Although electric vehicles (EVs) have been around for a bit of time now, it seems that they're not without their problems. Namely, how to stop a battery fire once it's gotten some traction.

Unfortunately, it seems like the problem can be solved either one of two ways — at this point: 1) Douse it with literally thousands of gallons of water; or, 2) Wait for it to burn out.

Considering that there are quite a few EVs on the road today, option two doesn't seem particularly realistic given that some battery fires can last up to 24 hours. So, I guess we should just close off all roads where an accident has occurred for up to a day?

If that were to happen outside of the Lincoln Tunnel or another major artery, we're talking about a lot of folks impacted. Having said that, I just wanted to share this Bloomberg story that actually discusses major issues with EVs and local fire departments that have to deal with them when they get wrecked.

I had thought these were non-issues today. Apparently not.

After an out-of-control Tesla Model S plowed into a stand of palm trees on a highway median outside Fort Lauderdale last month, police rushed to put out the ensuing blaze using a department-issued fire extinguisher. It was a wasted effort. The car kept on burning after the crash, which killed the driver.

The police may not have known lithium-ion batteries inside electric vehicles, once ignited, can’t be put out with chemicals from a conventional extinguisher. The battery fires are susceptible to a self-destructive chain reaction known as thermal runaway, causing a feedback loop of rising temperatures. The Tesla fire stumped a series of first responders in Florida. Firefighters eventually doused the flames with water, which seemed to work, but the wrecked car reignited twice more after being towed away. That prompted what a police report later termed “extraordinary measures,” including a call to Broward County’s hazmat unit for advice on stamping out the fire once and for all...

Read Article

Electric Vehicle Battery Fires STILL Difficult To Manage For Local Fire Departments

About the Author