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Electric Vehicles and Fire Risk

It’s a hot topic overseas…

It’s not (thankfully) been an issue in Australia or New Zealand yet, but the question has to be asked by anyone in the EV sector…what happens when an electric vehicle catches fire?

As with all yet-to-be-determined questions about emerging tech, the answer isn’t really straightforward.

Because the media jumps straight into peak click-bait every time an EV/fire incident happens overseas, public perception is – too often – that they are common and therefore a danger to their family, passengers and neighbours.

However, if electric vehicles fires were balanced against incidents of the same kind involving ICEs, then Tesla founder Elon Musk’s longstanding claim that EVs are much less likely to catch fire than mainstream fuel vehicles suddenly seems infinitely more sensible and feasible.

Photo via FB page ‘Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV UK’

A whole bunch of free resources about electric vehicle fire risk

Due to the seemingly complete lack of electric vehicle fire incidents in Australia and New Zealand – and we spent quite a lot of time having a good old search on the media interwebs – there’s little to none domestic info for EV owners around fire risk.

However, the American National Fire Protection Association have done some in-depth research into what they call alternative fuel vehicles – encompassing electric, hybrid, fuel cell, and gaseous fuels – and have produced a great range of free resources that are intended for fire and other emergency services personnel, but are invaluable to anyone interested in EVs, charging points and electric vehicle safety.

Particularly of interest to Australian and New Zealand EV owners are the Emergency Response Guides.

These cover the range of electric vehicles currently available in Australia, including recent and future additions like the Hyundai Ioniq and Kona, Jaguar I-Pace, Tesla X, S and 3, the new Nissan LEAF and a whole host of other vehicles that you’ll only be able to get your hands on if you’re moving stateside.

You simply choose and download the booklet specific to your electric vehicle* and settle in for some bedtime reading…and hopefully dreams of the unlikely event in which your EV catches fire won’t keep you awake!

*Naturally we shouldn’t really have to point this out, but would like to state for the record that these are for information purposes only and should not be used by unqualified or non-emergency services peeps in the event of an incident.

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