In the past 16 months, e-bikes have caused over 140 fires, several injuries, and at least five deaths in New York City, according to the FDNY. The officials from FDNY also revealed that the main cause behind these hazards is the lithium-ion batteries used in e-bikes.
WCBS-TV reported that FDNY had to put out 4 fires caused by e-bikes on Thursday alone. Moreover, the Daily News pointed out that it took over two hours and a hundred firefighters to put it out, with almost a dozen people being injured in the incident. The New York Fire Department released statistics on the fires and injuries caused by e-bikes.
Lithium-ion batteries are being used in many modes of transportation in large cities like New York. As convenient as these conveyances may be, they do come with their own risks. FDNY suggested that the factory-installed batteries on these bikes are safe and tested. However, once these batteries need to be replaced, many owners try to save money by using substandard options.
FDNY explained that these third-party replacement batteries are not tested for quality and safety by any credible sources. Although they may save some money in the short term, the consequences can often be severe, if not fatal.
Another point noted by FDNY was that many users opted for third-party charging cables as well. These cables are not designed to supply a safe supply of power to the bike when charging and cause most fires. Due to negligence on the part of the owners, the FDNY released tutorial videos showing signs of the device heating up or exploding and how to avoid it.
It is important to understand that any invention, no matter how convenient, can be dangerous if the proper tools and parts for the technology are not used. Saving money momentarily is not worth the risk of losing one’s life.
Despite being the cause of various fires and injuries, the city officials continue to endorse e-bikes for transportation. Mayor Eric Adams also promised subsidies to the locals of NYC for buying e-bikes. However, the residents must be given proper information and training on avoiding disasters such as fires on their end.