Top Electric scooters are an extremely popular form of personal transportation, though wary consumers may be holding back on buying one due to the perceived risk of one catching on fire.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Electric scooters were relatively notorious for catching fire, due to poorly sourced lithium batteries.
  • This issue has been resolved in recent years, so the risk of an e-scooter catching fire has been significantly reduced.
  • Other risks to using an electric scooter include accidents, injury, and legal ramifications.

Do Electric Scooters Catch on Fire?

In the past, there have been several high-profile incidents in which e-scooters caught on fire. There was one in Washington D.C. and one at the employee headquarters of the cloud service Dropbox. These incidents, however, are the exception to the rule. In other words, it is very unlikely that your scooter will catch on fire. But those that did catch fire were part of the e-scooters that were being recalled.

Risks and Potential Injuries of Riding a Scooter

Fires have happened in the past so you would do well to understand the inherent risks of riding an electric scooter.

Battery Issues

If you have bought a cheaply made e-scooter made by a disreputable company, you may run into sketchy battery issues. As a matter of fact, it was poorly made lithium batteries that caused the aforementioned fires. This was an issue a few years back when e-scooters were just arriving on the scene. Since then, major manufacturers have begun sourcing better battery makers. In other words, these battery-related fire risks have significantly minimized. Today, it is highly unlikely to catch fire on a modern vehicle like the Razor E100 and E150.

Accidents Can Happen

Another worry people may have when it comes to using an electric scooter is the threat of accidental injury. These scooters are moving vehicles and some can actually go pretty fast, so there is an inherent risk there. However, we would not place the risk any higher than what you would encounter while riding a motorcycle, a hoverboard, a skateboard, or even a car. Most scooter-related accidents leave the riders unscathed, particularly if they are wearing the appropriate safety gear. More than 95 percent of injuries related to scooter accidents occur because the rider was not wearing a helmet or other pieces of safety equipment.

Warning

More than 95 percent of injuries related to scooter accidents occur because the rider was not wearing a helmet or other pieces of safety equipment.

Legal Ramifications

Each individual state and city tends to have its own rules and regulations regarding the use of electric scooters. We strongly advise checking out a local governmental agency to suss out these rules. For instance, many states boast a minimum age requirement when it comes to e-scooters. Additionally, there are many parts of the road that electric scooters are not allowed to ride on. If you ignore these rules, you are likely to be ticketed and fined.

F.A.Q.

Are ride-share electric scooters the future of urban transportation?

Maybe, though the adoption rate would have to significantly increase for this to happen. For now, electric scooters remain a niche mode of personal transportation. Having said that, ride-share scooter companies have been posting increased profit margins.


Why do e-scooters catch on fire?

These fires were caused by low-grade lithium batteries which were sourced by disreputable manufacturers. The issue has, for the most part, been resolved.


What happened to the Lyme and Lift bikes?

Both companies still exist, providing electric bikes and electric scooters to a wide variety of locations throughout the world. A newcomer to the scene, Bird, has also been making headway.



STAT: Bird and Lime, two of the largest dockless mobility companies that specialize in scooters, had provided an estimated 20 million rides on e-scooters as of 2018. (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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