The rise in fires caused by batteries from e-bikes and e-scooters has caused alarm for firefighters across the country - Chris Choi reports
An ITV News investigation found fresh evidence of a link between hundreds of fires across the country - findings which led to new warnings about one of the fastest growing transport trends.
E-bike and e-scooter batteries pack a lot of energy into a small space, but if they get damaged or are charged incorrectly the consequences can be dire. Our new Freedom of Information findings show an alarming rise in the number of fires caused by e-bike and e-scooter batteries. There were 40 fires in 2020, an amount which more than doubled last year to 106.
And this year, there have been 203 incidents all over the country, meaning an increase of more than 400% in two years.
These vehicles use lithium-ion batteries, which cause unusually intense fires if they overheat. They can also give off toxic gases.
Fire officers are worried that owners often charge them overnight or in communal hallways and stairwells where they block exits in an emergency. Experts advise that you only buy e-bikes and e-scooters from reputable dealers and manufacturers, so you can check that all safety standards have been met. They say we should be especially cautious with conversion kits that allow you to transform an ordinary bike into an e-version. Although some are perfectly safe, others require you to use different parts from different suppliers, which may prove incompatible. If you have an e-bike or e-scooter, never use it or charge it if the battery gets damaged and only ever power it up with the correct charger.