Price: $39.99 (small); $49.99 (large)
Dimensions: 3.5″ x 3.5″ x 22″ ; 7″ x 3.5″ x 22″
Rating: Fireproof inner liner; passes the FMVSS 302 Flame Test
Availability: Online and retail
How obtained: Company sample
RBR advertiser: No
The Utmost in eBike Battery Safety
Unfortunately, it’s become all too common to hear about eBike batteries catching fire and burning down a home or even a bike shop. Lithium-ion battery fires burn extremely hot, exude toxic black smoke, are often accompanied by explosions, and are difficult to extinguish. New York City last year reported 200 fires and six deaths caused by lithium-ion batteries, as reported by The Guardian. In November, an e-bike fire in a Manhattan high-rise apartment building left 40 people injured. There was even a report of a bike shop burning down after eBike batteries were left overnight unattended.
What causes these batteries to go up in flames?
There are several reasons why an eBike battery might ignite.
- Damage to the battery itself can cause the lithium-ion to short-circuit and overheat.
- Sub-standard manufactured batteries that don’t meet regulatory standards; thus, only purchase a battery that is certified by a testing lab like UL.
- Aging batteries can also be an issue, and the useful life of an eBike battery is between 3 and 5 years if well maintained.
- Counterfeit batteries can be hazardous because they do not undergo a certification process.
The Best Methods for Storing and Transporting an eBike Battery
BiKASE has recently introduced two new eBike battery storage bags with the following features:
- a fireproof inner liner and passes the FMVSS 302 Flame Test.
- fits most batteries
- dimensions 3.5″ x 3.5″ x 22″ (small) and 7″ x 3.5″ x 22″ (large)
- large bag fits any size battery.
- small bag fits Bosch PowerPack 400, 500, 545, and all the Bosch PowerTubes
- sealed construction with roll-up closure and buckles
EBike manufacturers recommend removing the battery when transporting it in a car. These bags are perfect for storing a battery and provide an added safety layer. You can also use the bags if you carry a second battery on your bike for longer rides. They are waterproof and have hook and loop straps to secure them to a rear rack.
Fire Prevention Tips
The Fire Department of New York (FDNY) has issued these eBike safety tips:
- Buy an electric bike that is certified by a qualified testing laboratory.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for charging and storage.
- Always use the manufacturer’s cord, and power adapter explicitly made for the bike.
- Do not leave an electric bike unattended while it’s charging, and don’t leave it charging overnight.
- If a battery overheats or you notice an odor, a change in shape or color, leaking, or odd noises, stop using it immediately.
- If the battery reacts in an alarming way, and it is safe to do so, move the device away from anything that can catch fire and call 911.
- Keep batteries and devices at room temperature. Do not place them in direct sunlight.
- Store batteries away from anything flammable.
- Do not use aftermarket batteries.
- Do not charge an electronic device under your pillow, on your bed, or near a couch. (This is really what they wrote. Some idiot must have done this.)
- Do not block your primary way into and out of the building with an eBike.
- Do not leave an e-bike in a child’s room.
If you own an eBike, it behooves you to take precautions against damage to property and injury to others by storing and transporting your lithium-ion battery in a fireproof or fire-resistant bag. BiKASE has such a bag at a very affordable price point. A lot cheaper than replacing your home.
Sheri Rosenbaum regularly contributes articles and reviews products for RBR. She’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in the Chicago area and a major advocate for women’s cycling, serving on the board of directors and volunteering with the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Click to read Sheri’s full bio or visit her web site sunflowersandpedals.com.