RATP, a public transport operator located in France’s capital city of Paris has temporarily suspended the use of 149 of its electric buses following two fires in the last few weeks.
The buses were both the Bluebus 5SE model, an electric bus that is made in Brittany by French manufacturer Bollore’s Bluebus division. After images of the two buses catching fire and going into thermal runway were captured by witnesses and shared widely on social media, the operator chose to take the precaution of removing the buses from Parisian streets.
Blazing fire, hot sparks and thick clouds of smoke can clearly be seen in this video. Up to 30 of the city’s firefighters were then involved in extinguishing the fire which completely destroyed the bus. Passengers and the driver evacuated the bus as soon as the fire was discovered. Luckily no-one was hurt in the blaze.
Bluebus makes up part of the business portfolio of Vincent Bollore, a French billionaire who employs over 80,000 people. The 12-metre long buses can be seen on a daily basis transporting citizens and tourists around the city. Fitted on the roof and rear of the Bluebus, its batteries are reportedly ‘new generation’ Lithium Metal Polymer (LMP) batteries which provide ‘high energy density and optimal safety’.