A new crisis is hitting New York City as batteries that power e-bikes are becoming a growing danger. Fires due to lithium-ion batteries that power electric bikes have killed 13 people so far this year in New York City, according to The New York Times. The Times report noted that since 2021, 23 people died, making this the deadliest year on record for e-bike-linked blazes. The report said there have been 108 lithium battery fires to date this year up from 98 at the same point last year. “E-bike blazes — caused when the massive amount of energy stored in substandard batteries spontaneously ignites — are the leading cause of fire death in New York City,” Nicole Gelinas wrote in an Op-Ed in the New York Post. Last week, four people died and two others were badly injured in a fire that began in an e-bike service store, according to the Times. “The volume of fire created by these lithium-ion batteries is incredibly deadly. We’ve said this over and over: It can make it nearly impossible to get out in time,” Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said. Firefighters returned to the scene on Thursday and Friday because fire had broken out again, according to NY1. “Once again, smoke is coming out of the building, so I guess something else is on fire,” Gilbert Dipiano, who lives near the shop, said. “They had another small fire across the street there just a day ago. Now, it’s something else happening. It’s very scary.” “You gotta be precautious because you never know when a fire can break and with these e-bikes. People are afraid in the area now. They’re afraid to live above one, so people need to be more precautious in the area now,” Dipiano said. The Times report said that batteries for e-bikes are of particular concern because batteries for smaller objects, such as cell phones, are too small to cause much damage, while those in electric vehicles are subject to more regulation and quality control. Victoria Hutchison, a senior research project manager at the Fire Protection Research Foundation, said low-quality and potentially unsafe charges and batteries have flooded the market. “That’s really the root of the problem,” she said. Nikhil Gupta, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering said that the demand for increased power carries increased risk. “The problem is that we’re trying to squeeze too much energy out of these batteries, and that makes them more dangerous,” Gupta said. In September, New York City will ban e-bikes and similar devices that do not meet safety standards. On Sunday, according to CBS, city and federal officials announced that tax dollars would be spent to create more safe charging stations. But New York City’s fire commissioner remains concerned, according to the Times. “I have very, very serious concerns in the short term. These devices are here now, and there’s lots of them,” Kavanagh said. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.