Want to buy an e-bike with a safer UL battery? Your options are slim, but growing

We’ve talked a lot about the increasing spate of fires related to light electric vehicles, including e-bikes, e-scooters, and other micromobility devices. But one Southern California-based e-bike company is now doing something about it by upgrading all of their batteries with UL certification. Juiced Bikes is now one of the few e-bike companies to offer UL-listed batteries, though the number is slowly growing.

It’s important to remember that the fire risk in electric bikes is incredibly low. There are millions of e-bikes in the US, but just 200 fires were reported from e-bike batteries in 2021 and 2022.

Even so, the few fires that have been reported can spread quickly due to the nature of Li-ion battery fires, which burn much more intensely than a traditional fire.

There is currently no state or federal requirement in the US for e-bikes to come with safety certification for their batteries. That is why many in the industry are urging electric bike manufacturers to voluntarily undergo such certification.

Juiced Bikes, makers of popular high-performance electric bikes, has heeded the call. The company recently announced that all its electric bikes will have UL-compliant and certified batteries.

As CEO and founder of Juiced Bikes Tora Harris explained:

“From the beginning, we’ve prioritized the importance of using only the best and safest components to create our electric bikes.While we’re extremely proud of our own track record when it comes to the issue of e-bike safety, we urge prospective customers to understand the importance of UL certification and basic safety requirements when considering e-bike ownership.”

juiced ripracer e-bike

UL-certification for e-bike batteries isn’t just about making them fire-resistant, but also resistant to other forms of abuse or damage. The certification ensures that the battery has an airtight seal, taht the battery closure can hold up against impacts, direct heat, light rain, and the wiring has to be designed to protect against accidental shorting. UL certified batteries are also tested to ensure they can endure overcharging, over discharging, short circuiting and imbalanced charging. 

In addition to UL certification for just the batteries in Juiced e-bikes, the company is currently in the process of receiving UL 2849 certification for the complete e-bike electronics systems. This certification will be required by NYC later this year after a recent legislative move to combat increasing micromobility-related fires in the densely populated metropolitan area.

It’s a move that matches Juiced’s ethos, as the company has already gone above and beyond on many of its models’ safety features. Most e-bikes come with headlights and tail lights, but many of Juiced’s models include features like mirrors, turn signals, a loud motorcycle-style horn, high/low beams, brake lights, hydraulic brakes, and motorcycle-style tires.

With the number of miles that many e-bike riders put on their bikes, it makes sense for companies to invest further in vehicle-level safety features.

As Harris continued:

“The reality is that more and more riders are using e-bikes to replace car miles, so it’s critical that we provide them with as many features that enable them to ride safely, and confidently, in every type of riding environment. Our UL certification can give these riders peace of mind that they are using e-bikes certified with the most rigorous of safety testing.”

Because UL certification is expensive and rarely required, most e-bike companies don’t offer it. Many use other forms of safety testing, and there are an increasing number of UL-listed e-bikes available.

But for the most part, Juiced Bikes is joining a short list of companies offering UL-compliant electric bike batteries.

How important is UL certification when you are choosing between e-bike models? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

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