EV Fires

From iGeek
There's a lot of hype about EV fires. New tech deserves scrutiny. But so far (2021), they are safer than ICE (61x) or Hybrids (139x).
There's a lot of hype about EV fires. New tech deserves scrutiny. But so far (2021), they are safer than ICE (61x) or Hybrids (139x). I have more concerns with pouch/prism than cylindrical batteries (because of cascading). But overall fires are rarer... but much harder to stop once started
ℹ️ Info          
~ Aristotle Sabouni
Created: 2023-02-01 
  • AutoInsuranceEZ study an EV is 139x fire safer than a Hybrid, and 61x safer than an ICE:[1]
  1. Hybrids is 3475/100K car fires
  2. ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) is 1530/100K
  3. EVs is 25/100K
  • The "nothing abnormal" happened before flames is interesting. People reporting "nothing bad before burn" doesn't mean they are right. People lie, and are unobservant.
  1. Cylindrical: A single battery shorting is isolated enough from its neighbors that it shouldn't cascade thus the odds of multiple neighbors shorting at the same moment seem improbable.
  2. Pouch/Prismatic batteries can be isolated as well, but are usually packed tighter -- so cascading failure seems more likely.
  3. But it is possible that a controller (or sensor) got in some loop that will thermally overloaded a whole battery module or section of it. So not impossible.
  • Impacts There's no doubt if you run over something and it pierces the sheilds and the batteries (or shorts some major power lines), that a fire can start. While this is much harder to do than pierce a gas tank and have it drip on the exhaust pipe, it can happen. And with enough cars on the road, it will happen. 1 in 1M events, with ≈300M cars in America, means it could happen 300x per year.
  • Once started, battery fires are harder to put out. They more smolder burn than foomp like gasoline. But it's not a good thing. You just get your stuff out and get marshmallows -- because it's going to keep going for a while.

Examples[edit | edit source]

  • 2023.01.30 - Sacramento Model S Catches fire for no reason.[2]
  • 2022.11.18 - Pennsylvania Large Debris causes New Model S to burn to the rims.[3]
  • 2022.06.22 - Rancho Cordova Totalled Junk Yard Model S caught fire after 3 weeks. They just dug a pit, filled it with water, and pushed it in to put it out.[4]


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