Tesla Model S on fire: 45,000 liters of water to put it out


Tesla Model S on fire: 45,000 liters of water to put it out
Written by aquitodovale

The electric cars catching fire they always make the news, but, despite the statistics, which speak in their favor, the nature of the firesof which they are victims who source of concern for firefighters around the world. The latest case a few days ago in Clearfield County, in Pennsylvania, United States, starred a Tesla Model Swhose batteries caught fire after impact with debris on the road. Luckily, as soon as the vehicle started to smoke, the driver managed to pull over quickly and all three occupants, including the dog, exited the car safe and sound. The first team of firefighters who intervened immediately understood that noIt wasn’t a normal fire and he had to call in reinforcements which took two hours to put out the flames.

45,000 liters of water and five tankers

The problem of electric vehicle fires in fact not so much the vehicle, but rather lithium ion batteries: it’s not enough to put out the flames, but you have to constantly cool the bacteriaAnd and it involves us a huge water consumptionas well as gods very long times. The crews of five tankers intervened to put out the fire of the Tesla have calculated that they were employed 45,000 litresa quantity considerably higher than that of a normal car firewhich may also require less than 2,000 litres. This means that more massive interventions must be planned, with great deployment of forces, even for a single vehicle.

The batteries can catch fire

Furthermore, if a traditional car catches fire, it is enough to put out the flames and take away the carcass, once it has cooled down, with a tow truck, if the electric vehicle has to deal with the possibility of the battery catching fire again. In fact, it may happen that the flames start again from nowhere, even after 22 hourswhen the remains of the vehicle are in a depot together with other cars or near a building, thus representing a unpredictable danger, a time bomb.

The risk of thermal runaway

Tno water, a lot of time and the uncertainty regarding the batteries remained in the charred wreck: tackling vehicle fires with batteries on board made it necessary refresher courses for emergency personnelin order to prepare him for complex situations, also due to the phenomenon called thermal runaway. It’s about a uncontrolled reaction which can occur in lithium ion batteries, where, following a shock or a short circuit, the accumulation of heat and pressure, beyond a certain level, triggers chemical reactions that fuel the flames exponentially. The fire then spreads rapidly from cell to cell, causing catastrophic explosions And violent flamesbut not limited to: by-products of thermal runaway can include large quantities of flammable hydrogen and other toxic gases, making the work of firefighters is very dangerous.

Hybrids are the cars most at risk

Contrary to what is expected for it is not full electric vehicles that are most prone to fires: according to a survey by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, in 2021 in the United States have occurred only 52 electric vehicle fireswhile, in the same period, they were registered 16,051 hybrid vehicle fires And 199,533 of combustion vehicles, explainable however with the enormous diffusion of the latter. Analyzing the risk percentagesas done by research conducted by AutoinsuranceEZ, i battery electric vehicles they just have it 0.03% probability of catching fire, compared to the‘1.5% of the vehicles with internal combustion engines and the 3.4% of the hybrid electric vehicleswhich have both a high-voltage battery and an internal combustion engine.

November 21, 2022 (change November 21, 2022 | 14:56)

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