E-bike and e-scooter fires at a record high in London

The London Fire Brigade are warning Londoners about the dangers of e-bikes and e-scooters, as Kaf Okpattah reports

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) have tackled more e-bike and e-scooter fires so far in 2023 than they did for the whole of 2022.

By the end of August, crews had tackled 104 e-bike fires, and 19 e-scooter fires, overtaking the 116 fires attended in 2022.

Three people have died as a result of e-bike fires in the capital this year and more than 50 have been injured.

London Fire Brigade are calling for better regulation and safety for e-bikes and batteries Credit: LFB

E-bikes and scooters are powered by lithium batteries, which can catch fire very quickly when they are damaged or begin to fail. LFB officials are calling for regulation and standards to be introduced for e-bikes, conversion kits, batteries and chargers.

Speaking about the increasing use of e-bikes and scooters in London, Deputy Commissioner Dom Ellis said: "We recognise the environmental benefits they bring to travel in our city, but the stark reality is that some of these vehicles are proving to be incredibly dangerous."

"Particularly if they have been modified with second-hand products or if batteries are used with the wrong chargers. "

Fire investigators found that almost half of e-bike fires they looked at involved a converted e-bike and three-quarters of the fires involved the battery.

More than four in ten e-bikes were on charge at the time the fire started

Sofia Duarte was the first person in 2023 to die in a fire caused by an e-bike, when she died on New Years Day in South Bermondsey.

Family friend of Sofia, Alda Simoes, is campaigning for better regulation of the industry.

"She had so many dreams," she told ITV News London.

"I think the government is failing. So many authorities try to take steps to prevent these deaths."

There are still no laws in place for the types of scooters people buy and ride, and without enforcement in place, it's likely the number of fires, and injuries, will continue to increase.

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