NYC considering more e-bike charging stations; lawmakers push for lithium-ion battery regulations

Monday, April 24, 2023
NYC considering more e-bike charging stations amid battery fires
The lawmakers are pushing for the 'Setting Consumer Standards for Lithium Ion Batteries Act,' which would set federal safety guidelines. Derick Waller has details.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Possible changes are coming at both the city and federal levels in New York concerning lithium-ion batteries.

The e-bike batteries don't just cause fires, those faulty lithium-ion batteries can cause an explosion that can make it nearly impossible to escape.

Food delivery workers, many of them independent contractors, use those e-bikes but fire officials say it's the cheap aftermarket batteries that are the real issue.

On Monday the New York City Council Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure is considering the feasibility of building e-bike charging stations.

Officials say in New York City alone there has been more than 400 fires sparked by lithium-ion batteries in the last four years -- resulting in more than 300 injuries and 12 deaths.

That includes more than 200 fires just last year alone as the e-bikes have gained popularity with food delivery workers.

Alfonso Villa's 8-year-old daughter died in one of those fires. He spoke at a press conference Sunday about new federal legislation now being considered.

"I lost my only daughter, and I don't want that to happen to anyone over here. Because we work hard in the streets, and we just want to have a regular life to bring food for our kids and our families," Villa said.

Congressman Ritchie Torres is sponsoring a House version of the bill.

The committee with also consider a bill to require the DOT to report on evasion of red light and speed cameras by cars and other motor vehicles with unreadable, intentionally defaced, license plates.

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