By Noah Eastwood
Electric Car Fire Bath
Around 13pc of electric vehicle fires reignite, sometimes hours later, making the fires harder to extinguish than those of petrol or diesel cars – Pro Shots/Alamy Stock Photo
Car park spaces should become wider and burning electric cars dunked in baths of water, under proposed government guidelines to prevent battery fires spreading out of control.
Ministers have been told that battery-powered vehicles pose a medley of risks in indoor car parks, which could render 1960s-era fire safety laws dangerously out of date.
Areas of concern addressed in a government-commissioned report included explosions of flammable vapour clouds emitted by electric vehicle batteries, as well as jets of fire and toxic water run-off from firefighting.
The report, from consultancy Arup, which makes a series of recommendations for changes to fire safety rules, said that there was a “high degree of uncertainty” about data on the fire risks of electric cars and that it is “not yet understood” whether their batteries become more of a fire hazard with age.