With nearly 300 million electric bicycle batteries around us, how can we not explode safely?

  Bai Yansong: An electric bicycle battery exploded and caught fire while charging, causing casualties. Another incident occurred this week.

This Monday, the day before the Mid-Autumn Festival, a fire broke out in a residential building in Tongzhou District, Beijing. All five members of a family living on the fifth floor were killed. The cause of the accident was that the tenants on the third floor brought home the electric bicycle batteries. The battery exploded and caught fire. The time was 3:20 in the morning. The fire and thick smoke spread from the third floor to the fourth floor and to the fifth floor, killing the sleeping family.

This is not the first time this has happened, and this unfortunate incident has been less than a month and a half since my country issued special regulations on August 1 to prohibit electric bicycles from going upstairs.

When the car can't go upstairs, we will carry the battery upstairs. The tragedy is still happening. What should we do?

"Newsweek" focus this week: the battery bomb right around you.

  The charge on the third floor killed five people upstairs.

  Why do electric bicycle batteries take the risk of getting upstairs?

  This five-story building is the residential building where a fire broke out in Beijing’s Tongzhou District at 3:20 this morning.

The traces of the flame burning from the third floor to the fifth floor can be clearly seen on the outer surface.

The fourth and fifth floors of the building are duplex structures. The family of five who was killed lived in the building. They were resting in the fifth-floor bedroom.

After the fire, the house was in ruins, and the only wooden staircase that could escape between the two floors was completely burned.

  Perpetrator: In my sleep, I heard a bang on the balcony, and then a lot of sparks popped out. There were a few fire spots in the living room, most of which were on the balcony. At first, I thought it was not a big deal, but it turned out. Caused such a big thing.

  At present, the tenant has been taken criminal coercive measures by the police.

Perhaps he also knew that it was not safe to charge the bicycle battery at home, so he put it on the balcony.

But he didn't expect that this type of battery would be explosive once it burned, and the flame could reach 1,200 degrees Celsius, which could quickly ignite household items, which he could not control at all.

  Liu Yanlong, Secretary-General of China Chemical and Physical Power Industry Association: Once these fire accidents happen to electric bicycles, first of all, it will cause a large amount of toxic and harmful gases and cause suffocation.

In addition, this kind of overcharging often occurs in the middle of the night, when people are in a deep sleep state, it will also cause serious accidents where people cannot escape and cause casualties.

  During the Mid-Autumn Festival, many people regretted the five lives that were affected. Two of them were 49 years old, two were 70 years old, and one child was only 10 years old.

On August 1 this year, the "Regulations on Fire Safety Management of High-Rise Civil Buildings" came into effect, expressly prohibiting electric bicycles from parking or charging in residential buildings. Violators will be fined.

For this reason, many communities have installed an alarm system. Once the electric bicycle enters, the elevator will automatically alarm and stop running.

Some communities also expressed that they will explore and upgrade, and also identify the batteries brought in and recharged home.

Take many risks and take the battery home. Residents say that in some communities, there are no electric bicycle charging stations.

  Beijing residents: When buying a car, I want to buy a big brand. The battery is safe, but I am afraid when I charge it. I am afraid of fire.

  However, in some communities where electric bicycle charging piles have been installed, the reporter found that because of the use of commercial electricity prices, it is relatively expensive, and the utilization rate of residents is not high.

  Beijing residents: How much does household electricity cost for one yuan per hour, and how much does it cost to charge at home?

It takes seven or eight hours to charge it here.

  At No. 17 Zhichun Road, Haidian District, the neighborhood committee recently installed 80 new charging plugs for more than 100 electric bicycles in the community.

The electricity price is only 0.51 yuan per kilowatt-hour, which is 1 cent cheaper than the electricity used by residents in the community.

The most important thing is to charge according to the actual electricity consumption.

  Dong Naining, a staff member of the neighborhood committee of No. 17 Zhichun Road, Haidian District, Beijing: Originally, I would pay one dollar per hour.

Because the battery capacity is different, some are four hours, six hours, or even eight to ten hours. In this case, it costs four to ten yuan to fill a battery, but in fact, it may not use one kilowatt-hour of electricity when it is fully charged.

We just saw it outside. It took about seven cents to charge 0.14 kWh in four hours.

Charging downstairs and charging at home are basically the same, so he won't bother to push the electric car to the home to charge.

  To achieve such a result, on the one hand, Haidian District paid relevant government subsidies to enterprises, and on the other hand, it was also the credit of repeated coordination between the neighborhood committee and the property and charging companies in the past year.

The real estate finally exempts the company from renting the premises, and the electricity bill is also charged according to the civil electricity.

  Dong Naining, a staff member of the neighborhood committee of No. 17 Zhichun Road, Haidian District, Beijing: Now this charging pile is divided into two groups. The following group was installed in 2019. Its charging standard is one dollar per hour. Now this cheap one has been installed. No one uses the following one anymore.

  Xiao Dong told us that these charging piles are controlled by the intelligent monitoring system, and once they are fully charged, they will be powered off immediately.

There is a high-definition camera on the opposite side of each carport to eliminate the fear of battery theft.

Everything related to charging is done in subtleties. Such communities are still a small number at present, and more and more communities are adding electric bicycle charging piles as an important project for the next community renovation.

  Dong Naining, a staff member of the neighborhood committee of No. 17 Zhichun Road, Haidian District, Beijing: We have posted publicity posters on the knowledge of hidden dangers of electric vehicles on each floor of the residential building. In fact, if the electric vehicle battery deflagrates, it will be much shorter than 100 seconds. .

Several fire extinguishers are needed to extinguish fires, and they are sprayed quickly at the same time. It is difficult for ordinary residents to extinguish them. It is necessary to raise awareness of electric vehicle batteries.

Taking the battery home is not only a hidden danger to your personal life and property safety, but also an irresponsible behavior to your family and neighbors.

  Bai Yansong: Electric bicycles cannot go upstairs. Behind this regulation, there is a fact that has to be accepted, that is, the quality of the battery cannot be completely reassuring.

The number of fires caused by electric bicycles has shown a significant increase in recent years, and has accounted for 10% of all fires in society.

According to data released by the Fire and Rescue Bureau of the Ministry of Emergency Management, there are about 2,000 electric bicycle-related fires across the country each year, of which 80% are caused by charging.

Thinking about it is depressing. Today's life is inseparable from large and small rechargeable batteries. Apart from the protection of laws and regulations, can't we be completely relieved in terms of quality?

  Will the placed battery explode?

  Need to be upgraded to a national mandatory standard

  Mr. Li: Our home is more than one kilometer away from the kindergarten.

The school is in the alley, and riding an electric bike is the most convenient, so we only have to choose this means of transportation.

  This Friday, the reporter met Mr. Li who was going to take his grandson home outside a kindergarten in Beijing. Electric bicycles were the choice of him and many parents at the scene.

Although Mr. Li and his family chose a well-known electric bicycle brand, after the recent battery fire incident, the whole family was very confused about its safety.

Because the parking sheds in the community have limited charging spaces, Mr. Li would also take the batteries home to recharge.

  Mr. Li: In fact, I have been confused about this matter in recent days. Electric vehicles must be charged, so I have to struggle with this matter.

Safety, this is the most important thing. In terms of safety, professionals may need to conduct some research.

  Pick up and drop off children, commute, and deliver goods. Many people, including Mr. Li, have a need to travel on electric bicycles.

In fact, there are currently about 300 million electric bicycles in my country, that is to say, at least about 300 million batteries have entered the homes of ordinary people.

After the battery charging fire in a residential building in Tongzhou, Beijing, this Wednesday, a battery in a commercial building in Shanghai also caught fire without being charged.

  On the second day of the incident, this Thursday, an electric bicycle in Beijing suddenly caught fire.

The incidents occurred three days a week, especially the last two incidents occurred while the battery was left standing and being used, which made many people wonder why.

The New Energy Laboratory of Shanghai Quality Inspection Institute conducted an overcharge protection experiment on the battery to help people better understand it.

  Yu Xiaofang, a senior engineer from Shanghai Quality Inspection New Energy Inspection Office: We made an overcharge protection experiment on it. Within a period of about 40 minutes from the beginning of the experiment, the battery smoked, and then it happened in an instant. Fire and explosion are such a phenomenon, so we analyze the reason for the failure of the protection circuit.

  Liu Yanlong, Secretary-General of China Chemical and Physical Power Supply Industry Association: First of all, this battery must be a lithium ion battery. On the other hand, it may be a low-quality battery or a qualified battery. But if it is a protection circuit, it is BMS If the management system fails, it may be overcharged for a long time, which may cause accidents to the battery, such as fire or even explosion.

  After the qualified battery fails to protect the circuit and other protection functions, the phenomenon of overcharge and fire will also occur.

In fact, the battery may become a fire source or an important combustion-supporting agent after a fire. Its own safety and protection measures cannot be ignored.

In addition, according to experts, lithium batteries are currently more popular in the market due to their portability and high energy.

However, due to the stability of the battery itself, irregular production process, improper operation, etc., in recent years, most of the batteries used in electric bicycles have accidents.

  Liu Yanlong, Secretary-General of the China Chemical and Physical Power Industry Association: There are many lithium battery companies now. There are standardized companies, and there may be some non-standard companies, and even three-no companies are also entering the market.

From a supervisory point of view, it may be necessary to conduct spot checks on electric bicycles on a regular basis, and promptly announce some problems with safety accidents and the list of major companies for such electric bicycles.

On the other hand, the suggestion is whether it is possible to implement this kind of coding system for the battery of electric bicycles in the future, that is, the battery of a car must be unified with the coding of its vehicle.

  At present, in our country, there are two important standards regarding the safety regulations of electric bicycles.

One is the mandatory new national standard, the "E-bike Safety Technical Specification". It is simply understood that it is formulated for the entire vehicle, and stipulates the electrical safety, fire resistance, and flame retardancy of the vehicle body.

The second is the "Lithium-ion Battery Standard for Electric Bicycles" for lithium batteries, but this standard is currently only a recommended national standard.

  Zhou Mingchuan, a technician from the Fire Regulation Technology Department of the Shanghai Fire Rescue Corps: The battery of an electric bicycle is a national recommended standard, which involves if the electric bicycle is bought back and replaced with a battery, then the battery is replaced because It does not follow the electric bicycle as a whole. It does not need to meet the mandatory national standard. I only meet the recommended standard for this battery, or I do not meet the recommended standard, because the recommended standard is recommended by the company. , Can be executed or not executed, then there is a lot of room for it.

We think that as soon as possible, the national standard for the battery of this electric bicycle will be upgraded from a recommended standard to a national mandatory standard.

  Experts believe that to improve the intrinsic safety of batteries and to improve battery protection measures, it is necessary to control from the source of production and other links.

The relevant departments need strong battery compulsory standards in order to act in accordance with the regulations.

In addition, consumers must strictly abide by the usage rules, refrain from refitting in violation of regulations, try not to charge for a long time, and regularly test the battery.

To ensure the safety of electric bicycles, all participants need to rely on and work together.

  Bai Yansong: If the rechargeable battery is not charged, is it safe to put it on?

Many people may think so, but the facts have shattered everyone’s illusions. Just two days after the explosion of an electric bicycle battery in Beijing, this Wednesday, a battery was placed indoors in a unit in Shanghai. The battery deflagrated without being charged, and the combustion lasted for nearly four minutes, but fortunately, it did not cause a major disaster.

But now this rechargeable battery is everywhere. For example, in addition to our home electric bicycles, takeaway riders even need four or five batteries a day to support food delivery. Then where should the temporarily replaced battery be placed?

How does high-frequency charging work?

The most important thing is whether we are safe?

  Stored in a unified way

  Can the switch cabinet enter more people?

  Takeaway rider Ding Hongzhi: My name is Ding Hongzhi. I am a takeaway rider. The average daily delivery volume should be about 30-50 orders. The working time is 8-10 hours and I have to run about 100 kilometers per day.

At the beginning, I learned from some workmates that I bought batteries by myself, recharged them at home, and bought lead-acid ones. They were heavy and their battery life was not too strong.

If the car is running out of power, we have to return to a fixed point to replace the battery, which will delay a lot of time on the road.

  In the past, takeaway riders like Ding Hongzhi were often constrained by the battery life of electric bicycles. They would save some power to support themselves when they return home, or gather with colleagues to recharge the batteries.

However, this not only takes the time cost of the riders to go back and forth and wait for charging, charging in a densely populated environment like a home, there is also a big safety hazard.

  Ding Hongzhi’s electric bicycle is powered by a lithium battery that can be removed normally.

After walking on the streets of Shenyang for a long time, he found that some cabinets appeared on some streets and corners, which could power the bicycles and replace the batteries.

From then on, whenever the power was running out, he started looking for these cabinets.

  Takeaway rider Ding Hongzhi: We will look for the nearest battery replacement cabinet on the App. After we get here, we will put the lacking battery in the cabinet. Within 20 to 30 seconds, a fully charged battery will pop up, and the whole battery will be replaced. The electric process takes less than a minute, and it has to be changed about five times a day.

At least it solves the time for me to replace the battery at a fixed point. Even the batteries we used before are relatively heavy. Changing the battery reduces some weight and brings us more convenience.

If I use this replacement service, I need to pay 199 yuan a month. I can change it anywhere in the city. The replacement fee is borne by ourselves.

  In a minute or so, the vehicle can be resurrected with full blood.

The battery is charged in the switch cabinet, and it will not pose a safety threat to the user.

After such a model appeared, it became very popular in the takeaway rider circle.

In fact, the current switch cabinet operators mostly provide services to such enterprise end users.

The reason is that their electric bicycle model and battery are basically certain.

This week, such a switch cabinet appeared in Bin'an Community in Binjiang, Hangzhou.

In addition to takeaway riders, it also attracted the attention of community residents.

  Community residents: Sometimes I charge a lot at the charging station downstairs, which is inconvenient.

It was said that when I couldn't get in the queue, I took out the battery and mentioned that I plugged it in the room.

Because there are many reasons for the explosion and fire of these batteries, which is also a safety hazard, if you use this kind of switch cabinet now, it saves a lot of things than before, and then it is relatively safer.

  Sun Liyi, Secretary of the Party Committee of Xixing Community Residents Committee in Binjiang District, Hangzhou: There are currently more than 700 vehicles in our community, but in fact, there are only 150 to 160 charging ports in our five centralized charging piles. It is indeed very difficult to fully meet the requirements. .

It just happens to see that such a new product is a better way for groups with a high usage rate.

As a supplement to the shortage of our charging piles, to meet their needs, it can also avoid some safety risks.

  In fact, the installation of battery swap cabinets in Bin'an Community can not only fill the gap of charging piles, but also allow residents to complete charging in concentrated outdoor areas, so that batteries have a relatively safe place to go, and reduce the need for them to be brought into residents. The building is charging, and hidden safety hazards are buried.

  Zhuge Chengqi, head of power exchange business of China Tower's Zhejiang Branch: When we choose space, we will find a relatively open place where the flow of people is not very high. This is of great help to safety.

At the same time, our switch cabinets are monitored in real time for 7×24 hours. Each battery and each switch cabinet is equipped with an Internet of Things card, which can collect the operating data of the switch cabinet and battery in real time.

Each switch cabinet is equipped with an independent fire protection device, which has the double guarantee of electric control and temperature control.

In addition, the cycle life of the battery is also an important parameter that we consider. For example, after 2000 times, we will definitely replace the battery.

  The person in charge of the community said that the current replacement cabinet is still in the water test stage.

Due to the different brands and models of electric bicycles, many residents use battery replacement cabinets for charging, and the phenomenon of battery replacement has not yet appeared.

Experts said that while the switch cabinet allows the "car and electricity to be separated", it also provides a relatively safe place for charged batteries.

In addition, in the future, to solve the hidden dangers of electric bicycles, more social co-governance solutions are needed.

  Bai Yansong: Talking about the rechargeable battery of electric bicycles is not a trivial matter. At present, the social ownership of electric bicycles in my country is close to 300 million, which has tripled in ten years.

Now we are not allowed to go upstairs, but charging the battery that goes upstairs will also cause disasters. What should I do?

At the same time, how to hold the relevant manufacturers accountable so that they can ensure the quality of the batteries is still a permanent cure. I hope we can cure both the symptoms and the root causes.