NOTE: This is an article about EV fires. However, it should be noted that the current data shows that cars powered by hybrid and internal combustion engines are far more likely to catch fire than EVs, but that EV fires are harder to put out once they get started.
Every seen a lithium-ion battery catch fire and turn into a roaring cauldron of fire similar to what one might imagine being in Dante’s 9th circle of hell, the sort of fire that allegedly killed two teens after a Tesla crash a few years ago?
No? Well then you need to check out an image of a bus with one such battery that caught fire that the Hamden Fire Department in Connecticut released. Check it out here. Commenting on the photo, the fire department said:
Crews responded to an electric bus fire in the parking lot of the CT Transit Bus Depot on State Street this morning. Lithium ion battery fires are difficult to extinguish due to the thermal chemical process that produces great heat and continually reignites. Exposures were protected at the scene. Two CT Transit workers were transported as a precaution from exposure to the smoke and one firefighter was transported for heat exhaustion. The Fire Marshal is investigating the incident.
The image of the flaming bus spewing thick, toxic smoke outraged many on Twitter, who posted sarcastic comments upon seeing the image of a supposedly environmentally friendly bus spewing toxic smoke from a blaze that was almost impossible to put out. Here are some of the good ones, as collected by The Blaze:
- “Looks very environmentally friendly,” one user quipped.
- “Happy Earth Day bitches,” another commenter declared.
- “So this is the climate change they want,” another user wondered.
- “That seems to be a pretty high carbon footprint right about now…” another commenter said.
- “I wonder what that smoke has in it? Evaluate 6 city blocks…” another user noted.
- “THAT’S gotta be good for the atmosphere,” another commenter reasoned.
- “So GREEN!” another user joked.
According to NBC Connecticut, which reported on the bus blaze, the fire department had to let the bus burn itself out, spewing that smoke all the while, because the fire is so hot that the battery fires are nearly impossible to extinguish:
According to fire officials, lithium ion battery fires are difficult to extinguish due to the thermal chemical process that produces great heat and continually reignites.
With this type of fire, officials said they have to let it burn because it can’t be extinguished.
WTNH reported much the same thing, though according to the Assistant Fire Chief interviewed by that outlet the firefighters were eventually able to put the fire out by using copious amounts of water. As WTNH put it:
Officials said the fire was difficult to extinguish due to the thermal chemical process that produces great heat and continually reignites. Firemen had to use “copious” amounts of water to extinguish the flames, according to Assistant Fire Chief Jeffrey Naples.
Perhaps, however nice they seem to people obsessed with the “current thing”, city governments shouldn’t be sending around buses that create nearly impossible to extinguish blazes if they catch on fire during daily operations. Then again, the government is never known for making the best decisions.