Thermal runaway is a term commonly used and heard in reference to electric vehicle (EV) fires.
One of the most common causes of fire in an EV is if the vehicle’s high energy battery is damaged or a manufacturing fault results in a short circuit. If the battery sustains damage or is faulty, the chances of thermal runaway developing in the event of a fire are elevated.
The thermal runaway phenomenon
Most electric vehicles use a lithium-ion battery as their main fuel source. In order to propel the vehicle without using traditional means such as diesel or petrol, the battery must contain substantial amounts of energy. That energy is ‘refuelled’ when the car is plugged into an EV charging point.
Each lithium-ion battery contains cells that deliver the energy the electric vehicle requires to function. If just one of those cells is damaged or defective, the cell can heat up extremely quickly and start a fire. Adjoining cells are then compromised and a domino effect is created which results in the fire spreading throughout the entire battery array. This phenomenon is called thermal runaway as, once it starts, it’s very difficult to stop.
What’s the best way to tackle thermal runaway?
Any electric or hybrid vehicle fire, whether thermal runaway is involved or not, must be tackled by professional firefighting crews with specialist knowledge and experience in controlling and extinguishing electric vehicle fires.
In the event of an electric vehicle fire occurring, the key strategy must be to deprive the fire of oxygen. As such, an electric vehicle fire blanket is extremely useful in such a scenario.
Deploying an electric vehicle fire blanket will immediately prevent oxygen from fuelling the fire. It will also inhibit the fire from spreading and facilitate a drop in temperature. This is vital since, unchecked, electric vehicle fires can reach temperatures exceeding 1,200°C.
The electric electric fire blanket: an essential item of EV equipment
Electric vehicle fire blankets are ideal for mitigating the potential damage an electric car fire can inflict on surrounding vehicles and property.
Whether you run a garage or workshop that services and repairs electric vehicles, you manage a car park, petrol station, airport or recovery business or you simply own an electric car, an electric vehicle fire blanket is an essential item of EV equipment to add to your inventory.