Why Having a UL 2271 Tested Battery is Important for Your eBike

At Radio Flyer, safety is at the forefront of our product design and engineering decisions, including for our Flyer™ electric bikes. That’s why in addition to all of the integrated safety features on our eBikes, we test our Flight Speed™ Lithium Ion battery pack to the UL 2271 Standard for Batteries used in Light Electric Vehicles. What is UL and why is it important to have a UL 2271 tested battery? Read on to learn more through a Q&A with Radio Flyer’s Director of Engineering and Quality, Tim Stevens.

What is UL?

“UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories. Underwriters Laboratories is a global safety certification organization that develops safety standards and tests both components and products to ensure compliance with those standards,” Stevens explains. “The laboratory assesses products by testing materials, components, electrical systems, mechanical integrity, and performance. UL is a leader in the development of safety standards for many electrical products. UL recognition is easily identifiable by their distinctive logo printed on products or labels.”

What are the benefits of testing to UL Standards?

“In the electric bike category, manufacturers must test their battery to mandatory standards including IEC 62133 and UN 38.3. The UL standard, while not mandatory, is more comprehensive in regards to safety, reliability and electrical protection compared to other standards for Lithium Ion battery packs. Many ebike manufacturers are not currently complying with UL 2271, rather they just comply with IEC 62133.

“At Radio Flyer, we test our battery packs to UL 2271 the Standard for Batteries in Light Electric Vehicles. By testing to UL 2271, we ensure that our battery design is safe, reliable and can withstand extreme abuse.

“UL 2271 test standard has very thorough test requirements that help mitigate risk. It ensures our electrical design is robust, hardware and firmware protection levels are sufficient, and materials like plastic, wires, connectors are properly specified. It also requires that our manufacturers are using UL rated materials material.”

How does UL ensure compliance with the UL 2271 standard?

“The UL 2271 standard evaluates all of the components that make up the battery, including the outer case, wiring, cells, and the battery management system. These requirements include resistant to impact, crushing, thermal cycling, water, and UV light. Wiring must be designed to prevent excessive strain and inadvertent shorting and protective circuits must have redundant protection features.

“UL performs quarterly audits to verify that our manufacturing processes, materials, and design have not changed. This ensures that our battery is consistently safe and meeting performance standards across production runs.”

What type of testing is completed for the UL 2271 standard?

“To comply with UL 2271, batteries must be able to comply with a series of construction, performance, electrical, mechanical, and environmental tests. Some examples of different electrical tests are over-charging, over-discharging, short circuiting, imbalanced charging, and operation at maximum specified temperature. In addition, batteries must be able to withstand mechanical tests such as vibration, shock, crush, drop, and roll over. They also must pass environmental tests such as immersion, thermal cycling between extreme cold and hot temperatures, and meet our rated water ingress specification. All of these tests ensure the highest level of safety standards are met.”

Why is third party verification important for batteries?

“3rd party testing and verification hold manufacturers responsible for meeting safety regulations. Having independent laboratories perform testing ensures manufacturers’ due diligence is in place and that products shipped to consumers are safe for use. Specifically for batteries, 3rd party laboratories ensure that batteries and products they work with are safe, reliable, and meet applicable safety and performance regulations required by the US government or retailers.

 

“3rd party labs have sophisticated equipment and technical teams to evaluate both products and batteries to safety standards. With their test equipment and knowledge of safety standards they can ensure our product meets the regulations.”

 

The Flyer™ M880 and Flyer™ L885 both use a UL 2271 tested battery. You can learn more about UL battery testing on UL’s website.