You must log in or register to comment.

cddotdotslash t1_jb2yslf wrote

Meanwhile over at /r/MicromobilityNYC, there is a steady stream of people reporting that their apartments have banned these kinds of batteries and commenters there are sharing tips on how to secretly get around the ban.


HEIMDVLLR t1_jb32wj5 wrote

They’re hypocrites, they want everyone else to follow the laws except them. Traffic signs and lights are just suggestions for them. Asking them to contribute anything financially sets them off.


[deleted] t1_jb3h64v wrote



HEIMDVLLR t1_jb3hrxi wrote

And guess what, as a driver I don’t like it either, but I also won’t defend their actions. I’ve said it before everyone can be assholes, pedestrians, cyclist and drivers, even bus drivers.


[deleted] t1_jb3iflt wrote



HEIMDVLLR t1_jb3jj5s wrote

Show me the NYCCars sub or an offline group of car owners defending asshole drivers. As a driver I can attest we’re constantly cussing each other out in public.

Cyclist will defend another rider who engaged in road rage with a car and almost lost their life in the process.


beer_nyc t1_jb435w0 wrote

> Show me the NYCCars sub or an offline group of car owners defending asshole drivers

Have you read the NY Post comment section?


HEIMDVLLR t1_jb4k01i wrote

The NYPost doesn’t represent NYC residents.


Dreamtown_Comix t1_jb4r5sm wrote

That’s a dumb argument because an asshole driver can kill you whereas an asshole bicyclist can knock you down


HEIMDVLLR t1_jb4wjdo wrote

That’s all the more reason why cyclist should be discouraging other riders from playing stupid games with drivers. Blowing a red light puts you in direct danger of getting hit.

Stop encouraging cyclist to bust mirrors, scratch paint, dent panels, purposely slow down in front of drivers. Shit like that should be downvoted, but it’s not.


Dreamtown_Comix t1_jb522jf wrote

I feel like you’re mad about an argument no one is making


HEIMDVLLR t1_jb543sz wrote

I feel like you’re not familiar with r/nycbike and r/micromobilitynyc or even live in NYC for that matter.


Dreamtown_Comix t1_jb5fetw wrote

Well I feel like you live in Ronkonkoma and are mad you can’t park your F-350. Just take the LIRR my friend


HEIMDVLLR t1_jb5gham wrote

I actually grew up here and live in the city. You think the entirety of NYC looks like Manhattan and it’s far from the truth.


Dreamtown_Comix t1_jb5gudu wrote

Queen’s boulevard has been ruined by cars just as much as 8th Avenue


HEIMDVLLR t1_jb5ppl9 wrote

How has it been ruined by cars? What was it like before cars?

The city could easily build paths underneath/above the roadway for pedestrians. Just like they do for the LIE and Van Wyck Expressway nearby.


Dreamtown_Comix t1_jb60406 wrote

Queens blvd. and several similar roads (Linden blvd, kings highway, etc) were proposed to be built around light rail however Robert Moses opted to design them so that public transit could NEVER be added. This design only served wealthier single family suburbanites who would then drive their cars everywhere, creating more traffic. So it’s not really what queens blvd was but more what it could have been.

Also pedestrian bridges are hugely inconvenient and tunnels always become disgusting/dangerous.


HEIMDVLLR t1_jb69t1t wrote

I actually like the light-rail option, reminds me of San Francisco’s Embarcadero Street. Which also has busy intersections. What’s stopping the city from adding the light rails now?

The tunnels underneath could be well lit and connected to the subway stations below like a lot of subway stations in Manhattan around time square, Rockefeller, Penn station and Grand Central station.


Dreamtown_Comix t1_jb70k5l wrote

Yes. The embarcadero is a nicer road than queens blvd. Queens blvd was built intentionally too narrow to allow the eventual addition of light rail. Basically, they chose drivers slight convenience over transit users large inconvenience. The it only takes that train on the embarcadero 15 minutes to cover the entire length.

As for the tunnels: No! Since humans require fresh air and sunlight, if there are gonna be tunnels leave them for the machines


elizabeth-cooper t1_jb4ywll wrote


Dreamtown_Comix t1_jb529ww wrote

Sure but what’s the fatality rate? 0.01%?


elizabeth-cooper t1_jb53anb wrote

The car accident fatality rate in NYC is <.01% so I'll agree that the bicycle accident fatality rate is lower than that. But the point is that it can and does happen. I also know an older person who broke her wrist being knocked down by a cyclist. A bicycle accident isn't a joke, especially for the elderly.


Dreamtown_Comix t1_jb5d92j wrote

Sure but again the same is true of cars that not many times more so. Additionally if our infrastructure was more bike-centric pedestrians would know where to look out for cyclists


onyourrite t1_jb39diw wrote

^ Thank you! I’m all for micro-mobility stuff and I’m sure a lot more people would be too if the users actually had some courtesy when on the road

The reputation cyclists and e-bikers and other riders have amongst a lot people are “those annoying assholes who go through red lights,” not to say that they’re all bad but that’s the general view of them from my experience

Also this issue of batteries exploding is just insane, how are these bikes and scooters still allowed on the street? Can you imagine the uproar if it was EV batteries or maybe the batteries within hybrid vehicles?


HashtagDadWatts t1_jb3aehi wrote

Everyone goes through red lights here. Cars, trucks, pedestrians, cyclists, everyone. For some reason, self righteous internet comments just decide certain road users should be held to a saintly standard.


HEIMDVLLR t1_jb3h58z wrote

Guess which ones have a means of being tracked down and ticketed for running said red light? I’m sure you know which one based on a certain link always shared to look up moving and parking violations.


ELnyc t1_jb3buu2 wrote

Do people regularly drive cars on the sidewalk?


ELnyc t1_jb3daah wrote

Strange how the existence of this article seems to imply that this is an unusual occurrence.


Grass8989 t1_jb3ehtb wrote

Yea, people regularly go on targeted violent rampages with uhaul trucks. That’s totally comparable to unregulated e-bike batteries exploding.


Jeff3412 t1_jb3wjnd wrote

I mean banning lithium ion batteries is pretty crazy. Imagine not being able to have a laptop or modern cell phone in your building.


ShadownetZero t1_jb4euv5 wrote

They're banning ebike batteries, not all batteries.


mostly_a_lurker_here t1_jb5gbte wrote

Still, a blanket ban of all ebike batteries is very silly.

Fires are also caused by space heaters being connected to overloaded extension cords, imagine banning all space heaters for that reason.


ShadownetZero t1_jb5id7n wrote

Unless there's an easy way to identify these batteries (or an enforced way to prevent them from being sold) - a blanket ban is the only way buildings can really handle this.


mostly_a_lurker_here t1_jb5y35r wrote

That's not true, some buildings' management already handle this without a blanket ban. You can allow people to register their devices with the building, check for reputable brands and UL-listed components, and educate with rules and flyers throughout the building (that define where to charge, how to not use extension cords, be present while charging, etc).

I would also say that it's pretty easy to identify crapware from reliable batteries. Fly e-bikes, generic AliExpress stuff, cheap conversion kits, you can see those outright. Brands such as Lectric, Ride1up, Rad Power, are all solid. Scooters such as Razer or Ninebot, good. No-name scooters and hoverboards, bad.


phoenixmatrix t1_jbb08aq wrote

How do you track who has registered them and who didn't in a building of hundreds of people with constant guests coming in and out?

Its like buildings that require pets to be registered. They kindda check when you move in (maybe), but after that its essentially free for all, since its impossible for the building to keep track.


phoenixmatrix t1_jbb01bj wrote

>Still, a blanket ban of all ebike batteries is very silly.

Regardless of the reasoning behind the ban, enforcing nuance in apartment rules is basically impossible because of the burden of proof required. It kindda has to be all or nothing, else its nothing by default.


Jeff3412 t1_jb83dpk wrote

Then it doesn't really make sense.

If lithium Ion batteries are dangerous then they're dangerous. They're still dangerous even when they're in things basically everyone uses.


For example here's some stories from the last month of phones that exploded:

The same dangerous battery tech is still dangerous when attached to smart phones.


mostly_a_lurker_here t1_jbt8l7b wrote

This guy with the Shadow username blocked me because he had no arguments for his "blanket ban is the only solution" point. I think that says a lot.


Grass8989 t1_jb31o5a wrote

I mean, that sub also openly advocates for destroying property so it’s not really surprising.


janandgeorgeglass t1_jb34gug wrote

Like somehow wrecking people's stuff will magically get them to join your cause, lol 🙄🙄🙄


ZweitenMal t1_jb3s543 wrote

We have a guy in my building and I worry about it every day.


isowater t1_jb3r0fp wrote

That's such a disingenuous and hostile description of the sub. Vast majority there agree with banning illegal batteries. I haven't seen ONE upvoted post about hiding NON UL certified batteries. Blanket banning ebikes with great batteries are no different than banning your laptop with a great battery.


TeamMisha t1_jb7lay0 wrote

Another post cherry picking from that and the bike sub like the top reply to this comment does often. We can do the same with this sub and its asinine comments about car culture. Can't we be more civil? What does this hostility achieve? Is your goal to paint all cyclists as evil? You went out of your way to find that post, why?


heresmyusername t1_jb6gby7 wrote

As an NYC pedestrian post-Covid, I hate cars just as much as the next guy and I'm all for improved/protected bike access...

...but that subreddit is full of actual deluded freaks.


robxburninator t1_jb6zu28 wrote

100%. I'm not sure anyone on there rides a bike, I think they just like fighting.


phoenixmatrix t1_jbazjng wrote

Even if not so secretly. Our building has them banned (been in the leases from day 1 when they started leasing), and there's a bunch of people with them anyway. (They're even allowed if you park them in the basement, but people insist on having them in their units).

But if they refuse to comply, what can you do? Evict them? Sure, but that takes forever right now, and they know this.


ELnyc t1_jb3bq68 wrote

Ugh I have been hoping mine will ban them but so far nothing.


colonelcasey22 t1_jb2ys4b wrote

It definitely looked like a bad fire since I could see the smoke from nearly 10 miles away in Queens.


SecureRandomNumber t1_jb3hqs0 wrote

Question: why are all these recent fires being started by exploding e-scooter batteries, and not by phones and laptops and cordless power tools and vapes and kids' toys and all the other lithium ion powered devices that we have all been using and charging for years without any widespread safety issues? What is it about scooters specifically that's so dangerous?


SamTheGeek t1_jb3l1qg wrote

The vast majority of batteries in phones/laptops are safe and comply with various mandatory and elective safety standards. The e-bikes most commonly purchased do too. But many people buy cheaper batteries or run more amperage through them than is sound, and you get bad results.

There are plenty of incidents with “thermal runaways” in consumer batteries too — next time you’re on a plane, pay attention to the new addition to the safety briefing about not retrieving your phone if it falls into the seat. That warning is because of what happens if you crush a phone (it’s a battery fire)


erikbronx t1_jb4eb3v wrote

I concur, I was on a flight yesterday and heard this announcement.


EggsFish t1_jb4xyhd wrote

>That warning is because of what happens if you crush a phone (it’s a battery fire)

Interesting - I assumed the warning was to keep you from annoying the shit out of your seatmates/the flight attendants trying to get it lol.


anonyuser415 t1_jb5bs7z wrote

Also see this classic XKCD:

> If you're worried about bombs, why are you letting me keep my laptop batteries?


upL8N8 t1_jb6fxzh wrote

Because no one will buy 2x-3x priced laptop batteries in the airport convenience store. 🌩


ohgodimnotgoodatthis t1_jb3kgfb wrote

Cheap Chinese batteries that skip any sort of safety precautions they can to sell cheap garbage. They pass the savings on to consumers who then mishandle/modify them beyond their intended purpose and then you get shit like this happening.


PvtHudson t1_jb43sce wrote

Because most normal people don't buy laptops and cell phones off Aliexpress.


Dry_Mastodon7574 t1_jb57a46 wrote

This. I wanted to buy an escooter, but couldn't find any that were sold on legitimate sites? (Is Aliexpress legit? It feels off to me.)


heresmyusername t1_jb6hv2k wrote

Aliexpress is a marketplace for (primarily Indian or Chinese) slave labor to manufacture dirt cheap products devoid of quality or safety standards.

Shopping for some cheap decor or a knockoff puffer jacket? You're probably good. Need something electronic and/or has a lithium ion battery? Buddy, you're barking up the wrong tree.

Cough up some more dough and you'll be happy you did.


Flivver_King t1_jb6e635 wrote

Ali’s press is legit but it’s all Chineseium knockoffs.


Grass8989 t1_jb3kd4b wrote

Id imagine because amount of battery power required to propel a bike to 30 mph is significantly more than needed to power a vape pen


JoeWhy2 t1_jb4uwys wrote

E-Bikes are limited to 20 mph. If they go faster, they've been modified by the user.


doggodoesaflipinabox t1_jb52nru wrote

I've seen way too many e-bikes zipping past at something closer to 40mph.


JoeWhy2 t1_jb63g6g wrote

Ha ha! I love that people are upvoting your little fantasy. That's not happening. The motors are required to cut out at 20 mph. However, some users modify them to bypass that limit at a cost. An e-bike going 40 mph on a decent battery is only going to have a range of about 8 miles on a full charge.


doggodoesaflipinabox t1_jb8l4k5 wrote

And guess what these mods do? Up the limiters on speed and put a battery that is far too large for its purpose.


JoeWhy2 t1_jb8oc75 wrote

Bike batteries that would give you greater range at that speed don't exist. You have no idea what you're talking about.


doggodoesaflipinabox t1_jb8r744 wrote

I'm not saying they're always going flat out. They have the capability of going that quickly.


down_up__left_right t1_jb3wyzr wrote

Reputable companies vs not reputable companies.

When Samsung did put out a phone model that had these kind of problems they had to do a product recall and replace them because otherwise Samsung's reputation would have continued to sink and less and less people would have bought their phones.

Of the things you listed the vapes would be the biggest concern to me but at least those would be smaller batteries than what we're talking about with e-bikes and scooters.


yuriydee t1_jb3l03u wrote

Honestly Im curious too. Is it just really cheap and unsafe batteries from China causing these explosions or what?


JoeWhy2 t1_jb4wdiz wrote

That's part of it. It's also continued use of batteries that have been damaged, use of cheap chargers that don't automatically stop charging when battery is full, use of third party chargers to lower charging time, user modified bikes to bypass 20 mph speed limit.


drpvn t1_jb2w9vw wrote

Another permanent part of the new New York.


Bluecantrellmacygray t1_jb4aoon wrote

Oh so that’s what smelled like a burning supermarket this morning. Was wondering!


upL8N8 t1_jb7272a wrote

I mean... did it smell delicious? An entire supermarket's worth of food just got cooked.


ThirdShiftStocker t1_jb55im5 wrote

This is why e-scooters/hoverboards/e-bikes are not allowed in city buses, and having to explain it to those who missed the memo can go both ways with people


Grass8989 t1_jb301r0 wrote

Ban e-bikes.


Dull-Contact120 t1_jb3420x wrote

Insurance, registration, helmets, do it the right way. Go after stores/ sellers of fire prone batteries.


HashtagDadWatts t1_jb3ahu3 wrote

None of that is the right way. Dealing with the sale of sketchy equipment is.


SamTheGeek t1_jb3l73r wrote

We absolutely should be preventing the sale of unsafe batteries in the city and the US in general. The fact that the industry is completely unregulated is abhorrent.

I can’t believe the amount of effort that goes into preventing the import of, say, 20-year-old cars vs the amount that goes into preventing the import of unsafe electric transportation.


Solviento t1_jb4v9dr wrote

Ban e-cars.

Oh wait that's stupid. Why? Because they're regulated and held to a safety standard and pose less risk.


anonyuser415 t1_jb5d9br wrote

You don't park your car in the hallway. Cars are also dangerous while parked, and is the reason why garages have fire separation laws.


ManhattanRailfan t1_jb32cvz wrote

While we're at it, why don't we ban cars?


Grass8989 t1_jb32n34 wrote

Extremes are fun, right?


ManhattanRailfan t1_jb38lzw wrote

Difference being that banning cars would actually be good for the city.


Grass8989 t1_jb392y2 wrote

The fire that’s been burning since 1pm due to this e-bike battery explosion is doing great things for this city.


ManhattanRailfan t1_jb3amp0 wrote

And what about the hundreds of car fires that happen every year? Cheap, poorly made batteries being unsafe isn't a valid reason to ban all ebikes. The city should do a battery swap instead. But even with those bad batteries, they're still causing an order of magnitude less damage than cars do. 1700 New Yorkers dead every year, countless more with permanent health issues or life changing injuries, noise pollution, damage to infrastructure, damage from crashes, lost business revenues, tons of wasted space, slower buses, etc.


Grass8989 t1_jb3aybc wrote

E-bikes should need to be registered, insured, you should need a license, have to pay tolls, etc by that logic.


ManhattanRailfan t1_jb3c3kz wrote

That's such a stupid idea, honestly. There's no valid reason for that. They don't have the capacity to injure others or cause damage the way cars do, they aren't societal detriments the way cars are, they aren't difficult or dangerous to operate like cars are. By your logic electric wheelchairs should be licensed as well.


upL8N8 t1_jb6qckl wrote

I don't see anything wrong with a PEV registration and license plate. It puts the onus on a single entity (the government) to verify that the PEV + battery is meeting safety regulations, and also allows for the tracking of PEVs when they break the law.

A PEV registration could be shown in businesses / offices / apartments to prove that the vehicle passed safety checks.


ManhattanRailfan t1_jb6xer1 wrote

How about regulating the sale of batteries rather than making an affordable, efficient, and societally beneficial means of transportation more difficult?


upL8N8 t1_jb70o6i wrote

Legislation was just passed a few days ago that regulates battery sales in NYC, but that only applies to stores in the city AFAIK. There will still be people ordering batteries online or bringing them in from outside the city.

Registration / certification of the PEVs kills two birds with one stone. It ensures the battery packs / controllers being utilized are safe, and it tags the personal vehicle with a number that can be tracked if it breaks the law, making the owner liable.

Battery cells aren't the only cause of fires. There could be issues with motherboards/controllers starting on fire, motherboard / charger safeguards failing and causing a power surge to the battery. (each pack should have a fuse to protect against this.

IMO, all packs should have smart BMS built in with proper warnings for when cells aren't charging / balancing properly, or proper warnings for a thermal event. It'll cost more, but the more produced, the more they take advantage of economies of scale.

Even with all of these safeguards, battery cells can still fail and short out... for example if a dendrite pierces the cell separator and shorts out the cell or if the PEV was in an accident and there's no visually apparent damage. Until we have cells that are simply incapable of combusting, PEV batteries probably should be stored in a secure location, IMO. An apartment could build a safe storage locker, or maybe they only allow batteries of a certain size with the tenant proving they have a certified battery box / bag in the apartment that they're required to store their battery or PEV inside of that'll help to smother flames in the even of a fire. Probably wont' do anything about smoke though...

Something like this for small batteries:

I personally own an EUC with a relatively small battery (1 kWH) as far as EUCs go, but I live in a house. A firesak would likely work for me, but I'm planning to build a battery box for it soon and in the event I buy a larger EUC in the future. Some EUCs have batteries as large as 3-4.5 kWh. Upwards of 40 lbs of cells packed tightly next to one another. You can't simply remove those packs, and there's no good way to safely contain those units inside an apartment. IMO, those units shouldn't be allowed in an apartment, no matter how well done the electronics are and battery packs were constructed. If a single goes into thermal runaway and that runaway spreads, it could create one helluva fire.


ManhattanRailfan t1_jb71h6j wrote

By your logic you should need a license to have a phone or computer and store them in fireproof cases as well.


upL8N8 t1_jb7klax wrote

Actualy, I didn't say anything about a license. I said one should have a registration and certification for their device.

Comparing a cell phone with a 10-20 Wh battery capacity and low fire potential, or a laptop with 50 - 150 Wh battery capacity and relatively low fire potential to PEVs with anywhere from 250 to 5000 Wh is a bit of an apples to oranges comparison. Not to mention that many PEVs aren't certified in any way, versus cell phones / laptops that often are.

Cell phones / laptops can definitely start on fire, but when they do, it's far more tame and more manageable to deal with. The smoke is toxic, the fire is hot, but the overall battery size is small enough where it can be handled.

Some examples:

It's why batteries up to 100 Wh are allowed on planes. They're a bit PITA if they start on fire, but they likely won't kill anyone.

That isn't the case with a battery that's 10x-500x the capacity of a cell phone battery, or 2x-33x the size of a laptop battery.

If small e-bike batteries don't pose a serious threat, then maybe they don't need certification. However, given that a lot of people are buying PEVs with MUCH larger batteries, it becomes critical to ensure those battery cells, battery packs, monitoring systems, cooling systems, charging systems, and controllers are designed properly with low risk of fire.

Here's what a PEV fire with 2200 Wh battery looks like:

You gonna be the one to pick that up in the middle of your apartment or next to the door of your apartment and throw it in the tub? You gonna try to run past it? Pour some water on it? Think a fire extinguisher is gonna stop it? What they don't mention in this video is just how HOT lithium ion cells burn, making it easier to start things around it on fire. Making it harder to approach.

You'll note that the above fire wasn't caused by a failure in the cells; it was caused by a failure in the motherboard.

Here's the video of the PEV starting the grocery store on fire yesterday:

Here's one with only a 650 Wh battery:

Here's one with a 3100 Wh battery... in a firesak. (Firesaks are only tested with batteries up to 2000 Wh)

(I'm posting EUCs because those are my PEVs of choice and I'd seen the videos already)

Actually, that last two remind me of an issue not often brought up. Laptops and cell phones are either often sealed against water ingress, or they're often tucked away from water. PEVs OTOH may not be certified against water, yet a lot of people ride them in the rain.

The 650 Wh case I believe he said he rode in the rain before experiencing electrical issues; this was an early model that they've since re-designed. In the 3100 Wh case... the guy accidentally dropped the EUC in water; says he dropped it in a pond. He thought it was fine because he took it apart, dried it out, and it was still operating properly; you can see him riding it just before the fire. Luckily he was smart enough to know that there was the potential for bad things to happen while charging, so they took it out to the middle of nowhere to charge it up. Imagine you live in an apartment with a neighbor living below you who isn't so smart.


upL8N8 t1_jb6pwwp wrote

Not to mention the vast amount of space cars require for driving / parking.


upL8N8 t1_jb6pnw0 wrote

Seems to me that a building burning out of control isn't only a result of what caused the fire. Battery fires are extremely hot, which can start surrounding things on fire pretty quickly, but the heat is within the proximity of the battery; so how come the fire spread so quickly throughout the entire building without any built in structure to help slow it down? Why were they allowing the e-scooter to be parked in what looks like the employee coat area anyways? If they built a secured outdoor bike area, preferably covered, then this could have been avoided.

IMO there needs to be more safe/secure storage sites for PEVs / batteries... like parking garages that take up a fraction of the space.


koreamax t1_jb3fo76 wrote

No it at all


ManhattanRailfan t1_jb3g441 wrote

So you don't think we'd be better off with 1700 fewer annual deaths, better air quality, lower expenses, better buses, more funding for transit, better accessibility, higher business revenues, and less noise? Cars are massively detrimental to urban society and their use should be curtailed as much as possible.


koreamax t1_jb3giis wrote

Better business revenues? Are any of what you said backed up by data or are they just what you feel?


ManhattanRailfan t1_jb3hxbd wrote

It's really common sense. In cities, especially NYC, where walking is the primary means of transportation, the vast majority of business comes from foot traffic. Cars are loud and unpleasant to be around, meaning people are less likely to hang out when they're nearby. Remove the cars, and all of a sudden you have a lot more foot traffic. Look at places like Meatpacking now vs 5-10 years ago. Or Broadway, 14th Street, etc. All have far more foot traffic than before and business revenues are much better compared to nearby businesses on car-centric streets.

People in cars don't stop into places unplanned. They go directly to their destination, get what they need, and leave, usually never noticing any of the businesses they pass on the way, so they'll never know to even go to those places, let alone stop at them on the way to somewhere else.


TeamMisha t1_jb7kikn wrote

Why not regulate the batteries (as the city council is in the process of doing)? Many average people safely use ebikes too, cargo ebikes are becoming more and more popular with families to transport children around. A blanket ban seems excessive and heavy handed and cutting off a good transportation method. I feel like quality ebikes are an underrated method of helping people in subway deserts


1600hazenstreet t1_jb3nzmr wrote

Expect this to happen more, as the city implements congestion pricing. More people will use e-bikes and scooters, as alternative to MTA.