Survey: Risky Charging Behavior by Micromobility Owners

Survey: Risky Charging Behavior by Micromobility Owners

Amid soaring sales of e-bikes and e-scooters in recent years, there’s a lack of awareness among owners about the lithium-ion batteries that power the devices that could lead to risky behavior and even deadly fires, according to recent surveys.

The nine-page report, Raising the Risk: How Safety Oversights of E-Mobility Riders Threaten More Lithium-Ion Battery Fires, by UL Standards and Engagements (ULSE) shows that more than half of owners (53 percent) continue charging batteries even after reaching a full charge while almost as many (41 percent) routinely charge overnight.

Almost half of e-bikers (49 percent) who charge at home block fire exits – a contributing factor in several cases where death occurred. More than a quarter of users (26 percent) report charging batteries unattended while away from home. It takes only 20 seconds from the first sign of smoke to a room being engulfed in flames from a lithium-ion battery, while a traditional fire typically takes about three minutes, according to tests by First Safety Research Institute.

The findings are derived from two separate online surveys of 2,200 U.S. adults on e-mobility safety, conducted in January and April.

Almost half of e-bike owners (48 percent) have replaced their old e-bike battery for a variety of reasons, including:

  • 28 percent, swelling or bulging on the old battery
  • 24 percent, old battery overheating
  • 16 percent, old battery damaged from a crash or collision
  • 11 percent, old battery caught fire
For e-bikes and scooters, ULSE has three standards that cover devices and batteries that power them:
  • UL 2849, the standard for e-bikes
  • UL 2272, for personal e-mobility devices
  • UL 2271, the standard for lithium-ion batteries in e-mobility devices