The UK’s leading charity dedicated to electrical safety has drafted a Bill to tackle fires related to e-bikes and e-scooters.
What Electrical Safety First needs now is an MP to adopt and table the Bill after it is made available for selection in Westminster’s annual Bill Ballot draw on November 16.
Titled “The Safety of Electric-Powered Micromobility Vehicles and Lithium Batteries Bill”, the “proposed” Bill calls for legislative change regarding how e-bikes, e-scooters and lithium batteries are regulated across the UK.
Wayne Mackay, Head of Public Affairs at Electrical Safety First, told Zag Daily: “Designed to tackle the two main causes of these deadly fires – poorly manufactured devices and incorrect usage – the Bill will ultimately make it more challenging for dangerous devices to enter people’s homes.”
After nine deaths caused by e-bike and e-scooter fires this year, the charity is urging parliamentarians to adopt the Bill and prevent any further loss of life.
“What’s crucial is that the government has a unique opportunity to tackle the escalating situation.”
Three key changes
Should the Bill be adopted and tabled by an MP, three changes would be observed with how e-bike fires are tackled.
Firstly, it would be compulsory for e-bikes, e-scooters and their batteries to undergo third-party approval before entering the market. Electrical Safety First looks to the current regulation of fireworks as a notable example.
Universal charges would also be temporarily banned until the safe compatibility of batteries and chargers is ensured. Furthermore, the Bill proposes that a means of communications protocol should exist between the battery and the charger, like a phone, to reduce the risk of an overcharge fire caused from an incorrect voltage.
Also, the Bill would propose to introduce clearer markings on lithium batteries so households know that they should not be disposed of in the general waste.
Protecting the micromobility industry
Wayne highlighted the knock-on effect that these fires can have on reputable micromobility businesses.
“The absence of our proposed regulations negatively affects reputable manufacturers and businesses in the e-bike and e-scooter sector, potentially harming consumer confidence due to poorly made products sold by bad operators. Our Bill is designed to save lives, protect reputable businesses, and weed out bad operators.”