Faulty E-Bike Batteries Kill 4, NYC Gets $25M Grant to Fund Safer Charging Stations

I was surprised at first to learn that Mayor Eric Adams, of New York City, warned residents about a serious issue. It had nothing to do with illegal immigrants arriving by plane or bus or the so-called “gun violence”. Residents are at risk of injury or death due to the batteries on e-bikes and electric bikes catching fire.

Via AP:

NEW YORK (AP) – After a series of fires involving faulty e-bikes, including a recent blaze that claimed the lives of four people in New York City’s City Hall on Sunday, officials have announced the federal government will provide a grant of $25 million to help fund a wide range of charging stations throughout the city.

Adams spoke about the Department of Transportation Grant at a news conference where he and NY’s Democratic U.S. Senators were no doubt instrumental in helping Adams quickly secure money from Washington D.C.

The fire and thick smoke spread to the apartments above. Four people were killed and three others were injured, including a firefighter.

Fire officials issued at least 10 citations to shops for improperly handling batteries.

These statistics show that the problem of e-bikes catching fire is much more serious than most people realize.

New York City officials reported that over 100 fires occurred this year, and 13 deaths were linked to e-bikes. This is more than twice as many deaths as last year.

Adams addressed a press conference.

The residents will not have to charge the e-bikes in their apartments overnight. This is extremely unsafe.

I don’t think the mayor exaggerates the risks. Many people have heard of this problem when talking to an owner of an e-bike a few months ago. I was completely surprised to hear about it. I believe that the story adds context to what is otherwise a one-dimensional news item.

We talked on a Light Rail in Phoenix, Arizona. We were riding through the suburbs of Phoenix when he was standing beside his bike. I was at the supermarket and asked him about the charging time of his bike. He told me that charging it too long could cause the battery to overheat and catch fire.

What’s the solution to this problem in NYC? US taxpayers have spent $25 million on public charging stations.

City officials said that this shop had been fined for its charging methods. Inspectors could not confirm that reconditioned batteries had been sold at a recent inspection.

Fire officials must now respond to complaints about e-bike batteries within 12 hours, rather than the previous policy of three days.

They should hire someone to make a PSA about not overcharging the battery. That would be obvious.