I see lots of e-bikes and e-scooters around Kelowna these days.
They look like a lot of fun but hopefully the owners realize they come with certain dangers. I don't mean from riding, but from charging.
There was a video that went viral recently, taken by a home security camera, which showed an e-scooter being charged in a hallway of a house. The battery went into "thermal runaway" and exploded.
It was not a one-off event. There have been several such incidents, including a fatality and the destruction of houses.
The London Fire Service estimates the temperature generated by a burning battery is approximately 1,000 C.
So far this year, that fire service has dealt with 52 e-bike fires and 12 e-scooter fires.
This should be a warning to anyone who thinks it is a good idea to bring their bike or scooter into the house to charge them. If they catch fire there is no hope of putting it out with a domestic fire extinguisher. It would require hundreds of gallons of water.
In addition, lithium ion batteries give off toxic smoke and gases when they are ruptured. So, if it happens to you get out of the house as soon as you can.
The most common causes of batteries exploding are:
• Using sub-standard batteries (often bought online)
• Charging when a battery that is already hot
• Using a damaged battery (eg. from being dropped or hit)
With temperatures in Kelowna likely to go into the 30 C range soon, a lot of batteries are going to be extremely hot.
Give them time to cool down before charging, and don't do it in your house.
Peter Emery, Kelowna