UPDATE [6 Aug 2019]: The PMD safety certification deadline has been moved forward to July 2020. All non-UL2272 certified devices will be auto-deregistered and cannot be used in public after July 2020. Users can continue to ride only UL2272 certified PMDs beyond the July 2020 deadline.
E-Scooters and basically any electrical Personal Mobility Device or PMD are very common almost anywhere around the globe. However, the safety of these PMDs in recent times has caused quite a commotion amongst the community.
As personal e-mobility devices, including e-scooters, continue to grow in popularity, the need for electrical system certification is more important than ever.
UL LLC is a global certification company headquarters in Northbrook, Illinois. Established in 1895, UL is known throughout the 20th century and in recent times for participating in the safety analysis of many new technologies and products. Products being tested by UL LLC for safety will be certified with a UL label on their products.
Last year in Singapore, the number of fires involving e-bikes, e-scooters and other PMDs spiked by more than 50 per cent according to the Singapore Civil Defence Force.
Hence, since the 2nd of January this year, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has adopted UL2272 as the new safety standard for PMDs. This new requirement is being introduced to tackle the many cases of fire involving poorly-made PMDs. These fires that happened in Singapore consisted of mainly e-scooters that were either illegally modified, purchased from errant online sellers or models that did not adhere to the Spring Singapore safety regulations.
PMD manufacturers now doextensive researches and testing to ensure the safety of this electric Personal Mobility Devices.
So, what’s the difference between the UL2271 and UL2272 certification?
Actually, there is a massive difference between these two certifications given by UL LLC. Though both are certificates given regarding the safety of the product, they are not the same.
The UL2272 safety certificate is for the electrical system as a whole of the electric PMDs. Whereas the UL2271 safety certificate is just for the battery components of the PMDs. In order for PMDs to be UL2272 certified, manufacturers have to put their products through another series of tests.
The batteries of these products will go through tests for impacts, over-discharge, short-circuit, imbalanced charging, crush, dielectric voltage, relief tests, mould stress, CT scans, and many more to ensure the safety of the batteries before obtaining the UL2271 label. The UL2271 safety certificate is the test responsible for the reliability and safety of the batteries in the PMDs.
The manufacturer then brings the battery, being fitted into the e-mobility device to go through another wave of tests by performing the water exposure test, immersion test, thermal cycling test, the label permanence test and a couple more. Both series of tests determine if the product is safe for the manufacturer to put it on the market.
If their product passes all the tests, they obtain both these safety certificates. Thus, eliminating the risk of fire, explosion, and other battery related issues. Even though both these safety certificates are essential to obtain, more emphasis is placed on the UL2272 safety certificate. Look for PMDs with the UL2272 safety certificate.
But mind you, even if your e-Mobility device is UL2272 certified, this does not mean that there will not be any incidents relating to the electrical or battery components of your device. Hence, you should practice proper and safe handling of your PMDs to greatly reduce the risk of a battery-related accident.
Always check the condition of the battery of your device to ensure there isn’t any damage or deformities before you set off. Bloating, corrosion or powdery residue coming from the battery are signs of a faulty battery. As you’re charging your device, make sure you’re using a power adaptor that carries the Safety Mark and is recommended by the manufacturer.
When you are charging your e-Mobility device, refrain from charging it near combustible materials or near escape paths. Never leave your charging PMD unattended for an extended period of time and turning off the charger as soon as it’s fully charged are some of the many steps you have to take to prevent any accident involving the battery of your PMD from happening.
All in all, the UL2272 certification is a big must for all PMDs to be used in Singapore. After December 2020, all PMDs in mobile in Singapore have to be UL2272 certified. Non-UL2272 PMDs in operation in Singapore, even if it’s UL2271 certified will be deemed illegal.