March 6, 2023
UL Research Institutes, UL Standards & Engagement, and UL Solutions Commend New York City Council for Lifesaving Micromobility Safety Legislation
Unanimously passed legislation will require third-party product safety certification of battery-powered micromobility devices to UL Standards
NORTHBROOK, IL (March 6, 2023) – The UL enterprise – UL Research Institutes, UL Standards & Engagement and UL Solutions – commends the New York City Council on the unanimous passage of 663-A that requires certification by an accredited testing laboratory to:
- UL 2849, the Standard for Electrical Systems for e-Bikes, for the electrical system of any powered bicycle sold, distributed, leased, or rented in New York City.
- UL 2272, the Standard for Electrical Systems for Personal E-Mobility Devices, for all powered mobility devices, including e-scooters, sold, distributed, leased, or rented in New York City.
- UL 2271, the Standard for Batteries for Use In Light Electric Vehicle Applications, of any storage battery for a powered bicycle or mobility device sold, distributed, leased or rented in New York City.
This legislation addresses the safety risks that have emerged as the adoption of electrified forms of transportation has increased. As recently as March 5, 2023, the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) stated a lithium-ion battery that powered a scooter caused a five-alarm fire in the Bronx, injuring at least seven. And, in 2022 alone, FDNY responded to more than 200 micromobility-related fires resulting in six fatalities. These incidents are not restricted to New York – over 2021 and 2022, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) received reports from 39 states of at least 208 fires or overheating events that caused a reported 19 fatalities.
Third-party product safety certification, earned once a device meets specific requirements of consensus-based safety standards, can significantly reduce related fire, explosion, property damage and other risks associated with micromobility devices.
The UL enterprise is proud to help lead the safe adoption of e-bikes, e-scooters and other personal e-mobility devices globally. The passage of this legislation highlights how the application of safety science research, development of consensus-based safety standards and independent, third-party certification to those standards remain among the best tools available to help mitigate potential hazards across new and legacy technologies.
All three UL enterprise organizations – together with external safety advocates including FDNY, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the CPSC – have played a significant role in driving safety science progress in micromobility.
“The important work we do to characterize, understand and mitigate the risks of current and emerging technologies helps to make apparent the need to improve the safety of e-bikes and other micromobility products,” said Dr. Chris Cramer, senior vice president and chief research officer, UL Research Institutes. “We remain committed to continuing our research to help protect our first responders and all who use these products.”
“For the past 10 years, UL Standards & Engagement has placed a sharp focus on developing consensus-based safety standards that mitigate risks from micromobility equipment, and we are pleased New York City has recognized the impact our standards have on promoting safety,” said Dr. David Steel, executive director of UL Standards & Engagement. “These devastating fires have no geographic boundaries, and we encourage cities across the country to consider modeling New York’s approach.”
“We believe in the importance of safety science and the vital role independent and impartial product safety certification play in bringing new technologies, such as e-bikes, to the market safely and efficiently,” said Dr. Robert Slone, senior vice president and chief scientist, UL Solutions. “We thank Council Member Feliz for his leadership on this legislation and encourage Mayor Adams to sign this initiative into law. E-bikes and micromobility products provide multiple benefits to society. We stand ready to apply our comprehensive, rigorous testing methodologies to help realize those benefits.”
The UL enterprise is committed to confronting safety challenges head-on, turning questions and hypotheses into discoveries, and innovating to ensure that scientific knowledge is applied to support its shared mission of working for a safer world.
About UL Research Institutes
UL Research Institutes is a nonprofit research organization dedicated to advancing public safety through scientific discovery. Since 1894, our research has advanced our mission toward a safer, more secure and sustainable future. Focused on global risks from fire mitigation and air quality to safe energy storage and digital privacy, we conduct rigorous independent research, analyze safety data and partner with experts to uncover and act on existing and emerging risks to human safety.
About UL Standards & Engagement
UL Standards & Engagement is a nonprofit organization that translates safety science into action through standards development, partnerships and advocacy. Since 1903, we have developed nearly 1,700 standards and guidance documents for products ranging from fire doors to autonomous vehicles. ULSE enables innovation and grows trust by convening experts and informing policymakers and regulators as we work toward a safer, more secure and sustainable future. Visit ulse.org for more information. Discover more at ULSE.org.
About UL Solutions
A global leader in applied safety science, UL Solutions transforms safety, security and sustainability challenges into opportunities for customers in more than 100 countries. UL Solutions delivers testing, inspection and certification services, together with software products and advisory offerings, that support our customers’ product innovation and business growth. The UL Certification Marks serve as a recognized symbol of trust in our customers’ products and reflect an unwavering commitment to advancing our safety mission. We help our customers innovate, launch new products and services, navigate global markets and complex supply chains and grow sustainably and responsibly into the future. Our science is your advantage.