July 12, 2022

PSA: Ebike Battery Safety

Hi there,

As a proud Canadian company, based near Vancouver, BC, it has been troubling to hear of recent, tragic reports of fires caused by the explosion of lithium batteries used in ebikes and escooters in the area.

While our mission is to grow biking everywhere, we want to make sure first and foremost, that everyone has the necessary information to keep themselves and their loved ones safe throughout the beautiful journey of owning and riding a DŌST bike.

When it comes to the explosion of lithium batteries, the vast majority of accidents have occurred with non-compliant batteries or with batteries used improperly such as when:

  • they are overcharged;
  • they are tampered with or damaged;
  • different chargers other than the one provided by the manufacturer are used;
  • people make their own batteries (yes, this is a thing) or combine components;
  • lower-quality batteries are used.

In the simplest terms, lithium-ion batteries used in most ebikes and escooters can explode when the flow of ions have become abnormal or unstable, possibly due to issues mentioned above like a damaged or overheated battery caused by overcharging . There is also the possibility of explosion due to contaminants within the battery usually a result from improper manufacturing.

Given the rise in reported battery explosions, our friends at Human Powered Solutions recently published a paper documenting the proper ways to store and charge lithium-ion batteries used in ebikes. Although I would encourage everyone to read the report thoroughly, here are some key takeaways for me:

  • When it comes to Storage: install a smoke detector near the battery charging station or storage area; don’t store or charge battery packs that have been damaged; keep batteries at room temperature, out of direct sunlight to prevent overheating; and don’t store your battery or bike by a single exit point.
  • When it comes to Charging: only charge batteries with the correct charger supplied by the manufacturer; buy only high quality batteries, preferably from the ebike manufacturer; never charge a lithium-ion battery pack overnight or unattended; monitor charging batteries at all times and disconnect the battery when it is done charging and store it in a safe place.
  • In an emergency: if a battery starts smoking, emitting unusual noises, or showing signs of melting, place the battery in a safe place; call the fire department; and keep a fire extinguisher nearby in the event the battery ignites something else

At DŌST, we use only the highest quality cell batteries from Samsung and LG, and undergo all necessary tests and precautions to ensure full compliance with all regulations in North America.

However, it is still important that you follow all manufacturer instructions for use as well as important information like that provided by the paper mentioned above.

And please, if you have any questions when it comes to safely handling and using your battery, contact our team through the various ways available on our site.

Connect with a Member of the DOST team

Stay safe and happy riding!

Sam