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Are Ebike Batteries Safe?

by Scott Pearce
Are Ebike Batteries Safe?

Are Ebike Batteries Safe?

Ebike battery fires have been making the news lately, and as a result, I have had a number of customers asking me if ebikes are safe. The simple answer is YES, e-bikes are absolutely safe!

So, how do these e-bike battery fires start? We have been investigating ebike/scooter fire incidents over the last 12 months across Australia to find the exact cause.

 

1.    Wrong Charger Purchased for the Battery:

This is a very common reason an e-bike battery catches fire - the use of a charger with the wrong voltage for the battery. Numerous times customers come in asking for a type of charger and when we look at their bike and battery, we realise they were asking for the wrong one. To use the wrong charger and battery is incredibly dangerous. For example, a 48V charger with a 36V battery will over-charge the cells and cause the cells to speed up and catch on fire. Occasionally the cell polarity will be the wrong way for the charger as well. The best thing to do when requiring a new charger is to bring the old charger, battery and bike to the Electric Bikes Superstore, and we can get you the correct, high-quality charger.


2. Homemade Kits and Batteries

This has been the number one issue for the recent battery fires in Adelaide. People have installed kits, home-made batteries or repacked batteries which have caused a multitude of issues. I have seen a person riding an ebike with a home-made battery in a backpack with a wire running down his jacket to connect to his motor at the bottom. Although this seems like the extreme, we have seen some pretty crazy home built ebikes! The only fire we have seen in our shop was from a repacked battery that was done at home and brought in for us to look at.

All e-bikes, kits and batteries we sell are safe, high-quality batteries. We can also install new batteries onto bikes safely.

 

  1. Cheap, Non-Compliant Product Purchased Online

Australia has some great standards and it will continue to develop as legislation keeps up with new technology. The internet, however, opens Australians up to a wide range of cheap online products. Low-quality e-bikes and scooters often use poor quality battery cells and battery management systems. Whilst these do not always result in a fire, it does create a higher risk and result in a significantly shorter battery lifespan. We suggest being very careful when buying a product online.

4.    Battery Care

When storing your e-bike battery, it is important that it is not stored in hot sheds or cars. We also suggest when transporting an e-bike on the back of an e-bike car rack that - where possible - you remove the battery and store it safely.

 

Once a battery has been damaged or dropped, it increases the risk of a fire. We had a customer recently who left his battery on the toolbox of his caravan. It unfortunately fell off while driving and looked worse for wear by the time it made it in store. In this case we safely installed a new battery on the bike.

 

5.    Disposing of Electric Bike Batteries

It’s unsafe to throw e-bike batteries in the regular bin. Do you have a dead battery and need to dispose of it safely? We have a free battery disposal service; bring your battery to either stores at Brighton or Kensington Park and we can safely dispose of the battery.