Some hoverboards are literally the hottest thing this holiday season
Justin Bieber has one. So does Manchester United's Memphis Depay.
Even football legend Ronaldinho is getting in on the act.
He came to Singapore on Dec 10 to launch his gold hoverboard.
Ronaldinho signed a partnership with Tampines Rovers FC and International Football Group to launch his brand of hoverboard. TNP PHOTO: JEREMY LONG
So why are hoverboards so popular? It is the closest thing we currently have to Marty McFly's hoverboard in Back to the Future Part II.
Unfortunately, some of them have been in the news for "being too hot".
The London Fire Brigade issued a safety warning in October after two incidents in which hoverboards caught fire while being charged.
A family in Kent, England, suffered £25,000 (S$42,000) worth of damage to their house after their hoverboard exploded while being charged in the kitchen
First reported by Best Reviews, Amazon quietly took down the listings for all the hoverboards from their website.
They are asking manufactures to provide proof that their products meet safety standards, reported The Verge.
Later, Best Reviews once again revealed that some hoverboard models like the Swagway were back on Amazon's listing.
After the report, Mashable took apart a hoverboard sold by Swagway to show what it is inside.
The, writer Lance Ulanof was impressed by how well the hoverboard was made.
The batteries were from Samsung and they were very thorough in its construction.
Watch the YouTube video below to see the whole teardown.
But why are they catching fire?
Mr Jay Whitacre, a professor of materials science and engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, told Wired magazine that the hoverboards themselves weren't a problem.
The problem lies with the cheap lithium-ion batteries that power these devices.
“There are a lot of factories in China that now make lithium ion batteries. The reality is that the quality and consistency of these batteries is typically not as good as what is found in top tier producers such as LG or Samsung,” Wired quoted him as saying.
Agrees Profesessor Rachid Yazami, from the Energy Research Institute at Nanyang Technological University.
Profesessor Yazami, one of the three people credited with inventing modern day lithium-ion battery, said that the risk of fire is higher in Hoverboards as they use of a large number of battery cells to power the board.
He said: "Usually, there are many signs that can be observed before a battery pack catches fire, for example excessive heating and smoke. This allows the user to escape on time."
He said that the hoverboards may have caught fire because:
• The battery pack had a product defect.
• There was a malfunction in the battery management system (BMS). The BMS controls the charging of the battery pack.
• Charging the pack below the freezing temperature of water
• Human error in assembling the battery pack
• Using the device in extreme conditions such as wet conditions or over an uneven path which causes high vibrations.
In Singapore, these scooters are becoming a hot ticket item.
Falcon PEV, a company selling electric scooters, have already sold more than 200 hoverboards since this September.
Online marketplace Lazada has already sold 30 hoverboards in just two months.
So what can consumers do?
Associate Professor Srinivasan Madhavi, from NTU's School of Materials Science & Engineering, said consumers should be wary of buying products that use lithium ion batteries which do not have proper safety certification.
"Consumers should exert care in terms of charging them in the proper recommended way and also avoid any accidental physical damages or overheating occurring in the product and/or the battery," she added.
Source: Wired, Twitter, Mirror, The Verge