Dylan Khoo, an analyst at tech intelligence firm ABI Research, said electric bikes and scooters use batteries which can be around 50 times larger than the one in a smartphone. “So when a fire does happen, it’s much more dangerous,” Khoo said.
All lithium-ion batteries use flammable materials, and incidents such as the one in the Bronx are likely the result of “thermal runaway,” a chain reaction which can lead to a fire or catastrophic explosion, according to Khoo.
“This process can be triggered by a battery overheating, being punctured, or an electrical fault like a short circuit,” Khoo said. “In cases where fires occur spontaneously while charging, it is likely due to manufacturing defects.”