Browse Publications Technical Papers 2015-01-1382

Fire in Electric Cars 2015-01-1382

This paper is based on the bachelor thesis “Fire in electric cars” [1] 2013, written in Norwegian.
The number of electric vehicles has increased significantly in recent years. Today, there are more than 35,000 electric cars in Norway, and the government's goal is 200,000 cars by 2020. [3]
The main question investigated was: What happens when the lithium-ion battery pack ignites?
The major part of this assignment was to perform a full-scale fire experiment with a modern and drivable electric car. This experiment took place in February 2013, when a Peugeot iOn 2012 model was set on fire. The car burned out without any attempt being made to extinguish the fire.
We had to supply much heat from the external heat source to achieve thermal runaway in the cells. Observations and results from the experiment indicated that fire in the lithium-ion battery cells consists of two phases. During the experiment, there were no high flame pillars and no explosive fire, and the battery cells ventilated one by one.


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