Temperature Characteristics of a Hybrid Electric Vehicle Fire 2012-01-0982
Recently, vehicles with high capacity traction batteries for driving such as Ni-MH, lithium-ion have come to be produced in the world. However, the damage has not been clarified in the case of these vehicles fire by a traffic accident or arson. In particular, lithium-ion cells in high temperature environment may cause a thermal runaway which emits smoke or flare. Therefore, it is necessary to examine what kinds of phenomena occur when a vehicle with a lithium-ion battery catches fire. In this paper, the authors studied the situation and temperature characteristics of a hybrid electric vehicle fire to investigate the temperature input to a lithium-ion battery on a vehicle. We assumed an accident that gasoline leaking from other vehicle would be spread under a vehicle and ignited. In a vehicle fire test, gasoline was spread under a hybrid electric vehicle without the traction battery instead of a vehicle with lithium-ion battery, and ignited. Thermocouple sensors were installed inside and under the vehicle. During the test, the situation of the vehicle fire was recorded by photos and videos. The authors got measurements of attainment times, continuation times and highest temperatures according to some criteria in this vehicle fire test.