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New York City's first public e-bike charging station opens in the East Village

E-bike charging station opens for delivery workers in Manhattan
E-bike charging station opens for delivery workers in Manhattan 00:52

NEW YORK -- New York City officials are hoping that a new public charging station for e-bikes will help reduce the number of fires caused by lithium-ion batteries.

The site in Cooper Square in the East Village is the first of five charging stations.

The city says they will help delivery workers.

"One of the first in the nation pilot programs in utilizing three types of electrical bike charging technology that will allow delivery workers on the go to have a safe place to charge outside their apartments," said Ydanis Rodriguez, New York City's Department of Transportation commissioner.

"Projects like this are going to save lives -- save lives of our delivery workers, of our citizens and of our first responders," New York City Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said.

Lithium-ion batteries are the leading cause of fires in the city.

According to the FDNY, last year, lithium-ion batteries caused 267 fires, 150 injuries and 18 deaths.

The other four charging stations will be located at the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park, Essex Market on the Lower East Side, Plaza De Las Americas in Washington Heights, and at Willoughby and Jay streets in Downtown Brooklyn. The mayor's office says those stations will be installed and activated in the coming weeks.

According to the mayor's office, up to 100 delivery workers will be selected to use the charging stations for free as part of a six-month pilot program. Delivery workers interested in participating in the program can fill out an online form or attend one of two in-person events. The first will be held 2-5 p.m. on March 7 at Cooper Square, and the second will be held from 2-5 p.m. on March 8 at the Brooklyn Army Terminal.

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