NYC pols push for e-bike battery regulation after string of lethal fires

Following a rash of lethal fires attributable to defective e-bike scooter batteries, a Metropolis Councilman plans to introduce a brand new invoice prohibiting the sale of non-certified batteries.

Democrat Oswald Feliz’s district is amongst a number of which have seen fires get away on account of defective e-bike batteries. A number of fires have turned deadly — together with an Aug. 1 blaze that trapped a 2-year-old and her mom inside their house.

You are reading: NYC pols push for e-bike battery regulation after string of lethal fires

E-bike associated fires have killed 9 individuals and injured 164 others within the final two years, in accordance with FDNY — in comparison with zero deaths the earlier two years.

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To fight the problem, Feliz’s invoice, which has but to be launched, would bar the sale of e-bikes that don’t have batteries licensed by a “nationally acknowledged testing lab” and would additionally ban the sale of bikes with refurbished batteries. It comes as a substitute for a metropolis proposal to ban the automobiles from being saved in public housing.

NYC pols consider bill in wake of e-scooter fires
Firefighters on the scene of an all-hands hearth at 110 E. 129th St. in Manhattan on Aug. 3, 2022.
Robert Mecea

“The rise in e-bike fires is regarding and it’s a problem that won’t go away by itself,” Feliz mentioned. “It requires legislative motion and it’s why I’m proud to introduce laws that can assist guarantee batteries bought in NYC are protected and don’t hurt our hardworking households.”

Feliz can be working with Manhattan Metropolis Councilwoman Gale Brewer, who has her personal package deal of e-bike security payments she plans to introduce.

Brewer’s payments wouldn’t solely ban refurbished batteries, but in addition push supply app firms to cowl the prices of extra legit — and costlier — {hardware}, Streetsblog reported on Aug. 17.

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The councilwoman has additionally been scouring her district for potential garages to host charging station for employees, she informed The Submit.

NYC e-bike fire bill
A Fireplace at 1400 Bergen St. could have been began by an e-bike, in accordance with officers.
Michael Dalton

“I cant say that I’ve all of it found out. We don’t need anyone to get harm — that’s the aim,” she mentioned.

NYCHA has pushed to ban the automobiles totally in response to the fires, however Feliz and Brewer search a lighter contact. Each officers oppose the ban, which the Bronx rep referred to as “misguided.”

“Banning them will most likely not assist enhance hearth security as a result of a few of the batteries are protected to be used, however will as an alternative trigger financial hurt to hardworking residents who depend on e-bikes to earn a dwelling and help their households,” Feliz mentioned.

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