More NYC E-Bike Fire Deaths in 2023 Than 2022, 2021 Combined

By Matis Glenn


There have been more E-bike fire-related deaths in the first half of this year than the previous two years combined, according to FDNY data, as reported in the New York Post.

Four people died in 2021, and 79 were injured in an estimated 104 battery-related fires citywide.

In 2022, six people were reportedly killed; the number of injuries nearly doubled, to 142. The number of fires themselves increased to 220.

In April of this year, two children were killed in an E-bike related fire in the Astoria section of Queens. In another fire, one man was killed and 10 people were injured in a home near LaGuardia airport in January.

Experts say that the fires are often caused by charging E-bikes and scooters overnight, or leaving them unattended. Cheap, used batteries or chargers are also common causes of fires, as are devices from unverified manufacturers.

In March, Rep. Ritchie Torres (NY-15) announced that he is introducing legislation to regulate the lithium-ion batteries used in scooters and E-bikes. The “Setting Consumer Standards for Lithium-Ion Batteries Act” would require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to create legal safety standards for the devices, to minimize the risk of fires.

“…The time has come for the federal government to act because this problem is not isolated to just New York,” Torres said in a statement in March. “We must work to create and implement national safety standards for lithium-ion batteries in order to protect people and places from unreasonable risk, serious injury or damage, and/or death.”

Last November, the New York City Council held a hearing about the dangers of E-bikes and scooters.

Councilman Robert Holden (D-Queens) wants to ban all E-bikes and scooters until proper safety precautions can be established.

“The reckless rush to legalize e-mobility devices without regulation has unleashed a terrifying wave of fires, injuries, and tragic deaths,” Holden told The Post. “It’s heartbreaking to witness the consequences of the previous City Council’s ill-advised actions as these incidents become more and more common.”

In legislation introduced by Holden, E-bikes and scooters would be “registered, licensed, inspected, and insured like any other motor vehicle.”

On April 30, a law came into effect requiring city landlords to post a safety guide approved by the FDNY regarding battery safety.

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