Warning over battery blazes: Lithium powerpack fires hit a new high

The aftermath of an e-bike fire in Shepherds Bush
The aftermath of an e-bike fire in Shepherds Bush

The London Fire Brigade are battling an increasing number of e-bike and e-scooter fires, having faced more blazes by the beginning of September than across the whole of 2022.

“We are seeing an ever-growing number of fires caused by e-bikes and e-scooters in London, roughly one every two days, and already more this year than we saw in 2022,” Deputy Commissioner Dom Ellis said.

According to their figures, crews had fought 104 e-bike fires and 19 e-scooter incidents up to the end of August, surpassing the 116 total fires attended last year.

E-bike fire in progress in Roehampton

“Without urgent research into the causes of these battery fires and proper regulation that will help prevent people unknowingly purchasing dangerous products, such as batteries and conversion kits, from online marketplaces we fear we will continue seeing a high level of these types of fires in London,” Deputy Commissioner Ellis continued.   

“We know just how ferocious and harmful these fires can be, so if something was to go wrong, we don’t want an e-bike and scooter inside a property. However, we appreciate for some people, keeping it inside is the only option. If that is you, please follow this crucial safety advice that will protect yourself and those you live with,” Ellis continued. “Never store the vehicle by your front door, in a hallway, or on any escape route.”

Three people have been killed this year in fires believed to have been caused by the failure of an e-bike battery, with a further 51 injured.