New York City's fire department said e-bike or e-scooter batteries caused 202 fires, 142 injuries, and six deaths in 2022.
As electric bikes continue to grow in popularity, so has the number of battery fires, some of which are fatal.
This past weekend, an e-bike sparked a massive, hours-long blaze that destroyed a Bronx grocery store and injured seven people.
In Philadelphia, the fire department said it doesn't track the number of deaths and injuries caused by e-bike batteries. But in New York City, the numbers are alarming.
So if you own e-bikes, you need to know how to prevent these deadly flames.
One man died after a battery from an e-bike sparked a blaze in 2021, and a year later, New York City's fire department said e-bike or e-scooter batteries had caused 202 fires, 142 injuries, and six deaths.
Similar incidents can be found across the country.
"When the lithium-ion batteries used in e-bikes are poorly made, overused, overcharged or used with the wrong charger, they can cause fires," said Ben Preston from Consumer Reports. "Those fires can be very violent and difficult to put out."
With very little oversight, some companies that make low-quality e-bikes and batteries are finding loopholes to sell their products on e-commerce sites like Amazon.
"Thanks to a trade law unofficially known as the 'Amazon loophole,' which allows items under $800 to sort of dodge taxes and regulations that other products might have to go through," said Preston.
Amazon told Consumer Reports, "We continuously monitor the products sold in our store for product safety concerns and when appropriate, remove a product from the store."
If you're shopping for e-bike, look for one with a UL certified label. Then, follow the manufaturer's instructions for charging and storage, and always use the power adapter and cord supplied by the manufacturer.
When you need a new battery, be sure to buy it from the same manufacturer of the e-bike.
And if your battery starts doing anything unusual, like making a hissing sound or if it smells odd, unplug it immediately.