Health and Safety - Share Your E-Bike Battery Experiences & Recommendations

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
52,697
30,280
I strongly disagree. New members should not be discouraged from asking questions and opening new threads. Nobody is showing any signs of hysteria. There is an elephant in the room and it is better to address the problem rather than to brush it under the carpet.
Yes, we talked a lot about it, but despite that there is still a lot to learn.

BTW Search engine on this forum is the worst I have seen. I really struggle to find things even when I know what I am looking for and more or less where to find it.
In the interests of accuracy this reply is addressed to all in the forum, not just you.

The OP has obviously assumed that we in the EAPC community are a part of the fires problem when we clearly are not. That is the inaccuracy I speak of that only adds to all the media hysteria, which is very real. We are also media, so if we get involved in this current discussion about battery fires, we wrongly admit to being part of the problem when we absolutely are not.

So let's start by getting a long list of facts right:

When Russell Scott first created the pedelecs forum in October 2006, knowing of my pedelecs advice sites he got in touch inviting me to join, so I became member number one and added links to the pedelecs forum to my sites. So when I tell you that there have been no fires in their bikes reported by our members, that is true. Had there been we would have known, since we discussed the subject in depth in the first decade when the defective cobalt cathode cells that caused all the laptop fires were in some of our batteries, albeit much better protected in our products, hence our not suffering the laptop style fires.

Much of the source of the current fires problem is, as so often, our bungling incompetent politicians. When Boris Johnson successfully persuaded the public to vote for Brexit and later became PM, he was desperate to get a US trade deal to help make it a success. The large US e-scooter hire companies had long tried to get them into Britain, but unsuccessfully since they are automatically illegal here. However Johnson had the idea that he might curry favour with Biden by permitting a trial here, but of course that didn't work, since Biden has followed Trump's "America First" policy.

However in admitting the e-scooters into Britain for the trial the problem of how to deal with them was created, so our civil servants and politicians very wrongly lumped them in with pedelecs, referring to all of them as e-bikes. That is why we are being wrongly treated as a part of the problem.

At this point lets get one thing straight, our legal EAPCs (pedelecs) ARE NOT E-BIKES, so please stop calling them that !!

An e-bike, short for Electric Bike, describes a bicycle driven by an electric motor. Our legal EAPCs are NEVER only driven by an electric motor. They only have an AUXILLIARY motor which only ASSISTS when rider is pedalling, however lightly. If you don't believe me, you don't know this law. I do, better than anyone, even better that the DfT who make the law but are on record as not knowing it a number of times and being corrected by me.

An e-bike if not registered and plated etc., is an illegal machine, because the law has no provision or exemption for an unregistered electrically powered bicycle. E-bikes are in law L class motor vehicles, chiefly L1e-A or B. That is why our EAPCs cannot have fully acting throttles, since the addition of one makes them a motor vehicle.

The 20,000 members mentioned is not inaccurate. Former site hosts kept a tally of total membership on the forums page, that lost with the last change of host company.

The Search facility in this forum is indeed very poor, but it often wouldn't help even if it were excellent. The Pedelecs forum has been hosted by three different companies during its lifetime and in the transfers, particularly the last one, very large numbers of earlier posts have been lost, a source of considerable frustration to many of us. So even a random Google search often won't help.

Fleece kindly given to me by the Pedelecs administrators:

Fleece.jpg
 
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saneagle

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 10, 2010
3,540
1,763
Telford
20,000 ?. It was 12000 3 days ago.

Besides. Why would anyone specifically come on and announce such a thing in a 'conversion' led ebike forum. Thats pretty much admitting they've failed.

"Hey guys, i built an ebike and it burned down my garage and killed the cat oh ho ho ho, who'd have thought eh ?"


You really need to drop this 'oh nobody told us so it cant have happened' rational, because its so far from rational its beginning to look like you're in denial
You're logic is somewhat lacking. You seem to have forgotten about those that joined and left. Look at the posts from 2008 and see how many of the members from then are still members.
 

saneagle

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 10, 2010
3,540
1,763
Telford
That's true, you alone left three times! ;)
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One of me died and went to heaven - bled to death in The Princess Royal, Wellington through lack of care. I'm just a ghost now, haunting the forum.

Do you think we should subtract a few because of the AI bots that were in the Brexit thread? Let's call it 19,993.
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
52,697
30,280
Do you think we should subtract a few because of the AI bots that were in the Brexit thread? Let's call it 19,993.
I don't think there were many AI bots then, but certainly large numbers actually actively left then, their posts shown now as "NoLongerRegistered with a number" and "Account closed".

There were actually two Brexit threads, both started by me. The first one was titled "Leaving the EU" and ran for 48 pages. The second wasn't intended as a thread, only as a radio program link, but members jumped ship and it has run to 5499 pages to date.
 
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saneagle

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 10, 2010
3,540
1,763
Telford
I don't think there were many AI bots then, but certainly large numbers actually actively left then, their posts shown now as "NoLongerRegistered with a number" and "Account closed".

There were actually two Brexit threads, both started by me. The first one was titled "Leaving the EU" and ran for 48 pages. The second wasn't intended as a thread, only as a radio program link, but members jumped ship and it has run to 5499 pages to date.
Yes, Old Groaner with his one post about ebikes, and his 23,456 posts in the Brexit thread. The funny thing was, he was getting private messages about how to fix ebikes because unsuspecting new members, just looked at who were the most prominent posters and asked them, figuring that they must have the most ebike experience. I'd love to know what he replied to those messages. IMO, he wasn't very pleasant, so I guess he just blanked them.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
52,697
30,280
Yes, Old Groaner with his one post about ebikes, and his 23,456 posts in the Brexit thread. The funny thing was, he was getting private messages about how to fix ebikes because unsuspecting new members, just looked at who were the most prominent posters and asked them, figuring that they must have the most ebike experience. I'd love to know what he replied to those messages. IMO, he wasn't very pleasant, so I guess he just blanked them.
He actually posted 22 times about pedelecs in the Electric Bike general discussion forum, also owned a Brompton with a Sparticle kit and a moped and had previously owned another pedelec. But being politically far left, the political aspects of the Brexit discussions appealed.

As for being unpleasant, he had a tough life, severely compromised by his own health issues and old age and being the full time carer for his wife with Alzheimers. Eventually his wife was admitted into full time care and he tended to disappear from here then. He's in his 81st year now if still alive.
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saneagle

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 10, 2010
3,540
1,763
Telford
He actually posted 22 times about pedelecs in the Electric Bike general discussion forum, also owned a Brompton with a Sparticle kit and a moped and had previously owned another pedelec. But being politically far left, the political aspects of the Brexit discussions appealed.

As for being unpleasant, he had a tough life, severely compromised by his own health issues and old age and being the full time carer for his wife with Alzheimers. Eventually his wife was admitted into full time care and he tended to disappear from here then.
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Sorry, I was only 99.91% accurate in my statement instead of 100%. I'll do extra self-flagellation tonight as a penance.
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
52,697
30,280
Sorry, I was only 99.91% accurate in my statement instead of 100%. I'll do extra self-flagellation tonight as a penance.
Just after you posted and before I saw that, I added that OG was now in his 81st year if still alive.
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Az.

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 27, 2022
1,005
440
Plymouth
The OP has obviously assumed that we in the EAPC community are a part of the fires problem when we clearly are not.
OP started this thread and asked some questions. Accusing him of being hysterical is unwelcoming.

That is the inaccuracy I speak of that only adds to all the media hysteria, which is very real. We are also media, so if we get involved in this current discussion about battery fires, we wrongly admit to being part of the problem when we absolutely are not.
We do have a problem. Scale of it is disputable, but it is better to tackle it head on by research and educating people rather by denial and brushing it under carpet.

At this point lets get one thing straight, our legal EAPCs (pedelecs) ARE NOT E-BIKES, so please stop calling them that !!
Request denied.
Flecc, nobody is using those words... well... almost nobody. You can't even buy an EAPC or a pedelec in shop. Wisper sells eBikes. Tredz is selling electric bikes or e-bikes. Find one shop which would sell and advertise EAPCs.

Our legal EAPCs
Are they really legal? You said it yourself that our converted bikes are in legal vacuum. We try to follow EAPC rules and regulations out of good will, but government seems to be totally confused about even what is a legal EAPC. DfT doesn't seem to consider converted bike as EAPC. Police seems to turn blind eye and ignore the problem. What is a converted bike? E-BSO trying to ride under the radar?
 

matthewslack

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 26, 2021
1,562
1,179
E-BSO ?

Spellcheck said 'ex-boss', google without the e said Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra...
 

Wisper Bikes

Trade Member
Apr 11, 2007
6,205
2,161
68
Sevenoaks Kent
Hi,

We do sell e-bikes as the term has become generic term for an EAPC, or EPAC in Europe. Unfortunately this term also covers e-Motor bikes e-Mopeds and e-BSOs. Our fully certified full throttle EAPC’s are no longer an EAPC and become e-Mopeds as soon at they have been certified and converted.

It’s a mess, but people in general understand that an e-bike is what we would more accurately call an Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle. I am afraid they the term EAPC is too cumbersome and therefore will never catch on in everyday parlance, so we are stuck with the catch all “e-bike” and will be tarred with the same brush as the ones in the news.

All the best David
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
52,697
30,280
OP started this thread and asked some questions. Accusing him of being hysterical is unwelcoming.
I haven't done that. I'm challenging him setting up such a thread as a sticky when he doesn't even know the basics of the problem and that it doesn't apply to legal EAPCs.

We do have a problem. Scale of it is disputable, but it is better to tackle it head on by research and educating people rather by denial and brushing it under carpet.
But when I try to educate, you aggressively reply by disagreeing with the facts. Nothing is being learnt by any of the discussion of this issue and this proposed thread will be no different. The issue is one of the need for the law to be enforced and that alone is the primary subject of the education needed.

Request denied.
Flecc, nobody is using those words... well... almost nobody. You can't even buy an EAPC or a pedelec in shop. Wisper sells eBikes. Tredz is selling electric bikes or e-bikes. Find one shop which would sell and advertise EAPCs.
And so you refuse to learn and insist on perpetuating the fundamental problem. So much for your solution of education! The term that best described EAPCs originally was Moped, (motor and pedals) but that was denied to us by that term already being misused for restricted performance scooter style machines without pedals. Pedelec is the substitute meaning the same thing as Moped's original meaning.

This is a very old problem, going way back to the 1930s when cycle like machines with pedals and motors were called Autocycles, through into the 1950s when add-on IC bicycle motors took their market away, becoming just assisted bicycles. And that of course is probably the answer. Forget all the weird names and just keep to the law, that the legal machines remain just bicycles, since that is what the law says they are. In other words, a bicycle you alone propel yourself or one with permitted auxilliary assistance for that pedalling, but still only a bicycle.

Are they really legal? You said it yourself that our converted bikes are in legal vacuum. We try to follow EAPC rules and regulations out of good will, but government seems to be totally confused about even what is a legal EAPC. DfT doesn't seem to consider converted bike as EAPC. Police seems to turn blind eye and ignore the problem. What is a converted bike? E-BSO trying to ride under the radar?
Answers point by point:

Being in a legal vacuum is illegality, since our law is based solely upon permission, which does not exist for self built machines. Technically kit bikes are illegal, but there is a low cost avenue for approval through a vehicle Inspectorate test for compliance and certification.

Our governments are permanently confused about everything (viz: their saying e-scooters are the same thing as pedelecs) so just carry on ignoring them.

The DfT, like the EU, are correct, unapproved conversions are not legal machines. But because our confused government want to get people out from behind steering wheels and onto two wheels, they are turning a blind eye by not enforcing inspected approval. Equally confused, the police do the same.

The best education would be for the cycle trade and industry to just call them bicycles as the law says they are, supplying and selling them as normal bicycles or bicycles with some permitted assistance for the pedalling, with no hint that they are in any way motor vehicles.

Enforcing the law by telling them that calling them e-bikes is a prosecutable false trade description, since their legality depends upon them NEVER being a motor vehicle, propelled by a motor alone.

For kits, again enforce the law making them subject to inspected approval. If that means registration and a mini number plate, so be it. We had that with the enormously successful add on ic motors from the 1940s on and that didn't put millions off owning one. Frankly anything is better than the current motorised two wheeler chaos we have now.
.
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
52,697
30,280
Hi,

We do sell e-bikes as the term has become generic term for an EAPC, or EPAC in Europe. Unfortunately this term also covers e-Motor bikes e-Mopeds and e-BSOs. Our fully certified full throttle EAPC’s are no longer an EAPC and become e-Mopeds as soon at they have been certified and converted.

It’s a mess, but people in general understand that an e-bike is what we would more accurately call an Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle. I am afraid they the term EAPC is too cumbersome and therefore will never catch on in everyday parlance, so we are stuck with the catch all “e-bike” and will be tarred with the same brush as the ones in the news.

All the best David
But they already have a correct name in law David, they are still bicycles, albeit with some assistance for the pedalling. See the last seven paragraphs of my answer just above.
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Az.

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 27, 2022
1,005
440
Plymouth
But when I try to educate, you aggressively reply by disagreeing with the facts.
Aggressively? Only because somebody does not agree with you, doesn't mean he is aggressive. I am not sure what facts you are referring to, 20K members and no reported cases of fire?
That is a manipulation as it was pointed out by few other members.

And so you refuse to learn and insist on perpetuating the fundamental problem. So much for your solution of education! The term that best described EAPCs originally was Moped, (motor and pedals) but that was denied to us by that term already being misused for restricted performance scooter style machines without pedals. Pedelec is the substitute meaning the same thing as Moped's original meaning.
It is not only me who is refusing. It is EVERYBODY (with small exceptions). As I pointed out there is no single shop selling EAPCs or pedelecs. You won't find a single customer walking into a shop and asking if there are EAPCs on sale.
Trouble is that small groups of lawyers and law makers are completely detached from reality. They create definitions and then expect everybody to use them.

This ship has left the port long time ago. You just didn't accept that


...yet ;)

Being in a legal vacuum is illegality, since our law is based solely upon permission, which does not exist for self built machines. Technically kit bikes are illegal
and this is the real elephant in the room and our true problem, not the batteries.

but there is a low cost avenue for approval through a vehicle Inspectorate test for compliance and certification.
Since nobody tried that yet we are not sure how that might work. I have a funny feeling even if we take converted bike to approved station and ask them to certify it as legal EAPC then they might be as confused as everybody else is.

Our governments are permanently confused about everything (viz: their saying e-scooters are the same thing as pedelecs) so just carry on ignoring them.
That is error of judgement IMO. Government writes rubbish, but the longer it stays there on gov.co.uk pages the more damage it does. Insurance companies and other bodies copy/paste it and only increase confusion.

For kits, again enforce the law making them subject to inspected approval. If that means registration and a mini number plate, so be it. We had that with the enormously successful add on ic motors from the 1940s on and that didn't put millions off owning one. Frankly anything is better than the current motorised two wheeler chaos we have now.
What we need is clarity and simple rules to follow. What we get is incompetence and confusion.
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
52,697
30,280
I am not sure what facts you are referring to, 20K members and no reported cases of fire?
That is a manipulation as it was pointed out by few other members.
Not the manipulation you think from your very short time in here. In the earlier days when our lithium batteries really were at risk from the type of cells commonly used, we discussed this extensively in this, the only suitable forum, and the trade and industry did too. The whole matter was completely resolved as i've already told you in my previous answer, but as usual you take no notice. The current problem is nothing whatsoever to do with legal pedelecs. It solely concerns illegal e-bikes which our legal machines are NOT, and illegal e-scooters. We should not be discussing something which is nothing to do with us, other than pointing out that fact.

It is not only me who is refusing. It is EVERYBODY (with small exceptions). As I pointed out there is no single shop selling EAPCs or pedelecs. You won't find a single customer walking into a shop and asking if there are EAPCs on sale.
Trouble is that small groups of lawyers and law makers are completely detached from reality. They create definitions and then expect everybody to use them.
No they don't expect everyone to use them. The technical legal term for our machines is EAPC, but their legal common name is what they are in law, a bicycle, which can have their necessary pedalling assisted if so desired.

This isn't as difficult as you seem to think. In the late 1940s and 1950 when there were millions running around with little ic motors, the entire British public still called them bicycles, there was no other name for them at that time. They were so equipped by local bicycle shops who also sold the motors and learnt how to register them as motorcycles and repair them. Later when Vespa style scooters took the market, many of those shops transitioned into those as well and even going the whole way into motorcycles as cycling collapsed into obscurity in the 1970s. I know all this only too well since I lived through it, and the firm I worked for is now solely a motorcycle dealership with outlets for Suzuki and Yamaha

We just need to get back to calling them bicycles, since we who ride them still correctly call ourselves cyclists. That some have our pedalling assisted is immaterial. Doing this would put clear space, verbally and legally, between ourselves and all kinds of e-bikes which are all motorcycles.

and this is the real elephant in the room and our true problem, not the batteries.
Precisely, which is why discussing battery safety in this thread is pointless and unproductive.

Since nobody tried that yet we are not sure how that might work. I have a funny feeling even if we take converted bike to approved station and ask them to certify it as legal EAPC then they might be as confused as everybody else is.
It worked perfectly OK for Wisper when their 250wLPM requirement arose, the test centre simply checked the law that they are a part of, and acted appropriately and have done ever since for them.

That is error of judgement IMO. Government writes rubbish, but the longer it stays there on gov.co.uk pages the more damage it does. Insurance companies and other bodies copy/paste it and only increase confusion.
Agreed, but that is true in all fields but it seems only this pedelec one gets into such a mess. A lot of that due to those in here endlessly looking for loopholes for breaking the law.

What we need is clarity and simple rules to follow. What we get is incompetence and confusion.
We've got clarity and extremely simple rules.

Trouble is we've also got widespread deliberate law breaking and inadequate law enforcement. A major cause of that is those who insist on calling our machine e-bikes, opening what many wrongly think is a huge loophole for having an unregistered motorcycle. Hence all those coming in here asking for help in fitting up to 2000 or more watt motors etc.

Once again we as cyclists need to only call our machines what they are, bicycles, making it clear that we are not a loophole to be motor powered, since we aren't motor powered ourselves, just assisted.
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chris667

Pedelecer
Apr 7, 2009
164
107
Hence all those coming in here asking for help in fitting up to 2000 or more watt motors etc.
Do they get help though? My feeling is that if anyone does do a conversion like that, there's not much help forthcoming on this forum. But judging by what people seem to ride on the road, nothing we say is stopping them.

FWIW, I agree with you. It would be better if the correct naming was used, but where I feel we differ is that I basically think the battle is lost. All we can do really is signpost to the correct information.