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Prestige Underwriting welcomes call for ban on “dangerous lithium batteries”

Prestige Underwriting welcomes Brompton Bicycles’ endorsement of a proposed parliamentary Bill aimed at enhancing safety standards for imported e-bikes and lithium-ion batteries in the UK.

Brompton Bicycles is backing charity Electrical Safety First’s drafted Bill, The Safety of Electric-Powered Micromobility Vehicles and Lithium Batteries Bill, which Yvonne Fovargue MP intends to raise support for in the House of Commons. The Bill seeks to implement more rigorous regulations concerning e-bike batteries to help prevent hazardous products from entering the UK market.

Currently, e-bike manufacturers can self-certify their products for safety compliance before sale, a practice that may allow substandard or dangerous items to reach consumers.

Recent research conducted by Prestige Underwriting found a significant rise in the average cost of fire-related home insurance claims, now exceeding £24,000. This escalation is partly attributed to the increased usage of lithium batteries in the home. The costs associated with fire-related claims are anticipated to continue rising, due in some measure to the growing prevalence of lithium batteries in consumer devices.

Alison Williams, Managing Director at Prestige Underwriting said:

“The escalating trend in fire-related claims, particularly fuelled by lithium battery-powered devices, is a concerning development. We commend responsible manufacturers like Brompton Bicycles for supporting this Bill, which aims to reduce risk to human life and property.”

Will Butler-Adams, Managing Director of Brompton Bicycles, stated publicly:

“We’ve got poor quality stuff coming into the UK and if we’re not careful, that will affect the whole momentum of light electric vehicle transport, which would be an absolute chronic shame. There are too many examples of e-bikes, e-scooters and light electric vehicles hurting people and scaring people.”

The proposed legislation aims to “weed out bad operators producing dangerous batteries that put people’s lives at risk.”

Lesley Rudd, Chief Executive of Electrical Safety First, added:

”We continue to see terrifying fires caused by e-bike and e-scooter batteries occurring across the whole country. Consumer education is not sufficient to tackle the problem and legislative change is urgently needed to reduce the risk to households from these devastating fires. Our proposals³ will better protect the public, protect responsible manufacturers and help to weed out the bad operators who produce and sell substandard versions of these devices which can cost lives.” 

Brompton is the UK’s biggest bike manufacturer, building 100,000 a year at its factory in west London.

Electrical Safety First is a campaigning charity that aims to reduce deaths and injuries caused by electricity in UK homes. The charity initiated the draft Bill (The Safety of Electric-Powered Micromobility Vehicles and Lithium Batteries Bill) last year⁴ to combat the rise in devastating fires caused by e-bike and e-scooter batteries. It was developed in collaboration from the National Fire Chiefs Council and Zurich Insurance, and is supported by more than 45 national organisations, including the Chartered Institute for Trading Standards and the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives.

Prestige Underwriting has produced a consumer guide on the issue of lithium fire risks to give customer guidance. The guide is available from brokers with arrangements with Prestige Underwriting or directly HERE

Authored by Prestige Underwriting

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