As E-bikes rise in popularity, concerns over battery fires grow
Electric bikes, or e-bikes, have spiked in recent popularity, and with that popularity is a growing number of battery fires – some of them fatal.
E-bikes are causing fires right across the continent. Toronto’s Fire Department said there were twelves fires caused in the city last year from e-bike batteries. In Vancouver, there were ten fires caused by e-bike batteries with five fatalities.
“When the lithium-ion batteries used in e-bikes are poorly made, overused, overcharged, or used with the wrong charger, they can cause fires and those fires can be very violent and difficult to put out,” Ben Preston with Consumer Reports.
In December 2021, the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) said a battery from an electric bike was the cause of a fatal apartment fire in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan. One man died and two children had to cling to an exterior pipe to escape.
A year later, the FDNY attributed an astonishing 202 fires, 142 injuries, and six deaths to electric bike or electric scooter batteries.
With very little oversight, some third-party companies that make lower-quality e-bikes and batteries are finding loopholes to sell their products on e-commerce sites like Amazon. A quick Amazon search shows dozens of e-bikes under $800.
That’s thanks to a trade law unofficially known as the “Amazon loophole,” which allows items under $800 to dodge taxes and regulations that other products might have to go through.
Amazon tells Consumer Reports, “We continuously monitor the products sold in our store for product safety concerns and, when appropriate, remove a product from the store.”
“Because there’s a lack of oversight, it’s really up to the consumer to look after their own interests,” Preston said.
If you’re shopping for an e-bike, look for one with a battery that has a UL Certified label. Then, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for charging and storage, and always use the power adapter and cord supplied by the manufacturer.
Don’t ever leave the battery charging overnight or while you’re not home. If you need a new battery, buy it from the same manufacturer as your e-bike.
If at any time the battery starts doing anything unusual, like making a hissing sound, or smells odd, you should unplug it immediately.
One other safety tip from Consumer Reports: Always keep batteries away from heat sources such as heaters and direct sunlight when you’re charging them, and make sure there’s no flammable material nearby.
Toronto Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
W5 investigates | Priest, neighbours issue plea for help for struggling international students in Cape Breton
Cape Breton University has more than doubled in size by enrolling thousands of international students, and critics say the campus and community weren't ready. Watch the documentary 'Cash Cow' on CTV W5, Saturday at 7 p.m.
Afghan women cyclists who escaped the Taliban are chasing their dreams in Canada
After the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan and banned sports for female athletes, Afghan women cyclists are chasing their dreams in Canada.
Unable to leave Syria, mothers of Canadian children forfeit repatriation to keep their families together
In a choice forced upon them by the Canadian government, four mothers have made the agonizing decision to forfeit an opportunity to repatriate their children from open air prisons in northeast Syria.
Recent immigrants more likely to have confidence in Parliament, Canadian media: Statistics Canada
Statistics Canada has released its new report about the Canadians level of confidence in Canada’s institutions, finding that recent immigrants are more likely to express confidence in the media and parliament.
Federal minimum wage, taxes on alcohol: Here's what's changing in Canada April 1
The federal minimum wage is increasing from $15.55 per hour to $16.65, and taxes are going up on gas and alcohol nationwide starting April 1.
A glass of wine or beer per day is fine for your health: new study
A new Canadian study of 4.8 million people says a daily alcoholic drink isn't likely to send anyone to an early grave, nor will it offer any of the health benefits touted by previous studies, even if it is organic red wine.
MP Han Dong issues libel notice to Global News over China interference reporting
Lawyers representing Toronto MP Han Dong served Global News with a libel notice on Friday over reports that alleged he spoke to a Chinese diplomat in February 2021 about delaying the release of the two Michaels, and that he was a 'witting affiliate' of Chinese interference networks – allegations that Dong denies.
Here's what to expect from the Canadian cottage market this year
A recent report from Royal LePage is predicting a drop in prices for Canadian cabins and cottages this year as demand softens from economic uncertainty and low housing stock.
Interim RCMP commissioner would support Criminal Code changes for stricter gun laws
Interim RCMP commissioner Michael Duheme says he would support the Criminal Code changes recommended in the Mass Casualty Commission report to implement stricter gun laws.
Authorities work to identify 8 bodies pulled from St. Lawrence River this week
Akwesasne Mohawk Police say they are working with Immigration Canada and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to confirm the identities of the eight migrants whose bodies were pulled from the St. Lawrence River this week.
Father of Old Montreal fire victim launches $22M lawsuit
A father of one of the seven victims of the deadly Old Montreal fire is suing Airbnb and the owner of the building that burned down for $22 million.
April 1: New parking rules in Montreal as spring street cleaning begins
Montreal's seasonal parking restrictions go into effect Saturday. As of April 1, parking will be limited during certain hours to make way for street cleaning and maintenance operations. Drivers should pay close attention to street signs to determine when and where it's safe to park.
Police attended reported shooting in central London, Ont., one person sent to hospital
London police responded to Dundas Street, just west of William Street around 6:30 p.m. Friday evening for a reported shooting. According to police, one person is in custody.
U.S. citizen charged with death threats targeting Justin Trudeau makes court appearance from London, Ont.
A U.S. citizen charged with threatening death or bodily harm to Justin Trudeau made a virtual court appearance from a London jail Friday. Jeremy Joseph, 40 — who is living in Sarnia, Ont. — was arrested on Feb. 4, 2023 after Sarnia police were notified of emails containing threats.
Man injured while fleeing police on Highway 401, SIU investigating
The province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is investigating after a man was seriously injured while attempting to flee from OPP on Highway 401 Thursday afternoon.
Family of Beau Baker 'deeply concerned' after inquest jury rules his death a suicide
The inquest jury found that Beau Baker, 20, died by suicide with the cause of death being a gunshot wound in the torso.
Packing up Portraits of Honour: Cambridge memorial on the move
A Cambridge memorial that pays tribute to Canada’s fallen soldiers is on the move.
Northern Ont. man receives lifetime hunting ban, fined $5,000 for grouse stash
A northern Ontario man has been banned from licenced hunting and fined $5,000 after pleading guilty to having more than six times the legal limit of grouse and obstructing conservation officers.
‘Nobody wants this’: Opposition grows to renaming Chippewa Secondary School
The plan to rename a North Bay high school is receiving tons of backlash online and has sparked outrage from some school alumni and the community.
Six arrested, 2.7 kilos cocaine seized in massive drug bust in Sudbury, GTA
Ontario's guns and gangs team says with the help of police in Sudbury and Durham, it has disrupted a large drug trafficking operation, seizing 2.7 kilograms of cocaine and arresting six.
Akwesasne: Bodies of two more migrants found, bring total dead to eight
Police say the bodies of eight migrants have been retrieved from the waters off the Mohawk Territory of Akwesasne, straddling the Canada - U.S. border. The people whose bodies were recovered Thursday and Friday consisted of two families of Romanian and Indian origins who were likely trying to enter the U.S. illegally, police said Friday.
NEW THIS MORNING
NEW THIS MORNING | This Lanark County grocery store is reducing prices to fight food inflation
In the midst of record food inflation, one local grocery store in Lanark County is actually cutting prices.
April Fools' Day jokes from city services, museums and businesses in Ottawa
CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at a few of our favourite April Fools' Day jokes in Ottawa on Saturday.
‘I will not support’: Windsor councillors eye ways to bring budget increase below 5%
Windsor city council will debate the 2023 budget on Monday, and ratepayers are looking at a much higher than normal property tax increase, but not if some councillors get their way.
‘We were in the trenches together’: Healthcare staff reflect on bittersweet final day of COVID-19 assessment centre
By day’s end Friday, the COVID-19 assessment clinic at Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH) will close, more than three years after opening at the height of the pandemic.
Windsor sees largest drop in Canadian household income growth ranking
Windsor experienced the largest drop in its ranking for median household income growth, following a new report from Fraser Institute ― but local employment leaders say the city has all the tools to bounce back in future rankings.
Fatal farm incident in Alliston under investigation
A 24-year-old man has died after a workplace incident on a farm in Alliston.
Barrie city council considers $40M Sadlon Arena renovations
Tourism Barrie brought a report from a consulting firm to council, recommending upgrades to the arena, including additional seats, modern concessions, and an open grand entrance on the building's north side. The proposed renovations would cost approximately $40 million but could bring significant economic benefits to the city.
Judge grants bail to man convicted of impaired driving causing death on Hwy 12 in 2020
Sigfrid Stahn walked out of the Barrie courthouse Friday a remorseful man one day after a jury found him guilty of impaired driving, causing a collision on Highway 12 in July 2020 that killed a 77-year-old Midland man.
'Impervious to change': doubt, disappointment after initial RCMP response to inquiry recommendations
After the RCMP commissioner admitted he didn't read the Mass Casualty Commission’s final recommendations, family members of those killed in the April 2020 tragedy say they have doubts the force will change.
N.S. doctor denies alleged negligence in case of woman who died after long ER wait
A doctor named in a lawsuit after a Nova Scotia woman died in hospital following a long wait to see a physician has denied allegations from the family that he failed in his duties.
'Nova Scotians' sense of safety was rocked': RCMP failures dominate inquiry's final report into 2020 mass shooting
A long list of failures by Nova Scotia RCMP leadership and policing systems dominate the final report into Nova Scotia's April 2020 mass shooting.
Toffoli scores twice, Flames complete comeback in 5-4 OT win against Canucks
It was a Friday night comeback the Calgary Flames needed.
Motorcyclist killed in Macleod Trail crash
Emergency crews say a motorcyclist has died in a crash on Macleod Trail and it's suspected that speed was a factor in the incident.
Dangerous suspect has 50 warrants for his arrest, Calgary police say
Calgary police are warning the public about a man wanted on 50 warrants, including firearm and assault charges.
'Waking up to a really bad dream': Manitoba communities mourn four teenagers killed in crash
Multiple Manitoba communities are in mourning following the deaths of four teenagers in a car crash involving a semi-truck on Wednesday.
Zellers to open in Winnipeg next week
The wait is finally over for Winnipeggers who have been wanting to see Zellers make a return to the city.
'I don't feel right paying that money': Winnipeg man fighting phone bill exceeding $3,000
A Winnipeg parent is fighting to have his child's phone bill lowered after it was 10 times higher than normal.
Popular Othello Tunnels not expected to reopen this year
A major tourist attraction and historical landmark near Hope, B.C., remains closed more than 16 months after being damaged by floods.
Vancouver lawyer banned from financial markets for role in U.S. fraud
B.C.'s securities regulator has permanently banned a Vancouver lawyer from the financial markets after he was convicted in a U.S. court for his role in a US$34-million fraud.
No more paying for prescription birth control: B.C. to make Canadian history April 1
Paying for prescription birth control will be a thing of the past in British Columbia starting Saturday, marking a Canadian first.
Harm reduction group alleges excessive force by Edmonton police officers
A local harm reduction group says force used by Edmonton police officers during a recent arrest on Whyte Avenue on Sunday was "appalling."
Edmonton man latest victim in string of violent events on Edmonton public transit
Some Edmonton commuters say they're scared to use public transit amid increasing acts of violence at LRT stations and bus stops around the city.
Police investigating shooting in north Edmonton
The Edmonton Police Service is investigating after gunfire was exchanged near a north Edmonton strip mall.