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Consumer Reports Applauds House Committee for Unanimous, Bipartisan Passage of Lithium-Ion Battery Safety Bill for E-Bikes, E-Scooters

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Consumer Reports commended members of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee after the panel approved the Setting Consumer Standards for Lithium-Ion Batteries Act (H.R.1797) in a unanimous, bipartisan 42-0 roll call vote on Wednesday. Earlier this year, Consumer Reports endorsed this legislation, which would help prevent fires in e-bikes, e-scooters, and other micromobility devices by creating a mandatory safety standard for their rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. The bill now goes to the House floor.

When lithium-ion batteries and other high-energy-density batteries are poorly made, overused, tampered with, or charged too long, they can overheat and cause fast-spreading fires that are hard to extinguish. The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission is aware of 19 deaths associated with micromobility device fires from January 1, 2021, through November 28, 2022. In New York City alone, since just the start of 2023, malfunctioning lithium-ion batteries have been linked to 243 fires and 18 deaths—up from six deaths in all of 2022.

Gabe Knight, safety policy analyst for Consumer Reports, said: “Consumers nationwide appreciate products like e-bikes and e-scooters because they can provide a relatively clean, affordable, and fun way to get around—but it’s alarming how many fires are happening, and horrific that people are losing their lives. It’s clear we need a strong federal standard, and right now we don’t have one. Consumer Reports applauds the Energy and Commerce Committee for its work and urges every member of Congress to support this commonsense safety bill and pass it as quickly as possible.”

The bill (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 micromobility devices. The bill has been endorsed by the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), GrubHub, Doordash, PeopleForBikes (P4B), and others. Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) is the bill’s sponsor in the House, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) are taking the lead in the Senate.

Consumer Reports published an investigation last year on the rise of lithium-ion battery fires in e-bikes and other micromobility devices and related regulatory challenges. At the time of CR’s investigation, out of the hundreds of e-bike manufacturers, only 13 were certified to UL 2849, a voluntary standard for the electrical systems of e-bikes. Following CR’s investigation, the CPSC wrote letters to over 2,000 manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers of micromobility devices, strongly urging compliance with applicable voluntary standards and warning of possible enforcement action.

CR’s investigation also 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-end devices that are currently more likely to be UL-certified, and may end up with lower quality or heavily used batteries.


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