Are you thinking about buying an e-bike? Maybe you’re weighing your options about whether to go with an e-bike versus a traditional bike? In either case, you may want to keep this bit of information in mind. According to a recent article on the Futurism website, e-bike batteries have a tendency to overcharge and explode.
A battery explosion can occur if the on-bike charger doesn’t shut off like it once a battery reaches a full charge. The thing to keep in mind is these bikes are being pushed to the limit by bike delivery riders who work eight-hour shifts. Most of us, even users of traditional bikes, don’t go out for that many hours at a time.
E-bike batteries are made of lithium-ion. These are the same type of batteries used in smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers along with being in a host of other electronic devices. A battery that is in a state of overcharging can quickly reach temperatures of 500 celsius (932 degrees) where it will detonate. These batteries could also leak.
Expensive Replacement Batteries
Another problem bike delivery riders encounter is that the batteries for their e-bikes don’t hold a charge. That means they eventually need to buy a replacement battery and they aren’t cheap. So, in order to get around this problem, riders buy third-party e-bike batteries at a discounted price.
The problem with this scenario, however, is these batteries may not be fully compatible with the charger installed on an e-bike. So, the chances of the battery catching fire or exploding are again highly possible.
To me, this seems like a lot of worry and expense to deal with just to ride a bike. Then again, I’m not a bike delivery rider, so I may be talking out of turn here.
NYC Mayor Steps In
The plight of e-bike delivery riders reached the mayor of New York City, which is where many people work as delivery riders. He decided to set aside $1 million dollars for delivery riders since these jobs are such an important part of the city’s cultural landscape.
This financial allocation will make it possible for delivery riders to safely charge their bikes without relying on on-bike chargers. The mayor also banned the sale of refurbished batteries.
These two steps seem like a workaround or quick fix to a larger problem. Eventually, the cycling industry will need to find a solution to the charging problem that exists with e-bike lithium-ion batteries.
E-bikes are probably an excellent choice for delivery riders who are covering lots of ground during the course of a shift. The assistance it provides can possibly get riders to their destinations faster, although how much faster it’s hard to say.
Risking one’s life to ride a ticking time bomb, though, seems hardly worth it. For us general or casual riders, e-bikes may or may not be the best option. Just keep in mind if you are a long-distance rider or someone who tends to be out all day on a ride, you may want to keep an eye on your battery as it charges.
Do you have an e-bike? Are you thinking about investing in an e-bike over a traditional bike? Please like, comment, and share this post if you found it informative.