Underwriters Laboratories (UL) was established over a century ago to address electrical safety concerns. Over the decades, UL expanded its safety science services beyond electrical safety to include testing, inspection, auditing, certification, and advisory services across various sectors such as electronics, appliances, automotive, aerospace, and healthcare.
UL certification in electric scooters and bikes has become even more of a topic in the last year regarding these products and their risk for fires. Many apartment buildings require their tenants to only store UL certified scooters, like Levy Electric, that have enhanced product features to prevent these risks.
UL2272 is the most common certificate applicable to electric scooters and contains the following provisions.
- UL certification ensures that electric bikes and scooters meet specific safety standards, which is vital for the prevention of accidents and injuries. Standards like UL 2272 and UL 2849 are designed to evaluate the electrical and fire safety of these devices, ensuring they are safe for consumer use.
Fire Risk Mitigation:
- With the growing number of fires related to electric bikes and scooters, UL certification has become more important as it helps in reducing the fire risks associated with these devices, especially the batteries. UL-certified batteries are tested to be resistant to overcharging, over-discharging, short-circuiting, and other forms of abuse or damage, thereby reducing the chances of fires.
- In some regions like New York City, legislation has been passed requiring electric bikes and scooters to be UL certified. This move aims to ensure the safety of these devices and reduce fire risks, especially in densely populated areas. For instance, the New York City Council approved a law mandating certification of micromobility devices to specific UL standards.
- UL certification can also boost consumer confidence as it's a sign that the electric bike or scooter has undergone rigorous testing for safety. Consumers can have peace of mind knowing that they are using devices certified with high safety standards.
Industry Compliance Encouragement:
- Although there might not be federal requirements for such certifications, industry stakeholders and organizations are urging manufacturers and importers to comply with UL standards to enhance the overall safety of e-bikes and e-scooters. For instance, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urged e-bike manufacturers and importers to comply with UL's 2849 standard, highlighting the growing emphasis on adhering to recognized safety standards.
Promotion of High-Quality Components:
- UL certification also promotes the use of high-quality and safe components in the manufacturing of electric bikes and scooters. Companies like Juiced Bikes have emphasized the importance of using only the best and safest components to create their electric bikes, and UL certification is a part of ensuring that commitment to safety.
UL certification in electric scooters and electric bikes is becoming increasingly important due to its role in ensuring safety, reducing fire risks, satisfying legislative requirements, boosting consumer confidence, encouraging industry compliance, and promoting the use of high-quality components.