Council Passes Bill Establishing Trade-In Program for Lithium-Ion Batteries

Council Member Keith Powers. Image Credit: Emil Cohen/NYC Council Media Unit.

On September 15, 2023, the City Council passed Int. 0949-2023, which establishes a program where individuals can trade in lithium-ion batteries or powered mobility devices that do not comply with safety standards. The bill was introduced by Council Member Keith Powers and aims to promote safety by regulating lithium-ion batteries.

Given the rise in safety hazards of lithium-ion batteries, the program seeks reduce harm. According to the Mayor’s Office, explosions caused by lithium-ion batteries have risen dramatically and caused fires which resulted in ten deaths and 226 injuries. While electric bikes and scooters are an affordable and accessible alternative to cars, they can be very dangerous if not properly used and stored.

Through the trade in program, individuals would receive new powered mobility devices or lithium-ion batteries that do meet safety standards at little to no cost. Eligible devices to be traded include but are not limited to powered mobility bicycles and scooters as defined in section 114-e of the vehicle and traffic law.

The bill requires the mayor to designate an office or agency that will announce the rules establishing (1) who is eligible to participate in the program which may include income level or occupation of applicants, and (2) how much will be reduced in cost for the new powered mobility devices and lithium-ion batteries. The office or agency designated by the mayor is also required to participate in an outreach campaign to inform the public about the program. While the program is targeted for food delivery workers it is not limited to them.

According to Council Member Powers, “the City Council took a decisive step by establishing a first-in-the-nation battery trade-in program…. [the program] provides a clear, immediate pathway to get thousands of unsafe batteries out of our homes and off our streets. While we must continue to explore long term solutions, this is a huge step forward for public safety.”

The bill became law on October 15, 2023. The program will take effect 90 days after it becomes law and will expire on September 1, 2025.

By: Sheila Barrios (Sheila is a New York Law School student, Class of 2025).

CC: Stated Meeting, Int. 0949-2023, September 14, 2023; Mayor’s Office:  “Putting out Lithium-ion Battery Fires”,




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