News Article

German Industry Association Warns for Offers on Battery Repairs

Industry- & Retail Organizations

BAD SODEN, Germany – In an unusual public statement, the German industry association ZIV (Zweirad Industrie Verband) strongly advises against resorting to repair offers for e-bike batteries that cannot prove to have passd UN tests as well as against the manipulation of batteries and against the use of such manipulated batteries. “People endanger themselves and others and also lose the manufacturer’s warranty,” ZIN warns.

German Industry Association Warns for Offers on Battery Repairs
E-bike batteries have reached such high energy levels that repairs and manipulation must be avoided unless required safety tests can be carried out. – Photo Bike Europe

Accidents with e-bike batteries are rare but do happen. Incidents underline that lithium-ion batteries need to be treated in accordance to existing safety standards. ZIV mentions in its statement that, “Lithium-ion batteries used for e-bikes now have a capacity of over 600 Wh with a very high energy density. Such powerhouses must be safely designed, produced and tested accordingly. There are various requirements, for example with EN 50604-1 or UN-T 38.3, which Li-Ion batteries are required to pass before they are allowed to be transported and put on markets.”

Reliability and full functionality

“The UN-T 38.3 test plan contains various safety tests on a prescribed number of rechargeable batteries, in which the test specimens are guided to their load limits. These include, for example, overload tests, impact tests, short-circuit tests, vibrations, thermal tests, etc. Battery manufacturers carry out such test series before their products are put on the market. Reliability and full functionality can only be guaranteed for original batteries which have not been manipulated by third parties,” states ZIV.

All this might become problematic when, according to ZIV, “The originally installed cells are replaced with alleged identical single cells, or in case of manipulating batteries by e.g. an increase in capacity, decommissioning of the battery management system or the conversion of charging sockets. These are all safety-relevant components.”

New test required, but not possible

“Manipulating batteries results in the fact that new tests according to EN 50604-1 or UN-T 38.3 would be required. However, these are not possible in individual cases, since the required number of test specimens according to the test plan are not available. According to the dangerous goods regulations, the successful completion of the test series according to UN-T 38.3 is a basic requirement for the commercial transport of e-bike batteries. If manipulated batteries are noticed by a commercial company, these batteries may only be transported on a case-by-case basis with regulatory approval and approved procedures.

For these reasons, the two-wheeler industry association strongly advises against resorting to battery repair offers that cannot prove a successful UN test to even make manipulations of the batteries, or to use such manipulated batteries. ZIV suggests consumers to return conspicuous and/or damaged batteries to IBDs for inspection and, if necessary, for safe disposal or recycling.


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