NEW YORK (PIX11) — The New York City Council took action Monday to stop a surge in deadly fires caused by the lithium-ion batteries used in e-bikes and scooters.
Around 65,000 delivery workers use e-bikes and e-scooters to make a living, according to the City Council. Members of the Safer Charging coalition, which is made up of fire safety advocates and delivery workers, want the bikes to stay around, but they are calling for battery manufacturing companies to be held accountable. They want the batteries tested, regulated and kept affordable.
So far this year, nearly 200 fires, more than 130 injuries and six deaths were likely caused by lithium ion batteries used in mobility devices, according to the FDNY. It’s nearly double the number from last year.
The City Council on Monday discussed five bills to improve safety. Under the bills, there would be a public education campaign by the FDNY, which would also keep data on fires caused by e-bikes and scooters. The Department of Consumer and Worker Protection would also be required to provide safety education for delivery workers. Two of the bills would ban the sale of unregulated and used lithium- ion batteries.