Following hearings held by the Consumer Product Safety Commission the House of Representatives introduced a bill, HR 1797, called the “Setting Consumer Standards for Lithium-Ion Batteries Act.” The bill’s intent is to give the CPSC the power to mandate lithium-ion battery standards. What this means is that UL 2271 could become the law of the land, not just a very smart recommendation.
Simultaneously, the Senate has taken up the issue. A similar bill, S.1008, has been referred to the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.
Should both of these bills pass, they would go to reconciliation where they would be rewritten into a single bill that would then land on President Biden’s desk.
The EBR Perspective
Our reporting has demonstrated that consumers who purchase e-bikes from established manufacturers such as Trek, Specialized, Lectric, Aventon or Rad Power Bikes aren’t at risk for fires. However, inaccurate reporting that lays the blame for fires caused by poor quality batteries has created a perception among some consumers that an e-bike may be a risky proposition. The e-bike industry suffers as a whole as long as that perception persists.
Should HR 1797 and S.1008 receive sufficient bipartisan support to reach reconciliation and then move on to President Biden, the only losers will be those manufacturers who have been cutting corners with substandard products. Consumers win and manufacturers dedicated to making quality products also win because by lifting the overall quality of the lithium-ion batteries being sold in the U.S., which will bring about a significant drop in fires.
Considering how slowly legislation can move through committees and the chambers, we are likely more than a year from seeing this effort become the law of the land. It is unlikely to land on the President’s desk until after the coming election.
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