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Bristol’s Voi e-scooters trial stopped after one burns in man’s home

December 15, 2021


Controversial e-scooters have been pulled from a trial in Bristol after one began burning in a man’s home.

The Voi UK machine was billowing smoke prompting firefighters to race to the home in Bristol on Saturday, December 11.

Voi UK has now told long-term rental users in Bristol to leave their machines outside – and not use them.

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The scooter’s lithium battery began burning after an electrical fault in the house of its renter Tiarnan Power.

Mr Power told the BBC: “I called Voi and they said to call 999 – the street was completely covered in smoke.

“It just shows how lucky I was. If I wasn’t in, or, I was asleep, it would have been a complete disaster.”

Avon Fire and Rescue Service hosed down the Voi and disposed of the smoking battery.

Dozens of Voi scooters are dumped outside of a home in Bristol
Dozens of Voi scooters are dumped outside of a home in Bristol

Paula Santos for Voi UK told the BBC: said: “We are contacting the users to service the vehicles, we want to make sure that everything is safe.

“We are now servicing the vehicles, and very soon users can continue using our long-term rental service to travel around town in a sustainable manner.”

The Voi was part of a long-term rental scheme – separate from the different “hop on/ hop off” e-scooters in use in the city.

People rent the scooters – charging it and keeping it at home for a fee of £35 a month as part of a West of England Combined Authority (WECA) trial of the scheme until 2022.

The investigation into what exactly caused the electrical fault is ongoing.

E-scooters are now banned from public transport in London
E-scooters are now banned from public transport in London

In London, e-scooters have now been banned from public transport after one burst into flames on the Tube at Parsons Green station last month.

A review into e-scooters by Transport for London (TfL) found that defective lithium batteries could cause e-scooters to catch fire.

TfL warned that a fire in an enclosed area like a bus or the Tube could lead to “significant harm” to passengers and staff.

“This review has found that the incidents that occurred were caused by defective lithium-ion batteries which ruptured without warning”, TfL said in a statement.

“This led to fires that caused toxic smoke to be released.

“TfL consider that if this were to happen again and fires occurred in an enclosed area like a Tube train or a bus, there could be significant harm to both customers and staff, as well as secondary injuries from customers trying to escape the area.”

The ban applies to all TfL services, including tubes, buses and trams.

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The London Fire Brigade (LFB) also backed the ban, saying that it had been called out to fight more than 50 fires involving e-scooters and e-bikes in 2021.

Last month it was revealed that 131 pedestrians in Britain had been injured by e-scooters over the previous 12 months.

Thirty-seven of the casualties suffered injuries described by the Department for Transport as “serious”.

Other road users injured in e-scooter collisions in the year ending June include 36 cyclists and 32 vehicle occupants.

Fourteen casualties were aged 70 and above, while 17 were between 60 and 69.

Twenty-one children under 10 were injured.

The figures also show that three e-scooter users were killed in crashes, while a further 729 were injured.

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