Eric Adams’ Community Op-Ed: Supercharging Safety for E-bikes
Electronic transportation devices are everywhere in New York City now – and from daily commuting to food delivery, they are revolutionizing how we get around. E-bikes and e-scooters are a convenient and low-cost alternative to cars. They help reduce congestion on our streets and make our city cleaner and greener. Tens of thousands of our delivery workers rely on them for their livelihoods, and we all rely on them when we have goods delivered.
E-bikes are here to stay, and our city wants to make sure they are safe and reliable for all – both on the street and when they are being stored and recharged. While most of the e-bikes and e-scooters in our city are safe, there are some that do not meet safety standards and contain uncertified lithium-ion batteries.
These faulty devices are causing fires and explosions, putting New Yorkers and our first responders in danger. Last week, the City Council and our Administration took action to protect New Yorkers and delivery workers from these faulty devices. We are also taking action to crack down on illegal electric mopeds that endangers pedestrians and cyclists.
Last week, I signed five bills that ban the sale of uncertified e-vehicles as well as refurbished batteries. And we released our Charge Safe, Ride Safe plan to help New Yorkers use e-bikes and e-scooters safely. New Yorkers deserve access to safe devices and batteries, and we are committed to helping them transition away from faulty and unsafe ones.
New York City is leading the charge on safety, and we will continue to support a transition to safe electric mobility devices. We are going to pilot options like battery swapping and safe charging systems for our delivery workers and identify opportunities to make safe and legal devices accessible and affordable. And we are going to work with Los Deliveristas Unidos and other community groups, visiting all corners of New York City to train people on safety measures.
We are expanding education, increasing enforcement on high-risk situations, and pursuing additional regulation from the Federal government to ensure that illegal devices are not on our streets.
Many people store batteries and battery-operated scooters in their homes, places of business , and in their restaurants. And every New Yorker who uses these devices can help keep themselves and the city safe by following these tips:
Purchase only legal, UL-certified e-bikes and e-scooters. Never use refurbished batteries. Use only the charger and battery made specifically for your device. Keep batteries away from heat sources like radiators. If a battery is damaged, stop using it. Do not store batteries near the exit of a room or apartment. And never leave batteries unattended when charging, especially overnight.
New Yorkers can dispose of lithium-ion batteries safely at DSNY drop-off sites or pop-up events, which you can find at nyc.gov/batteries.
All New Yorkers and our delivery workers deserve to be safe in their homes and on our streets. Thousands of New Yorkers are choosing a healthier and greener way to travel around this city, and we are going to ensure they can do so safely.