Shocking new CCTV footage has been shared by London Fire Brigade after an e-bike erupted into flames on the platform at Sutton station.

The explosion happened on Thursday, March 21.

The bike owner bought the e-bike from an online marketplace four months beforehand with no issues arising since the purchase.

He was travelling to Crystal Palace on the train and was waiting for his train on the platform when the e-bike burst into flames. 

Firefighters from Sutton fire station were called to the railway station at 5.32pm during the busy rush-hour period.

Station Officer Nigel McLachlan was at the scene of the incident, he said: “The fire was really ferocious and happened extremely quickly.

“It would have been devastating if the timings had worked out differently.

“I hate to think of the tragic consequences it could have had.

“Thankfully no one was injured.

“This incident only serves to highlight that when buying these products, it is very important to purchase them from a reputable high street seller so you know the full history of the purchase.

“If items are bought from online marketplaces there is more risk that the bike is sold without the correct battery and charger which can lead to a devastating fire.” 

Deputy Commissioner Charlie Pugsley said: “Following this e-bike fire, we’re reminding businesses, including rail operators, to carefully consider their fire risk assessments and we’re encouraging transport operators to consider whether they have adequate safety measures in place should an e-bike fire happen on their service.

"Since we launched our #ChargeSafe campaign we’ve been calling for much-needed legislation for online marketplaces to ensure products like batteries, chargers and conversion kits are strictly regulated.

“All too often these batteries fail if they are used with the wrong charger, are faulty or modified, counterfeit or become damaged.” 

This year there have been 31 e-bike fires and 9 e-scooter fires (from 1/1/24 to 4/4/24).  

Lesley Rudd, chief executive of Electrical Safety First said: “The issues surrounding e-bike and e-scooter battery fires are complex and need to be tackled by all levels of government and industry.

"We are aware the Government has commissioned research to better understand the issue, but speed is of vital importance in order to avoid further injuries and deaths.

"Preventing substandard and dangerous batteries from entering the market in the first place will significantly reduce the risk to the public.

"So we are urging the Government to adopt our Bill which will be tabled in Parliament by Yvonne Fovargue MP.

"The Bill will introduce third-party certification for e-bikes, e-scooters and their batteries, reducing the risk of unsafe batteries entering the market as well as setting standards for conversion kits and charging systems.

"At present manufacturers can self-declare their batteries are safe, our Bill would end this.

"The fires caused when these batteries fail are unique in their ferocity and can have devastating consequences.

"We urge the Government to back our Bill in order to avoid further loss of life.” 

Safety tips for e-bike and e-scooter users to follow:

  • Never block your escape route with anything, including e-bikes and e-scooters. Store them somewhere away from a main through route. Our advice is to store these items in a safe external location if possible, such as a garage or a shed.  
  • Always use the correct charger, otherwise the risk of fire increases, and buy an official one from a reputable seller.   
  • Do not attempt to modify or tamper with your battery. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.   
  • Converting pedal bikes into e-bikes using DIY kits bought online can be very dangerous. They pose a higher risk of fire. Get a professional or competent person to carry out the conversion and make sure to buy a battery from a reputable seller and that it is not second-hand.  
  • Check your battery and charger meets UK safety standards.  We have particular concern where conversion kits, batteries and chargers have been purchased from online marketplaces and when they've been sourced on the internet, which may not meet the correct safety standards.  Consumers buying any product can check that the item displays a UKCA or CE mark that ensures that the products meet UK and EU safety, health or environmental requirements. If buying online, buy from a reputable UK supplier. 
  • Watch out for signs that the battery or charger aren’t working as they should – e.g. if the battery is hot to the touch or has changed shape.   
  • Let the battery cool before charging. Batteries can get warm during their use and it is advisable to allow them to cool down before attempting to re-charge as they could be more susceptible to failure if overheated. If you are charging batteries indoors, please follow our advice on safe charging.  
  • Unplug your charger once it’s finished charging. Always follow manufacturers’ instructions when charging and we would advise not to leave it unattended or while people are asleep. 
  • Fit alarms where you charge. Ensure you have smoke alarms fitted in areas where e-bikes or e-scooters are being charged and make sure they are tested regularly. You can quickly and easily check your home by visiting our free online home fire safety checker tool.