E-scooter enthusiasts are being warned about the possibility of the two-wheel ride exploding on them and catching fire on the road. Electrical Safety First posted their take on the trend of e-scooters and e-bikes as a new mode of transportation to adapt to the coronavirus crisis.
The organisation has compared this likely occurrence to gadgets using lithium batteries which have been known to catch fire and explode if faulty batteries have been installed.
At this time, e-scooters are not allowed on public roads and pavements in the UK in light of safety concerns for vehicles and the scooter rider. There have been a number of fatal accidents involving e-scooters, which also included the death of YouTube star Emily Hartridge. She was on her way to a fertility clinic appointment on her e-scooter when she collided into a lorry at Battersea, south west London last year.
As the trial for the use of e-scooters on British streets was recently launched in Middlesbrough, about 200,000 e-scooters have already been purchased across the UK. Surveys show that at least one in seven people in the UK are on the lookout to buy either an e-bike or e-scooter within the year. Although many still prefer the old pedal and sweat bicycle as an alternative to public transport as lockdowns have eased up, studies made by Electric Safety First suggest that a majority prefer the convenience of these rechargeable 2-wheel rides.
The main concern of the ESF is for buyers to be careful in purchasing the battery charging pack needed to run these things. According to their survey, people seemed to be fine with buying these battery packs from online marketplace platforms which are susceptible to sellers offering substandard and imitation battery packs to unwary consumers which could put their lives and property at risk if the battery explodes.
The charity organisation repeatedly warns that these substandard versions can cause serious injuries should it catch fire or explode while in use or while it is charging.
The Government of Middlesbrough has stated that the trial only allows people to ride hired e-scooters from registered vendors with riders above 16 years old and must have a valid driving license. E-scooters cannot go past the limit of 15.5 mph. The road trial assessment will carry through for 12 months to be able to properly observe if these can significantly reduce traffic as well as if it impacts the safety of its users and others on the road.