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NBDA Bicycle Industry Retailer Focused E Bike Safety & Standards Panel Meets

Published January 30, 2024

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 Irvine, CA – January 22, 2024 – The National Bicycle Dealers Association (NBDA) Bicycle E-Bike Safety & Standards Panel convened for the second time on December 12, 2023, to address critical concerns regarding electric bicycles (e-bikes) in the United States. The panel's discussions revolved around using Technology to minimize the impact of battery fires, an exploration of Throttles, Insurance Coverages and Battery Health.

 The panel, composed of industry leaders, experts, and stakeholders, spoke on these pressing issues and recognized the importance of standardized regulations and safety measures for e-bikes. The outcomes of the meeting include a commitment from panel members to work unitedly towards proposed action steps on each agenda item.

 Key Highlights of the Panel Discussion:

● Technology to minimize the impact of battery fires: The panel viewed a presentation providing an update on e-bike, and lithium-ion battery charging and storage cabinets and lockers and announced a Pilot Project scheduled for April 2024. HPS voiced that safe containment of lithium-ion batteries can quickly and effectively be accomplished through Rules and Regulations to keep compromised and hazardous sub-par lithium-ion batteries from reaching the consuming public, combined with informed and active enforcement.

 ● Throttles: The Canadian Electric Bicycle Association (CEBA) talked to the bike shop owner that submitted the question and concluded that this is primarily a Controller Programming Problem relating to soft and slow-starts from a stop. CEBA recommended that the dealer go back to the brand and discuss modifying the Controller Software Program. Bosch concurred and the panel generally agreed that this is an issue that should be addressed in owner’s manuals and in education of bike shop employees relative to the programing of the Controller and Sensors supplied OEM model by model.

 ● Insurance Coverage: Marsh McLennan (MM), NBDA Associate Member and the leading insurance agency for bike shops and bicycle/e-bike brands and manufacturers in the U.S. presented and addressed questions from the Panel. MM pointed out that many insurance companies are now reluctant or have stopped providing coverage for bike shops.  Bike shops have much more control over what they sell, and can request certificates of insurance from their suppliers, and have much less control over the products they service. It appears that some insurance companies are throwing the baby out with the bath water when it comes to providing insurance coverage for bike shops that stock, sell and service e-bikes. CEBA asked how do dealers determine what to service? The response from MM indicated that education is the key and the industry and brands need to step up and improve  educating bike shops about all aspects of stocking, selling and servicing e-bikes. MM concluded that brands and suppliers that do not have a legal presence in the U.S. are not subject to Tort law, meaning there is no way to file a lawsuit against them – so dealers should do business with brands that can provide certificates of compliance and insurance.

 ● Battery Health: Call2Recycle reviewed the conditions of lithium-ion batteries relative to moving them to recycling safely in a timely manner. Call2Recycle does provide all the handling, packaging and shipping material and instruction required by a dealer and also provides training when signing up a bike shop as a recycling center. Both CEBA and HPS commented that the high-end systems like Bosch do provide proprietary access for its dealers via computer and an APP, but this access is limited to authorized dealers that have gone through the brands service tech program.

 A recording of the forum is available for viewing on the NBDA YouTube Channel.

 The NBDA Bicycle Industry E-Bike Safety & Standards Panel acknowledges that fostering the growth of e-bikes in the U.S. requires a collaborative approach. The panel members are committed to working together to develop concrete action steps and recommendations in the coming months. These steps will be aimed at enhancing safety, increasing consumer confidence, and ensuring that e-bikes become a reliable and sustainable mode of transportation nationwide.

 Heather Mason, NBDA President stated, "I am thankful to the experts who lend their voice to these important conversations focused around retailer health and safety. I urge more to join in this proactive forum bringing topics and conversations forth to best serve all. "

 For further information about the NBDA Bicycle Industry E Bike Safety & Standards Panel and to participate or attend the next panel meeting in March visit here.

 About NBDA: The National Bicycle Dealers Association (NBDA) is a non-profit organization representing the interests of independent bicycle dealers in North America. Committed to advancing the bicycle industry and promoting cycling as a healthy and sustainable mode of transportation, the NBDA collaborates with industry stakeholders to address critical issues and foster growth within the cycling community.

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