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Why Do E-Bikes Catch Fire? How to Prevent This?

Team AckoJan 17, 2024

In 2021, 144,000 electric bikes were sold in India. E-vehicles are good for the environment and a viable option for those considering purchasing one. However, lately, we’ve been hearing a lot about E-bikes catching fire. Purchasing a bike is a huge expense, and it causes quite a dent in our wallets. So, if one catches fire, it can be very stressful. Apart from the monetary loss and damage, it can result in serious injuries too. Most of us are very attached to our vehicles and go the extra mile to prevent even a small scratch. Given the likelihood of damage, buying an E-bike becomes a scary prospect. However, trying to understand what causes these fires can be helpful in preventing them. Following the right measures can ensure you are safe and enjoy your ride. Now, let's learn about why E-bikes catch fire.




Reasons for E-Bikes Catching Fire

Many concerns are being raised about the safety of E-bikes. The main cause of fires in these bikes stems from the flammable nature of the lithium-ion batteries being used in them. Let’s see what causes these batteries to combust.

Combustible Nature of Lithium-Ion Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are used in most E-bikes. These batteries contain an electrolyte fluid component that is highly flammable. If these batteries get overheated, the fluid could ignite and cause the battery to explode, resulting in a fire. These batteries are used in most E-bikes because they are more efficient, longer lasting, and lighter alternatives to lead-acid batteries.

Overheating of the Batteries

The major drawback of lithium-ion batteries is overheating. Most fires are the result of overheated batteries. Heat can cause the liquid in the batteries to ignite. For the safety of your vehicle, avoid conditions that cause the battery to get overheated.

Use of Low-Quality or Faulty Parts

Another reason for the combustion of lithium-ion batteries is using low-quality or faulty components. Any damage to the battery can also be dangerous and cause a short circuit. Therefore, you must buy your two-wheeler from a reliable manufacturer and not replace any parts with spurious ones.

How to Prevent Fires in E-Bikes

Several precautions can be taken to ensure the safety of your vehicle. These have been listed below.

Purchase From a Reputed Manufacturer

Buy your E-bike from a reputed manufacturer. A reputed manufacturer will most likely use suitable quality components that are less likely to catch fire. It is also advisable to check whether the manufacturer offers a warranty on the bike and batteries.

Use Original Parts

Always use original components and charging equipment provided by the manufacturer. Do not use other chargers or used batteries to power your bike.

Keep Clear of Combustible Materials

Do not charge your vehicle next to combustible material. Keep the area clear of materials that may catch fire such as cloth, carpets, curtains, pillows, and upholstery.

Use Approved Charging Points

While using public chargers, ensure that they are government-approved.

Follow the User Manual

Your E-bike comes with a user manual. Please make it a point to follow the guidelines given in it. It will help you understand how to use, maintain and charge the bike safely.

Do Not Overcharge

Do not overcharge your vehicle. Overcharging can increase the risk of fire. This happens when the auto cut-off fails and the battery continues to charge resulting in overheating. Preferably, avoid leaving your battery on charge overnight.

Be Present at the Time of Charging

Do not leave your vehicle unmonitored while charging. Keep an eye on it for signs of damage, such as odour, noise, or smoke.

Avoid Getting the Battery Wet

If your electric vehicle gets submerged in rainwater or for any other reason, refrain from charging it. It needs to be tested by a professional first. Water can cause the lithium-ion battery to malfunction.

Park in the Shade

Avoid parking the vehicle in direct sunlight. This may further heat an already heated battery.

Connect Directly to the Mains

While charging your bike, connect it directly to the mains and do not use extensions. Any differences in voltage or wattage can damage the battery.

Dispose of Old Batteries

Old batteries should not be kept around for reuse, as they could have leaked over time. It is also better to dispose of them properly by handing them over for recycling.

Use Smoke Detectors

Install smoke detectors for quick detection and response in case of emergency.

Do Not Cover Battery Packs

Do not cover battery packs with any material, plastic or otherwise.

Do Not Block Your Exit

Do not park your bike near any entry or exit in a manner that may block your movement.

What to Do in the Event of a Fire from an EV?

By taking some precautions, you could avoid a major fire incident. It would also be wise to get your vehicle serviced regularly and keep an eye out for early warning signs of battery damage.

However, in the event of a fire, ensure that you call the fire brigade immediately. A fire caused by a lithium-ion battery is tough to extinguish, so do not take it upon yourself to control it. Here are some points that may help you to handle an E-bike fire accident.

  • Call the fire brigade: Immediately call the fire brigade when you encounter an electric bike fire.

  • Get away from the hazard: Ensure nobody is standing near the vehicle on fire.

  • Clear the space: Keep the area clear of combustible material.

  • Inform the police: Intimate the local police station about the fire accident.

  • Inform your insurer: After taking all the above mentioned measures, you can inform your insurer about the incident.

Minimise the risk: Get an Insurance Cover

Given the risks involved, getting insurance cover for your E-bike is wise. Several insurers are offering comprehensive insurance policies for E-bikes. Many of these policies cover fire damage as well. Check for this before choosing your policy.

ACKO has comprehensive insurance policies covering electric two-wheelers. Choose a plan that fits your needs and budget.

In a nutshell

Electric vehicles are paving the way for the future. While fire risks exist with E-bikes, these can be avoided by following simple precautions. Follow the suggestions given in this article, and you can avoid a major catastrophe and, at the same time, be a proud owner of an environmentally friendly vehicle.



Q1. What is the life of E-bike batteries?

The batteries in an E-bike can last between three years to five years with proper maintenance.

Q2. How often do I have to charge my E-bike?

You can charge your E-bike when the battery charge falls below 40%. You can also charge it after your ride if you expect to use it for a long-distance trip.

Q3. What temperatures are ideal for an E-bike?

The ideal temperature for an E-bike is between 15°C and 27°C. The battery performance gets affected at temperatures above 43°C.

Q4. Does electric two-wheeler insurance cover damage due to fire?

Yes, there are insurance plans that cover damage due to fire. You will need to ensure you take a plan that offers this coverage.

Q5. How far does an E-bike go on a single charge?

Several variables affect how far an E-bike can travel on a single charge. A standard bike at economy speed can take you from 50 km to 150 km on a single charge.

Q6. What are the benefits of using E-bikes?

E-bikes offer many benefits. They are environmentally friendly, produce no emissions, and are easier to operate.

Disclaimer: The above content is for informational purposes only. It is recommended to take the help of an expert before making any related decision.

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