Egelhaaf, M., Kress, D., Wolpert, D., Lange, T. et al., "Fire Fighting of Li-Ion Traction Batteries," SAE Int. J. Alt. Power. 2(1):37-48, 2013, doi:10.4271/2013-01-0213.
The number of full electric and hybrid electric vehicles is rapidly growing . The new technologies accompanying this trend are increasingly becoming a focal point of interest for rescue services. There is much uncertainty about the right techniques to free trapped occupants after an accident. The same applies to vehicle fires. Can car fires involving vehicles with a lithium ion traction battery be handled in the same way as conventional vehicle fires? Is water the right extinguishing agent? Is there a risk of explosion?There are many unanswered questions surrounding the topic of electric vehicle safety. The lack of information is a breeding ground for rumours, misinformation and superficial knowledge. Discussions on various internet platforms further this trend.Tests were conducted on three lithium ion traction batteries, which were fuel-fired until burning on their own. The batteries were then extinguished with water, a surfactant and a gelling agent. The temperatures of the batteries and the required amount of water were recorded.This paper presents the results of the tests and provides information which can be forwarded to fire schools and other educational authorities teaching rescue and police personnel. The results will also be of interest to vehicle manufacturers regarding the accessibility of the batteries in case of a vehicle fire and testing facilities.