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New York starts state-wide lithium-ion battery safety campaign

Published February 2, 2024

ALBANY, N.Y. (BRAIN) — A month after saying she would propose a state-wide ban on the sale of uncertified lithium-ion batteries, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the start of a safety campaign to raise awareness of consumer products that use those cells.

The Buy Safe, Charge Safe campaign started Thursday and includes display, search, and social media ads directed to consumers purchasing lithium-ion battery powered items like e-bikes and e-scooters. Focusing on what to look for when buying lithium-ion battery products, safe usage and disposal, the ads will be paired with an educational video. Clicking on the ads or video will link to the Charge Safe website.

In addition, the New York Department of State's Division of Consumer Protection and the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services created a Lithium-Ion Battery Consumer Safety Guide.

"Lithium-ion batteries power so many of the devices we use every day," said New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray. "Unfortunately, the improper use or charging of uncertified or second-hand versions of batteries, especially those found in micromobility devices, can lead to tragic results. I encourage all New Yorkers to do their part in helping prevent lithium-ion fires by taking time to understand how to safely use these batteries and ensure their households are protected."

New York City experienced 240 fires and 17 deaths from lithium-ion battery incidents in 2023, according to FDNY.

State Sen. Iwen Chu introduced four bills in November to address lithium-ion battery safety in New York City, including one that would require all New York state e-bike and e-scooter shops to have fire suppression measures in place.

Dealers selling or repairing e-bikes and e-scooters or who store lithium-ion batteries would be required to have, but not limited to, "Class B extinguishers, battery cases, and automatic monitoring and detection."

Another bill introduced by Chu would require e-bike and e-scooter batteries sold in the state to be tested and approved by UL. Earlier in 2023, the New York City Council passed and Mayor Eric Adams signed into law a lithium-ion battery safety package that included requiring all e-bikes and lithium-ion batteries sold in the city to meet those standards or another recognized certification standard.

Topics associated with this article: Electric bike

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