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Consumer Advocacy, Food Delivery, Public Safety, and E-Bike Industry Sectors Call on Congress to Set a Safety Standard for Lithium-Ion Batteries to Prevent E-Bike Fires

WASHINGTON, DC – Consumer Reports (CR), Grubhub, the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and twenty-one other organizations sent joint letters today calling on the House and Senate to pass the Setting Consumer Standards for Lithium-Ion Batteries Act (H.R. 1797/S. 1008). This bill, with bipartisan support in the House and Senate, aims to mitigate the risk of fires associated with e-bikes, e-scooters, and other similar mobility devices by requiring the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to establish a mandatory safety standard for the rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that power them.

“We’ve seen families displaced, lives lost, and communities devastated by fires from faulty lithium-ion e-bike batteries,” said Gabe Knight, safety policy analyst at Consumer Reports. “Congress must require a safety standard to keep people safe nationwide. From consumer groups to food delivery companies, and from fire chiefs to bike industry leaders, we are united in our call for Congress to move this bill forward without delay.”

When poorly made, overused, tampered with, or overcharged, lithium-ion batteries that power e-bike, e-scooter, and hoverboards can overheat and lead to fast-spreading fires that are difficult to extinguish. In 2023, in New York City alone, malfunctioning lithium-ion batteries were linked to at least 243 fires and 18 deaths—a stark increase from six deaths in all of 2022. Since the beginning of 2024, several reports of fires linked to these products have emerged across the country.

Consumer Reports published an investigation in 2022 on the rise of lithium-ion battery fires tied to e-bikes and other similar mobility devices, and the lack of oversight and accountability for manufacturers and sellers. CR’s investigation found that the current lack of safety regulations leaves countless consumers, their families, and neighbors at risk of serious injury or death. This is especially true for lower-income users – such as app-based delivery workers – who may not be able to afford higher-quality devices that are more likely to be UL-certified, and who may purchase lower-quality or heavily used batteries.

The legislation H.R. 1797/S. 1008 directs the CPSC to create a mandatory safety standard, within one year of the bill’s enactment, for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries used in e-bikes and similar mobility devices. Last year, the House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously passed an amended version of the legislation which expands the bill’s scope to include equipment related to the batteries, including chargers, cables, and external packs on chargers. CR strongly supports this version of the bill and urges members of Congress to advocate for the bill to keep moving forward in both the House and the Senate. 

Media Contact: Emily Akpan, emily.akpan@consumer.org