Fire safety advice for carrying e-scooters issued

Fire safety advice for carrying e-scooters and e-bikes on buses and coaches has been issued by the government.

In an effort to encourage more multimodal journeys, the government has issued guidance on fire safety while carrying e-scooters and e-bikes on public transport. The government believes e-cycles are an ‘important element of the government’s ambition for active travel to make a significant contribution to the decarbonisation of the transport sector’. It says multimodal journeys, combining e-cycling with public transport journeys, are an important part of this ambition. It also says future regulations may, in time, also enable privately owned e-scooters to be used legally on public roads and play a role in future urban transport.

What the guidance says

The guidance focuses on risk and possible mitigation of lithium battery fires while e-cycles or e-scooters are being carried by public transport vehicles, including buses and coaches. It suggests operators consult their local fire and rescue service for the latest advice specific to lithium fires and further information on e-cycles and e-scooters. Operators should consult their insurance provider to check specific requirements, although at the time of publishing the document, no document specific to e-scooter or e-cycle fire risk is available. It says operators should make initial monitors of passengers to establish the current and likely future numbers of e-cycle and e-scooter users that might use buses and coaches.

The guidance says lithium battery fires involving e-scooters and e-cycles are increasing year on year, but data on this is currently limited. It says the risk is highest while the batteries are charging. It says e-cycles from ‘established brands purchased from reputable retailers as a complete system, and used in accordance with instructions, are understood to present a low fire risk based on knowledge to date’. It says visibly damaged, bulging, smelly or leaking battery packs pose an extremely high fire risk and should not be permitted in premises or vehicles.

The government guidance suggests providing safe facilities for e-bikes/e-scooters to be stored, where practical. It suggests storing them on external racks or trailers on buses and coaches, as well as providing separate safe and secure e-cycle battery storage, so that batteries can be detached from the e-cycle and stowed securely.

  • Read the full guidance here

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