Electric cars are awesome and they are becoming more and more popular. But not everyone knows what do do when an electric car fire happens, including firefighters.
Electric car fires are not a new phenomenon. But with the surplus of Electric vehicles on the road, EV wrecks are bound to happen more often.
The issue lies with the batteries. If one of the battery cells catches fire it ignites the cell next to it and then the next cell, like dominoes. These battery fires can last days. On the Amazon Show, The Grand Tour, Richard Hammond wrecked an all-electric supercar in Switzerland and the wreckage burned for 5 days.
It was the biggest crash I've ever seen and the most frightening but incredibly, and thankfully, Richard seems to be mostly OK.— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) June 10, 2017
In other news, a BMW i8 recently started to ignite (reason unknown) and the solution was apparently to dump the car in a dumpster full of water.
BMW i8 caught unstoppable fire, so they threw it in water...burn the house to kill the rat. pic.twitter.com/BojqKVxf0z— Earl Karanja (@Earlsimxx) March 29, 2019
“When an electric car catches fire, you can’t treat it like an internal combustion car. You need a lot more water and you can’t store the car afterwards in a similar manner, either. Dealing with EV fires is something that more and more firefighters are going to have to learn as the number of these cars on the road only increases.
There are an estimated 760,000 electric and plug-in cars on U.S. roads, says the International Energy Agency, and only about a quarter of our firefighters have had some kind of EV training to know what to do in case of a fire.”
How We Solve The Electic Car Fire Problem
First off, all firefighters need to be trained on how to deal with an electric car fire. There are things to stay away from like orange cables, a color reserved for wiring in excess of 60 volts. Secondly, we need to be able to get more water to the scene of the fire or develop new technology to combat and control EV fires.
And to those who still drive gas-powered cars (like me), be careful out there. Defensive driving is a must. If you get in a wreck with an electric vehicle, know that fire is possible and the blaze from an EV might not get put out for days.
Like reading about electric vehicles? Check out our post on Rivian, makers of the new all-electric pickup truck.
Founder and writer for Motor Speed News. Current garage: 02 WRX, 05 Toyota Tundra, 86 Yamaha Virago XV1100