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Charity calls for ban on universal chargers 

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UK charity Electrical Safety First is calling for a ban on universal chargers for e-bike and e-scooter batteries due to the risks posed by fires.

These chargers come with multiple connectors which can fit different types of charging ports.

However, the voltage of the charger may not be compatible with the voltage of the battery. This can damage the cells and risks a process called thermal runaway – a self-heating chemical reaction that can quickly prove devastating. 

The charity is urging e-bike and e-scooter owners to check if they are using a charger that is compatible with their vehicles.

It comes after a survey by the charity suggests 43% of owners are using a secondary after-market charger to power their vehicle – and more than one in three know it is not compatible, while one in five don’t know. 

Giuseppe Capanna, Product Safety Engineer at Electrical Safety First, told Zag Daily: “Our investigations revealed several examples of universal chargers which we would like to see banned. 

“Universal chargers pose a unique risk to e-bike and e-scooter owners as you can unintentionally cause irreparable damage to your battery from overcharging.

“We plan to liaise with the Government and have raised our recommendations with the Office for Product Safety and Standards as well as the Department for Business and Trade for consideration and look forward to engaging with them soon on the matter.”

Electrical Safety First also found that many micromobility owners are charging their devices in areas that risk compromising escape routes. 

Of those surveyed, 44% said they charged their device in a communal area of their property, such as a hallway or staircase.

As reported by Zag Daily in July, Electrical Safety First called for e-bike and e-scooter batteries to be regulated like fireworks and heavy machinery to better ensure their safety.

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