New York City Legislates E-bike Battery Ownership

Photo by Andrea Cau on Unsplash

Headlines continue to report indoor fires from faulty e-bike batteries. In fact, there have been over 200 fires caused by Lithium-Ion batteries in NYC and over 20 fires this year alone.

What ignites a lithium-ion battery? There are numerous reasons such as damaged batteries or improper charging of batteries that can lead to overheating.

Once a lithium-ion fire starts it can be very dangerous and difficult to extinguish. Fire extinguishers do not work on lithium battery fires. The recommendation is if a fire does start 1) leave the area, 2) close the door, and 3) immediately call 911.

Do’s and Don’ts for Lithium-Ion Batteries


  • DO purchase certified devices
  • DO follow the manufacturer’s instructions for charging and storage
  • DO use the correct power adapter
  • DO plug directly into the wall
  • DO store away from anything flammable


  • DON’T use aftermarket batteries
  • DON’T plug into a power strip
  • DON’T charge the battery overnight
  • DON’T leave your e-bike unattended while charging
  • DON’T place the battery in the Trash or Recycling Bin

NYC Council has now introduced legislation to try and solve this issue. This first round of legislation hopes to prevent e-bike battery fires by informing the public and restricting the ability to restore batteries that are not certified. The city council is also planning a “swap program” if you own a battery that is not up to code.

CBS New York reporting on NYC Council e-bike battery safety legislation