Unsafe eBikes and eScooters, New Regulations coming.

Over 13,000 unsafe eBikes and eScooters seized at UK Felixstowe Port in 2 years. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission New Safety Guidance.

Tuesday, 23 May 2023

Jonathon Harker

The UK’s busiest port has seen 13,000-plus unsafe eBikes and eScooters seized by Suffolk Trading Standards. A further 9,000 eScooters were turned away at Felixstowe for failing to meet requirements for marking, instructions and essential safety instruction.

The news comes as eBikes and eScooters are in the spotlight over safety, particularly over cheap, substandard products and inferior batteries and chargers that pose a serious risk of fire or electric shock. Trading Standards detained the products for not meeting safety testing standards.

Consumers should stay safe “only by purchasing from a reputable retailer”, urged Trading Standards. There’s guidelines for importers too, produced by the Imports Surveillance Team, which is also available in simplified Chinese in recognition that most product consignments enter the UK after originating from China.

Graham Crisp, Head of Suffolk Trading Standards, said: “Stopping the sale of thousands of unsafe e-scooters is a fantastic achievement for our Imports Surveillance team and is a testament to their tireless work to intercept dangerous goods before these can enter the marketplace, protecting not just Suffolk residents but consumers across the country.

“Of course, people can keep themselves safe by only purchasing e-scooters from a reputable retailer, ensuring the vehicle comes with accompanying safety guidance and looking for the CE or UKCA mark.

“Whilst buying cheaper batteries or battery converter kits for e-scooters and e-bikes can be tempting for those looking to save money, they could end up paying the ultimate price.”

Councillor Andrew Reid, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Public Protection, added: “Fire services nationally are seeing an increase in incidents caused by e-scooters and e-bikes, with there sadly being a fatality following a fire in London at the beginning of the year believed to have been started by a faulty e-bike battery which burst into flames.

“Care should be taken even when using legitimate batteries and chargers; batteries should be allowed time to cool down before being charged and chargers should be unplugged immediately after use to help reduce the risk of fire.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Micromobility Safety Guidance

On December 20, 2022, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) has called on manufacturers, retailers, importers, and distributors of micromobility devices to comply with established UL safety standards. This includes products covered by UL 2272 and UL 2849, which address electrical systems in personal e-mobility devices (such as hoverboards) and eBikes, respectively.

New York City Council’s law on micromobility devices and batteries

In a move to strengthen fire safety of e-bikes, e-scooters, and the lithium-ion batteries that power such devices, on March 2, 2023, the New York City Council passed Initiative 663-A, mandating e-bikes, e-scooters, e-mobility devices, and light electric vehicle (EV) battery packs to be third-party certified. On March 20, 2023, New York City Mayor Eric Adams signed this into law. With this new law, any company selling, leasing or distributing micromobility devices, such as e-bikes or e-scooters, has until September 16, 2023, to obtain certification from an accredited testing laboratory to:

  • UL 2849, the Standard for Electrical Systems for e-Bikes, for the electrical system of any powered bicycle sold, distributed, leased, or rented in New York City.
  • UL 2272, the Standard for Electrical Systems for Personal E-Mobility Devices, for all powered mobility devices, including e-scooters, sold, distributed, leased, or rented in New York City.
  • UL 2271, the Standard for Batteries for Use in Light Electric Vehicle Applications, of any storage battery for a powered bicycle or mobility device sold, distributed, leased or rented in New York City.

Learn more about the details of the law.

UL Solutions tests and certifies micromobility devices to international, national and regional regulations to help manufacturers get safer products to market. We assess the safety of battery packs and battery management systems to the requirements of relevant safety standards to minimize the potential risk of fire, explosion and electric shock during real-world use.

As a recognized international leader in battery safety, we offer a comprehensive range of safety testing and certification solutions. Our global footprint and reach can help you meet safety, EMC and local requirements, streamlining your innovative micromobility devices’ access to markets around the world.

UL certification is a valuable marketing tool that tells your customers that your product, process, service or company has successfully met stringent requirements. Communicating this achievement can help you win in the market by strengthening your product’s presence and differentiating it from competitors.

Bottom Line - Buy a quality eBike or eScooter from an established reputable brand. Many eBike companies will cease to exist when these new regulation take effect leaving customer unable to source replacement part. Buying a low quality eBike can cost you dearly, make sure your bike is UL2849 approved for safety.



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