• Media Coverage

May 16, 2024

What They Are Saying: Strong Support for E-Mobility Safety in H.R. 1797 

The e-bike and e-scooter market has grown dramatically in the U.S. in recent years. Also growing? A troubling knowledge gap among e-bike and e-scooter riders. UL Standards & Engagement’s recent report on e-mobility found that more than half of e-bike owners (53%) and e-scooter owners (54%) are unaware that their vehicles are powered by lithium-ion batteries. This lack of awareness leads to not appreciating the risk of thermal runaway.  

The Setting Consumer Standards for Lithium-Ion Batteries Act (H.R. 1797) is a major step toward reducing lithium-ion battery fires. The bill would require the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue a safety standard for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries used in e-mobility devices. The recognition of the importance of safety standards in reducing the risk of battery fires and the bipartisan 374-34 vote is critical momentum as the bill heads to the Senate. 

In addition to UL Standards & Engagement, a chorus of voices issued their support for H.R. 1797 to ultimately become law. Here's what they’re saying:  

Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh, New York City Fire Department: “This bill is the first step in what must be a long-term, nationwide conversation,” Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said. “Technologies like these are evolving rapidly, and public safety agencies must be part of those conversations. We need to work together, share information and ideas.” [Quote, 5/15/24] 

Fire Chief John S. Butler, President and Board Chair of the International Association of Fire Chiefs: “This legislation is the first step in making this innovative technology fire-safe...” [Statement, 5/15/24] 

Edward A. Kelly, General President, International Association of Fire Fighters: “Our firefighters and the communities they serve are at risk of injury and death from the escalating dangers posed by these hazardous batteries. Setting essential safety standards is a crucial step in protecting property and saving lives.” [Statement, 5/15/24] 

Jim Pauley, President and CEO of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA): “This bipartisan legislation is critical to addressing the rapidly growing threat to first responders and the general public from fires that can become serious in mere seconds.”  [Statement, 5/15/24] 

Mayor Eric Adams, New York City: “We know these fires can cause serious injury and even death. I applaud Congressmember Torres for championing this important legislation so that we can continue to embrace this new technology while also protecting the public from deadly fires.” [Statement, 5/15/24] 

Amy Healy, Grubhub’s Vice President of Government Affairs. “With the passage of the Setting Consumer Standards for Lithium-Ion Batteries Act in the House of Representatives, we are one step closer to improving safety for the many Americans who rely on lithium ion-powered micro mobility devices for personal and commercial use. Grubhub thanks Representative Torres and the many cosponsors of this legislation for their leadership on this critical public safety issue. We urge the bill’s swift passage in the Senate.” [Statement, 5/15/24] 

Gabe Knight, safety policy analyst for Consumer Reports: “Today’s House vote is a critical step forward in protecting consumers from preventable fires,”. [Statement, 5/15/24]  

Congressman Andrew Garbarino: “This legislation will mitigate the risk of these devastating fires as the use of unchecked lithium-ion batteries in mobility devices, like those used in electric scooters and bikes, continues to increase.” 

Congressman Ritchie Torres: “...The electric micro mobility devices that lithium-ion batteries power have quickly spread far and wide across our cities and many service workers rely on them. However, we must ensure that the proper safety standards accompany this heightened usage. I am proud to receive the overwhelming support of my colleagues in the House on this commonsense legislation and I urge the Senate to take this up quickly so that President Biden can swiftly sign the bill into law and save lives.” [Statement, 5/15/24] 

Dr. David Steel, executive director, UL Standards & Engagement: “This is a monumental step forward in protecting Americans from devastating e-bike fires caused by thermal runaway of lithium-ion batteries. We applaud the bipartisan support of this bill and what it can mean for the safety of consumers across the country.” [Social, 5/15/24]