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UK’s biggest bike manufacturer backs battery safety bill

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Britain’s largest volume bike manufacturer Brompton Bicycle has backed a bill which would require all e-bikes, e-scooters and their batteries to gain third-party approval before entering the UK market.

This would mean an independent body would have to certify that a battery meets safety requirements before coming to market. The same regulations already exist for other high-risk products, such as fireworks and heavy machinery

Drafted by the charity Electrical Safety First, the Ten Minute Rule Bill – which gives an MP 10 minutes to introduce their bill – will be tabled by the Labour MP for Makerfield Yvonne Fovargue this Spring to address the rise in battery fires caused by e-bikes and e-scooters.

Since 2020, there have been over 190 injuries and at least 13 deaths at the hands of lithium-ion battery fires, and the UK is currently experiencing nearly one e-bike or e-scooter fire per day.

“The Government has a golden opportunity to safeguard the public from these fires and ensure a thriving future for reputable manufacturers in this space,” Electrical Safety First Head of Public Affairs Wayne Mackay told Zag Daily.

“Without improved regulation, reputable businesses and the momentum of personal light electric transport will inevitably suffer. Consumers face ongoing risks of devastating fires from these products, while respected manufacturers risk losing consumer trust due to the rising incidents. 

“Brompton’s support underscores how even leading e-bike businesses recognise the urgent need for enhanced regulation. This is about shielding the public from substandard and dangerous batteries.”

Brompton, which produces around 100,000 bikes every year, joins 45 other organisations including the National Fire Chiefs Council in backing the call for new battery rules.

It also seeks mandatory markings on lithium batteries to better inform households of safe disposal in light of fires occurring in recycling centres, and it calls for standards to be set for conversion kits and charging systems.

“Despite mounting political and public support, our life-saving proposals will remain unadopted without Government backing – leading to more avoidable deaths,” said Mackay.

“The issue should garner bipartisan support in Parliament, especially considering over 150 constituencies have reported e-bike fires since 2021.

“We urge the Government to adopt this Bill and hope the widespread industry support for our Bill will convince Parliament that these proposals are sensible steps to protect consumers, support good business and weed out bad operators producing substandard batteries.”

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