Battery Powered Bicycles Safety


Battery Powered Bicycles Safety

Battery Powered bicycles are becoming increasingly popular as a mode of transportation. They are a great way to make short trips, they save you money, and they reduce your footprint on the environment. However, as with any moving vehicle, a battery powered bicycle has potential risks. The standard safety precautions apply to electric bikes just as they apply to regular bikes. In fact, because electric bikes can go faster and are heavier, they create a greater potential for accidents to happen. 

Battery Powered Bicycle Safety Tips

Always Wear a Helmet

Wearing a helmet is the most important safety tip for any electric bike rider. Wearing a helmet could be the difference between life and death if you were to get in a serious accident. 

Use your lights

It is imperative that you have a rear light and head light on your ebike if you are planning on riding at night. Most serious ebike accidents happen at night due to the decreased visibility from oncoming traffic. The Tower electric cruiser bike comes equipped with a reflective band on the tires that light up when exposed to light. You can put lights on your helmet, your spokes, or even wear reflective clothing that helps you be seen in the dark. Besides lights, other safety devices you could use to warn traffic of your presence are bells and horns.

Ride on the Correct Side of the Road

This is another obvious one but still very important. As a bicyclist, always remain on the side of the road riding with traffic and not against it. Additionally, if there is a bike lane be sure to stay in that and do not veer into the vehicle lanes or sidewalk. 

Use a Mirror

Attaching a mirror on the handle of the ebike will allow you to see the traffic behind you. If you need to switch lanes a mirror will help you see the traffic behind you while also not taking your eyes off the road in front of you. 

Battery Powered Bicycle Fire risk

Lithium-ion batteries can present a potential fire risk in some rare cases. For example, the Samsung Galaxy Phone and the hoverboard are famous lithium ion battery devices that caught on fire. The main cause of these fires is something called a thermal runway. A thermal runway occurs when the cells inside the lithium ion battery overheat causing an ignition of fire. The vast majority of ebike companies use a pack of lithium ion cells in their ebike batteries. Having the lithium ion cells clumped together in a pack allows for a much higher energy density. Additionally, the shape of the cells is important. E-bike batteries come manufactured in three different types of shapes; cylindrical, prismatic, or pouch shaped. The majority of high-end ebike brands use cylindrical shaped battery packs for their ebike batteries. Samsung, Panasonic, and Lishen manufacture most of these high-end ebike batteries. For example, Tower’s electric cruiser bike comes equipped with a 48v 14Ah Samsung battery. Cylindrical shaped batteries are preferred because they are equipped to handle the high temperatures better. Prismatic shaped cells are flatter and smaller so they are usually used in smaller devices like cellphones or tablets.   


More Battery Powered Bicycle Safety Resources

Moisture

Electric bikes are made to be ridden in all conditions. That said - do not charge your battery in a moist or wet environment, as over time, moisture can get into the battery and cause damage to the cells. If you are caught in the rain during your ride, be sure to dry off your battery, its terminals, and the charging port before you plug the charger back in. If moisture is present when electrical current in being passed through the battery, you will run the risk of getting an electric shock and damaging the battery itself.


Damaged charger cables

If you can see exposed copper through the outer cable, cover it with high electrical tape immediately. The outer layer of cables are there to insulate the cable and prevent excess heat escaping. Exposed copper or wiring will expose you to a greater fire risk while charging. If your cable is worn and copper is exposing and you wish to continue using it, take extra precautions and ensure that the exposed wire does not come into contact with anything flammable while it is in use.


Learn more about lithium ion battery safety precautions.