New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced on December 5 that he plans to launch a new lithium-ion battery charging pilot program early next year to provide delivery workers with public places to charge their batteries and improve the safety and security of charging.
Why is there such a project?
The pilot program will test a variety of technologies for charging electric bike batteries at multiple locations throughout the city to avoid fires caused by lithium-ion batteries and promote the use of safe electric microtransit.
These technologies will include a battery exchange network and secure parking for loading delivery workers’ bikes.
E-bikes and e-scooters have brought great convenience to residents’ lives as a new form of transportation, but they also pose a serious fire risk.
Battery fires have become a serious safety issue in New York City, rising from 30 fires in 2019 to 253 in 2023.
Between 2019 and 2022, these fires will cause an average of 3 deaths and 66 injuries per year. It has so far seen 18 deaths and 133 injuries from these batteries.
What exactly is the project about?
The pilot project, which promotes the Safe Charge, Safe Ride program, will test different implementation pathways to inform future public e-bike charging efforts across the city and gather feedback from delivery staff.
DOT developed the pilot through the agency’s DOT Studio, a research and development partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and Newlab, the city’s technology growth center.
Over the past six months, DOT has worked closely with Studio partners, FDNY and delivery staff to identify several companies to produce unique, potentially safe and convenient electronic battery charging options, improving the e-bike battery safety.
The pilot project builds on several other initiatives to develop more outdoor charging options for New Yorkers, including a partnership with Los Deliveristas Unidos and the U.S. Senate Majority Leader to establish Deliverista Centers at vacant newsstands and a $25 million grant from the U.S. State Department.
A $1 million grant from the Department of Transportation to install 173 outdoor micro EV charging and storage stations in 53 New York City Housing Authority developments.
In addition, the “Charge Safe, Ride Safe” program focuses on four key areas: promoting and incentivizing the use of safe batteries, increasing education and outreach to electric micromobility users, advocating for additional federal regulation of these devices, and expanding enforcement efforts for high-risk situations. What kind of battery is the best battery for bike?
Starting this year, the Mayor of New York also signed several bills to further regulate lithium-ion batteries sold in New York City and enhance fire safety related to battery fires, including a bill banning the sale of unsafe, unlicensed lithium-ion batteries or dangerously recharged batteries.
What is the special significance of this project?
“People rely heavily on delivery workers, and this innovative pilot program will test different technologies to make this technology safer as we continue to do everything we can to help protect workers from the dangers lithium-ion batteries can pose,” Adams said.
“By investing in battery swap networks and fast-charging electric bikes docks, we are building e-bike-friendly infrastructure and preparing our city’s streets for a new generation of users.
Today’s announcement builds on our overall strategy to ensure we safely capitalize on the transformative potential of e-bike in our city.”
“Couriers are under tremendous economic pressure. When time is money, it’s no surprise unsafe behavior is becoming the norm,” said Meera Joshi, Deputy Mayor for Operations. “
Just like all of us, delivery workers deserve to make a safe and sustainable living.” This pilot program will not only protect them, but also families sharing their homes. This is a critical step in helping to create order and safety in the electric micro-mobility sector.