California Governor Newsom approved new legislation concerning the storage of electronic bikes (e-bikes), electronic scooters (e-scooters), and other battery-operated micro-mobility devices within rental properties across the state.
This legislation, sponsored by Sen. Anthony Portantino, is designed to mitigate fire hazards posed by uncertified e-bikes and scooters in rental buildings. Under SB 712, tenants would be allowed to keep their electric bikes or scooters inside their units, on the condition that the batteries of these devices meet the standards set by either the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission or the European Safety Standards.
The California Apartment Association, in a letter expressing support for the amended bill, highlighted the importance of this requirement in safeguarding both the building and its occupants from potential fires, which can result from uncertified device batteries.
E-bike Safety Standards
The legislation specifies that e-bike batteries should adhere to either the UL 2849 standard as recognized by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission or the EN 15194 European Standard for electrically powered assisted cycles (EPAC). E-scooters should conform to the UL 2272 standard in the U.S. or the EN 17128 European Standard for personal light-electric vehicles.
Adherence to Safety Standards
The bill stipulates that if a device's battery does not meet these safety standards, landlords have the right to require tenants to have liability insurance for storing these devices in their units. Additionally, landlords can prohibit the charging of these devices inside the units to further reduce fire risks.
The push for stricter regulations comes after increasing concerns over fire risks linked to uncertified e-bike batteries.
E-bike Lovers’ Take on SB 712
Set to be implemented from January 1, 2024, SB 712 serves as a template for other states and a guideline for HOAs to promote both the safe use and the burgeoning growth of e-bike usage.
By establishing clear guidelines for storing and maintaining e-bikes in rental units, the law acknowledges the growing role of e-bikes in modern transportation while addressing critical safety concerns.