According to the FDNY, e-bikes have been responsible for over 100 fires and multiple deaths since early 2021

FDNY officials warn that the lithium-ion batteries on increasingly popular e-bikes are a fire hazard, and have been responsible for at least 140 fires in the past 16 months alone. These fires have caused dozens of injuries and at least 5 deaths in New York City since early 2021.

Corresponding WCBS TV, FDNY put out four fires attributed to the motorcycles in a single day on Thursday. One of those fires destroyed two houses on East Ninth Street in Brooklyn. According to the news, the fire took 100 firefighters over two hours to put out and caused 7 injuries. The fire service said these fires are nothing new and that there have been over 40 e-bike fires so far this year, at least one of which has been fatal. Officials went on to say that there were over 100 such fires in 2021, resulting in 79 injuries and at least four deaths.

A dozen people were identified as injured alone with the e-bike fires on Thursday.

Lithium-ion battery-powered transportation has become increasingly common in many major cities, but it comes with risks. FDNY advises that the factory-installed lithium-ion batteries with these devices are generally safe, but the problem seems to arise when customers compromise by purchasing third-party replacement batteries that may not always be adequately tested or safe.

FDNY also warns that sometimes third-party made replacement charging cables can cause malfunctions and fires. The fires caused by these devices and their charging cables prompted FDNY to release a safety video with tips on how to prevent your device from exploding or catching fire.

Despite the outbreak of fires, city officials have recently encouraged the city to buy even more e-bikes for use in the Department of Transportation’s fleet. During his recent campaign, Mayor Eric Adams promised as much Subsidize e-bike purchases for NYC residents. According to the FDNY, e-bikes have been responsible for over 100 fires and multiple deaths since early 2021

Laura Coffey

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