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Team AckoDec 19, 2022
Owning an electric bike is a smart decision when you look at the roaring fuel prices. However, of late, the incidents of E-bikes catching fire have increased significantly. There are some dangers associated with electric bike fires, which pose increased scrutiny of safety compliances such as insurance.
In spite of regular maintenance, there can be incidents of fires.
In the event of an e-bike catching fire, significant damage can occur to the vehicle, property and human life. Any owner would want to keep their bike absolutely safe and out of harm’s way. In case the matter has caught your attention now, you may be wondering what steps to take next. Read on to learn about electric bike fires and how best to prevent them.
The most typical cause of an electric bike fire is the lithium-powered batteries inside the bike. Technically, every lithium battery contains electrolyte fluids that are highly combustible. It can catch fire if the battery is overheated, is damaged in any way or is poorly constructed. In the chain of events, the battery is the prime reason for electric bike fires.
Listed below are some of the common causes of combustion of a lithium battery:
Flaw in design
Damage to a battery that causes a short circuit
Battery exposure to extreme heat
Using an incorrect charger to charge the battery
Nowadays, most lithium-ion batteries carry a special battery management system which helps to make them safe. Such a battery management system is an electronic device which constantly monitors the voltage and flow of current to the battery. Also, it consists of various temperature sensors which relay information about the temperatures around the different sections of the battery.
Due to the flammable nature of the battery, any amount of damage or overheating of the battery can cause a bike fire. Moreover, overheating and overcharging can build heat and pressure in the battery, which can also cause it to catch fire. The use of poor-quality components can also cause bike fires. When buying an electric bike, it is important to ensure that the parts of the bike are certified by a testing laboratory to maintain safety.
Now, let’s understand how to prevent an electric-bike fire.
It is important to observe relevant safety measures with the increasing number of fire accidents in electric bikes. When it comes to lithium-ion batteries, there are ways to bring down the risk of a fire during the charging or storage of the vehicle.
Always ensure that you buy your vehicle from a brand that carries a good reputation for its products and services. Enquire about the parts and components used by them and ascertain their warranty.
Here are some best ways to prevent a fire in an electric vehicle:
Always opt for a registry of warranty from the manufacturer. In most cases, the battery of the bike is behind the fire. You will need a valid registration for the replacement of the battery from the manufacturer.
Make sure to use the adapters and charging cords supplied by the manufacturer. Avoid using any other charger for your electric bike.
Avoid plugging the charging point using a power extension. Always prefer plugging into the main switch point directly.
It can be helpful to install a smoke-detecting device in the designated charging area.
It is best not to leave your electric bike charging overnight. In fact, even when it is charging, you should never leave it unattended.
If you are charging your electric bike anywhere other than your home, ensure that you use a government-authorised charging station.
If the battery of your electric bike or the bike gets drenched in the rain, treat it as a damaged vehicle and do not attempt to charge it. Always reach out to the manufacturer to check the vehicle for prospective damage before using the bike again.
Direct sunlight is not a good place to park your electric bike. Always search for a shaded spot to park your vehicle; it is even better if you can find an underground parking spot.
Avoid charging your electric vehicle near any combustible or flammable contents.
Avoid covering your battery packs and chargers during charging to avoid a fire.
Always ensure that you are well-versed with the user manual of the bike. Since an electric bike performs differently from a regular bike, you should understand the difference and run your electric bike properly. Make sure that you adhere to the necessary precautions at all times.
These are some of the most important tips to ensure your electric bike does not catch fire.
Additionally, it is best to get comprehensive insurance coverage for your electric bike. This way, even in the event of an unfortunate fire, you will be eligible to receive compensation for any damages resulting from the fire.
In spite of your best efforts and maintenance, it is possible that your electric bike might catch fire. It helps if you supervise the battery of the electric bike. This way, you will be able to detect any signs of danger, before the bike reaches a stage where it can catch fire.
Signs like a foul flammable smell, sounds of leaking or any other odd noise might be behind a faulty lithium battery.
But what must you do if your bike catches fire?
Instead of panicking, immediately evacuate from the area and ask others to step away from the bike as well. Make sure that you give a call to the fire brigade for emergencies. If there is a police station nearby, make sure to inform them about the incident as well. Once the situation is under control, you should inform the insurance provider. They will assess the extent of the damage, and provide compensation for the losses resulting from the fire.
The recent incidents of fire in electric bikes have made people hesitant about getting them. However, as long as you follow the tips mentioned above, you will surely be able to ride your bike safely and without any fear.
Here are some things to remember when you buy and use an electric bike:
Electric bikes require extensive maintenance, which is different from a regular bike that runs on petrol.
You should make it a point to check the performance of the battery and the bike from time to time.
Always opt for a reliable bike insurance provider such as ACKO to cover your risk of loss against fires.
Buying an insurance policy is the best way to safeguard your interests. Check out ACKO for the most promising insurance plans on electric bikes.
A: There are many parts of a lithium battery. A battery management system essentially ensures that incidents like fire can be prevented. It is best to allow a professional to get a look at it for regular maintenance.
A: Removing a lithium battery is not recommended, and even if you do so, there is no assurance that the bike will perform well after getting wet in the rain.
A: No, it is better to reach out to the fire department and let them handle the fire. Trying to meddle with the incident can only make it worse.
A: In India, buying insurance for your electric bike is not mandatory if it has a speed of less than 25 mph or power of less than 250 w. However, the fact that they are quite expensive and more prone to fire accidents makes getting insurance inevitable.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet and is subject to changes. Please consult an expert before making any decisions.
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