THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (BRAIN) — With bike demand high and more low-cost e-bikes entering the market, Mike Fritz said retailers need to be aware of increased risks of a battery fire. And that’s why Fritz, founding partner and chief technology officer of Human Powered Solutions, said the time was right to publish the Safe Lithium-Ion Battery Storage and Charging Procedures for the eBike Shop.
“The growing enthusiasm for electric bikes that we’ve seen in the past 18 months has resulted in the importation of incredibly inexpensive e-bikes as retailers and distributors jump onto the e-bike bandwagon,” Fritz told BRAIN.
Fritz and his team at Human Powered Solutions have noted the prices of Chinese imported e-bikes approaching the OE cost of a quality battery pack. He noted some manufacturers are sourcing cheaper battery packs that aren’t high quality nor subjected to proper testing.
“While we hope it’s not the case, we are very concerned that we’re going to see a spate of lithium-ion battery fires as the cheap e-bikes proliferate throughout the country,” Fritz said. “We hope that our safety protocols assist retailers in preparing their shops to mitigate the potential consequences of a battery fire.”
The guide also addresses storage and charging protocols for retailers, whom Fritz said need to invest in a fire-resistant cabinet and never store a battery near flammable materials. In addition, he said the unmonitored or overnight charging should be avoided.
Fritz has two goals for the guide.
“One, elevate the awareness of bike dealers with respect to the potentially catastrophic ramifications of a lithium-ion battery pack fire and safe procedures for their business; and, two, provide guidance that will allow a dealer to take steps to effectively mitigate the consequences if a fire ever happens.”