Posted on 24/03/2021 in Transport Fire Safety 2021
Toxic gases from electric vehicle fires

RiSE report concludes EV fires have similar heat release to conventional vehicles, but specific additional toxicity risks. The report presents full scale fire tests comparing two electric vehicles to a comparable diesel model, battery fire tests and data from a literature review. Heat release rate was similar for the electric and diesel vehicles (80% charge battery, 80% full diesel tank). Toxic gases are present in smoke from fires with both types of vehicle (e.g. CO, HF, HCl, SO2) but smoke from e-vehicle fires also showed considerably higher levels of HF (hydrogen fluoride) and also presence of specific metals, depending on battery chemistry (Ni, Co, Li, Mn). The levels of HF were however lower than expected and achieved relatively low concentrations in a garage fire scenario.

“Toxic Gases from Fire in Electric Vehicles”, O. Willstrand et al., RISE Report 2020:90

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