The original post reads:
Subject: Electric car charging station – Germany PROBLEMS
Might be worth checking before you buy!
ELECTRIC CAR CHARGING STATION – GERMANY LOOKS LIKE IT MAY HAVE TO DUMP THE TESLA
This is the reason why some underground car parks here in Germany don’t allow electric powered vehicles into their premises.
What you see in this video is an electric car at a charging station with a shorting cell setting off all the rest. It’s a chain reaction from the first to the fiery end of the car. Bet they eventually lost all the cars in that charging line.
Note the time it took to destroy 3 cars, 1.15 minutes. The first car was destroyed in about 38 seconds. The fire cannot be extinguished with water. No fire department will approach a burning battery-powered car because of the toxic gasses produced during the fire. No recycling place will take the car’s remains because of the toxic chemicals the batteries contain.
Maybe we should slow down our rush to replace existing sources of power until we find a safe, sustainable alternative fuel that doesn’t cost the earth.
Until then maybe those that aren’t working on the alternatives will have to use what is currently available. ?!?!?
Attached to the viral post/email is an MP4 video file showing the content of this YouTube video (but with no reference to the fact it’s actually in China)
Here is the analysis to counter all of this:
Note: This article does a good job of analysing it as well, and was the starting point to my article.
1) The video is from Dongguan in China’s Guangdong province (clearly not in Germany given the number plates) and took place on May 8, 2020. The original Chinese news article provides more info but in short, more than 40 firefighters and 8 fire trucks were involved at the site, and thanks to quick action, they managed to put out the fire promptly, however, 5 vehicles were damaged/destroyed. Original video (as shown above). It later transpired that the local Government had mandated the builders/installers followed construction rules for electric vehicles chargers but these seemingly were ignored with the nearby transformer working at above 90% threshold. The local Government after the fire closed all of the electric charging stations in the province to ensure they were all properly installed. There doesn’t appear to have been an update since on if they’re live again but given the investment in the chargers I’d imagine that is complete.
2) “The fire was completely unrelated to temporary decisions by two German car parks, in the states of Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemberg, to ban EVs from parking underground this year. Both decisions were the result of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle fires, and were not part of a national policy on the safe storage of EVs.” – Australian Associated Press Fact Checker – This ban has since (May 2021) been removed as the local firefighters have now received proper training [source & source]
3) In reference to: “No fire department will approach a burning battery-powered car because of the toxic gasses produced during the fire.”, that is a complete and utter scaremongering lie, I’ve worked with several fire brigades in Buckinghamshire alone that have extensive fire training on electric vehicles. I’ve also spoken directly with the National Fire Chiefs Council and can assure you that if an electric vehicle was to go up in flames anywhere in the UK the local fire brigades would 100% put the fire out whilst also following the superb paperwork they have to hand for all-electric vehicles extractions and fire.
4) In reference to the cars going up in flames next to each other, well yes that is likely to happen when any car is on fire next to another one watch, look at this video of 1400 cars in Liverpool ablaze
5) “The fire cannot be extinguished with water.”, this is a complete lie, electric vehicle fires should primarily be put out / cooler with water, the key part is that you need a lot of it and often need to continue to monitor the battery temperature (via thermal camera or infrared) for several hours afterwards as reignition can take place. This does mean that if an electric car does go up in flames for some odd reason then yes they’re more difficult to fully and safely extinguish. For instance, Tesla tells fire crews to ONLY use water.
6) In reference to “No recycling place will take the car’s remains because of the toxic chemicals the batteries contain.”, this again is a complete lie, 96% of an electric car battery should be recyclable (especially by the time anyone actually has to fully discard of an electric car battery) so no sane person would want to simply throw usable materials away without getting some money from their raw materials, however, after a battery fire I’d imagine that process is more difficult and some companies would be extremely cautious of touching any packs so may refuse it. Further source: BMW Group To Take EV Battery Recycling Rate To 96%
7) In reference to: “Maybe we should slow down our rush to replace existing sources of power until we find a safe, sustainable alternative fuel that doesn’t cost the earth.”, I couldn’t disagree anymore, petrol and diesel vehicles are costing our wonderful NHS £6 billion each year and watching my son breathing in this poison every day is heartbreaking to say the least.