Guides

Ebikes and fire safety: what you need to know

John Clark, Velospeed
John Clark 07.12.23

As we have probably all seen, there are a lot of stories in the press about ebike batteries catching fire. This is obviously quite worrying for those of us with electric bikes, or those who are thinking about getting them.

So what’s the reality, what’s the truth behind the sensational headlines? The Bicycle Association and the Association of Cycle Traders (ACT) have joined forces to give some clear guidance on this subject. They confirm what we tell our customers:

An e-bike is considered Very Safe if it is:

  • Bought as a complete system of ebike, charger and instructions
  • Bought from a UK based seller and with a Declaration of Conformity and UKCA/CE marking to indicate it meets UK standards
  • From a reputable brand, for example all the brands we sell!
  • Bought from and maintained by a reputable retailer – well, we’ve been selling ebikes since 2008 and are as reputable as you can get!
  • Charged only with the original charger and using only the manufacturer’s original battery packs
  • Fully road legal as an Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle
  • Used according to the instructions

It may present a fire risk:

  • If it is assembled by the rider or an unqualified person or business by adding an e-bike conversion kit to a normal bike
  • And/or if bought direct from an overseas seller, not answerable to UK Trading Standards (including many sales via online marketplaces)
  • If it does not meet UK/EU standards
  • If it has been tampered with or de-restricted
  • If it uses batteries and chargers from different suppliers, of uncertain compatibility and safety
  • If the battery pack has been damaged
  • If instructions are missing or incomplete

The guidance is downloadable here: https://velospeed.co.uk/downloads/Very%20safe%20vs%20high%20risk-WEB.pdf

We have never had a problem with fire, in common with most UK dealers, but it’s important to keep up to date with rules and regulations, which we take very seriously. If you have any questions – please get in touch.

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