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Old 06-12-2019, 08:27 AM   #406
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Regarding the risk of electrochemical failure, [this] report concludes that the propensity and severity of fires and explosions from the accidental ignition of flammable electrolytic solvents used in Li-ion battery systems are anticipated to be somewhat comparable to or perhaps slightly less than those for gasoline or diesel vehicular fuels. The overall consequences for Li-ion batteries are expected to be less because of the much smaller amounts of flammable solvent released and burning in a catastrophic failure situation.

From an NHTSA study.

This is from the Wikipedia entry, that I'm pretty sure should have a giant "citation needed" next to it...
As of February 2014, four fires after an impact have been reported associated with the batteries of plug-in electric cars. The first crash related fire was reported in China in May 2012, after a high-speed car crashed into a BYD e6 taxi in Shenzhen.[2] Two incidents occurred with the Tesla Model S in October 2013, one when a Model S caught fire after the electric car hit metal debris on a highway in Kent, Washington,[3] and another involving a loss of control and collision with a tree in Merida, Mexico.[4] A Tesla Model S being driven on a highway near Murfreesboro, Tennessee caught fire in November 2013 after it struck a tow hitch on the roadway, causing damage beneath the vehicle.[5] These incidents occurred in situations which would cause fires in gasoline powered automobiles.
"Would cause" is a pretty strong statement. Sure, a trailer hitch on a highway or piece of metal COULD cause a fire in a gasoline vehicle, if it hit in the spot of the gas tank, and punctured it, and the leak was exposed to a spark. But I suspect electric vehicles are more likely to catch fire when exposed to a trauma of that sort, if only becuase most of them have the entire floor made of battery. Anyway, minor Wikipedia annoyance. It is interesting that NHSTA thinks the risks are similar.
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