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Some of them melted the street beneath them.. Why are electric car fires considered the most dangerous and difficult to combat?

Electric cars offer a way to improve air quality and reduce fuel costs and have built a new and growing product line for automakers.

But with the transition to electric power, comes a new challenge that vehicles containing lithium-ion batteries can be extremely dangerous, especially when they catch fire, according to a report It was published by CNBC.

The good news is that battery electric vehicle fires don’t happen very often.

Emma Sutcliffe, project manager for the EV FireSafe project in Melbourne, Australia, says researchers need more data to definitively determine fire rates, but preliminary studies suggest that fires in electric vehicles are rare.

And research by AutoinsuranceEZ says battery-powered electric vehicles have only a 0.3% chance of ignition, compared to 1.5% for internal combustion engine vehicles. Hybrid electric cars, which have a high-voltage battery and an internal combustion engine, have a 3.4% chance of a vehicle fire, according to the study.

However, when electric vehicle fires that contain lithium-ion batteries occur, the fire is more intense and faster, and requires more water to reach the final extinguishment, Sutcliffe says.

Batteries can re-ignite hours or even days after the fire is initially controlled, leaving rescue yards, repair shops and other places where these vehicles are located at risk.

Chas McGarvey, chief firefighting officer for the Merrion Fire Department of Pennsylvania, told CNBC that one Tesla Model S Plaid fire that his department dealt with in 2021, the car was badly burned. So much so that the road melted under it.

Tesla announced that it will switch from lithium-ion battery cells to lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries (social networking sites)

“A lot of times firefighters and fire agencies detect that kind of fire,” Sutcliffe told CNBC. “But with so many new models on the way, we’re still trying to catch up on all of those things, but it changes almost every day,” said McGarvey, chief of the Pennsylvania Fire Department.

The qualities that make lithium-ion battery cells strong enough to move a passenger car can also make them susceptible to ignition, especially if the battery cells inside are damaged or defective, says Eric Wassman, director of the Energy Institute of Maryland.

Lithium-ion battery cells have electrodes placed close together, which increases the chances of a failure, says Wassman, and are filled with a flammable liquid electrolyte.

He added, “This flammable liquid can enter the so-called thermal escape state, where a kind of boiling occurs, and this leads to a fire.”

Electric vehicles include battery management systems to maintain the proper operating temperature of the high-voltage batteries inside, and these systems control how quickly the batteries are charged and discharged. Improvements to them and the battery cells themselves promise to make electric vehicles safer.

Tesla recently announced that it will switch from lithium-ion battery cells to lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries. Other major automakers, including Ford and Volkswagen (VW), are also working to replace lithium iron phosphate with the nickel or cobalt formulations used in some of their electric vehicles.

“It is generally believed that these are safer,” said Paul Christensen, a professor of electrochemistry at Newcastle University whose research focuses on lithium-ion battery fires and safety.

Ultimately, it is believed that fully electric cars could be safer than the gasoline or diesel-powered models they replace.

“We have spent a lot of time fully understanding the risks associated with petrol and diesel cars. We will have to learn faster how to deal with the challenges of electric cars, but we will.”



Reference-www.aljazeera.net

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