Brief - The Hustle

The e-bike industry is hot… No, literally

Written by Jacob Cohen | Mar 7, 2023 8:22:59 AM

Many electric bikes are blazing fast, but some… well, they’re just blazing.

Last year, there were 216 e-bike battery fires in New York City, according to The Wall Street Journal, where micromobility-related fires have injured 40 people and killed two this year.

  • A 2022 poll of the 300-member National Bicycle Dealers Association found 10% of stores have faced overheating battery or fire incidents.
  • In 2021, London’s transportation network banned e-scooters because of battery fire risks.

The thing is… The battery-powered transit industry is booming. In 2020, the US imported 450k e-bikes. Last year, that number was 1.1m. Also last year, electric cars represented 5.8% of new auto sales, up 65% YoY.

  • In February, Ford paused F-150 Lightning manufacturing after a battery caught fire.

Last week, the New York City Council voted on laws to further regulate the safety of electric micromobility devices.

Cool stuff: Fire-resistant batteries are in development, though ones large enough to power cars aren’t here just yet.