We’re sure you’ve seen at least one You Tube video of an e-bike or e-scooter battery exploding and catching fire. A chilling site, right? Preventing fires in e-bike batteries is essential for safety. E-bike batteries typically use lithium-ion technology, and while they are generally safe, there are precautions you can take to minimize the risk of fires or thermal runaway. Here are our top tips to on keeping your e-bike battery safe, helping to prevent fires in e-bike batteries.
Only Use High Quality Batteries
We recommend only using batteries that are intended for your specific e-bike and therefore are produced by that particular manufacturer. If you need to replace a battery, let’s face it, they’re not cheap – you’re probably talking at least £600/£700 so the temptation might be to buy a cheaper alternative. Don’t. It’s not worth the risk. Cheap or knockoff components may not have the same safety features as branded products. It’s also not worth risking buying a second-hand battery since you don’t know the history of the item. Invest in high-quality, reputable batteries and chargers – as much as it might hurt your pocket, it’s better than potentially hurting yourself.
When you’re not using your e-bike, store it in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. Extreme heat can damage the battery and increase the risk of thermal runaway.
Thermal runaway is an event that occurs within a battery cell when the internal temperature of the battery reaches a threshold that triggers a chemical reaction. This reaction generates additional heat, intensifying the temperature and leading to further chemical reactions that generate even more heat. Once initiated, thermal runaway can be extremely challenging to stop and can lead to battery damage and even worse a fire.
Charge in a Safe Location
Charge your e-bike in a well-ventilated area, away from flammable materials and not in your house! It shouldn’t be charged near materials, paper, or other combustibles. If you’re charging the battery whilst it’s detached from the bike, you can use a fire-resistant charging battery box and if transporting your battery separate from your bike, be sure to do so in a fireproof e-bike battery bag.
Inspect your battery and e-bike for damage or signs of wear and tear. If you notice any physical damage or exposed wires, get in touch with your e-bike retailer for advice on a reputable repair or replacement.
When cleaning your bike, be sure to remove the battery first and especially avoid cleaning with a direct jet of water.
Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for charging your battery. Overcharging can lead to thermal runaway. Only use the charger that came with your e-bike, and do not leave the battery on the charger for extended periods.
Avoid Extreme Temperatures
Do not charge or use your e-bike battery in extremely hot or cold conditions. High temperatures can cause the battery to overheat, and cold temperatures can reduce its performance.
Be Cautious When Charging
Avoid charging your battery overnight or when you’re not around to monitor it and as soon as it’s fully charged, unplug the charger.
Avoid running the battery to its absolute lowest capacity regularly, as it can weaken the battery over time. Most e-bikes have a Battery Management System (BMS) to help prevent over-discharging.
Avoid Physical Damage
Handle your e-bike and battery with care. Avoid dropping, puncturing, or crushing the battery, as physical damage can lead to safety issues. If your battery does incur damage, call your e-bike retailer or manufacturer for advice.
Follow Manufacturer Guidelines
Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for your specific e-bike and battery model. They may have unique recommendations for safe use and maintenance.
Dispose of Old Batteries Properly
When it’s time to replace your e-bike battery, be sure to dispose of the old one in accordance with local regulations. Lithium-ion batteries should not be thrown in the wheelie bin and discarded with the weekly bin collection.
By following these guidelines and being proactive in your e-bike battery maintenance and usage, you can minimise the risk of fires and ensure your e-bike remains safe to ride. If you ever suspect any issues with your battery, and you bought your bike from RideOn E-bikes, give us a call for advice or consult the manufacturer’s guide.
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