No, despite what you’ve seen in a thousand Facebook posts, EVs are not more prone to catching fire than are legacy vehicles (according to several studies—take your pick—the reverse is the case). However, like any energy storage system, an EV battery can catch fire in the case of a collision or a malfunction, and there are a couple of troublesome aspects to battery fires—they can’t be put out with water, and they can reignite hours after it seems the fire has been put out.
Emergency responders need appropriate tools to deal with EV fire incidents—and that’s where Fire Containers Ltd’s Electric Vehicle Containment Unit (EVCU) comes in. The EVCU features a built-in water supply that recirculates water for continual cooling and fire suppression even during transit. An EV that has caught fire can be ensconced in the EVCU (according to the company, it can theoretically be placed inside even while still burning), then transported and safely stored until the danger of reignition is past.
“The main difference between the EVCU and other solutions is that this is not a submersion unit,” says Fire Containers Ltd. “Major vehicle manufacturers state that their batteries should not be submerged in water, as this can initiate or accelerate thermal runaway. Also, submersion tactics create huge amounts of contaminated water. The EVCU uses the principle of water turning to steam (expansion ratio) to suppress fire development around the vehicle or to continually cool battery compartments to help prevent thermal runaway from developing within the battery compartment.”
Source: Fire Containers Ltd