Further Reading on Electric Vehicles

Click for the Electric Vehicle Fire Wiki and SOP

Recent Research and Information

1. NHTSA Interim Guidance for Electric and Hybrid-Electric Vehicles Equipped With High Voltage Batteries

  • Short and to the point guidelines. Sections for Hybrid Owners, Law Enforcement, EMS, Fire Departments, and Towing Services.

2. NFPA Emergency Response to Incident Involving Electric Vehicle Battery Hazards

  • Scientific study on EV Lithium-ion batteries. Includes suggestions for the best plan of attack for an EV fire.

In The News

Electric Cars Up in Flames: A List
Dec 2, 2013 Electric cars are feeling the heat after a handful of random combustions. (read more...)

Latest Electric Vehicle fire caused by running over a metal object
Nov 8, 2013 A fire in a Tesla Model S in Tennessee this week was caused by the car running over a metal object. The metal object was a tow hitch, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol. (read more...)

Electric Vehicle fire shows electrics face safety challenges
Oct 3, 2013 When debris on a Seattle-area freeway pierced the battery of a $70,000-plus Tesla Model S and touched off a raging fire, it raised new safety concerns for electric-vehicle owners. (read more...)

Electric Vehicle catches fire
Oct 1, 2013 Tesla car on fire off ramp of S 167 Willis St. exit in Kent, Wa. (video ...)


Paragraphs pulled from Electrical Vehicle Reports and Papers


A. NFPA: Emergency Response to Incident Involving Electric Vehicle Battery Hazards

A. NFPA: Emergency Response to Incident Involving Electric Vehicle Battery Hazards

1. Battery findings: Li-ion has become the dominant rechargeable battery chemistry for consumer electronic devices and is poised to become commonplace for industrial, transportation, and power-storage applications. This chemistry is different from previously popular rechargeable battery chemistries (e.g., nickel metal hydride, nickel cadmium, and lead acid) in a number of ways. From a technological standpoint, because of high energy density, Li-ion technology has enabled the powering of EDVs. From a safety and fire protection standpoint, a high energy density coupled with a flammable organic, rather than aqueous, electrolyte has created a number of new challenges with regard to the design of batteries containing Li-ion cells, and with regard to fire suppression.

2. EDVs are normally silent and also can "hibernate" when the vehicle is stopped. Thus an EDV can be on and ready to propel itself if the accelerator is depressed. Emergency responders can no longer assume that a vehicle is “off” when they cannot hear the engine running.*

3. In the most basic sense, the term Li-ion battery refers to a battery where the negative electrode (anode) and positive electrode (cathode) materials serve as a host for the lithium ion (Li+). Lithium ions move from the anode to the cathode during discharge and are intercalated (inserted into voids) in the crystallographic structure of the cathode. The ions reverse direction during charging, as shown in Figure 1. Since lithium ions are intercalated into host materials during charge or discharge, there is no free lithium metal within a Li-ion cell, thus, if a cell ignites due to external flame impingement or an internal fault, metal fire suppression techniques are not appropriate for controlling the fire.

Last Updated January 1 2014