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E-bike battery fires: "Unethical practices" of some micromobility players impacting whole industry says Islabikes boss

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Rebecca Morley's picture

Rebecca Morley

Rebecca has been in cycling journalism since 2018. She started out at trade title BikeBiz and still contributes features to its monthly magazine, and was also named one of Cycling UK's 100 Women in Cycling 2019.

5 comments

1 year 3 weeks ago

Three dead in Cambridge... www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-66088503

1 year 1 month ago

unethical practices of a few micromobility players

I'm a little perplexed by his comment. The eBay sellers of aftermarket ebike batteries are not "players in the micromobility sector", they are just your average Shady Jo/e selling whatever makes them money. They are not some industry sector which can be spoken to as a body and made to sign up to and abide by regulatory standards.

I can understand ScotRail banning these sorts of machines, and the risk is they take a blanket approach and ban all e-bike/scooters. The aviation industry was quick to ban the Samsung Note 7 for similar reasons. There, there was an accountable manufacturer with an interest in fixing the problem. But if we are waiting for the motley lot of fly-by-night internet sellers to  sort our this problem I don't see things ever changing.

My own experience looking for a new battery for my Dyson hoover tells me that price gauging by the proper industry players is the real "unethical practice" driving eBay sellers' success. Dyson's battery costs three times the price of eBay's. It's shameless profiteering. I have little doubt the same holds true for ebike batteries.

The only realistic prospect of regulation is one which addresses the industry itself. There should be some mechanism by which they supply remanufactured battery units at a price which undermines eBay merchants, even if it is at a cost of a 'tax' on the sale of the new bike. Or we can wait for eBay/Alibaba/the internet to snap into line, the better to support the micromibility players' bottom line.

1 year 1 month ago

From the 1st June 2023, all micro e-devices such as mono-wheels, scooters, hover-boards etc are banned from all ScotRail trains.

Thankfully, ebikes that comply with current legislation and Standards are still able to go on trains.

 

Apparently, there's been a couple of fires on trains South of the Border, and ScotRail aren't prepared to take the.risk.

1 year 1 month ago

Or hold eBay responsible for the iffy batteries being sold on their site. 

1 year 1 month ago

I think these battery fires warrant dogged investigation into the provenance of the offending machine. My hunch is that a significant number arise where the charger is not the one originally supplied. And how might someone come into possession of an expensive e-bike - without the original charger. Hmm.