What Could Be The Cause of an eBike Battery Fire?August 26, 2022
This might be quite a controversial topic to talk about especially for a site talking about the pros and cons of e-bikes, but it is something important that needs to be addressed. Let’s talk about the reasons why it might happen, but more importantly, let’s also talk about how to prevent it and what to do if the worse should happen…
There is no single cause of e-bike battery fires that stands out as the clear culprit. It could be overheating, overcharging, poor design, damage, loose wires, electrical shorting, socket pulsing, or socket overloading, in fact it can be any one of those, a combination of those or something else entirely! e-bike battery fires tend to happen quickly which does mean they can easily escalate into something bigger than a battery fire.
The other increasing issue is that e-bike batteries are getting bigger and bigger as people want more range, more power from their e-bikes. The more lithium battery sections you have in the main housing, the higher the risk of at least one of them catching fire. You can read a lot more about the reasons a fire might start in this link. So let’s take a look at what we can do to prevent at least some of those things from happening in the first place.
Making sure your charger is not covered over is a simple one. Most e-bike chargers will have ventilation holes in the side and these prevent them from overheating. Making sure they are not blocked, too dirty or dusty and are located on nothing flammable is a great way to do this. But it is also worth not leaving it along to charge for too long. Maybe have it plugged into something in the garage, or outside, or better still just keep an eye on it now and again.
Another thing to consider is the housing of the battery. Are you out riding your e-bike in all weather? Do you send it hard over those bike trials? If you do make sure the plastic surrounding the batteries is not scratched, damaged or cracked in any way as this can also be the cause of fires.
Worst Case Scenario
So the worst has happened and you find yourself looking at your e-bike battery on fire? What should you do? Larger battery fires are best handled with a foam extinguisher, CO2, ABC dry chemical, powder graphite, copper powder or sodium carbonate. But if you don’t own one of those you should consider dropping the whole battery into water instead of splashing it over it. Its with knowing that this will make that said water quite toxic and acidic, so I wouldn’t throw it into the pond. Each section of the batter can and will catch fire at different points, so do keep that in mind.
As a general rule try and get it out of the house as quickly as you can and if not call emergency services as quickly as possible. Sadly battery smoke is also quite toxic so you might also want to open windows even if the fire is out.
Your reaction and response to a bike battery fire will mostly depend on how quickly you discover it. Find it quickly and it could be a matter of chucking it out onto the patio to let it burn itself out, or if it’s already burning something a little more precautious might be needed.
At the end of the day the chances of your e-bike battery catching on fire are pretty low, in fact, they are said to be 0.0012%! As long as you remember at least some of the advice we have told you here you should be fine, even if the odds of it happening are so low.