Even though an e-bike’s lithium-ion batteries can become dangerous, a special battery-powered vehicle classification known as UN 3171 makes shipping e-bikes in single packaging easier, cheaper and more convenient.
Per this classification, your e-bike is NOT considered to be hazmat; you don’t need to be a hazmat-certified shipper; you don’t need to pay a hazmat surcharge; and you can ship your e-bike to and from more locations.
Shipping e-bikes under this classification is limited to ground service within the contiguous U.S. We do not ship to Alaska or Hawaii because aircraft are often used to fulfill “ground service” shipments to those states.
How To Ship Your E-bike with BikeFlights
Our e-bike shipping service is for shipping single e-bikes with a fully functioning battery that is either contained within the bike’s frame or installed on the bike.
Prior to shipping your e-bike, you must do these five things:
- Lower your battery charge to less than 30% to limit cell-to-cell combustion.
- Power off your battery, remove any keys, and ensure that your battery cannot turn “on” during transit.
- Protect your e-bike and its battery by using lots of extra-dense foam padding.
- Pack your e-bike into a large and sturdy box rated for e-bikes such as the BikeFlights Bike Box Large (BBL).
- Completely remove or completely cover ALL bulk shipping hazmat markings like these:
Why? Hazmat stickers are required for bulk e-bike shipments such as when a manufacturer or distributor ships many e-bikes together on a pallet, but these stickers are NOT required for single e-bike shipments. In fact, failure to remove Class 9 or UN 3480 markings on your single e-bike shipment will result in your e-bike being incorrectly considered a hazmat shipment, which means it will be stopped and tagged for disposal.
Size and Weight Restrictions
Limits on shipping size and weight for e-bikes going through the ground service network are the same as for standard bikes. Please see our Dimensions Rates page for more information.
If your bike is over 70 pounds, we recommend that you apply a heavy package sticker like the one below. This helps to alert carrier drivers, staff and others that special care should be taken for safe handling.
Pick Up or Drop Off
We recommend you schedule a pickup when booking your e-bike shipment, and we’ll send a carrier driver to come get your packed bike. You may also drop off your e-bike shipment at a UPS Customer Center; remember to always ask for a receipt.
We do not recommend that you drop off your e-bike at UPS Stores because they are individually franchised, and rules and restrictions about the size and weight of packages they will accept vary by location.
Battery-Only Shipment Options
- To ship a healthy spare or standalone battery, please contact the United States Postal Service (USPS).
- To recycle a damaged or defective e-bike battery, please contact Call2Recycle.
Fastest Electric Bikes for Sale in 2023: Top 5 Rapid E-Bikes
The Monaco-made Voxan Wattman has 150kw of power, or 203 horsepower, and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62mph) in 3.4 seconds. It was specially created to set new world speed records, so you can’t just go out and buy one.
Another super-fast e-bike that is solely made to break records is White Motorcycle Concepts’ WMC250EV.
It’s not intended to be a road-going machine, and was created to target the world land speed record for electric motorcycles, and also to show that its unusual technologies are improvements over conventional ones.
Its name comes from its intention to hit 250mph, but its final top speed may be higher than that. When it was initially tested, just to make sure that its systems and technical elements were working as they should, it got up to 170mph without really trying.
Fastest E-Bikes You CAN Buy
Hi Power Cycles Revolution XX
Heavy-Duty Tyres and World-Class Brakes
Windscreen for High Speeds
i Power Cycles’ Revolution XX Super E-Bike is an impressive machine with extraordinary performance and incredible top speeds.
The top speed of the Revolution XX is officially listed at 70mph, and test riders have been able to achieve 74mph on a flat surface.
The manufacturers state that they believe this is the fastest e-bike ever produced that has usable pedals at top speed.
It looks more like a dirt bike than a bicycle, with heavy-duty tyres, world class brakes and even a windscreen — necessary when going at such high speeds.
The windscreen is specially designed to breach wind resistance at top speeds, helping riders gain an extra few mph on the top end, and the suspension system is individually factory tuned to suit the rider who purchases it.
The battery system allows for a nearly 100 mile range, which is more than enough for an off-road speed run.
Only 20 units of the Revolution XX will ever be made, so this is a very exclusive bike.
It is also worth noting that, according to the HPC website, the bike will ship fully compliant with US Class 2 e-bike laws, meaning it will be limited to 20mph. Of course, as we’ve discussed earlier, you can remove speed limiters, but it will render the bike unusable on public road
Hi Power Cycles Revolution X
Upgraded motor with increased efficiency and lower weight
Compliant with US Class 2 e-bike laws
Hi Power Cycles’ Revolution X is the manufacturer’s flagship model, which boasts a top speed of up to 65mph depending on which power option you choose.
The Revolution X has a 6,000W power level as standard, but buyers can upgrade to a 7,000W or 8,000W machine to reach the top speeds.
The model was first launched five years ago, but in 2022 the manufacturer has added an all-new motor, a 7% increase in maximum efficiency, a lower weight and less cogging torque.
The bike’s starting price is 13,000, with any added extras like two-stage colours, coloured rims, upgraded power levels, upgraded charger, individually factory-tuned suspension, added lighting etc costing extra.
As standard, you can choose from gloss red, gloss white, matte black or clear coat paint.
You can choose from the Thunderbolt (speed motor) or Striker (high torque motor) depending on what kind of ride you’re after.
The Speed motor blends speed, acceleration and torque in a way that’s perfect for moderate trails and moderate hills. With this motor, you can achieve speeds of 55mph on the 6,000W model, 60mph on the 7,000W model, and 60mph on the 8,000w model.
The Torque motor is for riders who want more acceleration/torque while sacrificing a bit of top speed. It’s more efficient than the Speed motor in most circumstances, and is better suited to steeper hills and trails. With this motor, you can achieve speeds of up to 45mph with the 6,000W model, 47mph with the 7,000W and 50mph with the 8,000W.
Like the XX, the Revolution X will ship fully compliant with US Class 2 e-bike laws, meaning it will be limited to 20mph.
2500W continuous power: highlights the power capability
60-mile range: emphasizes the range of the bike
Motorcycle-grade brakes: emphasizes the quality and precision of the braking system.
The Stealth B-52 reaches top speeds of up to 50mph, and is comparatively cheaper than the Revolution models listed above at around £9,500.
It weighs 64kg, has a max range of 60 miles on economy or 25 miles on full-throttle, and a recharge time of 3 hours.
The Stealth B-52 comes complete with motorcycle-grade brakes which gie you precise stopping control with just two fingers on the levers.
A silent, high-torque, brushless DC hub motor gives you fast acceleration, and is coupled with suspension that will give you a smooth ride even on the toughest trails.
It is designed with solid state, digital inverter technology with no moving parts to prevent wear-and-tear and reduce maintenance intervals.
It has a continuous power of 2500W and the peak power is 6200W, and its noise emission is just 65db — quieter than the average vacuum cleaner!
You can get the Stealth B-52 in Pitch Black or Pitch Black Fluo depending on preference, and you can add on front and rear mudguards and a controller cover if you wish.
Delfast Top 3.0/3.0i
Full charge range of up to 200 miles
On-board computer with GPS
With a full charge range of up to 200 miles and a top speed of 50mph, the Delfast Top is a great e-bike for anyone looking for endurance as well as speed.
Some critics say it blurs the lines between electric bicycle and electric motorbike, but as it still has pedals, we’re including it in this list — like many of the other bikes we’ve featured, it looks more like a dirt bike with pedals than a regular bicycle.
There are two models of the Delfast Top available depending on your location — the Delfast Top 3.0, which can be bought in the EU and internationally, and the Delfast Top 3.0i, which is only available in the US.
The Delfast Top 3.0i has an on-board computer and 4G GPS, while the 3.0 has a built-in 3G GPS navigation system. Aside from this, they are functionally the same in terms of speed, range and more.
In terms of speed modes, both bikes will ship as a Class 2 e-bike, powering up to 750W with a top speed of 20mph and a Gates Carbon Drive single gear belt drive.
The EU version has a limited mode with a 15mph max speed, which is suitable for road driving in the UK and EU, as well as a 20mph eco version.
Both bikes have an Unlimited mode, which on the US 3.0i model is up to 5000W and 50mph, while the EU 3.0 model can go to 3000W and 50mph.
Therefore, while the top speeds remain the same, the regional versions of the bike are adapted to be road legal in their respective territories while still able to be opened up off-road if you choose — a great bike for all terrains and uses, including commuting.
Both models come in a range of colours, with black or white as standard and orange, red and blue available at an extra cost.
What’s driving the battery fires with e-bikes and scooters?
An electric bike parked near a Bronx supermarket that was destroyed in a fire that officials say was caused by a faulty lithium-ion scooter battery.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
As firefighters battled a five-alarm fire at a supermarket in the Bronx earlier this month, New York City officials gathered beside what they said was the cause of the fire: the blackened shell of what was once a sit-on electric scooter.
Officials said that a faulty lithium-ion battery in the scooter had suddenly burst into flame, as captured on surveillance video. The resulting fire was so intense, they said, that it enveloped the building in a matter of minutes.
There is extraordinary damage. This entire building behind me is completely destroyed. The roof is caved in. There is nothing left. And it is all because of this one single bike, said Laura Kavanaugh, the city’s fire commissioner.
Last week’s blaze joined the more than 200 fires in New York City last year caused by batteries from e-bikes, electric scooters and similar devices. Lithium-ion battery explosions are now the third leading cause of fires in the city, the fire department says.
Per FDNY Fire Marshals, the cause of today’s 5-alarm fire at 2096 Grand Concourse in the Bronx was a lithium-ion battery which powered a scooter. piccom/HTifRojiJo
— FDNY (@FDNY) March 5, 2023
As the popularity of so-called micromobility devices has soared across the U.S., so too have risen the number of fires associated with the lithium-ion batteries that power them.
Some lawmakers and federal regulators have taken note. Late last year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced it had received reports of more than 200 incidents since the start of 2021 in which micromobility devices caught fire or overheated — incidents that led to the deaths of 19 people.
Destructive and deadly fires from lithium-ion batteries in e-bikes have reached a crisis level. The tragic loss of life from battery fires is heartbreaking and preventable, said Commissioner Richard Trumka in December.
Read on for more about why these fires are happening and how to keep yourself safe:
Why are batteries in e-bikes and scooters vulnerable to catching fire?
Lithium-ion batteries power many rechargeable devices that are part of our modern lives: cell phones, laptops, vapes, cordless power tools and electric vehicles of all kinds, from cars to scooters to e-bikes to hoverboards.
They’re small, lightweight and powerful — but they’re also prone to overheating and catching fire, said Michael Pecht, a professor of engineering at the University of Maryland. Ever since lithium-ion batteries started to be prevalent in products, we’ve seen fires, he said.
Fires from exploding e-bike batteries multiply in NYC — sometimes fatally
At issue is the high density of the batteries, which is a double-edged sword, said Pecht, who also serves as director of the Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering, a university research center that consults with companies on reliability and safety issues, including batteries.
They can provide a lot of power to our cell phones and to our computers for a relatively long period of time in a very small volume, he said. But because we have so much energy packed in that small volume, if there is a problem, then they’re very flammable.
Defects or contamination in the manufacturing process can eventually lead to short circuiting or other failures.
In 2006, Dell, Apple and other major laptop makers urged millions of customers to return laptop batteries after Sony discovered a flaw in their battery manufacturing process. Chevy, Hyundai and Chrysler have all been forced to issue recalls over battery fires in electric vehicles. The Federal Aviation Administration reported more than 60 incidents last year in which lithium-ion batteries — mostly battery packs, vapes or cell phones — overheated, began smoking or caught fire on airplanes.
Why do there seem to be more e-bike- and scooter-related fires now?
In short, there are more fires because there are so many more e-bikes and scooters these days.
Their small size and low cost relative to gas-powered vehicles have made micromobility devices an attractive transportation and recreation option for millions of Americans. That’s especially true for those living in urban areas where parking and traffic are challenges for drivers. Electric bikes and scooters have also been embraced by delivery drivers.
Safety Agency Opens Probe Into Tesla Fires
The burst in popularity is so recent that there isn’t yet much solid data about how many e-bikes, scooters and other devices are sold each year.
But what information we do have shows that their numbers are growing rapidly. The Light Electric Vehicle Association, an industry group, estimates that about 880,000 e-bikes were imported to the U.S. in 2021. That’s about double the number imported in 2020, and three times the total from 2019.
devices means more fires, experts say, especially since the industry is relatively new and unregulated, and there are a lot of different companies and products on the market.
What’s being done about it?
There’s not currently much regulation of e-bikes and scooters.
Regulation could go in several directions. One would be to require devices be certified under the safety standards recommended by Underwriter Laboratories, a group that has produced safety certifications for electric products for over a century.
Earlier this month, the New York City Council passed a package of local bills that would require all e-bikes and other electric mobility devices sold, rented or leased in the city to be certified under the appropriate UL safety standards.
Half A Million ‘Hoverboards’ Recalled Over Risk Of Fire, Explosions
The legislation also bans the sale of uncertified or used batteries. Retailers found to be in violation of the laws can be fined up to 1,000 per violation.
At the national level, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a letter in December calling on more than 2,000 manufacturers, importers and retailers to voluntarily adhere to UL safety standards for e-bikes and other micromobility devices.
Following the guidelines significantly reduces the risk of injuries and deaths from micromobility device fires, wrote Robert Kaye, the agency’s director of compliance and field operations. Consumers face an unreasonable risk of fire and risk serious injury or death if their micromobility devices do not meet the level of safety provided by the relevant UL standards.
Additionally, the agency has vowed to pursue penalties against companies who fail to inform the CPSC of safety hazards.
Recommendations to keep yourself safe
The main recommendation that comes from both the CPSC and the FDNY is to be present while you’re charging your device, and to not charge it while you’re sleeping. Unplug the device once it is fully charged.
The CPSC also recommends that you only use the charger that came included with your device and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper charging.
Fire officials add that you should charge your device away from flammable materials like furniture and pillows, and that you shouldn’t charge or store your device in a location that blocks your access to an exit.
When you’re buying an e-bike or other micromobility device, try to find what battery comes stocked with it, Pecht said. Does the maker of the device state where the battery is sourced from? Is the battery made by a reputable manufacturer? Experts also suggest that consumers look for batteries that have a UL certification.
High demand and for lithium send mines into overdrive
Be warned that some online sellers may falsely claim to have UL certification. Others may sell re-wrapped batteries, meaning counterfeit batteries produced to appear as though they’re made by reputable manufacturers.
If your battery starts to fail, it may be safest to buy a new one. Don’t repair anything yourself, and buy from a company where you know that they’re using brand-name batteries, Pecht said. It may work best to buy a new battery from the same company that produced your bike or scooter.
To dispose of an old battery, bring it to a battery recycling center or other e-waste facility. Don’t throw away lithium-ion batteries in conventional trash.
Yes, I ride my electric bike with the power off. Here’s why
It might sound strange since electric bikes are known for their ability to ride faster and farther with less exertion, but I often ride my e-bike with the power turned off.
I wasn’t always this way. Especially not in the beginning. I first got into electric bicycles back around 2009. That was before it was easy to buy one, so I built one instead.
How I got into electric bikes
I wasn’t a cyclist and I wasn’t drawn to electric bikes because they were bikes. Instead, they were just a better way to get around the city. No car ownership hassles. No bus schedules. Just going.
My first e-bike didn’t even have pedal assist. It was built on a rigid Trek mountain bike with a twist throttle that unleashed 2,000 watts of power to get me flying at over 30 mph (48 km/h). Rim brakes, zero suspension, and the foolish bravery of a 20-year-old male. Oh, college.
This was a decade and a half ago, before most e-bike laws were a thing, and I had unwittingly built what was basically a DIY light electric motorcycle. That was my introduction to electric bikes. So it should come as no surprise that I wasn’t what most people would consider a cyclist.
My early years of e-biking were entirely utilitarian. E-bikes were always just a fast, efficient way to slice through the heart of a city in a fraction of time it would take a car (and with several times the amount of fun!).
But over time, the idea of pedal assist began to grow on me. I wasn’t really in search of the fitness aspect; I ran 3-5 miles a day. But I eventually discovered just how much fun pedaling could be. There was something to the idea that you weren’t on a machine, you were part of it.
Over time I became better and better at it. My cycling fitness improved (though I was by no means an athletic cyclist). I would use lower and lower levels of pedal assist power until eventually I realized that maybe I don’t even need the pedal assist. At least, not sometimes. And so I started just turning the pedal assist power off.
Pedal assist level zero became a new concept to me.
Turning off the pedal assist power
I know you might be thinking, “well then just ride a non-electric bike, ya dingbat.” And I hear you, but I don’t want that either. Because it’s not that I always ride with the bike off. In fact, I almost always have my e-bikes “on,” just with the pedal assist set to zero.
Essentially, I’ve turned off the bike’s pedal assist power. That means I’m the only thing supplying any power when I pedal. But whenever I need it, such as when trying to quickly get across a major road full of death machines with heated seats, a twist of the throttle unleashes the power of two to three highly conditioned cyclists cranking on my pedals for me. It’s a comforting safety net, and also a nice way to take the edge off if I do happen to come across a hill that is just a bit too painful for my single-speed e-bike that day.
So essentially, the “e” part of my e-bike is always there. It’s just not getting used on those rides unless I suddenly need it in a pinch.
I don’t always eschew my throttle for the duration of rides. In fact, during times when I’m still focused primarily on transportation, I’ll use higher pedal assist power levels or even purely throttle to get where I’m going quickly. I still think of my e-bikes fundamentally as forms of transportation, not fitness. That’s the way my brain is wired and it will probably never change. E-bikes are car replacers.
But the ability to take the same machine that I use to visit friends, buy groceries, or zip on over to the beach, and instead use it for fitness without any modification, is one of the coolest aspects of e-bikes.
So yes, not all of my rides are purely pizza-powered. But the ones where time isn’t of the essence often are. When I don’t need to go fast, I can enjoy going slow and doing the work myself. Just this morning my wife sent me out to buy a bottle of wine to bring to some friends hosting dinner tonight. Where’s the rush? I’m getting something I don’t understand and will undoubtedly pay too much for. Why hurry?
Instead, I dropped it into pedal assist level zero and had a lovely morning ride through a quiet city (Friday is the weekend here), all at my own pace and with my own two legs doing the work. It was so nice that I’m still coming down off of that high, which I used to immediately bang out this article.
Top comment by ctromley
What a terrific way to explain to those unsure of getting an e-bike that it’s not cheating and that it doesn’t prevent you from getting the exercise you need. Here’s someone who didn’t care about fitness at all and got fit anyway on an e-bike without even trying!
Brilliant. This will help me convince my wife to get one.
All of this is to say that if you have an e-bike that you use purely for urban transport, then I totally understand you. That’s exactly how I started.
But over time, I learned just how much more there was to the world of e-biking than just getting around. From the mental health benefits to the physical health benefits, a slow, easy pedal ride once in a while may just be a nice way to connect with your e-bike in a manner you haven’t considered before.
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