New York City Confronts The Danger Behind Lithium Ion Batteries For Micro Mobility

The mayor of New York City, Eric Adams, has announced an action plan to help prevent fires caused by lithium-ion batteries, with the goal of further promoting the safe use of electric micro mobility vehicles. 

Fires caused by batteries in micro mobility vehicles have been a significant problem in New York City, with the number of incidents growing from 44 in 2020 to 220 in 2022 – mirroring the increasing popularity of the vehicles. Lithium-ion battery fires can be severe and difficult to extinguish, often spreading quickly and producing noxious fumes.From 2021 to 2022, fires from micro mobility batteries resulted in 10 deaths and 226 injuries in the city. Lithium-ion battery fires are not restricted to micro mobility vehicles, however, with larger electric vehicles such as cars and buses also known to cause severe fires.

The “Charge Safe, Ride Safe: New York City’s Electric Micro mobility Action Plan” includes four key areas:

  • promoting and incentivising safe battery use;
  • increasing education and outreach to electric micro mobility users;
  • advocating for additional federal regulation of micro mobility devices; and
  • expanding enforcement against situations deemed to be high-risk.

“Today, we are supercharging safety for all of our e-bikes and e-scooter users. These are convenient transportation options for New Yorkers, but faulty and illegal devices are making their way into our homes and streets, causing fires and putting lives at risk.” said Mayor Adams. “Through promoting safe devices, expanding education, increasing enforcement on high-risk situations, and pursuing additional regulation, I’m proud that New York City is leading that charge. E-bikes and e-scooters are here to stay, and with this plan and these five pieces of critical legislation I’m proud to sign, we are going to ensure that they are safe for all New Yorkers to use.”