Lyft is halting its e-bike program in San Francisco after two bikes mysteriously erupted in flames

Lyft is on fire.DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

Two of Lyft’s electric-assist bikes have mysteriously erupted into flames in San Francisco. No one was injured.

For that reason, Lyft says it’s temporarily suspending its e-bike program in the tech capital as it investigates why these e-bikes caught fire.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we are temporarily making the ebike fleet unavailable to riders while we investigate and update our battery technology,” a Lyft spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider. “Thanks to our riders for their patience and we look forward to making ebikes available again soon.”

The battery pack of a Lyft e-bike caught fire on July 27.Courtesy of Zach Rutta

Lyft has been seeing increased rates of vandalism on its bikes in the Bay Area, the company said.

Lyft only recently scored the legal rights to operate the e-bike program in San Francisco. On July 19, some 1,900 Lyft e-bikes flooded San Francisco, with docked or dockless capabilities.

Read more: UPS drivers are ditching commercial navigation apps for an in-house tool. The chief engineering and information officer explains how it’s already saving the company millions.

As the San Francisco Chronicle first reported, San Francisco resident Zach Rutta spotted an e-bike that had caught fire on July 27.

“Don’t think I’ll be going on a @lyft @baywheels any time soon,” he said on Twitter. “Yikes.”

Another e-bike caught fire on Wednesday, as the Chronicle reported.

Lyft said the weeks-old e-bike program had already seen 100,000 rides in the Bay Area. San Francisco is the only city in which Lyft operates e-bikes, so the suspension of the program only affects that area. Its classic bike and scooter share program is not affected. 

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which oversees ride-sharing in the city, did not respond to a Business Insider inquiry about the fires.

Other e-bikes have caught fire recently. In New York City, a dockless Lime e-bike caught fire last week while a cyclist was on the bike. That fire was caused by vandalism to the bike. 

Several Citi Bikes in New York City have also caught fire due to issues with the batteries, rather than outside vandalism events.


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