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Is the EV industry in too much of a hurry ?

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Michael Gilligan01/09/2021 09:18:10
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The latest chapter in the Chevrolet Bolt story makes disconcerting reading: **LINK**

https://arstechnica.com/cars/2021/08/gm-throws-lg-under-the-bus-as-chevy-bolt-production-pauses-amid-recall/

MichaelG.

John Haine01/09/2021 09:25:34
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I seem to recall a few huge refinery fires in recent years and I believe the incidence of ice vehicles self combusting is around the same as EVs. If you store a lot of energy in a small volume it's inherently somewhat risky and low probability risks only show up in high volume production.

Samsaranda01/09/2021 09:38:46
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This problem makes me very wary of sitting on top of a massive battery pack in an EV, if you count back a hundred years or more I suppose the same could be said of those pioneers who ventured onto the roads with a tank full of highly flammable petroleum spirit, we accept that nowadays without thinking. It will take a long time though for me to be converted to an EV, mid seventies now so perhaps I will be able to see out my driving years with an old fashioned internal combustion engined vehicle, yes I am a dinosaur. Dave W

J Hancock01/09/2021 09:44:15
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It will certainly be 'interesting ' as this EV story develops. People, in general , do not realise each one of those batteries is like a small thermite grenade .

noel shelley01/09/2021 09:54:58
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Never mind about the high entensity smoke that might leak out, look into the voltages and safety required for working on these machines, that's what would worry me ! Noel.

Mike Poole01/09/2021 09:59:55
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I would like to think that extensive crash testing has found how to build a safe battery that can survive a major impact, I wonder how the fire brigade tackle a battery fire which must be rather unpleasant, maybe a battery fire is all over before the fire brigade could possibly get there leaving just the fire consuming the rest of the vehicle to contend with.

Mike

Mike Hurley01/09/2021 10:04:26
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I recall recently watching a programme on TV (can't remember which channel ) which looked into fires in EV's and showed early vehicles easily catching light and burning furiously - very nasty, + the toxic mass of residue left afterwards. However, the prog went on to say, and demonstrate, how this wouldn't happen in the newer generation of vehicles as " the battery packs now have extensive internal fusing thus preventing problems .... " to be fair, they did demo this by deliberatley shorting on out with a large metal plate - no fire.

I suppose at the end of the day, nothing in the world could be 100% safe no matter how well designed if manufactured faulty.

regards Mike

Mark Rand01/09/2021 10:10:43
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Having been in a petrol Ford Orion (escort with a boot) that caught fire, I can say that when an ICE vehicle gets burning, the fire brigade can't do mutch with it.

John Haine01/09/2021 10:12:57
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Whereas petrol or diesel of course is entirely safe...

Typical petrol car has a tank capacity of 40 litres, the energy density of gasoline is 33.2 MJ/litre so the stored energy is ~1200 MJ. Tesla model 3 battery has a battery capacity of 76.5 kWh so stored energy is 76.5 x 3600s x 1000 Ws or Joules = 275 MJ, about a quarter of a fully filled petrol car. Battery volts is 375, comparable with the peak mains volts. Skills for safe working surely comparable to a domestic sparks - and they aren't so skilled these days in my experience!

Ady101/09/2021 10:27:28
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Posted by Mike Hurley on 01/09/2021 10:04:26:

I recall recently watching a programme on TV (can't remember which channel ) which looked into fires in EV's and showed early vehicles easily catching light and burning furiously - very nasty, + the toxic mass of residue left afterwards. However, the prog went on to say, and demonstrate, how this wouldn't happen in the newer generation of vehicles as " the battery packs now have extensive internal fusing thus preventing problems .... " to be fair, they did demo this by deliberatley shorting on out with a large metal plate - no fire.

I suppose at the end of the day, nothing in the world could be 100% safe no matter how well designed if manufactured faulty.

regards Mike

Saw that with Guy Martin because he didn't want to be melted in a chemical fireball if his electric vehicle record attempt crashed

Eventually he was actively trying to get the newer batteries to burn at least a little but they were having none of it, very impressively safe, almost ridiculous how hard it was to make them even ignite for a few moments

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