Electric Bikes And Battery Fires
The newest and most exciting innovation in travel has everyone talking: electric bikes. These exciting vehicles provide a fun and convenient way to get from here to there. They are cheaper than cars, and allow riders to get exercise when they wish, with a little help from an electric battery when desired. What’s not to love?
What if that electric bike you purchased has a hidden danger that could cost you more than just money? What if the health and well-being of your family is at risk?
Benefits of Electric Bikes
Electric bicycles have many advantages over other forms of commuting, especially since more than half of all commuter trips in this country are under three miles in length. Besides the lower impact on the environment, consider the impact on your wallet when you don’t have to fuel your car as much.
- You can avoid bumper to bumper traffic jams of the average commuter;
- You can determine the level of physical challenge you’d like to experience by switching between manual and battery-powered commuting;
- You can improve your physical coordination;
- An invigorating ride can improve your emotional and mental well-being.
Hazards Associated with Electric Bikes
Unfortunately, electric bicycles do come with some unexpected risks. One explosion involving the lithium battery of an electric bike caused a house fire in Bend, Oregon just a few years ago. It turns out that while the battery was being charged, it inexplicably exploded, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages to the home, not to mention serious burn injuries to one individual.
This is not an isolated incident, nor have the problems initially experienced with these lithium batteries been resolved. As recently as April 2017, a similar fire occurred while an electric bicycle’s battery was being charged in Utah. What is behind these catastrophes?
The Science Behind Lithium Batteries
Prevalent in phones, electric bicycles, and other modern devices, lithium batteries produce nearly double the amount of energy for the same weight as old-fashioned batteries. Moreover, they charge quickly, and last much longer than their counterparts.
Regrettably, protection circuitry in the chargers and in the batteries themselves is necessary due to the unstable chemistry involved in this energy source. When the circuitry is not properly protected, there can be perforations, allowing seepages. If leaks occur, the outcomes can be devastating.
The unfortunate safety implications of electric bicycles have been quite well documented. Pedego conducted a voluntary recall of several lithium batteries in response to fire concerns. Other experts recommend that items powered by lithium batteries be stored carefully, where fires will not have the fuel to expand if a malfunction occurs.
If Your Electric Bike is Involved in a Fire
If you or a loved one has experienced serious personal injury or loss due to a lithium battery fire, the skilled personal injury team at the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton is eager to pursue justice on your behalf. Contact us today in Daytona & Ormond Beach for a free, confidential consultation.