After a recent string of battery explosions in Bay Area cities, Lyft announced it will temporarily suspend its “Bay Wheels” e-bike rental service. Executives at the ride-sharing giant are now working with city officials to figure out exactly what caused these malfunctions.
This issue began on July 27 when a Twitter user posted an image of a burnt Lyft e-bike in San Francisco. Within the ensuing days, three other e-bikes exploded in San Francisco, San Jose, and Berkeley. Thankfully, no one was injured by these exploding e-bikes.
Although it has yet to be confirmed, some investigators believe the e-bike in San Jose was tampered with. Currently, technicians at Lyft are looking into the potential reasons for all of these e-bike explosions.
In the meantime, Lyft has suspended the use of shareable e-bike in San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland. Company leaders will only re-release these e-bikes when they are confident the safety issue has been resolved.
Members of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) applaud Lyft’s decision to take their e-bikes off of the Bay Area’s streets. The SFMTA also said they will lead a formal inquiry into Lyft’s safety practices before the company re-releases rentable e-bikes.
A few tech reporters pointed out the Lyft e-bikes that caught fire were originally in the Ford GoBike fleet. It’s unknown at this time if Ford’s manufacturing could’ve contributed to this issue.
Lyft isn’t the first company to deal with exploding e-bikes. A few ride-share businesses that were forced to recall e-bikes in the past include Citi Bike, Skip, and Lime.