March 23, 2023: New York City is to crack down on lithium ion battery fires and pilot new technology to promote safer options to store and recharge batteries.
NYC mayor Eric Adams said on March 20 he had signed five new laws that included a tightening of regulations on the sale of lithium batteries in New York as part of a ‘Charge Safe, Ride Safe: New York City’s Electric Micromobility Action Plan’.
The move came just weeks after NYC fire commissioner Laura Kavanagh urged US consumer safety chiefs to do more to keep substandard lithium ion batteries out of the country and regulate chargers and e-bikes. This follows hundreds of battery fires and six deaths in the city over the past year.
Now the city’s latest regulations will include the promotion of hubs for delivery drivers to safely rest and charge their e-mobility devices throughout the city.
The mayor said NYC would apply for federal funding to launch pilot safe outdoor locations for the storage and charging of e-micromobility vehicles.
“We are supercharging safety for all of our e-bikes and e-scooter users,” Adams said. “These are convenient transportation options for New Yorkers, but faulty and illegal devices are making their way into our homes and streets, causing fires and putting lives at risk.”
Deputy mayor for public safety Philip Banks said “the goal is safety, not punishment”.
NYC will also create a fire marshal task force focused on tackling those who flout fire regulations and to identify potential hot spots to avoid lithium ion battery fires around the city.