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New York lawmakers set sights on unsafe lithium-ion batteries used in electric bikes and scooters

Legislation

New York lawmakers set sights on unsafe lithium-ion batteries used in electric bikes and scooters

The bills address fires caused by batteries used in electric bikes and scooters.


By PETER FABRIS, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR | March 24, 2023
Photo: Gemma Evans via Unsplash
Photo: Gemma Evans via Unsplash

Lawmakers in New York City and statewide have moved to quell the growing number of fires caused by lithium-ion batteries used in electric bikes and scooters.

One bill introduced in the state legislature would require all lithium-ion batteries and chargers for sale in New York to meet minimum industry safety standards. Another measure would ban the sale of second-use lithium-ion batteries for e-bikes, e-scooters, and mopeds.

The New York City Council recently approved legislation that would:

  • Add restrictions on selling, leasing, or renting powered mobility devices, such as e-bikes and electric scooters, and storage batteries that don’t meet industry safety standards.
  • Require the New York Fire Department to annually report on the fire risks associated with powered mobility devices.
  • Conduct a public information campaign on the fire risks associated with e-bikes and e-scooters.
  • Impose restrictions on assembling or reconditioning lithium-ion batteries with cells removed from used batteries and on selling such batteries.

More than 25 lithium-ion batteries in New York City caught fire through Feb. 24 this year, a fourfold increase over the same period in 2022. Some of these fires caused significant damage in residential buildings.

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