Batteries catching fire: Multiple scooter and electric bike fires reported

With the galloping popularity of these small vehicles, firefighters are increasingly being called upon to put out fires started by scooters or electric bicycles.

• Also read: Electric scooters very popular… and illegal

• Also read: Your car is more likely to catch fire from the heat

“We’ll be honest. We expect the phenomenon to increase in the coming years because there will be more people buying them,” says Alexandre Lajoie, spokesman for the Quebec Fire Protection Service (SPCIQ).

Fires caused by these small vehicles equipped with a rechargeable lithium battery have recently been counted. There have been at least 21 such fires in the Capitale-Nationale between 2020 and today.

“They mainly relate to electric devices such as bicycles, scooters, Segways and scooters,” says Mr. Lajoie.


With the galloping popularity of these small vehicles, firefighters are increasingly being called upon to put out fires started by scooters or electric bicycles among Quebecers.

Courtesy of Photo, SIM and SPCIQ

With the galloping popularity of these small vehicles, firefighters are increasingly being called upon to put out fires started by scooters or electric bicycles among Quebecers.

global problem

The situation in Montreal is no rosier than in most major western cities, says Louise Desrosiers, director of public information for the Montreal Fire Department (SIM).

“This is a new global problem. We are in contact with firefighters in Spain and the United States on this matter. We’re seeing the devices becoming more affordable, so more people are buying them. So yes, it worries us,” explains Mme roses.

In France, a WegoBoard brand electric scooter was recalled last May due to a high risk of fire.

Owners have been asked to stop plugging in or charging these devices.


15 people were forced from their homes in the summer of 2021 after a bicycle battery caught fire in Quebec.

Photo archive, agency QMI

15 people were forced from their homes in the summer of 2021 after a bicycle battery caught fire in Quebec.

For its part, the SIM has identified 10 fires caused by small electric vehicles since 2020. Four bicycles, two scooters and four motor scooters are the origin of these Montreal fires.

Ignite quickly

Louise Desrosiers reminds us that rechargeable lithium batteries pose a real untold threat, as they are not only found in small electric vehicles.


This scooter caught fire on a public road for unknown reasons.

Courtesy of Photo, SIM and SPCIQ

This scooter caught fire on a public road for unknown reasons.

“They’re everywhere: phones, laptops, scooters, vapes, toys, smartwatches, tools and cars,” she says.

Mme Desrosiers also claims that the batteries in these devices have a high energy density and therefore ignite very quickly if mishandled.

“We noticed that a thermal runaway occurred at the beginning of such a fire. It becomes aggressive and fast. […] Especially when the owner adds or modifies components of the device, for example to go faster on their scooter,” warns the SIM expert.

Electric scooters are still not provided for in the road traffic regulations. They are therefore illegal on most public roads in Quebec.


With the galloping popularity of these small vehicles, firefighters are increasingly being called upon to put out fires started by scooters or electric bicycles among Quebecers.

Courtesy of Photo, SIM and SPCIQ

With the galloping popularity of these small vehicles, firefighters are increasingly being called upon to put out fires started by scooters or electric bicycles among Quebecers.

How do you avoid a fire?

  • Use a timer to automatically turn off power while charging.
  • Stay indoors when charging a device and respect the maximum charging time.
  • Protect the battery from possible sources of heat during longer charging times and avoid contact with water.
  • Make sure the device battery is not damaged.
  • Never charge your devices under a pillow or on any other flammable surface.
  • Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Source: Montreal Fire Department

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