Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service have shared footage of an incident where an e-bike battery exploded.
Electric bikes, also known as e-bikes, are motor-assisted pedal cycles that look similar to conventional bicycles.
With a rechargeable battery and a motor to provide support when pedalling, electric bikes offer riders the ability to travel faster than a traditional bicycle without requiring the same level of physical exertion.
Under current law in England, Scotland and Wales, electric bikes that meet certain criteria may be used by people 14 years or older without needing a licence or insurance; however, different rules apply in Northern Ireland.
To meet the criteria, e-bikes must be classed as ‘electrically assisted pedal cycles’ (EAPCs). Any electric bike that does not meet the EAPC rules is classed as a motorcycle or moped and needs to be registered and taxed. You’ll need a driving licence to ride one and you must wear a crash helmet.
Nottinghamshire Fire Service have issued certain rules and guides on how to use e-bikes in terms of charging and general use. The Lithium-ion batteries used inside these e-bikes are a great beast and can cause serious damage if not used correctly.
Charging Your E-Bike
To reduce the risk of fires related to e-bikes at home, always exercise caution when charging batteries. Never attempt to modify or tamper with the battery. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Avoid leaving the e-bike to charge for too long periods of time or unattended, such as overnight or whilst out of the house.
Reduce the Risk of Overheating
Batteries can become warm during use, so allow them to cool before attempting to recharge. To ensure that heat can dissipate properly, batteries should only be charged on hard, flat surfaces away from flammable items such as furniture, carpets or curtains. Take care to avoid exposing batteries to extremes of temperature or charging them if they’ve become damaged. Overcharging can also lead to the battery overheating, so please keep it away from flammable materials and always keep an eye on the e-bike whilst charging.
Follow Instructions Carefully
When charging, always adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions and never leave a battery charging unattended or charge it while you are sleeping. When it’s fully charged, unplug your charger right away. Always use the correct charger for your batteries – buy replacements from reputable sellers only.
Where To Charge Your E-bike
Be mindful not to block your escape route with e-bikes when storing them; store them in an area away from paths or exits.
Prepare an escape plan with your family in case of a fire – if one does start, dial 999 immediately instead of trying to tackle it yourself.