E-bikes are popular among people especially riding enthusiasts. They use the ebikes as transportation tools or to get entertainment. As a convenient and green way to travel, it has become the mainstay of short-distance transportation. In some specific cities, every household owns an e-bike. Each electric bicycle is built with a battery-powered. It brings a potential risk of an electric bike battery fires.
In recent years, there have been an increasing number of fire incidents that have seen e-bike batteries catch fire. Understanding how to prevent electric bike battery fires, and what to do after a fire, is important for everyone who uses or sells e-bikes. In the following article, we will explore these questions about ebike battery fire in depth.
Why Do Ebike Batteries Catch Fire?
E-bike batteries are actually safer while riding. But ebike batteries catch fire during charging. When the environment of the charge is complex, it will cause a chemical reaction. The probability that an electric bike battery will catch fire while charging is because the battery and the related wiring are damaged before or during the charging process.
So what are the behaviors that can cause a fire to start in a battery when an e-bike battery is charging?
Overcharging and power-loss
If the charger voltage element fails, charging will not stop even if the battery is fully charged. This can lead to distortion (expansion) of the battery case, or even to the battery blowing up.
When the charge is low and the voltage drops, the user is still using the electric bike, even with a mileage booster. This causes the battery to become under-voltage and thus “power-loss”. Frequent “power loss” will cause the lead layer of the battery plates to gradually peel off until the plates are damaged, and the risk of charging is greatly increased.
Non-standard charging equipment
Many people are not very careful with external charging devices. For example, using chargers with incorrect power transfer (voltage and current) for a long time, such as taking a 60V charger to charge a 48V battery. It can damage the internal structure of the battery and cause the ebike battery fire risk.
In addition to e-bike battery charging， the following reasons may not be ignored:
- Self-modification of e-bike batteries without professional guidance
E-bike battery conversion is a complicated process, so I don’t suggest you convert your e-bike battery by yourself. A little bit of misuse can lead to overcharging and short-circuiting, which can cause the e bike lithium battery fires.
- Mixing old batteries
Old batteries continue to be used, or even mixed with different-capacity batteries.
- Low-Quality batteries
Poor-quality batteries may lack essential safety features such as flame retardant materials or voltage control mechanisms, making them more susceptible to overheating and starting potential fires. That’s why purchasing high-quality batteries from reputable manufacturers is critical to reduce the risk.
If the e-bike battery is used for a long time or exposed to high temperatures, the temperature will be too high, which will ignite the flammable electrolyte inside the battery cell. Inadequate cooling systems, excessive battery loads, or harsh riding conditions can lead to battery overheating.
- Manufacturing defects or design flaws
In rare cases, manufacturing defects or design flaws can cause an e bike battery fire. This can be due to improper insulation, inadequate safety mechanisms, or poor quality control during the manufacturing process.
How to Prevent Ebike Battery Fires for Personal Use?
Personal use of e-bike batteries is one of the easiest things that can cause an ebikes battery fires due to a variety of small oversights. So please keep the following suggestions in mind.
- Do not buy third-party batteries or chargers from an unprofessional supplier; there is a high risk of non-compatibility.
- Do not overcharge your e-bike battery.
- Do not expose the battery to high temperatures, such as direct sunlight or in a hot car.
- Do not drop or puncture the battery as this may result in a short circuit and fire.
- Store ebike batteries in a cool, dry place away from flammable materials.
- Regularly check the battery for signs of damage, such as swelling or cracking.
Can An E-bike Battery Explode If Left in Storage?
In fact, the likelihood of an e-bike battery exploding while in storage is extremely low. E-bike batteries are generally designed with a variety of safety features to prevent such an event from occurring.
In order to ensure maximum safety, however, we must follow proper storage guidelines. Commonly used lithium-ion e-bike batteries have mechanisms such as built-in protection circuits that monitor and control the battery’s voltage, temperature, and current.
Generally, we store batteries at about 40-60% of their capacity and store them in a cool, dry place where the temperature is best kept at a stable ±25°C. For e-bike batteries, you need to use a proper storage container, such as the original battery box or a non-conductive bag. This prevents any contact with conductive materials that could cause a short circuit.
It is important to note that even if proper storage methods are followed, the condition of the battery must be evaluated periodically and replacement considered if deemed necessary or recommended by the battery manufacturer.
How Can E-bike Charging Stations Reduce the Lithium Battery Ebike Fire?
E-bike charging stations actually play a key role in reducing the risk of fire. These charging stations not only provide reliable and convenient charging solutions, but they can also take various measures to ensure the safety of e-bike users.
One of the main ways in which charging stations can reduce the risk of fire is through strict quality control and robust safety protocols. Reputable charging stations will follow strict safety protocols, including regular maintenance, inspection, and replacement of faulty equipment. Charging station staff will also be provided with appropriate training on safe operation and charging procedures.
It is also important that electric bike battery fires detection and prevention systems will be installed in almost all charging stations. Such as smoke detectors, fire suppression systems, and heat sensors. These systems can detect potential fire hazards and respond quickly to reduce the risk.
Charging stations pay close attention to the design of the charging zone. There must be adequate ventilation and cooling system. Therefore, proper spacing should be maintained between each charging station to prevent excessive heat buildup.
At charging stations, we can see charging safety guidelines and instructions posted everywhere, which also help users charge their batteries properly.
E-bike charging stations are the primary location for reducing the risk of electric bike battery fires. In other words, these action points enable both e-bike users and e-bike charging stations to significantly reduce the risk of battery fires and ensure safe operation.
How Can Compliance Testing Make E-bike Batteries Safer?
The compliance testing ensures that the e-bike battery meets certain safety standards and makes it safer. These standards may include, but are not limited to:
UL 2849: This standard applies to lithium-ion batteries used in e-bikes. It covers various safety requirements such as overcharging, overheating, and short-circuit protection.
UN 38.3: This standard applies to the transportation of dangerous goods including lithium-ion batteries. It covers packaging, labeling, and marking requirements.
IEC 62133: This standard applies to the safety of portable rechargeable batteries. It covers various safety requirements such as internal short circuit protection, overcharge protection, and thermal runaway protection.
By complying with these standards, e-bike battery manufacturers can help ensure the ebike battery safety in use.
In conclusion, understanding what causes ebike battery fires and taking the necessary precautions is what we need. This way we can support you to prevent e-bike battery fires.
At CMB, we make e-bikes batteries and dedicated chargers with high quality. We also provide you the user manuals with specific instructions on how to safely maintain and use the batteries. If there are any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask!