Deadly E-Bikes: Four Explosions in New York Every Week

Deadly E-Bike Fire. Source NPR, Fair Use, Low Resolution image to Identify the Subject.

Essay by Eric Worrall

First published on JoNova; BREAKING NEWS – 38 people have been injured in a New York e-Bike fire. “These bikes when they fail, they fail like a blowtorch,” said Dan Flynn, the chief fire marshal at the New York Fire Department.

Fires from exploding e-bike batteries multiply in NYC — sometimes fatally

October 30, 20225:00 AM ET
Heard on Weekend Edition Sunday

NEW YORK — Four times a week on average, an e-bike or e-scooter battery catches fire in New York City.

Sometimes, it does so on the street, but more often, it happens when the owner is recharging the lithium-ion battery. A mismatched charger won’t always turn off automatically when the battery’s fully charged and keeps heating up. Or, the highly flammable electrolyte inside the battery’s cells leaks out of its casing and ignites, setting off a chain reaction. 

These bikes when they fail, they fail like a blowtorch,” said Dan Flynn, the chief fire marshal at the New York Fire Department. “We’ve seen incidents where people have described them as explosive — incidents where they actually have so much power, they’re actually blowing walls down in between rooms and apartments.”

A fire in Brooklyn in April was traced to a faulty e-bike or e-scooter battery that ignited and gutted two houses.

…Read more:

Is there any “green” technology which isn’t out to kill us?

The severity and frequency of these fires makes me wonder if I have underestimated the fire risk from E-automobiles. How long it will take for insurers to catch on?

Videos of e-bikes exploding in a Chinese apartment 3 years ago.

While you would expect better manufacturing standards for a 5-6 figure E-Automobile than a cheap e-bike, certainly less risk from “mismatched chargers”, but there have been some serious problems with the more expensive e-vehicles.

For example, an uncontrollable brand-new E-automobile fire destroyed the Felicity Ace cargo freighter.

Imagine a similar fire in a large New York apartment block, with a carpark full of EVs.

Such a fire could conceivably cause the building to collapse. E-vehicle fires are hot enough to severely compromise steel and concrete structural supports, if there are enough flammable lithium batteries nearby. The heat and toxic smoke would make it difficult to escape. I mean, look at the damage a single small e-scooter did to the apartment in the video (see above). Imagine the apartment fire above multiplied a thousand-fold, on the carpark floor of a high-rise apartment building.

There is one thing which worries me even more than the current green push for deadly e-vehicles. Growing awareness of the risks from Lithium batteries could trigger a hard pivot towards hydrogen powered vehicles, which in my opinion could be even worse.

Update (EW): Added more videos and images of e-vehicles burning.

Breaking news (h/t Derek Wittman): 38 people have been injured in a New York e-Bike fire.

E-bike fire injures 38 in Midtown East apartment building

By Michelle Bocanegra
Published Nov 6, 2022, at 4:49 a.m.
Modified Nov 6, 2022, at 5:53 a.m.

As of early Saturday afternoon, 38 people had been reported as injured, with officials saying that number was likely to increase. Most injuries were minor, but two people sustained life-threatening injuries and five others were seriously injured, officials said. Civilians made up the bulk of the total injuries from the fire, though five firefighters were also hurt.

The fire, which began on the 20th floor of the building, was caused by a lithium-ion battery, according to Commissioner Laura Kavanagh. Two people were rescued directly from the apartment where the fire originated.

…Read more:

E-bikes have now caused a mass casualty event. It seems like it will only be a matter of time until WUWT reports 38 deaths, or maybe hundreds of deaths, rather than 38 injuries.

via Watts Up With That?

November 6, 2022