As e-bikes proliferate, so do deadly fires blamed on exploding lithium-ion batteries

As the ubiquity of e-bikes has grown, so has the frequency of fires and deaths blamed on the batteries that power them, prompting a campaign to establish regulations on how the batteries are manufactured, sold, reconditioned, charged and stored.

Consumer advocates and fire departments, particularly in New York City, are urging the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to establish mandatory safety standards and confiscate noncompliant imports when they arrive at the border or shipping ports, so that unsafe e-bikes and poorly manufactured batteries don’t reach streets and endanger homes.

During a forum focused on e-bikes and lithium-ion batteries held Thursday in Bethesda, Maryland, the commission’s chair, Alexander D. Hoehn-Saric, said it was an “urgent moment” that requires attention.