Electrical Safety Experts Focus on E-Scooter, Mobility Device Lithium Ion Battery Risks in New Campaign
A new campaign was launched this month by a non-profit focused on electrical safety, which is intended to reduce the number of deaths, injuries, and property loss caused by lithium ion battery fires that power many popular e-scooters, e-bikes and other mobility devices.
The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is working to raise awareness about the lithium ion battery risks in a new campaign,s “Electrification: E-Mobility”, which was launched on May 1 as part of its annual National Electrical Safety Month program.
Despite increased attention in recent years on the risks associated with the lithium ion batteries used in E-scooters and other mobility devices, thousands of fires continue to occur with these products, due to their rising popularity.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warned last year about risking rates of hospitalizations from e-scooter injuries and accidents, which surged by 127% between 2017 and 2021. However, the agency has also highlighted the risks of burns and explosions from lithium ion batteries used to power many of these new products.
Fire Risks Increase With Improper Use of Lithium Ion Batteries
As part of this year’s campaign, the ESFI released a series of videos and infographics on its website and through social media, which focus on the e-mobility safety theme.
The campaign materials emphasize safe lithium ion battery charging techniques and instructs e-scooter and other mobility device users on how to prevent the batteries from becoming damaged and overheated, which can start a fire.
Recommendations for safe lithium ion battery use with e-mobility device include:
- Only use manufacturer-provided or authorized batteries and charging equipment.
- Only charge batteries at room temperature.
- Do not store batteries in direct sunlight.
- Remove the battery or charging device from power once fully charged.
- Keep batteries and e-mobility devices away from high heat sources.
- Discontinue using batteries that are leaking, smoking, or do not hold a charge.
“The materials for this year’s campaign explain how the rapid advancements made to emerging technology, most notably electric vehicles, require further electrification and safe, efficient devices that can support this increased energy demand,” said the ESFI in a statement on its website.
As E-Device Popularity Increases, So Do Risks of Battery Fires
The ESFI’s 2023 National Electric Safety Month campaign and its “Electrification: E-Mobility” theme comes as e-scooter, e-bike, and other e-mobility devices are increasingly blamed for lithium ion battery fires.
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According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were 200 reports of battery fires or overheating incidents linked to e-mobility devices in 2022.
Most of the reports originated from densely populated areas like New York City, where e-scooters and other e-mobility devices are an increasingly popular alternative to passenger motor vehicles. E-scooters and similar devices are also frequently marketed to children, which has led to product recalls due to fire risks.
In March, the CPSC issued a recall of more than 50,000 Jetson Rogue hover boards after the product caused a house fire that killed two children. The Jetson Rogue Hover board recall was initiated when federal safety officials determined that the lithium ion batteries powering the devices were prone to overheating, sparking, and melting.
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