Fires resulting from the charging of faulty electric mobility batteries have been plaguing a number of denser urban cities in recent years. New York City, the most populous city in the U.S., for instance, has seen more than 100 fires and 13 deaths in 2023 alone. Worst of all, fires started from lithium-ion battery packs can be incredibly difficult to extinguish, and often result in the fires spreading uncontrollably. 

Now, we previously talked about New York City passing a law requiring all e-bikes sold to have undergone UL certification. While this is indeed a step in the right direction, this doesn't address the likely tens if not hundreds of thousands of e-bikes already on the street – a lot of these of the cheaper variety devoid of any safety certification whatsoever. Alongside the regulation of e-bike batteries, New York City officials recently announced that $25 million will be provided by the federal government to fund the construction of e-bike charging  stations across the city. 

Trek Introduces Two Affordable Commuter-Focused Electric Bicycles

In a news report by ABC News, Mayor Eric Adams stated that the charging stations will provide a safe place for delivery personnel relying on their electric bicycles to charge their batteries on the go. "This means that residents will no longer need to charge the e-bikes in their apartments — what we find to be extremely dangerous, particularly when you charge them overnight,” he stated in a news conference on Sunday, June 25, 2023. 

In the same conference, senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand joined Mayor Eric Adams during the announcement. According to Schumer, the funds will enable the city to install up to 173 charging and storage stations at 53 outdoor locations. On top of this, the city is seeking additional funding in order to install even more charging stations for delivery personnel who rely on e-bikes. In total, the city hopes to install 327 charging stations. 

Alongside the announcement, fire officials have been given the directive to intensify their operations cracking down on complaints about e-bike batteries. If in the past, fire officials had three days to respond to complains, now, they must do so in just 12 hours. In 2023 alone, the city has already issued nearly 500 citations related to e-bike batteries, with fines and penalties ranging between $1,000 and $5,000 – quite a lot of money for delivery personnel who rely on low wages and tips for their daily sustenance.

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