E-bike abandoned on New York Subway tracks blows up after being hit by train

Originally published at: E-bike abandoned on New York Subway tracks blows up after being hit by train | Boing Boing


I wonder how long the bike was sitting on the track, and whether anyone tried to report it. Would there be any staff at the station?

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That smoke? Yeah do not breathe that in. Smoke from burnt electronics/batteries can have a lot of nasty chemicals and metals.


Just when e-bikes had gotten the official ok from NYC gov’t. Given that the Chamber of Commerce hates both e-bikes AND DeBlasio, the reactonary press is likely to have fun with this one.


Probably just a few minutes. That’s a fairly well-trafficked stop, iirc and even on slower routes a train comes by every few minutes.

Probably not. I lived in NYC just as the last token machines were being taken out. It seems like station attendants were downsized dramatically soon after. Especially when you’re not around the tourist stops in Midtown where there needs to be more human traffic control.


I can’t think of any batteries that don’t have nasty chemicals and metals. I’m not even sure about lemons.


I have an ebike and love it. Hopefully it won’t blow up on me… :weary:


I dunno if I’d have been so close to the tracks. I’d be afraid those wheels would spit out shrapnel after running over a metal bike.

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It wouldn’t surprise me if the devil is in the electrolyte; but metal-air batteries seem like the best case for potentially being safe, especially the iron/air option.

Energy density is utter trash compared to the batteries we use in portable applications; but I’ve seen some talk of using them for grid-level stuff in places where land is cheap; and a chemistry that is well-behaved and cheap is a potential contender vs. going for density that you don’t really need.


It’s funny that after years of Hollywood movies where every car crash ends with a ball of flame unlike real life we end up in a world of electric vehicles which actually do explode.

And then reignite after the fire brigade extinguish them.

And reignite again…


Nah, with NCA batteries (Tesla) we can reliably depend on the whole battery “burning itself down to the screws” as one person said in a public hearing with Silicon Valley Power. Lockheed Martin’s system (using the same LG Chem batteries as the Bolt) is hot enough to turn aluminum into a puddle… there won’t be anything left unburned in these non-car applications if they don’t try to slow them down (and getting them wet is only slowing the reaction a bit). LFP batteries are a different story…

Don’t hit it with your train, and you should be fine.


Where will I be, when I lose interest in biking the subways of NYC?


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Also, don’t stand around in a situation like this - get the fuck clear!
Even if the battery hadn’t exploded, there still was the risk of shrapnel flying around.
And magic smoke isn’t exactly healthy.


There’s always the sub levels were the mole people live.

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Every time Michael Bay comes to New York, this is what happens.


The sure looked like an arc from the third rail, not a battery explosion. That’s a pretty small battery, at least compared to an electric car. Also, that was a pretty fast boom.

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Also, citibikes are not e-bikes, and no other coverage I’ve seen of this story describes the bike as an e-bike.

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I’ve put just over 17,000km on mine over the last four years (and it’s on its second battery) and it’s never exploded. As @docosc points out, don’t throw it on the tracks in front of a train and you should be fine.

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