With all of the outdoor opportunities and great weather in Southern Utah, e-bikes have exploded in popularity. There are several locations to purchase an e-bike including most of the big box retailers. Of course, you can also find plenty of places online to purchase one of these electrically motorized two wheelers.
If you have ridden an e-bike, you understand why they are so attractive. Suddenly you’re cruising uphill at the same speed you were going down, and with the same effort. With the price of gasoline, a good e-bike offers another option for the commute.
With the demand increasing, there are also calls for regulation. There have been reports of fires and explosions from the batteries that drive these bikes. In New York, a lithium battery started a fire at a retailer who sold e-bikes and resulted in the death of four people. This became the catalyst for those looking for tighter regulations on how the batteries are stored and manufactured.
Not every producer of e-bikes is the same and they are asking for standards to be set before they are sold in the US. Many of these bikes that have problems are coming from questionable manufacturers out of China and sold online.
I talked with Keili at Pedego Electric Bikes in St. George. They haven’t had any problems with the bikes they sell, and they inform each customer about the best battery practices when they send them home with one. “If you buy a bike online and you have to build yourself, that’s a bad sign,” she said. “It’s better to buy it from a dealer like you would a car.”
There are certifications required by the more established retailers to ensure the e-bikes that are sold meet manufacturing requirements. Understanding the best practices involving storing and maintaining your e-bike will make all the difference.