Lyft is pulling its e-bikes from the streets of San Francisco, as well as from those in the South Bay Area in light of two recently catching on fire. The first reported fire took place over the weekend, with the second happening today, according to the San Francisco Examiner.
Don’t think I’ll be going on a @lyft@baywheels any time soon. Yikes. pic.twitter.com/MOU9wIjgII
— Zach Rutta (@zrutta44) July 27, 2019
“Out of an abundance of caution, we are temporarily making the ebike fleet unavailable to riders while we investigate and update our battery technology,” a Lyft spokesperson told TechCrunch. “Thanks to our riders for their patience and we look forward to making ebikes available again soon.”
The timing couldn’t be worse for Lyft, which recently obtained the right to deploy its dockless pedal-assist bikes in the city following a lawsuit against San Francisco. But with its bikes catching on fire, it surely does not help its argument that it should be the sole provider of bike-share services in the city.
“It is unfortunate that this incident occurred and we are currently monitoring the situation,” an SFMTA spokesperson told TechCrunch. “We encourage Lyft to put customer safety first. We have an inquiry into Lyft as to the circumstances surrounding this incident as well as to how they intend to prevent any future fires and ensure the safety of customers and the ongoing operability of the bikesharing system. Bikeshare is an important part of the SF transportation system. The Agency is working to ensure that our residents can consistently rely on the safety and availability of bikes.”
This also isn’t the first time Lyft has experienced issues with its e-bikes. In April, Lyft paused its e-bike operations in New York and San Francisco due to injuries associated with overly responsive brakes. It wasn’t until June when Lyft deployed its newly branded e-bikes in San Jose, Calif.
It’s worth noting that Lyft is not the only micromobility service to experience apparent battery issues. Both Skip and Lime have had to pull their electric scooters in light of the vehicles catching on fire.