E-bike Safety Tips – Bicycle NSW

Recent E-bike Accidents

Last Friday seven people escaped a serious fire in a terrace home which fire authorities determined was started by an electrical bicycle charger left charging overnight.  It took six fire trucks and thirty firefighters to put the fire out before it spread to homes next door.

Fire and Rescue NSW have recorded twelve e-bike related fires since 2017, including six in 2019, but none in 2020. If you ride an e-bike, now is a great time to carry out a safety check, and there are some good resources online if you want more information.

Safety Tips For E-bikes

  1. Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for using and charging your e-bike.  If you have misplaced them, most companies will send you another copy, or the store you purchased the bike from may be able to help. They are often available online too. 
  2. Stick with the charger and accessories supplied with your bike. Seek advice from a reputable e-bike supplier if they need replacing and follow the servicing directions.
  3. Invest in a wall plug timer and set it to turn off when your battery is charged, to avoid mistakes.
  4. Keep it cool – heat is the enemy of lithium-ion batteries, and Australian conditions are often warm.  Always store your battery in a cool well ventilated place.  Avoid leaving it in a hot car, storing or charging it in confined spaces, near heaters or in direct sunlight. Beware of wrapping tape or plastic around the battery as this may add to heat retention. Check the instructions for safe ways to protect the battery and connections from rain.
  5. Vary the throttle – running continuously at 100% generates a lot of heat and reduces battery life.  Instead keep full throttle to short bursts, then ease off and give your battery a break. 
  6. Have your e-bike serviced regularly and avoid modifications or activities that override the design specifications or overload the bike. 

“E-bikes have a lot of benefits, but like any electronic machine they need to be operated and maintained correctly,” said Bicycle NSW General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.

“Wet conditions across NSW provide a perfect time to check on your bike’s charging and servicing directions, to maximize battery life and your safety whenever you ride,” said Bastien.

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