As the festive season approaches, the popularity of e-scooters and e-bikes as Christmas presents has soared, offering a convenient and eco-friendly alternative for many Scots. However, consumers must be vigilant about potential safety hazards associated with these products.
The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) has released a crucial safety advisory, emphasizing the necessary precautions individuals should observe when owning or contemplating the purchase of an e-bike or scooter.
This advisory comes in response to a series of fire incidents, some resulting in fatalities, linked to lithium-ion batteries in e-bikes and e-scooters, including those found in conversion kits.
The recommended measures involve consistently adhering to the manufacturer’s guidelines for charging and operating the products, verifying and exclusively using the battery and charger recommended by the manufacturer, refraining from any attempts to tamper with or modify the battery or charger, and disconnecting the battery once the charging process is completed. These precautions are essential to minimize the potential risks associated with lithium-ion batteries and ensure the safe use of e-bikes and e-scooters in the UK.
In addition to this, e-scooters and e-bikes pose risks such as collisions due to the speeds they can reach (25-30mph) when used in pedestrian zones, inadequate safety gear usage, and potential malfunctions. Despite their rising popularity, there’s a growing concern over the lack of comprehensive safety guidelines and standardization in the industry. Riders are urged to prioritize protective gear and adhere to traffic rules to mitigate accident risks.
Moreover, as consumers consider e-scooters and e-bikes as potential gifts, it’s crucial to be aware of the 2015 Consumer Rights Act. This legislation ensures that products meet safety standards and function as intended. If a purchased e-scooter or e-bike turns out to be faulty, consumers have the right to return it within 30 days and receive a full refund.
This festive season, while embracing the idea of eco-friendly and innovative presents, consumers should exercise caution, prioritize safety, and be informed about their rights under the Consumer Rights Act when considering e-scooters and e-bikes as gifts.
Laws and legislation around e-bikes is complex, and you need to be aware of the rules before purchasing.
You may have questions around:
- What counts as an EAPC
- Where you can ride
- Other kinds of electric bike
- Getting vehicle approval for your electric bike
For full details regards Driving and transport, The Highway Code, road safety and vehicle rules regarding e-bikes, please visit www.gov.uk/electric-bike-rules
The UK government is currently running trials of electric scooters (e-scooters). This guidance lists the rules for members of the general public who are using e-scooters that are part of trials.
- Where you are allowed to ride an e-scooter rented as part of a government trial,
- How to travel safely
- Licensing guidance
- The rules of the road