Essay by Eric Worrall
First published on JoNova; Includes video – “These bikes when they fail, they fail like a blowtorch,” said Dan Flynn, the chief fire marshal at the New York Fire Department.
Fires from exploding e-bike batteries multiply in NYC — sometimes fatally
October 30, 20225:00 AM ET
Heard on Weekend Edition Sunday
NEW YORK — Four times a week on average, an e-bike or e-scooter battery catches fire in New York City.
Sometimes, it does so on the street, but more often, it happens when the owner is recharging the lithium ion battery. A mismatched charger won’t always turn off automatically when the battery’s fully charged, and keeps heating up. Or, the highly flammable electrolyte inside the battery’s cells leaks out of its casing and ignites, setting off a chain reaction.
“These bikes when they fail, they fail like a blowtorch,” said Dan Flynn, the chief fire marshal at the New York Fire Department. “We’ve seen incidents where people have described them as explosive — incidents where they actually have so much power, they’re actually blowing walls down in between rooms and apartments.”
Is there any “green” technology which isn’t out to kill us?
The severity and frequency of these fires makes me wonder if I have underestimated the fire risk from E-automobiles. How long it will take for insurers to catch on?
While you would expect better manufacturing standards for a 5-6 figure E-Automobile than a cheap e-bike, certainly less risk from “mismatched chargers”, but there have been some serious problems with the more expensive e-vehicles.
Imagine a similar fire in a large New York apartment block, with a carpark full of EVs.
Such a fire could conceivably cause the building to collapse. E-vehicle fires are hot enough to severely compromise steel and concrete structural supports, if there are enough flammable lithium batteries nearby. The heat and toxic smoke would could make it difficult to escape. I mean, look at the damage a single small e-scooter did to the apartment in the video (see above). Imagine the apartment fire above multiplied a thousand-fold, on the carpark floor of a high-rise apartment building.
There is one thing which worries me even more than the current green push for deadly e-vehicles. Growing awareness of the risks from Lithium batteries could trigger a hard pivot towards hydrogen powered vehicles, which in my opinion could be even worse.
via Watts Up With That?
November 5, 2022 at 08:14PM