BY Jack Davis, The Western JournalJanuary 29, 2023
1 year ago

Watch: EV Spontaneously Erupts on California Freeway - It Took 6,000 Gallons of Water to Put It Out

An electric vehicle fire on Saturday on Highway 50 near Sacramento, California, showed the difficulties of battling electric vehicle fires.

The battery compartment of the Tesla S caught fire, according to KTVU-TV.

According to KRON-TV, the fire broke out at about 3:41 p.m.

At 4:19 p.m., the California Highway Patrol incident log showed that officials were taking their fight against the blaze to the next level, according to the Sacramento Bee.

“Fire is not going out/going to try to flood (vehicle),” CHP reported.

“The vehicle battery compartment spontaneously caught fire while it was traveling freeway speeds on EB Hwy 50. The fire was extinguished with approx 6,000 gallons of water, as the battery cells continued to combust. Thankfully no injuries were reported,” Metro Fire of Sacramento posted on Twitter.

“Crews arrived to a Tesla Model S engulfed in flames, nothing unusual prior. 2 Fire Engines, a water tender, and a ladder truck were requested to assist. Crews used jacks to access the underside to extinguish and cool the battery. Thousands of gallons were used in extinguishment," the fire department posted on Twitter.

Firefighters have warned in the past that electric vehicle fires are hard to extinguish.

“We’re at that critical point where the consumer-driven world we live in is pushing these vehicles out and the fire department is playing catch up,” Lt. Tanner Morgan with the Grand Prairie Fire Department in Texas said, according to News Nation.

Morgan said a fire in an average gasoline-powered vehicle can be extinguished with less than 1,000 gallons of water.

But lithium battery fires require a lot more water, as Morris Township Fire Company Number One in Pennsylvania found out when it faced an electric vehicle fire in November.

“As Engine Tanker 17 and Engine Tanker 19 arrived on scene it was quickly discovered that this was not your typical vehicle fire as crews quickly utilized just over 4,000 gallons of water,” the department said in a Facebook post.

“In total approximately 12,000 gallons of water was utilized,” the fire department posted.

“Due to the lithium ion battery on the vehicle, extinguishing this fire would require additional tankers as the vehicle would continue to reignite and burn fierce at times,” the post said.

“In total it took crews nearly two hours of continually applying water on the vehicle as the battery would begin to reignite and hold high temperatures,” the post said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Jack Davis, The Western Journal

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