The popularity of electric bikes has increased in the Town of Comox and owners need to know some important information about the charging and storage of the lithium-ion batteries to minimize the potential of a damaged or overcharged battery.
A damaged or overcharged lithium-ion battery could lead to to what's called a "thermal runway" where the electrolytes within the battery is vaporized, pressuring the battery casing, and potentially leading to an explosion or fire when the case needs to release pressure.
Some safety tips from Comox Fire Rescue include the following:
- Inspect the battery for damage before charging.
- Charge batteries outside and away from combustibles when possible.
- Only charge batteries with the correct charger supplied by the manufacturer. Don’t use generic or third-party chargers.
- Buy only high quality batteries, preferably from the e-bike manufacturer.
- Never charge a lithium-ion battery pack overnight or unattended.
- Monitor charging batteries at all times. Check frequently for overheating.
- Disconnect the battery when it is done charging and store it in a safe place.
- Never open a lithium-ion battery pack. They are not serviceable.