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Unlocking the Future of Transportation Electric Vehicles

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Unlocking the Future of Transportation: Electric Vehicles (EVs)

About a month ago five cars were destroyed at Sydney Airport after the lithium-ion battery of a luxury electric car ignited, sparking a fire that spread to all the cars parked nearby. Apparently, the battery that sparked the fire had been detached from the luxury car in question, and fire and rescue crews believe it had been removed because it was mechanically damaged. Welcome to the brand-new technologically marvellous world of the electric car. The new technology which will add a whole new meaning to the motoring term “let’s burn some rubber.”

According to a rather depressing report from Sydney’s Chief Fire Officer, this kind of electric car fire is an often-recurring event. “If lithium batteries do suffer mechanical damage or a knock of any sort, they are susceptible to ignite. Our advice to anyone with an electric vehicle that has had a knock, or which is not operating in the way it should, is to get it into a dealership and have the technicians look at it.” Probably he should have added that the car in question should not be parked anywhere near anything flammable like another car, or a house, or a garage or anywhere near the pumps of a petrol station. Come to think of it, maybe any electric car should carry a large warning sign explaining that should anything go wrong with it, it is liable to burst into flames at any given moment.

And these fires are not just any old type of fire. These are triggered and fuelled by an internal chemical reaction that generates and releases a huge amount of heat and, in complete contrast to a conventional fossil fuel car, can continue without a supply of oxygen or indeed a visible flame. Furthermore, the large amount of stored electrical energy presents significant challenges in any attempt to put them out.
This “accident” in the airport car park comes after members of the fire brigade gave out a recent warning that they feared being overwhelmed by an increasing number of battery fires. They are facing a struggle and will surely have to adapt somehow, learning how to deal with such events more efficiently. But instead of simply having the fire brigade reacting to these fires, should there not be an attempt by the authorities and the electric vehicle industry to make these products safer in the first place? In a nutshell, should the electric vehicle industry even be able to sell such dangerous products in this way? And should the authorities be allowing their sale to the unsuspecting public?

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