4th MAY, DAY 2 TOPICS
Will My EV Catch on Fire
Electric vehicle fires are all over the news, giving the (false) impression that all EVs are dangerous & can ignite without warning. But, with the world turning to electrified transport, what does the research actually tell us? What do we know – and what do we need to learn – about electric vehicle fires that can help enhance safety for fleet managers & drivers, just in case the worst does happen?
This session will present the latest global findings about electric vehicle fires & provide helpful knowledge that fleet managers can incorporate into their safety information.
Session Sponsorship Available
SPEAKER OF THE EVENT
Electrified transport is a vital part of a sustainable future & Australian demand for low-emission vehicles is already outstripping supply.
Over 35,000 electric family cars, last-mile delivery vans, public transport buses, taxis, mining vehicles, motorbikes & heavy haulage trucks are already driving Australian roads & that number is expected to reach 1.3 million by 2030. To support this transition, AC & DC charging infrastructure is being installed in shopping centres, carparks & in private homes, assisted by millions of dollars of government investment.
While the energy dense lithium-ion batteries powering electric vehicles (EVs) are typically very safe, when an EV battery fire does occur, it presents dangerous new fire behaviour & explosion risks, completely unlike anything previously seen. Adding an extra layer of complexity to an already challenging scene, EV FireSafe’s research found a third of these EV fires occur while the vehicle is connected to energised charging.
Emergency agencies are grappling to bridge the lithium-ion battery fire knowledge gaps that widen with every new innovation from a vehicle technology sector that’s hurtling towards decarbonisation.
To better understand risk & enhance safety, Emma Sutcliffe established EV FireSafe, the first global database of verified EV battery fires, with a particular focus on management of incidents at EV charging hubs. This work, which received seed funding from the Department of Defence, is subsequently developing a worldwide network of fire & battery experts, EV manufacturers & charging specialists to test theories, share knowledge & benefit from incident learnings.
These initial findings have opened an important conversation – what do emergency responders need to learn to successfully adapt to a world of electrified transport & how quickly can we get them there?
In this session, Emma will share data-driven findings on what is known, what needs to be tested & the emerging suppression & management techniques that may keep emergency responders safer in a world of electrified transport. Emma is a CFA volunteer & EV early adopter, who co-founded an EV charging company in 2018, then went on to establish several other electric vehicle sector businesses focused on charging software, EV knowledge & the conversion of classic cars to electric.