Pedelec and E-Bike Test
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Energy storage: real world experience

We carry batteries around constantly in our everyday lives: we walk around with them in our trouser pockets, put them on our bed- side tables and even into childrens' cots.
 

 
Batteries are in childs' dolls, mobile phones, alarm clocks, laptop computers, remote controls, postcards, bicycles, lawnmowers, cars and much more – they have spread their influence almost everywhere in our daily exis- tence.

So we implicitly trust that these batteries will only discharge their stored electrical energy how we wish – in the form of music from an MP3 player, in the form of transmitted speech on our mobile phones, and more recently in the form of a tailwind for our bikes. But unfortunately it is occurring ever more frequently that batteries release their stored electrical energy, and their chemical energy which is even greater than the electrical, in an uncontrolled manner and without warning, often in the form of a fire or even an explosion. This danger has been known about in technical circles since 2003, when the first major fires caused by pedelecs batteries occurred. Back then, the size of the world market for high energy lithium batteries was still very manageable.

Now, according to ExtraEnergy estimates, the market in 2011 was much larger, with around 2 million lithium batteries sold in the light electric vehicle sector. And there are currently developments in China which suggest that by 2015, annual sales in China alone of lithium batteries for the LEV sector will reach over 10 million, representing around three times the overall market in China for 2011. Lithium batteries over 100 Wh capacity are because of the many incidents classified by the United Nations as Hazardous Goods Class 9.

In 2011, two transport planes crashed, probably because lithium batteries in the hold had exploded. In China, also in 2011, there was the first fatal incident involving a lithium battery in an electric bike; a resident of the house tried to escape the blaze and died in a fall from a window. In Europe, over 30 fires as a result of lithium batteries have been reported in the press, with the frequency increasing in the last three years, in line with market growth within Europe. The number of unreported cases is probably large, too, because pedelecs batteries are not widely recognised as a cause of fires.

Text: Hannes Neupert

Picture: www.feuerwehr-aurich.de

Translation: Peter Eland, prepared within the EU GoPedelec! project: GoPedelec! Handbook (German version), Go Pedelec! Handbook in Czech, Dutch, English, Hungarian, and Italian

Picture: www.feuerwehr-aurich.de

8 November 2012

 
 

Events:

27 - 30 August 2014
Friedrichshafen, Germany
EUROBIKE, LEV Components Special Exhibition

29 August 2014
Friedrichshafen, Germany
EUROBIKE, TRAVEL TALK with Hannes Neupert

5 - 7 September 2014, Gro▀enhain, Germany
Test IT Show

1 - 5 October 2014
Cologne, Germany
INTERMOT, LEV Components Special Exhibition

2 October 2014
Cologne, Germany
LEV Conference, E-Bike Award

3 October 2014
Cologne, Germany
LEV Conference, congress

21 - 30 October 2014
Munich, Germany
eBikeTec, LEV Components Special Exhibition

11 - 15 November 2014
Chengdu, China
Challenge Bibendum, LEV Components Special Exhibition

18 - 21 March 2015
Taipei, Taiwan
Taipei Cycle Show, LEV Components Special Exhibition

all events...

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