Yet another Tesla vehicle has burst into flames following a car crash, highlighting once again the new challenges that firefighters face when dealing with electric vehicle accidents. The latest example of an electric car produced by Elon musk turning into a fireball comes from the Boston metro area, where a firefighter said, “You can’t put them out. They don’t go out. They reignite. And they release tremendously toxic gases.”
CBS Boston reports that firefighters and first responders are now faced with a new challenge as electric vehicle (EV) use increases: putting out battery fires. Unlike conventional gas-powered vehicles, which can be quickly put out with water, EV fires are much more challenging.
This was recently illustrated in a Wakefield, Massachusetts, incident where a Tesla car caught fire after colliding with a guardrail on Interstate 95. Wakefield Fire Chief Tom Purcell claims that although the accident didn’t result in any major injuries, the car caught fire when the battery pack was punctured while being removed from the guardrail the car crashed into.
According to Purcell, lithium-ion batteries in EVs present a significant risk when the vehicle is on fire. “If those battery packs go into thermal runaway, which is just a chemical reaction, then they get super-heated and they run away. You can’t put them out. They don’t go out. They reignite. And they release tremendously toxic gases,” he said.
No matter how much water is applied to the car, the flames can reach temperatures of up to 2,500 degrees, and the batteries will relight. Firefighters spent hours putting out this specific blaze, which required more than 20,000 gallons of water.
This incident brings to light the particular difficulties that firefighters and first responders face when dealing with EV fires. Contrary to conventional car fires, there is no precise science or established procedure for putting out EV fires. While some departments let the fire burn itself out, others use water to put it out.
Firefighters and first responders must be prepared to handle EV fires as EVs become more common on the roads. On the day after the fire, Chief Purcell reported that other departments were calling him nonstop asking for advice on how to handle similar circumstances. “You have to read a lot of literature,” he explained. “You have to go to school. You have to educate yourself. But you have to get the correct information and it’s just not all out there yet. It’s just starting to come around.”
Read more at CBS Boston here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan
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