A warning to anyone who was thinking of buying and fitting an aftermarket motor to 'e' up their bike as a man in Australia narrowly escaped serious harm when a battery cell in his own motor exploded.
Gary Ryan, 79, was riding up Corkscrew road yesterday when the one of the battery cells in his motor caught fire. The flames are said to have reached 10 feet in height while his CO2 canisters shot off like bullets. He was taken to hospital as the fire burned through his shorts but seems to have escaped without any serious harm. A bigger worry for emergency services was the possibility of a bushfire as temperatures are currently reaching record highs in Australia. Thankfully it was a still day and the fire was contained quickly by a crew on another call nearby.
A short circuit has been blamed for the fire and is one of a number
of similar incidents
that have been reported
in the past few years
. Lithium batteries are to blame and while the problems are largely reported around charging, incidents like the one above prove they can become faulty during operation too. It's nearly always ebike conversion kits that cause these fires so if you're thinking of getting involved in the e game, please make sure you're buying from a reputable dealer. The cheapo, dodgy internet kit might look tempting but could leave you singed where the sun don't shine.Edit: Article updated to reflect that a battery cell, not the motor itself, was the reason for the fire. We apologise for any confusion caused.