E-Scooter & E-Bike Battery Fires
May 7, 2024

5 E-Bike and E-Scooter Safety Tips

Every day, thousands of people rely on electric bikes, scooters, hoverboards, or other e-mobility devices to get them where they need to be. But the intense conditions these devices encounter in daily use — or through unsafe storage or charging practices — can increase the risk of damaging the batteries powering them. Damaged e-bike batteries are at greater risk of entering thermal runaway, an uncontrollable, self-heating state that can lead to smoke, fire, or explosion.

Find answers to five common questions to help prevent the risk of battery fires in e-bikes and e-scooters.

How can I tell what e-bike battery I have? What batteries and chargers are safest?

ebike survey results
More than half of surveyed e-bike (53%) and e-scooter (54%) owners are unaware that their devices are powered by lithium-ion batteries.

Most batteries powering electric bikes, scooters, and hoverboards are lithium-ion batteries. You can often find the battery type listed on the battery case, in the instruction manual, or marked on your device by icons or symbols that note "Li-Ion" or "Li+."

Only buy batteries and chargers that have been evaluated to safety standards, such as UL 2849, UL 2849 or UL 2272, and that have been approved for use with your device by the manufacturer. This means that the battery has been designed and constructed according to rigorous safety requirements. Counterfeit and unapproved replacement batteries do not offer the same protections as those that conform to safety standards and pose a higher risk of thermal runaway. Follow all instructions and markings provided by the manufacturer to reduce the risk of fire, electric shock, or injury.

How should I charge an e-bike battery?

When charging your electric scooter, e-bike, or hoverboard device:

  • Always follow manufacturer instructions when charging batteries
  • Only use the charger supplied or recommended by the manufacturer — avoid counterfeit chargers
  • Never charge your device near an exit, as it could block your escape in the event of a fire
  • Do not overcharge batteries. In a recent survey by UL Standards & Engagement, more than half (55%) of e-bike owners admit to leaving devices plugged in after reaching full charge
  • Never leave batteries unattended while charging or charge overnight while sleeping
  • Do not charge batteries in extremely hot or cold temperatures
  • Charge batteries before they completely lose power

Can e-bike or e-scooter batteries catch fire even when not charging?

ebike survey results
Nearly half (49%) of surveyed users who charge e-bikes at home do so in an entryway, front door, hallway, or other location that could block exit in the event of a battery fire.

E-bike or e-scooter batteries can catch fire even when they are not charging if they have sustained damage that would cause them to enter thermal runaway which can lead to a fire. A thermal runaway incident can take place hours or even days after an e-bike has sustained damage or been exposed to extreme hot or cold temperatures. If an e-bike has been in an accident or fall, owners should take extreme caution.

Electric bike, hoverboard, and scooter owners should always examine batteries for physical damage like punctures or dents, leaking, swelling, and other signs of thermal runaway, including an extremely hot-to-the-touch battery, unusual smells, smoking batteries, or hissing or popping sounds. If a device is parked outdoors and unattended, it may experience damage without the owner’s knowledge.

Can you place an electric scooter or e-bike near a heater?

Electric scooters or e-bikes should not be stored or charged near heat sources, direct sunlight, or in areas that exceed manufacturer-specified temperature limits, as extreme temperatures can cause lithium-ion batteries to overheat and increase the risk of a battery fire.

Where can I learn more about e-bike and e-scooter battery fire safety?


Visit our e-bike and e-scooter safety hub to view lithium-ion battery fire statistics, facts, related resources, and how UL Standards & Engagement is working to reduce the risk.