If you’ve been to New York City lately, you may have noticed the growing number of electric bikes (e-bikes) on the road. These eco-friendly alternatives to cars or motorcycles can be seen whizzing through busy city streets, weaving in and out of traffic. But what many people may not know is that these devices can be quite dangerous if not properly regulated. In an effort to cut down on fires caused by lithium-ion batteries, the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection has now implemented mandatory e-bike battery certification at all retail spots in the city.

E-bikes have gained popularity over the past few years due to their convenience, speed, and affordability. However, their lithium-ion batteries can be a double-edged sword. While they provide the necessary power for the bike’s electric motor, if not regulated properly, they can overheat and cause fires. The Department of Consumer and Worker Protection recognized this issue and implemented a new law that requires all mobility devices using lithium-ion batteries to show that they have met compliance standards.

Enforcement for this new law began on Saturday, and any retail spot selling a non-compliant e-bike or other mobility device can be fined up to $500. The FDNY is working with the department to share data for enforcement efforts, and they hope that this new law will help cut down on fires caused by lithium-ion batteries. In fact, so far this year, there have been 175 fires caused by these batteries resulting in 14 deaths.

If you own an e-bike or other mobility device that uses a lithium-ion battery, you may be wondering what exactly this new law means for you. The short answer is that you need to make sure that your battery has met compliance standards. This certification can be obtained through the Underwriters Laboratories (UL), which certifies batteries that meet certain safety standards. If your battery is not certified, it may be at risk of over-heating and causing a fire.

So what happens if you’re caught riding an e-bike with a non-compliant battery? You can be fined up to $500, and your bike can be confiscated. While this may seem like a harsh penalty, it’s important to remember that this law was put in place to protect people’s safety. Riding an e-bike with a non-compliant battery not only puts yourself at risk but also puts others around you in danger.

The new e-bike battery certification law in New York City is a necessary step to regulate the growing use of lithium-ion batteries in mobility devices. By ensuring that all batteries meet compliance standards, the risk of fires caused by these devices will go down. It’s important for e-bike owners and riders to understand the new law and take necessary steps to comply with it. As we continue to see advancements in technology, it’s important to remember that safety should always be a top priority.