Electric Vehicles are on Fire


A major subject in the news lately has been that of a Tesla bursting into flames in a parking garage. You can read about that here. While Tesla seems to be in the subject of media outlets quite often, this particular story has actually been quite the finale for a multitude of stories recently about electric cars on fire. And sadly, not in a hip cool way, but literally, on fire.

There was another story a few months ago (read here) about a Tesla crashing and instantly catching on fire. The driver was trapped in the car and perished because rescue personnel could not get the vehicle open in time. That kind of situation probably does not sit well with first responders and even the general public.

Another story out of Europe described an electric vehicle continuously reigniting after firefighters thought the fire was out. You can read about that here. Eventually, they had to submerge the car in a shipping container full of water for a few days to ensure that it would not catch on fire again. That is quite brilliant actually. Simple and effective, but should it be necessary?

Lastly, a Camaro modified to be fully electric was forbidden to take part in a Formula Drift event at Long Beach because firefighters were not prepared to battle an electric car fire. That is the big debate now regarding electric vehicles. Some people see this as a killjoy while others see this as a wake-up call. You can read about this here.

After reading all of these examples (there are many more out there), I lean towards the side of caution and safety, using these situations as a wake-up call. Electric cars are a lot of danger not just moving, but even parked! The evidence is unclear on if and what first responders are trained about electric vehicles and how to handle them in the event of a crash and fire. High amperage and voltage cables pose a risk to the very lives trying to save a life, which one could argue is the chosen job, but life or death scenarios are time sensitive. Will firefighters have enough time to pinpoint and precisely cut an electric vehicle where it needs to be cut in order to preserve their own life along with saving another?

Society has had batteries in devices for quite some time now. However, it is becoming more common to see in the news that even those small devices, cell phones, and electronic cigarettes, have blown up injuring the user. The odds might be relatively low for that happening considering the number of devices that are out there, but still. Automobiles are already a huge danger to human lives. Add in electricity and batteries and that doesn’t make the equation any safer. Take the time to educate yourself and feel free to let me know what you think in the comments below. I am going to proceed with caution as more and more electric vehicles begin to be produced.

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