Seattle-based electric bike maker Rad Power Bikes has just announced the biggest update to its entire product lineup yet, promising full UL-compliance for its batteries and e-bikes.
The move comes as UL-listing is seen as an increasingly popular issue among e-bike makers, customers, and local governments seeking ways to regulate e-bike safety.
According to Rad Power Bikes, all of the company’s e-bikes moving forward will be compliant with UL 2849 and all of the company’s lithium-ion batteries will be compliant with UL 2271.
UL 2849, known as the “UL Standard for Electrical Systems for eBikes,” provides fire safety certification by examining the electrical drive train, battery, and charger system combinations in e-bikes. The standard covers the entire e-bike drivetrain, including the battery.
UL 2271, by comparison, applies just to batteries used in light electric vehicles (LEVs) such as e-bikes and e-scooters. The standard covers the safety requirements for the design, manufacture, and testing of lithium-ion batteries used in LEVs.
By adopting both standards, Rad is ensuring comprehensive fire safety compliance throughout the systems used in all of its electric bikes moving forward.
Rad’s announcement comes just as the deadline is reached for New York City’s e-bike ban on non-UL-compliant electric bikes. Six months ago, New York City announced the ban to combat the rising number of fires associated with lithium-ion batteries used in devices like e-scooters and e-bikes.
While the number of fires was quite small compared to the hundreds of thousands of devices being charged each day, they have still led to a number of deaths in the city. The relatively small number of fires caused by batteries in e-bikes and e-scooters usually come from ultra-low-cost products that have skimped on safety guidelines during their production.
Several college campuses have also begun instituting blanket bans on electric bikes on campus, though many of these fears are based on a misunderstanding of the actual fire risks and make no exceptions for UL-listed e-bikes.
Today’s announcement makes Rad Power Bikes the largest electric bike maker yet to announce full UL-compliance for its e-bikes and lithium-ion batteries. It’s a trend that is all but sure to expand, especially considering Rad’s role as a trend leader in many aspects of the e-bike industry.
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