EVs (Electric vehicles) are in high demand around the world. Over the following ten years, they are predicted to expand at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 29%, reaching over 30 million units yearly by 2030. However, even as the popularity of EVs grows due to their cheaper long-term costs and reduced emissions, many people overlook their potential fire threats. To achieve mobility, modern automobiles have complicated inventions with a knot of electronics combined with sophisticated equipment and fuel. A single wiring error or a defective fuel line might spark a fire in EVs.
Here are some of the reasons why EVs catch fire
Risk of lithium-ion batteries
Battery cells exist in many different shapes, designs, and sizes in the automobile industry. But they all have three basic components: electrodes, electrolytes, and separators. The lithium is stored in the electrodes. The electrolyte transports trillions of charged lithium ions between electrodes. The separator prevents the positive electrode from coming into touch with the negative electrode.
The pressure and temperature quickly rise throughout the procedure. The interior of the battery getting exposed to air is one o the reasons why EVs catch on fire. The existence of organic liquid electrolytes in the battery unit merely serves as fuel to the fire, as they can ignite when the remainder of the battery goes through thermal runaway, causing a fire.
Issues with software
Software errors in electric vehicles cause the vehicle to halt rather than explode. But it’s still a source of concern for automakers. If the system does not recognise a completely charged battery, it may continue to deliver power, and hence heat. One manufacturer’s answer was a software update that restricted the battery capacity to 90%.
Battery components & design errors
The battery may be burned if any of the battery components are destroyed. Customers need EVs that can travel a long distance without needing to be recharged.
This has driven manufacturers to develop batteries that can hold more energy while remaining light and compact. It entails maintaining a higher energy density within a particular space. But additional energy can also flow out and cause an inflammatory reaction.
External factors like electric vehicles running in hot and humid weather. This can raise the voltage and temperature that affect the composition of the battery, potentially destroying it.
How to prevent EVs from catching fire?
Here are some basic steps that will help you reduce the risk of fire:
1. The EV battery should not be charged right after the vehicle has stopped operating since the lithium-ion cells inside the battery are still quite hot. Allow the battery to cool before charging it. It’s advisable to unplug the battery from the vehicle and charge it separately if it’s a detachable battery.
2. Use only the battery that was manufactured for the vehicle. Using a local battery, which is less expensive, may cause damage to the EV. Also, take advantage of the charging cable that came with the electric vehicle.
3. Batteries should not be stored in direct sunlight or in a hot vehicle. If the battery is excessively hot or appears to be damaged, do not use it.
4. The best technique to charge batteries is to start charging them before they reach zero and stop charging them once they are fully charged. A few EVs have software diagnostics that will stop charging if the battery detects a failure until the problem is handled and rectified.