Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that CellBlock's Safe Charge Rack was "authorized by FDNY." FDNY hasn't used the term, "authorized," but has issued a Letter of No Objection to the use of the rack under certain conditions.
Battery safety equipment maker CellBlock Fire Containment Systems has announced two additions to the Safe Charge line of products for lithium-ion batteries used in e-bikes, scooters, and other small vehicles. The Safe Charge Sleeve E Series, designed for removable batteries, and the Safe Charge Cover, designed for e-bikes without a detachable battery, join the Safe Charge Rack to round out CellBlock’s offerings for safely charging micromobility batteries. In March 2023, FDNY issued a Letter of No Objection (subject to conditions) to the use of the Safe Charge Rack for the charging of 40 batteries. The letter permits latitude from NYC fire code FC309.3.3 requiring separation of batteries during charging (provision 10).
The E Series specs include:
- Rated for temperatures over 1823 °F (1000 °C)
- Custom-engineered organic vapor filters for mitigation of pressure and explosions
- Multi-layered FireShield® composite made by CellBlock
- Kevlar-reinforced blast-proof seams
- Third-party testing using batteries at 100% state-of-charge demonstrating FULL containment of fire, explosions and projectiles.
The company released video footage of a test of the Safe Charge Sleeve E Series 550, showing how the sleeve prevents external fire, contains explosive pressure while venting smoke and fumes:
The company noted that batteries used for mobility that are then charged at home can self-ignite during charging and storage: In New York City alone there have been 14 deaths this year. The potential for a lithium battery fire to rapidly and completely consume a room and prevent egress is unprecedented, and it can happen without warning—especially during charging.
“These e-bike fires in apartment buildings are a severe threat to consumer safety,” stated CellBlock CTO Dylan Vandemark. “After listening to feedback from FDNY, we understand the need and the performance requirements for such products. Ultimately, it's both about containing the fire and allowing building occupants to escape and fire fighters to arrive in time.”
Having demonstrated the technology live in front of FDNY recently, CellBlock states it is confident the patent pending technology is not only effective, but creates a new standard for e-bike safety. CellBlock partnered with Call2Recycle, the nation's largest non-profit battery collection and recycling program and manager of America’s first and only e-bike recycling program, to organize the program for the new Safe Charge products.
CellBlock’s new thermal bike cover safely contains flames and explosions in the event of a battery fire.
“As the city continues to grapple with e-mobility fire challenges, we believe we can play a vital role in helping to prevent tragic incidents and injuries,” stated Leo Raudys, CEO of Call2Recycle. “We are excited to team up with CellBlock to introduce these cutting-edge micromobility charging and storage systems, prioritizing the safety of all users.”
The Safe Charge Sleeve E Series are available for pre-order in multiple sizes and energy containment ratings (ECR’s) suitable for batteries up to 800Wh of stored energy. The Safe Charge Cover is in final development and will be available for purchase soon.