on a charger once they are charged.
3. Don’t charge batteries near combustible or explosive materials.
4. Don’t charge a battery in a confined space like a motorhome, RV, boat, automobile, van or shed.
5. Never charge a battery that has been dropped, damaged or dinged.
6. Never charge a battery in a hallway entry/exit.
7. Never modify a battery.
8. Use only batteries recommended and approved by your bike’s manufacturer. Same with the battery charger.
9. Charge batteries on wire shelving with rollers. This allows an overheating or flaming battery to be quickly rolled away from structures.
10. If your e-bike makes a weird noise, feels hot, emits smoke or seems to be straining, stop riding. Do not load it in a car or put in the garage. Call 911. Any of these warning signs could mean a fire is eminent.
11. Look for the UL 2849 certified sticker on your next e-bike purchase.