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Fires from exploding e-bike batteries
multiply in NYC — sometimes fatally

Original Article

Posted By: zephyrgirl, 11/1/2022 11:35:51 AM

NEW YORK — Four times a week on average, an e-bike or e-scooter battery catches fire in New York City. Sometimes, it does so on the street, but more often, it happens when the owner is recharging the lithium ion battery. A mismatched charger won't always turn off automatically when the battery's fully charged, and keeps heating up. Or, the highly flammable electrolyte inside the battery's cells leaks out of its casing and ignites, setting off a chain reaction. "These bikes when they fail, they fail like a blowtorch,"


Any other product with this kind of record would have been yanked off the market by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Because they're "green" they're given a pass. Besides, what's a few dead immigrant delivery drivers?

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Reply 1 - Posted by: MrDeplorable 11/1/2022 11:52:19 AM (No. 1320887)
Ah, the wonders and the blunders of modern technology.
12 people like this.

Reply 2 - Posted by: JHHolliday 11/1/2022 12:01:12 PM (No. 1320903)
Geez. Here we see the Achilles Heel of all EVs, battery storage. Develop a safe, reasonably priced battery that will give me a 500 mile range that I can charge in 15 minutes and I will buy an EV. It will happen sometime in the future, just not in my lifetime.
15 people like this.

Reply 3 - Posted by: red1066 11/1/2022 12:27:35 PM (No. 1320936)
Huge lawsuits and the elimination of the Corvair and the Pinto because people died. Why not all electric vehicles?
22 people like this.

Reply 4 - Posted by: Twinkle93 11/1/2022 12:41:18 PM (No. 1320966)
Good thing Trump isn’t
2 people like this.

Reply 5 - Posted by: bobmadison 11/1/2022 12:45:09 PM (No. 1320982)
The biggest scam, boondoggle and hornswaggle in the history of the USA.
20 people like this.

Reply 6 - Posted by: Twinkle93 11/1/2022 12:46:12 PM (No. 1320985)
Good thing Trump still isn’t in office. He would have a meeting with the bike and battery makers and solve the problem. Not leave it up to know nothing politicians.
10 people like this.

Reply 7 - Posted by: ASAvet 11/1/2022 12:53:09 PM (No. 1320998)
Poster 5 -- other than Obama
6 people like this.

Reply 8 - Posted by: MattMusson1 11/1/2022 1:21:00 PM (No. 1321032)
Because nickel and cobalt are in short supply, battery makers are skimping on them. And, they are what keeps Lithium stable. Remember a few years back when Samsung tried that and phones started exploding? PS - Recent estimates state that 70% of Chinese made lithium batteries come from Uighur Muslim Concentration Camps. Slave Labor EVs.
9 people like this.

Reply 9 - Posted by: TexaTucky 11/1/2022 1:24:54 PM (No. 1321041)
Fires that multiply fatally . . . usually die out.
4 people like this.

Reply 10 - Posted by: DVC 11/1/2022 1:26:22 PM (No. 1321043)
Lithium batteries are just dangerous, that's all there is to it. Sometimes they just explode and burn furiously, like an incendiary device, very difficult to extinguish.
8 people like this.

Reply 11 - Posted by: Rather Read 11/1/2022 1:37:37 PM (No. 1321057)
Hmm, scary. The only batteries I use are the 40 volt for my weed eater and lawn mower. I like them just fine and like not having to mess with oil and gas. I would love to have a good, safe reasonably priced EV that will charge quickly. My grandchildren might have this. I doubt if I will.
2 people like this.

Reply 12 - Posted by: Schnapps 11/1/2022 3:40:25 PM (No. 1321164)
There are inherently safe lithium batteries in use worldwide. You just won't find them in a e-bike or a car.
4 people like this.

Reply 13 - Posted by: DVC 11/1/2022 5:51:24 PM (No. 1321254)
Re #2, when we were doing 'first principles' basic research in the 1970s at an engineering university for 'low emissions' vehicles, and we were primarily looking at transit buses, we looked at, from a theoretical standpoint, an extremely wide range of methods of storing energy which could apply to a larger vehicle. We looked at batteries, a very wide range from molten sulfur cells to the Edison nickel-iron cells, to nickel-cadmium and lead-acid, used in the common auto starting batteries and golf carts, and we looked at high pressure gas storage of energy, and high speed flywheels storing energy. The current lithium batteries were not commercial products at the time, considered too unstable to have any practical application. We had a team of engineering graduate students and a mechanical engineering professor, did a lot of 'literature survey' work and held many meetings discussing all forms of energy storage. Fairly early on we identified a fundamental potential problem with all methods of a "concentrated" storage of a large amount of energy. The potential problem is whether the storage system can have a sudden, unintended and catastrophic release of the stored energy. Since we were trying to store a large amount of energy in a very small space....this 'uncontrolled release' issue had to be explored. Nitroglycerine stores a very large amount of energy, and in the 1800s, there were a number of attempts at 'nitroglycerine engines' which would take this energy and convert it to drive a vehicle or a useful machine. These, as you may expect, all ended with destructive explosions in the machines...not to mention the potential for a car accident with a "fuel tank" with several gallons of nitroglycerine. We obviously didn't consider it, but the concept of unintended release of energy can apply more widely. Gasoline has the potential for a serious uncontrolled energy release, although, movie plots notwithstanding, fires are relatively rare, and usually not too catastrophic, although certainly serious. Diesel fuel is more difficult to ignite, so a safer fuel. High speed flywheels were examined theoretically, such as an 8 foot diameter very heavy flywheel spinning inside a vacuum housing at perhaps 200,000 RPMs. Lots of energy in one of those things. And connected to a generator and motor, easy to add or remove energy. But....if the flywheel fractures, you can have large chunks of flywheel exiting the housing and probably going through a brick wall or two before stopping. A very bad uncontrolled release potential. And the gyroscopic effects seemed insurmountable for steering, too. And it is turning out that lithium batteries have this same sort of an "uncontrolled, unplanned" release issue. Lots of energy, and sometimes the batteries break down internally and there is a furious fire, and the nature of lithium as a very reactive metal makes these fires extremely difficult to extinguish. And what about the safety of playing a stream of water on a 400 volt battery? Will the water conduct that back to injure or kill the firefighters? Lots to be concerned about there. Frankly, it seems to be a deal breaker for lithium batteries, on top of the low energy density and low charging rates and extremely high cost.
6 people like this.

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