A Resource Guide to E-bike Battery Safety: for Riders, Retailers, and Employers

Updated: February 13, 2023

As we are all aware by now, the e-bike market continues to grow, thrive, and evolve before our eyes. With this rapid rise, we have seen concern around the safety of e-bike batteries. We have been spending a lot of calories on absorbing and synthesizing the information coming at us hard and fast, whether it be from the news, the experts, or in person at our bike shops. We are therefore eager to share the most helpful information from the most knowledgeable and reliable sources (including but not limited to PeopleforBikes, The National Bicycle Dealers Association, Marsh & McLennan Agency and Call2Recycle, among others). We hope this will help us all with navigating this exciting frontier of e-bike innovation, whether we’re riding, wrenching, or parking these amazing, life changing tools on two wheels.

General Safety Tips

The most important thing to emphasize is that e-bikes and the batteries that power them are safe when properly used and maintained. This can be done by following these general e-bike battery safety tips, by our friends at Call2Recycle (see their infographic to the right). If you take away any information from here, this is it!

Battery Certification and Insurance

Many of us saw the advisory letter sent out by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) which urges using UL 2849-certified batteries exclusively. This is important, but could be restrictive, since other types of legitimate third party certifications exist, like EN15194 in Europe. Therefore our recommendation is to ensure that the bikes/batteries have been tested by a reputable third party source. If you’re unable to easily find whether the product has been third party tested, reach out to the manufacturer–or ask your local shop to reach out–and confirm that the product has been tested by a reputable third party entity (see the next section for tips on searching for legitimate brands). If you are a retailer, along with the above tips, you should ensure that the manufacturer has a certificate of insurance, especially for the new, lesser known, or foreign brands.

Courtesy of Call2Recycle

Shopping for, and Servicing Your E-bike

Right now it’s a challenge to find reputable, safety-tested brands among the crowded market. Bike shops are also getting stricter with which e-bike brands they will service. So how should you identify a good e-bike brand that you know will be serviced? Call2Recycle has developed a program with the bike industry to safely and sustainably recycle e-bike batteries. This is the list of manufacturers and brands that they work with. We therefore recommend using this same list of brands when shopping for a bike, because you’ll know that you can get it serviced and the battery can be properly disposed of and replaced. Keep in mind that while brands/manufacturers are extensively vetted for safety, this program does not require that they have a third party certification (like UL), so we still recommend doing your homework to ensure that the brands you’re interested in are third party tested.

One red flag to keep in mind when shopping for e-bikes is their online price, especially if they skirt just under $800. This is because the largest issue around bad actor batteries stems from the US de minimis import clause, which allows any imported products priced under $800 entry into the country without requiring any taxation or inspection. So, if a bike is priced at $799.99, be aware! The de minimus import clause is being debated in congress as we speak.

If you are a bike shop or other OEM, brand owner or importer of record and want to be included in the battery recycling program, Call2Recycle makes it easy for you to provide a safe and compliant recycling solution for your retailers and consumers. Email ebikeprogram@call2recycle.org to learn more.

Conversion Kits

Conversion kits take regular pedal bikes and convert them into e-bikes. Are they safe/recommended? The short answer: no. Generally speaking, a pedal bike often lacks key features needed to operate a safe e-bike. And it is hard to make a system that fits all bikes. In addition, conversion kits are completely unregulated.

Parking Facility Design and Policies

We understand it is difficult to regulate what types of bikes (and other micromobility vehicles) are parked in your bike parking facility. We therefore recommend these best practices around design and policy to mitigate against incidents within your facility.

  • Consider the room fire rating as recommended by the National Fire Protection Association in accordance with local building and fire codes. 
  • Consider what sprinkler system and fire suppression equipment to include. 
  • Lithium batteries are self-oxidizing and fires are not easily extinguishable due to their high temperatures. Because of this, specialized fire suppression items such as a lithium fire blanket can be invaluable. 
  • If your bike parking facility includes charging outlets, make sure they are accessible to rack users but are not placed in areas easily knocked around. Other considerations may include placing power outlets on a room level timer so that they shut off during non-business hours.
  • Create a policy to limit the types of bicycles allowed to charge in the facility. 
  • Train employees on the use of safety equipment and on what to do in case of a fire. 
  • Each bike parking facility should also have clear ‘in case of fire’ instruction signs displayed in the areas used for charging.

See our full E-bike Parking Facility Best Practices for more details.


The majority of the information we’ve provided here will apply to other e-micromobility devices. This especially applies to ensuring a third party rating. One key difference is that non bike-related devices (e.g. scooters) fall under a different UL rating, namely UL 2272. 

Helpful Sources

We’ve compiled a list of sources if you’re looking to get more into the weeds on battery safety. There is vital information here, whether you own an e-bike, work at a shop, or are including bike parking at your building or campus. If you don’t see what you’re looking for here, please reach out to us directly so we can properly assist your needs.

Stay Up to Date

As the e-bike landscape rapidly evolves along with regulation and other information, we’ll be here to keep you informed, including keeping this page up to date. Sign up for Bikes Make Life Better’s newsletter to stay on top of all the latest bike industry trends.

Online Bike Forum: E-bikes & Battery Safety

Join our upcoming Online Bike Forum where experts in the realm of e-bikes and battery safety will discuss the context surrounding e-bike battery failures; why and what kinds of batteries are more prone to fire; and what policies and solutions to consider.

This document is provided for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon for meeting legal requirements and regulations. Bikes Make Life Better, Inc. (“BMLB”) expressly disclaims any responsibility for liability arising from or related to the use of any information in this document. For safe charging, storing, recycling, and disposal information for e-bike batteries, you should follow the manufacturer’s recommended procedures. For guidance related to the legal requirements and regulations applicable to e-bike batteries, you should consult with a legal professional. Reliance on advice, information or the content of these guidelines is solely at your own risk.

Bikes Make Life Better is dedicated to helping employees at large organizations use bikes for healthy sustainable transportation. They’ve helped design bike programs, facilities, and fleets for Airbnb, Meta, Kaiser Permanente, LinkedIn, Netflix, Salesforce, Stanford, and many others.