top of page
  • Writer's pictureS Potter

Lithium-ion batteries and Electric Vehicles & Fires.

Lithium-ion batteries and Electric Vehicles & Fires.

I don’t want to worry anyone, if they have an Electric Vehicle (EV), but I felt I needed to share my research.

Since the EV came out, I was only against it for the miles range, what the cars can realistically do. I was watching the second series of ‘The Grand Tour’ (Yes, I’m slow to watching the series)

And there was one episode that shocked me a bit: -

*** SPOLIER ALERT if you haven’t seen The Grand Tour series 2 ***

Richard Hammond gets in another vehicle crash.

This race car is a Rimac Concept One.

The ‘Rimac Concept One’ is fully electric, has a top speed of Approx. 220 mph, 0 to 60 mph in 1.85 seconds, and a quarter mile time of 8.6 seconds. It’s the fastest electric car around and only 8 had been made by 2017, until Richard Hammond had trouble with it and crashed it. The car burst into flames after he went through a crash barrier on a corner, after a timed track race, luckily for him he managed to get out the car, with only a broken leg, before the car went up into flames!

However, what took me by surprise, was a comment that Mr Hammond said, “it took days for the car fire to be put out”, because the batteries once damaged kept reigniting. I had a little look around the internet, and one EV car fire took a week to extinguish! The only way to safely extinguish a EV car battery is to douse it in water for hours!

I’ve been trawling the internet for some information on this, and it worries me that unless you investigate it, you wouldn’t think twice of the dangers of owning an EV car.

In 2020 In America, ‘a California couple's Tesla caught fire while charging overnight, ignited another Tesla next to it, and caused a massive house fire’. If you want to read a full article on this visit:

I hope that these EV dealers are warning buyers that too much charging can be a hazard, but I doubt it. Please correct me if I’m wrong and you’re an EV Owner.

One other thing we have to consider with the Lithium-ion batteries is if a crash happens or just a fire occurs in one of these electric cars, how do the fire service put the fires out, and it may surprise you, that the fires in these electric vehicles, are different to a regular car fire.

Extract from a 2020 report from

“In each of the six full-scale burn tests, firefighters at the test site found that they needed to flow large amounts of water on the batteries, because fire kept flaring up even after it appeared to be extinguished. In one test, a battery fire reignited 22 hours after it was thought to be extinguished.

Full Article here:

Amount of water and time necessary to extinguish an EV fire

A Tesla Model S fire in April required nearly 30,000 gallons of water to extinguish it because “it kept reigniting, burning continuously for over four hours” (Popular Science). By comparison, a typical car fire involving a gas engine can be extinguished with about 300 gallons of water, according to an NBC News report.

And all that water takes time. An EV fire can take hours to put out compared to a gas car fire that can be under control in minutes.

Unlike gasoline, which can be drained from a vehicle’s tank, there are no surefire methods of removing energy from a car’s lithium-ion battery when the battery has been damaged in a crash. Because of this, energy remains trapped inside the battery and a process known as thermal runaway can occur, in which the battery essentially continuously overheats and over-pressurizes and is prone to fires, arc-flashing, off-gassing, and sometimes explosions.”

—National Fire Protection Agency Journal (April 22, 2021)

For myself, for now, I’m sticking with the Diesel or Petrol vehicles, until I could get assurances that there is a fail-safe technology installed, that if an EV is faulty from charging or the case broken in a crash, that a containment could be initiated, and also enough charging points, then this girl is staying with the original fuel vehicle. I do have a 2020 vehicle on E10 Fuel, and I have to say when I do need to extend my miles on a journey, I just go to a garage that has fuel, which takes a few minutes and I’m off again, whereas an EV takes 30 minutes to 12 hours to fully charge, I know if I’m on the road which I’d prefer.

Google search images.

From S Potter

47 views0 comments


bottom of page