DON’T FORGET THE MARSHMELLOWS! (e-trike battery fires)

Many of us have electric motors on our trikes. And they require batteries to provide the electrical power to run the motors. Lithium batteries have a deserved reputation of being capable of being quite hazardous, but that does not mean they are particularly dangerous. Never the less, it is important that we know some things about our batteries and understand some basic fundamentals. We should be careful to buy quality lithium cells such as Panasonic and Samsung. The much cheaper batteries likely use no name Chinese cells and with them come an increased chance of something going wrong … especially if the batteries and/or chargers lack good battery manangement electronics built in. Any more, that isn’t much of a concern either. Basically lithium batteries are safe.

The video below shows a battery on a bicycle catching fire and the guy dealing with it. It is quite likely that he did something he should not have done that caused all this.

This man is living dangerously approaching the burning battery that close and spraying water on it. With the explosions taking place it could shoot out and hit him. And as you can see spraying water on a lithium battery is not exactly safe or effective.

This next video educates us some about lithium batteries and helps us to understand “proper battery management”.

BMS … BATTERY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM is the all important element of safe operation. Batteries must be properly managed. Most of us pay no attention to the recommendation to only charge our batteries to 75% instead of fully charging them. The man mentioned fully charging our lithium batteries limits them to only about 300 charges while charging to only 75% will increase their life to around 12,000 charges … some 4 times longer. I have known this for sometime but I admit that I charge my batteries to a full charge everyday. The good news is both the batteries and the chargers have built in BMS to ensure battery safety. In the early daysit was not always so. Things have improved considerably since then.


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Author: Steve Newbauer

I have a few current blogs (tadpolerider1, navysight, truthtoponder and stevesmixedbag) so I am keeping busy. I hope you the reader will find these blogs interesting and enjoy your time here. Feel free to email me at tadpolerider2 at gmail dot com (

One thought on “DON’T FORGET THE MARSHMELLOWS! (e-trike battery fires)”

  1. Let’s clear up a few myths here. First off, you have a better chance of catching Covid than you do having your E Bike Battery catch on fire spontaneously. With the millions & millions of Cell Phones, Laptops, Tablets & E Bikes sold worldwide, the number of sudden unexplained fires number a few hundred. Of course if you do something stupid like short out your battery it can catch on fire but this is not limited to Lithium Ion Batteries. Have sparks around a gasoline can & you can expect pretty much the same result. In the early Lithium days spontaneous combustion was a rare problem until the cause was discovered. Tiny particles of metal dust mixed in with the battery chemistry were causing a battery short circuit & this was true in ALL appliances using Lithium Ion Batteries. It was not limited to E Bike Batteries. Once the cause was discovered, clean environment policies were put in place for factories to get certified & the risk of fire now is almost zero. Lithium Batteries are rated by the amount of voltage each cell will hold. The best Grade A cells holding the most voltage go to manufacturers & volume buyers. Makes sense, if you want to keep that multi million dollar customer happy. Grade B Cells go to smaller volume buyers & are most likely what are in your E Bike Battery. Grade C cells are the rejects that hold the lowest voltage & may be what you find in your $200. battery sold on Ebay. It does not mean that you have bought a cheap Chinese Battery with an increased risk of fire. It simply means that your battery cells will not hold as long or as high a charge as a premium Grade A battery. Without opening up your battery case, there isn’t any way of knowing which cells you have in your battery & for most, it is not advisable to risk opening up the case. You have to rely on your battery supplier being honest with what cells are used in your battery & even they may not know.

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