Why Do E-Bikes Catch Fire?

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 05/12/2023

The growing awareness and popularity of two and four-wheeler electric vehicles have taken the country by storm. In 2023, over 727 thousand two-wheeler electric vehicles or e-bikes were sold in the country.

The introduction of e-bikes has revolutionised the way people commute today as they not only promise comfort but also contribute to the well-being of the environment.

Despite the endless benefits to the environment and rider experience, the increasing cases of e-bike fire accidents are highly concerning. Due to this, the public is hesitant to purchase e-bikes.

In this blog, we will understand the key reasons behind EV fire accidents, how to prevent e-bike fire accidents, and the role of insurance for a two-wheeler in safeguarding your e-bike.

What are E-Bikes?

E-bikes are electrical vehicles designed to provide riders with top-notch comfort and faster pedal control, easing the commute experience and significantly reducing commute time.

Moreover, e-bikes are environmentally friendly, making them popular among the aware and environmentally conscious generation. Moreover, the ease of storage, electric charging flexibility, and less energy consumption during riding make it a great fit for everyone.

However, with the rising number of electric vehicle fire cases, educating existing and potential users about the causes and prevention techniques is crucial.

What causes Electric Bike Fire?

With the rising concern about e-bike safety, awareness of the various reasons contributing to e-bike fire accidents is necessary. Let us discuss the top causes of electric bike fire accidents below:

Electric Bike Battery Fire

One of the primary reasons causing e-bike fires is the lithium-ion batteries used in most e-bikes. These batteries are highly flammable in nature and can thus overheat very quickly and cause severe damage to the bike.

Electric bike battery fire can also be due to the excessive overheating of the batteries, which can damage the bike by catching fire. One reason is that lithium batteries tend to increase the pressure and force the electrodes to explode under high temperatures.

Manufacturer Defects

In some cases, the parts used to manufacture e-bikes can be faulty. Other than this, incorrect wiring within the system or incomplete components can also increase the possibility of e-bike fires.

Uncertified Chargers

Most cities in India provide e-bike owners with certified charging stations to ensure their trip is not interrupted due to low battery. However, at times, due to urgency, riders can opt for any charging station, and this decision has an impact on the battery.

Leaving any e-bike plugged in at an uncertified charging station can lead to e-bike fires due to overcharging, incorrect charging wires, etc.

Other Factors

At times, other factors you cannot control cause an e-bike battery fire. For instance, leaving your e-bike exposed to the sunlight for prolonged periods can result in overheating and bike fires. Accidents can also impact the battery parts.

Prevention Tips to Reduce Fires in E-Bikes

Understanding and implementing various prevention tips can be highly useful to ensure your e-bike is safe and secure and does not catch fire. Here is a list of prevention tips for you.

  • Always purchase an e-bike and its parts from a reputed or renowned manufacturer. You can do so by spending some time in research and validating the online and offline reviews. This way, you can be assured about the product quality.

  • Ask your chosen manufacturer for a warranty. If they refuse to provide the same, consider changing the manufacturer as a warranty will confirm the responsibility of the manufacturer to provide quality batteries and components.

  • Avoid covering the e-bike battery while charging to ensure you are aware of the battery condition and can notice any unusual changes before the e-bike fire occurs.

  • Charge your e-bikes only using government-authorised charging stations. It is essential not to trust any random charging station as that can affect the e-bike battery adversely.

  • Avoid leaving your e-bikes on charge for prolonged periods or overnight. This can cause overcharging and heat the batteries, increasing the chances of e-bike fire.

  • Always park your e-bike under the shade. Exposing the e-bike to direct sunlight can damage the batteries or overheat them, causing e-bike fires due to sunlight alone.

  • Always read the user manual thoroughly before using your e-bike to ensure you are well aware of the precautions to keep your e-bike secure.

  • If you have a charging station at home or office, install a fire or smoke detector alarm on the premises. This will help identify and prevent e-bike fires before they are uncontrollable, resulting in excessive damage.

  • During the rainy season, avoid charging your e-bikes when they are wet. This can cause unnoticeable damage to the bike batteries, which can later turn into e-bike fire. Instead, reach out to your manufacturer and seek a health check.

  • Always be present when your e-bike charges, as leaving them unattended can be dangerous. Being present will help notice any unwanted signs of smoke, fire, noises, etc.

Steps to Follow After an E-Bike Fire

In an unexpected situation of e-bike fire, it is crucial to know how to navigate through the accident calmly without causing any damage to yourself or the surroundings. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, here is what you can do:

  • The first and most important thing to do is to distance yourself from the e-bike. This is necessary to avoid unnecessary smoke inhalation, fire damage, or any other injuries due to the sudden situation.

  • Once you are at a safe distance, call and update the emergency service regarding the accident and ask for necessary assistance.

  • Next, try and locate a fire extinguisher if the fire is out of control.

  • While you are waiting for emergency services, try and document the incident on photo and video for reference at the time of the two-wheeler insurance policy claim.

  • Once done, evacuate the scene, contact and update your insurer and manufacturer regarding the e-bike fire accident.

  • Also, file an FIR at a police station if the fire accident is due to an on-road or third-party accident.

Role of Two-Wheeler Insurance to Protect E-Bikes

Electric bikes are considered safe for short and long rides. However, discounting the occurrence of unexpected fire accidents or other damage-inducing incidents is not a smart decision.

A comprehensive bike insurance plan can secure your e-bike from different categories of damage, loss, and mishaps, ensuring maximum coverage to reduce the financial burden of repairs. You can also customise your comprehensive bike insurance plan to increase the scope of coverage as required.

Note that you must purchase at least a third-party bike insurance policy to take your e-bike on the road, as it is a government mandate. These electrical bike insurance policies are affordable, making them a necessary investment option to safeguard your e-bike from heavy maintenance and repair costs.

Conclusion

The choice of purchasing an e-bike is a step towards a sustainable environment. However, being aware of the causes and consequences of e-bike fire accidents and being prepared with prevention tips is crucial.

Moreover, buying a bike insurance policy is also necessary to avoid emptying your financial resources in case of unforeseen circumstances or unfavourable incidents. The right way to ensure top-most security for your e-bikes is by investing in a two-wheeler insurance policy from Tata AIG.

We cater to the specific needs of individuals to ensure there is something for everyone. E-bike insurance plans are not readily available, but we understand the growing need for the same and promise a customisable solution for you.

Before purchasing any bike insurance plan for your electric bike, spend some time and compare different plans using a bike insurance calculator. This is important to make an informed and favourable purchase decision.

FAQS

Can I purchase e-bike insurance online?

You can purchase e-bike insurance online by visiting our website and entering your bike and personal details to choose from the multiple options. Once done, add any other add-on cover and pay the total premium to receive your bike insurance document by email.

Will my insurance cover regular repair costs for my e-bike?

The main scope of cover under most e-bike insurance plans is accidental damage. This can either be overheating damage, accident-induced damage, or third-party damage. However, no regular wear and tear repair costs can be claimed under an e-bike insurance plan except these.

I have to park my e-bike in the parking lot, which is constantly exposed to the sun. What should I do?

If there is no other parking spot available in the shade, you can consider purchasing thick coolant-based e-bike covers to prevent overheating your e-bike batteries. If permitted, you can also invest and install a big umbrella right above your parking spot to avoid direct sunlight on your e-bike.

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