Rad Power Bikes announced this month that all of its electric bicycles and lithium-ion battery products have received UL certification. Following the formal implementation of lithium-ion battery safety legislation in New York, electric bicycle brands have consecutively undergone product certifications, enhancing the quality of products available in the market and ensuring user safety.
The lithium-ion battery safety legislation, officially launched on March 2nd this year by the New York City Council, requires electric bicycles legally sold, rented, or leased in New York City to undergo UL 2849 certification. This standard covers the entire electrical system of electric bicycles, including batteries, chargers, and motors. Similarly, personal transportation devices with power mobility must meet UL 2272, and all separately sold lithium-ion batteries must comply with UL 2271. Sellers who do not comply with these regulations face civil penalties, with fines of up to $1,000 for each violation.
Rad Power Bikes stated that their electric bicycles have always met UL standards. This announcement, however, confirms UL compliance with these two standards for Rad’s current and future models through third-party laboratories approved by UL.
“As an industry leader with over 600,000 riders, Rad is proud to drive the industry forward by supporting stricter regulations and guidelines.”
This regulation is playing a significant role in standardizing market products. Simultaneously, New York City is determined to curb fires, not only by compelling businesses to adhere to strict production standards but also through a two-year government-funded trade-in program approved by the city council. This program will replace uncertified electric bicycles and lithium-ion battery products currently on the market at reduced costs or for free. The initiative’s founder, Boles, stated, “It’s an important stopgap measure to make sure that the equipment is in place, because we’re trying to require that certified equipment be sold,” noting that there have been 175 lithium-ion battery fires, 96 injuries, and 14 deaths so far this year, posing a serious fire threat to the city.
The trade-in program is expected to help 65,000 delivery workers in the city access certified electric bicycles and batteries. Uber and electric bicycle brand Zoomo both have trade-in programs for delivery workers, but many have found the cost of upgrades to be too high.
For the majority of delivery workers, Council Member Oswald Feliz has called for third-party delivery app companies to provide safety equipment for their employees. Meanwhile, Grubhub and electric bicycle rental platform JOCO launched a program in June to provide lithium-ion battery-powered electric bicycles, certified to international standard IEC 62133, to at least 500 delivery partners across multiple cities.
Council Member Gale A. Brewer has called on the city’s transportation department to update its existing commercial bicycle safety curriculum to include electric bicycles and light mopeds, with a specific focus on battery safety. “Clearly, there are a lot of new entrants in the delivery worker business who haven’t gotten the education they need. This legislation will require app companies to distribute safety course materials to workers and require app companies to provide safety equipment at their own expense, including front lights, rear lights, mirrors, helmets, and bells or other types of audible signals.