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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.