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August 1, 2023

E-Bike Safety Standards on the Move: Our Partnership With NBDA

EBike Test

On July 25, UL Standards & Engagement continued its engagement with the National Bicycle Dealers Association by co-hosting an online webinar concerning eBike safety. The conference featured ULSE Head of Partnerships David McKnight, Director of Standards Programs Diana Pappas Jordan, and UL Solutions Global Leader for Consumer Medical and Information Technologies Ibrahim Jilani.

Riding Toward Safety

E-bikes are an increasingly popular mode of transportation. However, there are significant consequences if the lithium-ion batteries that power these devices malfunction or are misused, as demonstrated with the rise in e-mobility related fires in recent months.

“The world thrives on innovation, but with every new product or service come new dangers or risks associated with the technology, and our safety standards outline the processes in which products are evaluated to help mitigate risk, injury or danger.” said McKnight during his portion of the presentation. “In addition to ensuring safety, standards can also measure and validate performance, environmental health, and sustainability.” 

McKnight also took time to introduce the structuring of ULSE as well as the process by which Standards are independently developed at ULSE, specifically highlighting how this process enables innovation while growing trust and promoting access to safety materials. McKnight ended his portion of the event saying, “We exist solely to promote and protect human safety. Our independence places trust at the center of our value proposition. Since few products are regulated by the government, we strive to make voluntary standards an essential part of protecting safety and preserving access.”

In addition to McKnight’s presentation, Pappas Jordan briefed the panel on UL Standards processes including the operating structure of a technical committee, while encouraging participants to share their expertise by getting involved in the ULSE standards development process. Jilani concluded the event by presenting relevant data concerning thermal runaway of lithium-ion batteries, and how UL 2849, Electrical Systems for Bikes, provides requirements to help reduce these events.

Partnering with NBDA

The NBDA is a non-profit organization that represents specialty bicycle retailers and industry partners in the advancement of cycling policy and infrastructure.

In May, McKnight spoke at the NBDA Retailer Summit in Bentonville, Arkansas, which brought together key industry leaders, bicycle retailers, and enthusiasts from across the country to explore the latest trends, strategies, and innovations in the bicycle retail sector. Through its partnership with ULSE, NBDA will provide a variety of resources and programs to support eBike safety and equip dealers with the appropriate tools to communicate eBike safety to the consumer.