Car Fire

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SR22pilot

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#1
So I was out today and traffic on I75 was jammed. It turned out there was a car on fire on the side of the road. It was an ICE car. I eagerly watched the news this evening and it didn't make national news. What happened? When a Tesla burns anywhere in the world it makes national news. When I read about Tesla car fires it is as if Tesla's are rolling fire hazards. If that's true then this rare (sarcasm here) ICE car fire should be a major news event. Shouldn't there be a special investigation on how we allow vehicles to carry tens of gallons of highly flammable fluid on our highways? Worse, this fluid is piped past a hot engine ready to ignite any small leak. Where is the national outrage? Seeking Alpha should have daily articles about this. I mean, what will happen to Ford and GM stock when this gets out?
 

Frully

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#3
lulz.

I work in emergency services. We have codes for different types of (vehicle) fires, and subcodes to differentiate them, 'small/large fuel load', 'traditional fuel/alternative/hazmat'...we don't even differentiate electric - just 'alternative'.
In 10 years I've never dealt with a call for anything other than gasoline/diesel. Granted that will skew with the variance of vehicles on the road as time goes forward...
 

JasonF

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#4
When some new kind of car comes along, there's a frighteningly large contingent of people who say "put it back the way it was!" Too many people are afraid of anything new. It's also why those pickup truck drivers were blocking superchargers. They want electric cars to go away so everything can be put back the way it was.

How that relates to electric car fires, and also autopilot crashes, is if those peoples' fear can be vindicated by the news, then they feel like they're getting close to this new and scary thing becoming illegal so they don't have to be afraid anymore.
 

PNWmisty

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#5
Shouldn't there be a special investigation on how we allow vehicles to carry tens of gallons of highly flammable fluid on our highways? Worse, this fluid is piped past a hot engine ready to ignite any small leak. Where is the national outrage? Seeking Alpha should have daily articles about this. I mean, what will happen to Ford and GM stock when this gets out?
So true! Especially now that we have a safer way to get around. I could understand the acceptance of the gasoline fire hazard when it was pretty much the only game in town but it's about time we crack down on this. Not only do BEV's catch on fire at a much lower rate per mile traveled, but they also don't erupt into instant fireballs. I drove by a VW with flames 30 feet tall that consumed at least one occupant. The accident had *just* happened as they had passed us (and a huge line of cars returning from the ski area at the end of the day) just a couple of minutes previous to us passing them burning to death on the side of the road. The car was intact, they just didn't have time to get out.

Battery cells have metal jackets so if one cell catches on fire it takes time for the heat to transfer to other cells and enter thermal runaway. As long as the car is undamaged, you can just pull over and walk away. Gasoline erupts into spontaneous fireballs if it ignites.
 

JasonF

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#6
Battery cells have metal jackets so if one cell catches on fire it takes time for the heat to transfer to other cells and enter thermal runaway. As long as the car is undamaged, you can just pull over and walk away. Gasoline erupts into spontaneous fireballs if it ignites.
The difference is that batteries are not inherently flammable, while gasoline is. Liquid fuels will generally continue to burn as long as oxygen and fuel vapors are present. The battery can be cooled down below critical with just plain water, and the reaction will stop.
 

PNWmisty

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#7
The difference is that batteries are not inherently flammable, while gasoline is. Liquid fuels will generally continue to burn as long as oxygen and fuel vapors are present. The battery can be cooled down below critical with just plain water, and the reaction will stop.
No, batteries are definitely "flammable" by the common definition of the word. The difference is that battery fires start slowly and build while gasoline is explosive. One gives you time to get out, the other can engulf you in flames instantly.
 

GDN

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#8
The difference is that batteries are not inherently flammable, while gasoline is. Liquid fuels will generally continue to burn as long as oxygen and fuel vapors are present. The battery can be cooled down below critical with just plain water, and the reaction will stop.
I'm not arguing safety, nor anything else and I don't have any first hand knowledge of how a battery burns, but I've heard of this more than once, just one example here. Maybe the battery wasn't cooled down or something else shorted out perhaps? https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/...icle-Catches-Fire-in-Los-Gatos-503080661.html
 

jdbunda

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#9
When some new kind of car comes along, there's a frighteningly large contingent of people who say "put it back the way it was!" Too many people are afraid of anything new. It's also why those pickup truck drivers were blocking superchargers. They want electric cars to go away so everything can be put back the way it was.
It's also the backlash against anything perceived as tree-hugging, anti-oil, response to the climate change hoax, or dependent on government subsidies to survive. I guess it is a testament to how well we are doing as a country when how your car is powered becomes a potent political statement.
 

JasonF

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#10
It's also the backlash against anything perceived as tree-hugging, anti-oil, response to the climate change hoax, or dependent on government subsidies to survive. I guess it is a testament to how well we are doing as a country when how your car is powered becomes a potent political statement.
I used to think all kinds of things about the message they're sending. It's just fear, plain and simple. They're used to gas powered cars and diesel powered trucks, and will fight to their last breath to make sure it stays that way forever. Everything else people claim about it is just rationalizing irrational behavior.
 

Karl Sun

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#11
News, by definition, is/are things that are rare. If it wasn't / isn't rare, then it's common. Common things/events aren't "news".

Most of us have seen and/or been around petrol fires. I know I've been around many petrol fires. And it's still not as much fun as one would think. But it's part of the petrol game - like NO SMOKING signs around petrol fuelling stations. And we know what puts out petrol (liquid fuel) fires and what doesn't. It's pretty common knowledge.

Battery fires, OTOH, are MUCH less common and most folks don't know how to put them out. Unknown == FEAR.

BTW - I don't recall seeing any NO SMOKING signs at supercharger stations. What's up with that?
 

Karl Sun

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#12
... or dependent on government subsidies to survive.
And none of those diseasel-huggers ever mentions the ~$120 Billion in gov't subsidies the oil industry gets every year. They just whine about the <$10 Billion [total] the EV industry has been allocated over their lifetime.
 

JasonF

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#13
Addressing a couple things at once:

Batteries are flammable. Everything is. Go ahead and beat me with multiple technicalities related to that, or the dictionary definition. Except I said inherently flammable. They aren't designed to burn like gasoline, or diesel, or hydrogen, or propane. If you spill a ton of 18650 cells on the ground, they aren't going to catch fire or explode all by themselves because the sun is at noon, and it's July in Florida. Even if someone drops a cigarette on the ground beside them, they probably won't catch fire. It takes a specific set of circumstances to cause battery cells to catch fire. Gasoline, on the other hand, is designed to catch fire, and does so fairly readily.

I think the diesel-huggers are making a bad logic leap where if EV's exist, the government is going to take away their gas-guzzling trucks - so the only solution is to make sure everyone us required to drive only diesel trucks, because then it's impossible to get rid of them. Which sucks, because I've never told any of them what to drive.
 

MelindaV

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#14
I think the diesel-huggers are making a bad logic leap where if EV's exist, the government is going to take away their gas-guzzling trucks - so the only solution is to make sure everyone us required to drive only diesel trucks, because then it's impossible to get rid of them. Which sucks, because I've never told any of them what to drive.
are these the same guys thinking that having gay marriage legal means they will be forced to marry the guy that lives down the street? or having birth control available means they will be forced to have an abortion? seems like about the same ill attempt at logic.
 

JasonF

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#15
Yes, that kind of logic very basically boils down to "if everyone is required to live like me, my lifestyle is safe".
 

Bokonon

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#17
just going to drop these here as I see them come up...
If you're going to cite @PDXFire or @PDXAlerts for this exercise, you might want to advise people to disregard any naked uni-cyclists involved, along with any reports of:
  • A female lying on the ground "screaming and barking"
  • A male flasher wearing a fedora
  • A car prowler wearing gorilla costume
  • A naked man hurling miscellaneous objects off the top of a building
Yes, all of those are real.... and all have been reported within the last 48 hours. #pdx4evah
 

MelindaV

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#18
If you're going to cite @PDXFire or @PDXAlerts for this exercise, you might want to advise people to disregard any naked uni-cyclists involved, along with any reports of:
A female lying on the ground "screaming and barking"
for anyone thinking @Bokonon just thought up the most outlandish 'news' report, not so much. This was one of the last tweets I'd seen before leaving for home tonight. Welcome to Portland 🤪🚲🦄

now, really @PDXFire doesn't report on the crazy, just the actual public safety sorts of things most any other fire department would report.

ETA: added the @PDXAlerts link for other's ease of amusement
 
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