With EVs You Really Need To Be Careful

By: Ruben Borjas, Jr., Columnist, Montgomery County News
| Published 02/15/2024


THE WOODLANDS, TX -- With ever greater numbers of people driving Electric Vehicles, it is important to know just how fragile they really are. It’s not being reported nationally of course, but there are growing instances of fires in Electric Vehicles (EV) and Hybrids which are becoming a growing concern. And EV fires, well, if you are unable to move fast; it could cost you your life since their temperatures can range up to 2,500 degrees. Thankfully, Fire Departments are starting to train personnel to properly deal with EV fires, via either large amounts of water, foam, or blankets. But honestly, by the time any fire department gets near an EV fire. They will only be picking up the pieces.

On October 12th, a fire caused by an EV battery, destroyed an entire parking garage at London’s Luton Airport. The event destroyed approximately 2,500 vehicles and caused flight disruptions for the UKs budget airlines airport. Now garage owners are starting to make decisions to forego charging in their facilities, and with many carbuilders making vows to totally forego models with internal combustion engines (ICEs), someone is in for a great shock; and it's not gonna be the average ICE car owner.

Already the American EV market has appeared to have plateaued, causing turmoil in the ranks. It turns out that not everyone is made of money, and the wealthy out there are not as plentiful to snap up EVs on a weekly basis. And it doesn’t bode well for dealerships holding onto unsold inventory that adds up with payments to manufactures and taxes. On top of that, insanely priced trucks, some well over $100,000, are not moving either, and that includes the gas powered models. Virtue signaling car companies who bought into the Woke Agenda, are going the way of the Dodo Bird. They’re in danger of disappearing. Ford announced last year they are slashing production of their Lightning truck in 2024 by 50%.

Other shock events like Paris in April 2022, when two Bollore Electric Buses, in separate events on the 4th and 29th, the huge battery in the back of the buses burst into flame, and spread through the bus in a matter of seconds. Luckily no one was injured, but what if people were burned to death? And now with school districts in our area, like Cypress-Fairbanks, and at least one district in East Texas, and Houston soon adopting the EV bus, all it's gonna take is for one bus to go up in flames to start a state-wide panic.

EV batteries really need to be babied. If it's exposed to seawater … it burns. We saw that in Florida with the recent hurricanes. If flooded on our streets, the threat to the battery casing is greatly increased, which can eventually cause a fire. EVs involved in accidents are another cause for concern, since there is an increased chance for fire, even weeks later. If a battery overheats by overcharging or hard use, a fire is possible. Motor Trend magazine and other sources will tell us that EVs are less likely to catch fire as compared to ICEs, but what they don’t tell you is that EV fires travel much faster than the average human being. They burn much hotter than normal car fires, upward of 2,500 degrees. And one of the scary things is when involved in an accident, the potential for battery cut out does not allow for the usual opening of the doors. And if a fire breaks out, and you then need to go in search of the physical release, and if panic sets in, locating the window switch panel to manually open the door can be terrifying in itself. Oh, and CarEdge reports the number one type of vehicle to catch fire are Hybrids, so be especially careful if you drive one of those.

EV fires take tens of thousands of gallons to put out, which is why fire departments nationwide are quietly training their departments to fight this new type of fire. Then you have the toxic air aspect when fighting EV fires, which requires fire personnel to have proper protection to even get close and water, foam, or a specialized blanket, to snuff out an EV fire. And with thermal runaway potentials, the batteries vary in their cool down. Some fire departments solely use water, and even when the flames are extinguished, they can easily start back up again with the batteries’ thermal runaway potential. At that point, all departments can do is allow the car to burn itself out. Some departments use foam, while others use specialized blankets that weigh approximately 65 pounds, and can cost three to five thousand dollars each.

If you Google ‘EV fire garage’, you will see case after case of EV owners ‘F around and find out’ about the dangerous possibilities they are entailed with EV fires associated with their own garages. You really need to be careful at all times. And I don’t say this lightly. I own stock in Tesla. EV fires do not require external oxygen to burn, which is the real scary part, and it leaves the possibility for more episodes of thermal runaway, such as has been seen in India, and in London. Even totalled EVs have the potential of spontaneous combustion at junkyards, some 3 or 4 weeks after the accidents. And if your EV has been involved in an accident, it is best to park it 50 feet from a house or building.

In China, EV disasters are even worse. I’ve seen on the YouTube channel China Observer, a sudden EV explosion, in which a burst battery on a small van causing it to shoot 15 feet in the air. Chinese manufacturing has a syndrome called ‘Tofu-dreg’, in which their infrastructure is collapsing, their weapon systems are falling apart, and their building projects are crumbling. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese EVs have become huge paperweights, and their economy is in shambles. China has forests of broken and abandoned EVs, with some areas having 10,000 cars that are simply rotting away. Their buses burst into flames like in Paris. While in India, a Dehli EV fire in a parking lot destroyed 100 planet saving vehicles, back in June 2022.

On average, EVs generally use 388 more volts than conventional vehicles. And manufacturers are working to reduce electrocution of fire responders by the use of a pyroswitch. American EVs may be better built than foreign models, but no one really knows about the true lifespan of these vehicles, nor the environmental disaster their batteries can cause; and the true consequences of their presence has yet to be felt.

Reality does really bite dollar wise when it comes to replacement batteries for EVs, which in most cases are essentially like buying a new car all over again. One battery can cost $60,000 dollars. It’s insane. And given the suffering by young Africans in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which produces 70% of The World’s cobalt, it equates to modern day slavery. And I don’t support any type of Congolese forced labor.

One thing that needs to happen with EVs is to end government subsidies. If EVs are gonna be the be-all to end-all in saving the planet, the EV market should be able to stand on its own against ICEs. I believe they won’t be. And government virtue signaling that trapped Woke EV manufacturers to make commitments to go to full on with EV production as soon as 2025. That vow will cause them more financial strife than they ever imagined.

Buying a nice EV like a Tesla takes money, and no one making $15/hr at McDonalds has enough money to properly pay rent, food, utilities, insurances, childcare, and any other expense that goes along with the cost of living these days. And that probably goes for someone $35 or $40/hr. Money, for many of us, does not afford for any new or used car, much less an expensive EV.

And let’s not even think about EVs and extreme cold weather, and how warming the car affects the range, which is easily cut by half. In Chicago, outdoor charging stations are so ineffective that they are not charging cars, and owners are towing their cars to charging stations only to be disappointed that negative outdoor temps make the stations parking lots of expensive junk.

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