Worried About Electric Vehicle Battery Fires?

Chris Teague of AutoWeek points out some interesting facts about vehicle fires.

A better way of looking at electric vehicle fires is to compare the number of fires per 100,000 vehicles sold… hybrid vehicles had the most fires per 100,000 sales at 3,474.5 while there were 1,529.9 fires per 100k for gas vehicles and just 25.1 fires per 100k sales for electric vehicles. Lithium-ion batteries in EV’s burn hotter and can last much longer than gasoline.

Chris Teague | How Much Should You Worry About EV Fires? | October 3, 2022

He goes on to point out when EV battery fires have most often occurred:

“Batteries have caught on fire after the vehicle was involved in a collision or after the car batteries have been damaged in some way. Other fires occur during charging, which is the case with recent vehicle fires that have made the news recently and resulted in safety recalls.”

Chris Teague | How Much Should You Worry About EV Fires? | October 3, 2022

Most recommendations that I’ve heard or read, indicate that lithium-ion batteries are best kept between a 30% and 80% charge level. A recent article about cell phones and other rechargeable devices, recommends that you don’t keep them plugged-in on “perpetual charge.”

My camera’s owners manual recommends not storing its rechargeable battery fully-charged. I’ve also read that fast-charging shortens battery life more than slower rates of charging, at least on first generation EV batteries, but it’s rapidly evolving technology!

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NEWS UPDATE:

Electric Vehicles Spontaneously Combust In Florida After Hurricane Ian
Oct. 22, 2022 – The fires were apparently sparked as conductive saltwater poured over flooded cars and their charged lithium-ion batteries. Saltwater can create a dangerous “salt bridge” between the positive and negative points of the battery, which has the potential to short-circuit and start fires.

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