Steve recently wrote:
One of the first things I teach students on the first day of energy policy classes I have taught is how energy density works, and how a battery is a device to store energy at high densities. But at a certain point, when you increase the energy density enough, we don’t call it a battery any more. We call it a bomb.
I got an email today from a friend that reminded me of Steve’s post. The email said:
I got this notice because I recently bought an electric bike. What kind of notice do you think they send out for electric cars?
Here is the notice:
PLEASE BE AWARE: if partially or totally submerged in water, the lithium-ion battery pack used to power many electric devices and vehicles will suffer damage that will compromise its safety and stability. This damage can be even more severe if your battery pack was submerged in salt water.
Please check your eBike as soon as possible. Unfortunately, if your eBike has been submerged in water during the storm, it’s very likely that its electrical system has been damaged and the eBike is unsafe to use. If the battery pack was partially or totally submerged, we advise that you carefully remove the battery pack from the eBike (or wherever it was stored when submerged), and take it to a safe location OUTDOORS, away from any flammable materials. Leave the affected battery pack OUTDOORS until you are ready to drop it off at the recycling center where it can be safely recycled.
When you are able to properly dispose of the battery, place the battery pack in a clear plastic bag and take it to your municipal household hazardous waste drop-off center. Your local City Hall or Fire Department may have resources to help you find the closest facility in your area, or you can check the Call2Recycle website (https://www.call2recycle.org/locator/) for drop-off locations nearby.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU ATTEMPT TO RECHARGE A LITHIUM-ION BATTERY PACK THAT HAS BEEN PARTIALLY OR TOTALLY SUBMERGED IN WATER.
ATTEMPTING TO CHARGE A COMPROMISED LITHIUM-ION BATTERY PACK CAN RESULT IN A VERY DANGEROUS FIRE THAT GENERATES SIGNIFICANT HEAT, TOXIC GASSES AND IS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO CONTROL.
Please consult with your insurance company to see whether the eBike was covered by your homeowner’s policy.
Other common items that use lithium-ion batteries are: laptops, tablets, cell phones, video game controllers, e-readers, and digital cameras.
Is that green, or what?