Tips on Fighting a Lithium-ion Battery Fire in an Electric Vehicle
The increasing popularity of electric cars has many benefits. A decrease in carbon emissions is a big win for the planet, and the lack of exhaust and noise is a huge boon for cities.
Not to mention all the benefits for owners that range from cheaper car costs to smoother and faster rides.
One issue with electric cars is their vulnerability when it comes to fires. Most EVs have huge battery packs that can cause serious fires if they get punctured. Firefighters around the world will need to be prepared for this new and possibly more regularly occurring type of fire.
Electrical fires are not uncommon inside buildings; they are less common on highways. An electrical fire needs to be dealt with in a particular way. This great video from Brock Archer demonstrates the tactics and operational considerations for hybrid and electric vehicle firefighting.
While it sounds obvious an electric fire caused by a punctured lithium-ion battery needs water. Many of response teams would typically use foam or dry chemicals but for a fire in an EV old-fashioned water will be most effective. As seen in the video a steady constant stream directly on the battery is the best way to cool and ultimately stop an electric vehicle battery fire.
If you are dealing with your own fire or assisting someone else, do not under any circumstances try and open the battery or touch any of the high voltage parts. These are the areas most likely to absorb heat and then cause you serious injury. Electric vehicle owners and in fact all drivers should carry an up to date high-volume fire extinguisher with them.
If you experience a fire or witness one, call the experts straight away and don’t ever risk your life for your car.