Federal experts estimate that in just a few short years, as much as ten percent of all vehicles on the road will be electric. According to a recent interview with a local firefighter, this increase will likely cause situations that not every fire company is ready to deal with.
Fox 35 Orlando reports that while electric vehicles are where the future of automobile technology is heading, fire crews across the country will probably require additional training to put out the fires of these vehicles when they are involved in a crash
Firefighter Taylor Evans with the Seminole County Fire Department told Fox News that the lithium-ion batteries used in the manufacture of electric vehicles cause a fire.
“If proper cooling techniques aren’t done, they can reignite multiple times,” Evans said.
Despite Seminole County firefighters being trained to meet the challenge of electric cars, the National Fire Protection Association says that only half of all fire departments in the U.S. are trained in how to address an electric vehicle that’s caught fire.
Electric car fires emit high levels of heat as compared to other vehicle fires. “It can take anywhere between 500 and 8,000 gallons of water to extinguish these fires,” Evans said.
Part of the reason is that the vehicle’s entire floor pan is a part of the battery that gives it extra power. This can require firefighters to elevate the fire and put it out from beneath the vehicles.
According to Evans, while most vehicle fires of traditional automobiles can be put out in a few minutes with just one truck, with an electric vehicle fire, it may take up to 45 minutes and ten trucks loaded with water.