The new lithium ion battery problem: electric scooters
Companies like Lime and Bird have helped to make electric scooters a popular form of transportation. The popularity of these and other scooter sharing companies has been important in introducing electric scooters to commuters all around the world. At about $1 to start and about $0.15 per minute afterwards, they are a pretty cheap way for a lot of people to get around.
However, in October of 2018, Lime pulled 2,000 electric scooters off the streets in L.A, San Diego, and Lake Tahoe due to a threat of fire. Defects in the lithium ion batteries posed potential fire risks in early versions of their electric scooters. And, in fact, certain of their scooters have actually caught on fire.
Fires from lithium ion rechargeable batteries are very serious because of the difficulty in extinguishing them. Due to the fact that the fire burns so hot and produces its own oxygen, standard home fire extinguishers aren’t effective in extinguishing a lithium ion battery fire.
While one of the biggest dangers of a lithium ion battery fire is getting seriously burned, another danger is the probability that it could ignite a secondary fire. This is why charging electric scooters by “juicers” or private citizens who perform freelance charging of the scooters at their home presents such a safety hazard, not only to themselves, but to their homes and the surrounding area.
Rentals of electric scooters have caught on in such places as Santa Monica and Los Angeles, and it looks like they may be here to stay. On any given day the sidewalks and side streets in Santa Monica are filled with scooters. But, they’re not without their safety issues. In addition to the potential injuries that can be caused by a battery fire, many riders are choosing to go without helmets and are not following local traffic regulations.
Many users aren’t following the guidelines established by scooter manufacturers which can lead to safety issues. Most models weren’t designed to be operated at night as they’re not equipped with headlights. They should not be driven in inclement weather because, if the battery gets wet, it can deliver a nasty shock.
Lithium ion batteries have a history of causing fire and injuries
Most of the safety issues associated with electric scooters are easily remedied as long as the riders follow the rules of the road, manufacturer guidelines, and use common sense about wearing protective gear.
However, the issue with rechargeable ion batteries is serious. Lithium ion batteries have a long history when it comes to causing fires. It’s usually a manufacturing defect that results in an explosion and/or fire which can result in serious skin burns and damage to other parts of the body or property.
If you’ve been injured due to a defective lithium battery while using an electric scooter, Greg Yates, lithium ion burn lawyer, has handled many cases involving product defects including lithium ion batteries.
Contact our law firm to schedule your free consultation.