Takahashi, M., Takeuchi, M., Maeda, K., and Nakagawa, S., "Comparison of Fires in Lithium-Ion Battery Vehicles and Gasoline Vehicles," SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars – Electron. Electr. Syst. 7(1):213-220, 2014, doi:10.4271/2014-01-0428.
Electric vehicles have become more popular and may be involved in fires due to accidents. However, characteristics of fires in electric vehicles are not yet fully understood. The electrolytic solution of lithium-battery vehicles is inflammable, so combustion characteristics and gases generated may differ from those of gasoline cars. Therefore, we conducted fire tests on lithium-ion battery vehicles and gasoline vehicles and investigated the differences in combustion characteristics and gases generated. The fire tests revealed some differences in combustion characteristics. For example, in lithium-ion battery vehicles, the battery temperature remained high after combustion of the body. However, there was almost no difference in the maximum CO concentration measured 0.5 to 1 m above the roof and 1 m from the side of the body. Furthermore, HF was not detected in either type of vehicle when measured at the same positions as for CO.The experiment results did not reveal any reason to treat vehicles with lithium-ion batteries differently from gasoline vehicles with regard to safety measures against harmful gases that may be generated around the burning vehicle.