SINGAPORE – Owners of registered e-scooters that do not meet stipulated safety requirements will receive a $100 incentive if they agree to dispose their personal mobility devices (PMDs) early, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) amid growing concerns of fires linked to the devices.

Over six months from Sept 23, 2019, to March 31, 2020, PMD owners will be able to dispose their non-UL2272 certified devices at 180 designated disposal points set up by LTA-appointed e-waste recyclers across HDB estates, or at the LTA’s Sin Ming office.

E-waste recyclers appointed by the LTA are trained and equipped to ensure the safe disposal of PMDs, as well as the recycling of any reusable materials and components.

They would typically charge a fee for disposal but the LTA said it is facilitating this disposal – for an estimated 80,000 PMD owners – at no cost to them.

The authority stressed that for safety reasons, PMD owners should discard their non-UL2272 devices only at the designated points.

The LTA’s latest initiative is to help e-scooter owners meet the deadline for PMDs to comply with the UL2272 standard by July 1 next year.

The standard is a set of safety requirements covering the electrical drive train system of PMDs, including the battery system.

A total of nine incidents linked to the devices have been reported on the Singapore Civil Defence Force’s Facebook page since July.

In the first half of this year, there were 49 fires related to the devices, an average of about two a week.

In the worst of these cases, a 40-year-old man died in hospital after being rescued from his burning flat in Bukit Batok. The blaze was linked to three e-scooters found burnt in the unit.

In contrast, there were 52 PMD-related fires in the whole of last year.

Other initiatives to regulate the safe use of PMDs include a mandatory inspection regime for registered e-scooters declared to be UL2272 certified.

This will start in April next year.