Ebikes May Be Saving the Planet… But They are Killing Us in the Process
For years now, eBikes have been celebrated as poster children of the sustainable future – reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and lowering carbon footprints worldwide. eBikes have become common in major cities across North America and Europe. Tourists often rent eBikes by the day, allowing them to zip across Los Angeles and San Francisco while touring major attractions. Commuters also rely on these eBikes, especially in an era when the price of gas eats away at your paycheck to a significant degree.
But for all these redeeming qualities, eBikes are proving to be quite dangerous. While these green-friendly devices are saving the planet, they are also wiping out many American citizens – not only reducing their carbon footprints but ensuring they never contribute to global warming ever again. Obviously, this is not the intended function of a typical eBike, and consumers around the world are starting to hold manufacturers accountable. The main source of concern is the tendency for eBike batteries to explode without warning, causing homes to burn and often claiming lives in the process. But is this problem really that bad? And perhaps most importantly, what can you do if you have been injured by an exploding eBike in California?
A Slew of Worrying eBike Battery Explosions
Within just a few short years, numerous people have been injured or killed by exploding eBike batteries. This is causing many to rethink the viability of eBikes as genuine solutions for both unaffordable transport costs and global warming.
On October 27, 2022, it was reported that 22,000 eBikes had been recalled by retailers like Sears, Amazon, and Walmart. These recalls were ordered because the products had shown a clear tendency to explode and spontaneously combust – posing a serious risk of burns and death. One of these manufacturers is Ancheer, which voluntarily recalled many of its eBike models after at least six incidents resulting in fires and explosions. These incidents caused four burn injuries.
But this is just one manufacturer, and many other eBike models share the same problems. In addition, many other vehicles that use the same basic battery technology suffer the same hazards. These include hoverboards, scooters, and many other items.
According to the statistics, it seems as though injuries and explosions are increasing at the same rate as these products’ popularity; the more people buy eBikes, the more people are injured. Injuries related to these devices spiked over 125% between 2017 to 2021, with deaths climbing from just five to almost 50 by the end of 2021. The reports are still coming in, and these numbers are climbing. But based on the present statistics, we can assume that deaths have risen by a rate of at least 1000%.
The culprit seems to be the lithium-ion battery that is common in virtually all of these devices. This is the same basic technology that is used in smartphones and Tesla automobiles. The latter has struggled with the same general issue of exploding batteries, often leaving cars engulfed in chemical-laced fires.
What is Causing These Explosions?
Today, eBike users are being warned to take various measures to avoid injury or death, including:
- Avoid using batteries after they have been damaged
- Avoid exposing the battery unit to extreme heat
- Always charge the battery with a correct, matching charger
- Avoid leaving eBikes unattended while charging
- Avoid sleeping while eBikes are charging
- Do not use battery modifications or upgrades that are unapproved or untested
- Always follow the manufacturer’s precise instructions when charging
- Always unplug the device after it has finished charging
- Always keep the battery away from flammable materials
That said, sometimes, these explosions and fires are impossible to avoid. This is especially true when you consider the fact that many of these explosions have been caused by inherent design and manufacturing flaws. Even the most careful and proper use of these batteries means nothing if there are inherent flaws present.
Examples of eBike Explosions
In June of 2022, a memorial was held in Vancouver, BC, for a man who had been killed in an eBike explosion. The explosion occurred in a small single-room apartment in Vancouver’s impoverished downtown eastside. The incident was apparently caused by an “overcharged” battery, causing a fire in the unit. What happened next is not exactly clear, but the victim ended up falling out of the window to his death.
In April of 2022, it was reported that an eBike battery exploded in Ontario, Canada. Fortunately, the residents noticed that the battery was incredibly hot while charging and decided to take it out of the home. Almost immediately afterward, the battery ignited. If it were not for the caution of these residents, their home might have gone up in flames – potentially causing serious injury or death.
Another family in Australia was not so lucky. When their eBike exploded in Adelaide, their home was quickly engulfed in flames – with the mother and daughter just barely managing to get out of the house in time. The explosion was so intense that the battery was ejected out of a window at high speed. The home suffered serious damage as a result.
Where Can I Find a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney?
If you have been injured by an eBike, you owe it to yourself to take legal action against negligent manufacturers. You can also file a wrongful death lawsuit if you have lost a loved one due to a malfunctioning eBike. If you want to explore your legal options, contact Mary Alexander & Associates at your earliest convenience. With plenty of experience in personal injury law, we have the qualifications and resources to guide you toward a fair settlement.
With our assistance, you can get compensation for your medical expenses, missed wages, emotional distress, and any other damages you might have incurred due to your eBike accident. We know that these accidents are much more serious than many people realize, and we are ready to hold manufacturers accountable as you pursue justice and draw attention to this legitimate safety concern. Book your consultation as soon as possible, as the statute of limitations may prevent you from suing if you wait too long.