Electric-Bus Inferno In Hanover-Germany…Explosive Fire Causes “Millions In Damages”

Reposted from the NoTricksZone

By P Gosselin on 11. June 2021

Just a day before EIKE reported on burning e-vehicles in China, the electric vehicle curse struck in Hanover, Germany.

See video here.

A fire at a bus depot in Hanover caused millions of euros in damage. According to fire fighters, the fire broke out on Saturday afternoon at the Üstra transport company where electric buses were parked,

According to Üstra spokesman Udo Iwannek, the fire caused damage running in the millions. Five e-buses, two hybrids and two combustion engines were destroyed, as were also the building and the charging station.

According to the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE), Hanover’s administration wants to run only e-buses in the city center area by 2023 and is purchasing 50 new vehicles in a bid to reduce the air pollution.

E-buses have shown to catch fire very rapidly. For example, four shuttle buses in Guangxi, China, exploded into flames last month:

Scary! Four shuttle buses on a campus of Guangxi, China, bust into flames on Saturday, as intense smoke roaring upward. Luckily, injuries were reported in the incident. pic.twitter.com/worqpY6GHj

— People’s Daily, China (@PDChina) May 16, 2021

It’s really not a good idea to park e-buses close each other.

According to Jörn Künzle at Facebook:

Although fires can happen anywhere, they become critical and dangerous when e-vehicles are involved. An affected battery acts as a powerful fire accelerant due to a chain reaction and must also burn out completely, which can take as long as two days. In February, Kulmbach in Bavaria became the first German city to close underground garages to e-cars as a result.
Regardless of the many question marks behind e-mobility, the city of Hanover is pushing it by hook or by crook, and even more so under its Green mayor Belit Onay.
Numerous technical and practical problems associated with e-mobility are far from being satisfactorily solved. And anyone who is just a little bit familiar with the subject also knows that e-mobility is by no means as good as we are always led to believe, even from an environmental and “climate protection” point of view. And what’s particularly bad is that the left-wing green media are keeping quiet about the event.”

On the Kulmbach, Bavaria, e-vehicle fire, read here.

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rbabcock
June 12, 2021 6:11 am

Looks like the design of the bus depot is going to have to be rethought. Probably more like an air force base where each aircraft is put into a hardened bunker surrounded by sandbags.

They could also use the heat coming off the burning busses to boil water and make electricity.. like a cogeneration plant and stay green. Need to think outside the box here.

TEWS_Pilot
Reply to  rbabcock
June 12, 2021 7:29 am

They will also need a bus factory next door to keep resupplying the fuel for the fires, er, uh, the new replacement buses.

Alan Chapprll
Reply to  rbabcock
June 13, 2021 1:59 am

I am at 81 years old still waiting for the first political based idea that is. logical and works, politicians and ignorance. seem to work together. with ” follow the money “

Gerry, England
Reply to  rbabcock
June 14, 2021 8:26 am

Build the bus park underground and with a huge water reservoir above it. When a fire breaks out just dump the water into the bus park and come back in a week.

B Clarke
June 12, 2021 6:21 am

Scary! Four shuttle buses on a campus of Guangxi, China, bust into flames on Saturday, as intense smoke roaring upward. Luckily, injuries were reported in the incident. pic.twitter.com/worqpY6GHj

Think you missed a word there Charles = no

If they can’t fix blowing up buses three things might happen ,go back to diesel and or give every one a bike, ( thier preferred option, or electric trams, thinks steel and copper for the infrastructure.

Last edited 1 month ago by B Clarke
Archer
Reply to  B Clarke
June 12, 2021 7:44 am

That’s the wording in the original tweet.

ThinkingScientist
Reply to  Archer
June 12, 2021 9:13 am

Then put (sic) in there. That’s what it’s for.

Kpar
Reply to  Archer
June 13, 2021 6:06 am

Translations into English are often fraught.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  B Clarke
June 12, 2021 7:47 pm

A better solution would be diesel-electric, just as with the new replacement for the Route Master bus for London.

mwhite
June 12, 2021 6:34 am
Reply to  mwhite
June 12, 2021 8:45 am

Tendrils grow inside he battery and causes a short…but Elon Musk claims Tesla batteries have fixed the problem?

MarkW
Reply to  Anti_griff
June 12, 2021 9:32 am

Musk seems to be one of those people who actually believe their own hype.

ghalfrunt
Reply to  Anti_griff
June 12, 2021 11:56 am

believe that then I’ve got a hyperloop and solar roadway to sell you!

czechlist
Reply to  ghalfrunt
June 12, 2021 1:32 pm

doesn’t hyperloop require liquid helium? how much energy is required to liquify helium and where will the helium come from? Don’t we have a helium shortage? Darned kid’s birthday balloons (they should use hydrogen if they want a real bday blast) it also requires a low pressure environment. How much energy is required to lower the tubes pressure? Of course tunneling costs and materials require energy as well. I have worked with both cryogenics and vacuum systems and I don’t believe hyper loop is feasible without dilithium crystals.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  ghalfrunt
June 12, 2021 4:53 pm

Hey, where’s my Tesla Semi? And megacharger network across the US?
And fully autonomous Autopilot? And new Tesla Roadster with optional cold gas rockets?

As a matter-of-fact, where’s my Tesla Cybertruck? Oh, that’s right, it is to be manufactured/assembled exclusively at the new Gigafactory factory in Austin, Texas once that is complete.

Latest drone video update for that Gigafactory construction (which started back at end-July 2020) does not look promising for completion prior to next June . . . see June 8, 2021 video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01hdo_0f7iI

Derg
Reply to  ghalfrunt
June 12, 2021 10:47 pm

Hey it’s Ghalfrunt who wants people to drink bleach to get rid of Covid

Rainer Bensch
Reply to  Derg
June 13, 2021 1:29 am

See? It worked without harm.

Derg
Reply to  Rainer Bensch
June 13, 2021 8:19 am

Agreed Ghalfrunt is a turd of a human.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Anti_griff
June 12, 2021 7:50 pm

The only fix for that problem is to never charge them.

Stevek
June 12, 2021 6:37 am

This sentence should be fixed

“ Luckily, injuries were reported in the incident.”

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Stevek
June 12, 2021 11:11 am

It depends on where the emphasis is placed and the intended meaning. It could mean; “luckily someone reported the injuries, that happened in the incident.” Otherwise they might have gone unreported.

Just sayin’ …

Jeff Labute
June 12, 2021 6:38 am

Not a good idea to park them close together?

It seems to me it is not a good idea to park them at all 🙂

Reply to  Jeff Labute
June 12, 2021 6:50 am

The best is not to have one / them

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Jeff Labute
June 12, 2021 11:23 am

E-vehicles are best parked inside a shipping container full of water. 😀

Donald Boughton
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
June 13, 2021 2:10 am

Yes water plus Lithium that is a combination that will go well. Failed Chemistry did we?

Editor
June 12, 2021 6:59 am

E-Vehicle Fires – The New Normal

Regards,
Bob

MarkW
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
June 12, 2021 9:35 am

And what’s particularly bad is that the left-wing green media are keeping quiet about the event.

I was going to say that liberals ignoring anything that goes against the agenda du jour is also a new normal. However there is nothing new about it. They’ve been doing that for decades.

DonM
Reply to  MarkW
June 14, 2021 3:13 pm

(“Hanover’s administration wants to run only e-buses in the city center area by 2023 and is purchasing 50 new vehicles in a bid to reduce the air pollution.”)

The left wing green don’t need to keep quiet. New spin headline … The e-buses are in such demand that Hanover is now needing to purchase 56 new buses rather than the recently planned 50 buses.

Rick C
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
June 12, 2021 11:55 am

And the alarmists want 10s of millions of us to park our EVs in our garages hooked up to a charger overnight while we sleep. How big a failure rate is acceptable? 0.1%, 0.01%,0.0000001%? Show me the statistically valid failure rate test data before you ask me to buy one.

Last edited 1 month ago by Rick C
MarkW
Reply to  Rick C
June 12, 2021 12:42 pm

I wish they were merely “asking” you to buy one.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Rick C
June 13, 2021 2:45 am

Force you to buy one. FTFY.

Jay
Reply to  Rick C
June 13, 2021 7:23 am

Have to use the ‘rona death rate. Clearly that is above the PANIC! point.

DMacKenzie,
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
June 12, 2021 12:26 pm

E-Vehicle fires compared to H2-Vehicle fires should be interesting on an incidents per million vehicle basis.

Reply to  Bob Tisdale
June 12, 2021 12:58 pm

I commented last March on fires in e-vehicles.

Correction:
Not my expertise, but what about EV battery fires – apparently impossible to extinguish! So your car takes fire and burns down your house?”

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/03/07/how-many-km2-of-solar-panels-in-spain-and-how-much-battery-backup-would-it-take-to-power-germany/#comment-3207866

This video refers to Hyundai’s recall of 80,0000 Electric Vehicles due to battery problems.

Not my expertise, but what about EV battery fires – apparently impossible to extinguish! So your car takes fire and burns down your house?

In the early days, cars were kept in a separate coach house, which was distant from the residence in case the car started a fire. Is that going to be the new norm, the detached garage? Are modern lots even big enough to do this?

What are the stats on EV battery fires?

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  ALLAN MACRAE
June 13, 2021 3:48 am

When is the last time you heard about a ICE vehicle catching fire in its garage and burning down the house? I fear we are going to start hearing about a lot more E-vehicle fires and fatalities as they become a bit more common. Maybe this is what it will take for people to finally understand why E-vehicles are not the great panacea the Greens would have us believe.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
June 13, 2021 6:49 am

People should park their EV’s a safe distance from their house. Not in the garage.

Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
June 13, 2021 2:03 pm

A recent report off two occupants being burned to death in a Tesla-on-autopilot crash and fire.

https://nypost.com/2021/04/18/tesla-on-autopilot-crashes-into-tree-kills-two-people/

HAS
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
June 12, 2021 1:12 pm

I thought you were going to say E-Vehicle Fire Engines ….

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
June 12, 2021 4:30 pm

They need sloshing when they ignite!

beng135
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
June 13, 2021 10:03 am

Theme song for E-Vehicles — Burning for You. ht/ Blue Oyster Cult

https://youtu.be/ipqqEFoJPL4

Gregory Woods
June 12, 2021 7:07 am

I wonder if EV’s shouldn’t be banned from entering tunnels…..

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Gregory Woods
June 12, 2021 12:40 pm

That’s an excellent point. HAZMATs are prohibited in the tunnels on the I-95 and 895 which run under the Baltimore Harbor. I am nervous enough driving through them in the company of lots of gasoline-powered cars, but this is a different animal. You heard the explosions on that video, I trust…

czechlist
Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
June 12, 2021 1:51 pm

I managed a logistics group at an aerospace and defense company and shipped instrumentation around the world. We were required to include a MSDS with any and every shipment which had a lithium battery.We shipped a lot of instrumentation and kept a stack of Li battery MSDS. I don’t know how an MSDS mitigates any fire hazard. We could ship vehicles with lead acid batteries without an MSDS but if the vehicle had any Lithium battery…. That was over a decade ago – perhaps requirements have changed.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  czechlist
June 13, 2021 4:03 am

The USPS used to have posters at the counter describing all the items you are not allowed to mail. Along with flammable liquids and explosives were lithium batteries. Is this still the case? Even a decade ago I wondered about this as I blithely mailed a smart phone with lithium battery to a friend. The things are everywhere today, in all kinds of electronics, even toys. Are we soon to start seeing an increase in fires directly attributable to these batteries?

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
June 13, 2021 7:27 pm

I was working at FAA headquarters in 2013 (albeit in the Office of Commercial Space Transportation) when the long-suffering Boeing 787 NightmareDreamliner was grounded due to lithium battery fires in its Auxiliary Power Unit – one of the plane’s critical safety systems. Though Chief Engineer in Commercial Space, I received weekly briefings on aviation issues. This one was familiar to me; I had worked at ATK prior to going to FAA, and one of my assignments was on the Orion Launch Escape System Attitude Control Motor. The ACM used a lithium-ion battery pack power supply, one of which burned up during a test at the manufacturer’s facility in California. I was sent to oversee the failure investigation. I’ve been doing space launch failure investigations my entire career, and have never seen anything like this. There was no systematic approach, and every engineer and technician I spoke with at the time said the equivalent of “I dunno what caused it, but we’ll just change a few things until it works.”

I won’t fly until airlines do away with mask requirements. But I’ll never fly on a 787.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Gregory Woods
June 13, 2021 3:55 am

Just the other day we went through a nearly 6-kilometer tunnel in Northern Portugal. Two lanes of traffic in each direction barreling along at 100KPH+. A perfect potential for a serious accident, bad enough if confined to ICE vehicles but catastrophic if EVs are involved.

Russell Klier
June 12, 2021 7:14 am

E-buses need to practice social distancing…. About 50 feet I’d say.

Spetzer86
Reply to  Russell Klier
June 12, 2021 7:51 am

Maybe double masking would help?

Bruce Cobb
June 12, 2021 7:18 am

According to the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE), Hanover’s administration wants to run only e-buses in the city center area by 2023 and is purchasing 50 new vehicles in a bid to reduce the air pollution.

“Air pollution”. Really? Pull the other one, it’s got bells. That isn’t why, and they know it. The Greenie Menace strikes again!

Sean O'Connor
June 12, 2021 7:18 am

I was staying at my mother in law’s and the neighbour’s electric car exploded and went up in flames in the middle of the night. Luckily it was outside and not in a garage under a bedroom. A couple of fire engines turned up and sprayed water on things but had to just let it burn out

griff
June 12, 2021 7:37 am
Robert Austin
Reply to  griff
June 12, 2021 7:54 am

Griff,
Ask firefighters which type of vehicular fire they would rather fight.

Last edited 1 month ago by Robert Austin
meab
Reply to  griff
June 12, 2021 7:54 am

griff, in your example when the diesel bus caught fire they pulled the bus over and quickly extinguished the fire. When the e-bus caught fire it destroyed five e-buses, two hybrids and two combustion engines were destroyed, as were also the building and the charging station. Can you see the difference? If you can’t, reach down with both hands, grab your ears, and tug your head sharply in a downwards direction.

ghalfrunt
Reply to  meab
June 12, 2021 11:58 am

goes not say the electric bus was the cause – just that they got destroyed with other busses

Komerade Cube
Reply to  ghalfrunt
June 12, 2021 12:38 pm

Ghalfrunt == griff == CCP

Lrp
Reply to  ghalfrunt
June 12, 2021 3:36 pm

Oh! An acolyte of Nick Stokes

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  ghalfrunt
June 13, 2021 2:56 am

I didn’t think you could get any more stupid, griff. I’d support banning you, now.

DHR
Reply to  griff
June 12, 2021 8:17 am

The issue Griff, is that diesel or gasoline engines can indeed catch fire but two separate things are needed 1) a leak of the fuel and 2) a source of ignition – usually external to the engine. In battery powered vehicles no leak is needed and the ignition source is internal to the battery (an internal short circuit) and is unpredictable.

Jan de Jong
Reply to  DHR
June 12, 2021 1:58 pm

And: the oxidant is provided in the battery – no air required.

Gerard O'Dowd
Reply to  DHR
June 13, 2021 8:12 am

Given the sizeable number of electrical connections between the individual LiCobalt units that comprise a given EV battery, it would require an infinitesimally small failure rate in the soldering of connections to avoid an inevitable electrical short and an ignition event. Have there been any formal quality control inspection reports of the failure rate of soldering of the individual LiCobalt units within EV batteries published by the battery manufacturers? Is this data known? Has anyone calculate the probability of an EV battery ignition event based on the failure rate of soldering between LiCobalt units?

Drake
Reply to  griff
June 12, 2021 8:23 am

Thank you for providing an actual reference griff.

I do note that it was the second fire for an apparently very poorly run charter bus company.

Being from the Las Vegas area, we are used to hearing about tour bus crashes due to break failures, bad tires, etc. It always seems that the associated bus company has had MANY safety issues in the past, just like the company in the report you linked to.

The bus/shuttle fires referenced in this article were NEW. No chance for the owners to have to mess them up.

So incompetent maintenance, or unsafe design and materials.

The green choice will probably be: “Lets do both, buy dangerous vehicles and maintain them badly. The government is giving us LOTS of money to be GREEN.. And lets park them where we have parked our ICE vehicles FOR YEARS and have NEVER had a problem, with no regard to the change in hazard.”

What could go wrong?

And when the new lithium busses burn and destroy the structural integrity of the beams above, WE GET A NEW BUILDING, hooray!! I was tired of that old dirty building anyway. And since we will be shut down for a while, I can get paid to sit at home for a couple more months, or maybe even a year more, my China Virus vacation extended, what splendid timing!!

I always try to look on the bright side.

Drake

TEWS_Pilot
Reply to  griff
June 12, 2021 8:37 am

Now calculate the percent of the total number of ICE vehicles that spontaneously catch fire vs. the percent of EVs that catch fire or have already caught fire, and consider how long ICE vehicles have been around vs. EVs. ICE vehicle fires are usually the result of poor maintenance or human error. EVs catch fire with nobody around or simply driving down the road.

2hotel9
Reply to  griff
June 12, 2021 8:39 am

You can put out an ICE vehicle fire with a dry chem fire extinguisher. How do you put out an EV on fire? Let it burn.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  2hotel9
June 12, 2021 9:37 am

I believe you can put out an EV fire with CO2! (not sure but I think I read that somewhere)

MarkW
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 12, 2021 10:51 am

The problem with an EV fire is that all the energy needed to drive the fire is coming from the battery. With conventional fires, if you separate the fuel from the oxygen, you can put it out.
With EV fires, the only way to put the out is take the energy out, faster than the fire is releasing it.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 12, 2021 11:27 am

Yeah probably only takes a dozen tanker truck loads to do it – but only if you can trap it in a confined space. Oh wait!

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 12, 2021 1:45 pm

Ignition and combustion of metals in a carbon dioxide stream – ScienceDirect

Li and Mg could ignite spontaneously in the CO2 stream.”

Antonym
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 13, 2021 5:05 am

Extinguising an EV fire with CO2 would defy the purpose for which is was promoted – anti anthropocentric CO2. Green water should be used for green vehicles.

2hotel9
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 15, 2021 7:17 am

CO2 is a magic gas, it can’t do that though.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  griff
June 12, 2021 9:12 am

There are things in this world called ‘Insurance Scams’

There is in fact, wonder if was/is some sort of omen or premonition, barely 200 yards from my cottage, a sizable ‘wood recycling factory’
They bring on old wood from demolitions, old furniture and office fitments, pallets etc etc.

Initially it is put into a mile-high pile sitting outside then goes through some sort of munching machine that creates a second mile-high pile, also outside and next to the first pile.
At some point it goes into a very large building and plastic-wrapped bales of animal bedding come out.
They are then stacked into a mile-high pile.

During lockdown, things have been quiet ish, but the pile of plastic wrapped bales is now truly Himalayan in height and extent.
Patently the market for wood shavings and sawdust has evaporated.

Thus this morning, from about 06:00, a gentle pall of stinking smoke (the smell of burning MDF or laminate) covered my house and all the surrounding fields.
All day, a gentle stream of fire engines, each chock full of mask-wearing yet obviously very cheerful/happy firemen came and went – and now 11 hours later, continue to come and go.
The gentle yet all engulfing pall of smoke is exactly the same size as it was this morning

Someone here said about ‘Tendrils’ growing in the batteries.
I think the word is ‘Whiskers’ and they only apply to NiCd batteries.
(Briefly connecting an affected battery across a welder usually repairs them. Seriously – the big blast of amps blows away the whiskers and said recalcitrant battery comes back as good-as-new.)

Lithium batteries are affected by ‘Plating’ = where the Lithium ions cannot get through the membrane separator fast enough in very high or rapid-charge situations.
So the membrane blocks up and the internal resistance of the battery skyrockets, meaning all the energy you’re pushing in trying to charge it, gets turned into heat instead of ‘charge’

The thing has nowhere to go but Up In Smoke.

Like my recycling factory, next door, right now, all day and into the night by the looks of it

Last edited 1 month ago by Peta of Newark
Robert MacLellan
Reply to  Peta of Newark
June 12, 2021 9:49 am

Ahhh, spontaneous combustion of improperly stored biomass. Building and maintaining such piles is an art but a couple of rules of thumb are keep them under 35′, maybe 70′ if they are loose-even-sized chips, monitor moisture content, insert temperature probes, profile the piles carefully to avoid sharp edges which create a chimney effect, and most importantly Do Not Leave Them Unattended For A Long Time.
Fighting a fire in such piles can easily be a multi-day effort since the hot spots are protected by the overburden redirecting the water. The best way is to remove the unburned material from the area with heavy equipment, also an art.

Jit
Reply to  Peta of Newark
June 12, 2021 11:28 am

Try typing “recycling centre fire” into your search engine of choice. The number of fires at such places boggles the mind. Usually they involve the production of copious amounts of noxious black smoke.

Doug Huffman
Reply to  Peta of Newark
June 12, 2021 3:00 pm

Sawdust and swarf piles burn for years. My old BSA camp was on the site of an old sawmill with a mountain of sawdust that spontaneously combusted deep and may yet be burning. To uncover the combustion adds oxygen, sometimes disasterously.

John Bell
Reply to  griff
June 12, 2021 9:17 am

Griff, get real, look at how much fossil fuel you use each day, when will you live like the Amish? When your policies are enforced.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  griff
June 12, 2021 9:21 am

Hi, griff. The wrong end of the stick, as usual. Don’t you get bored of being so fick?

Graemethecat
Reply to  griff
June 12, 2021 9:31 am

Just when we thought Griff couldn’t get any dumber, he does just that.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
June 12, 2021 9:38 am

Yes they do catch fire, but no where near as frequently as do electric vehicles.
Beyond that, fossil fuel fires can be put out. Once an electric starts burning, the only thing that can be done is to try and isolate it until it burns out.

Rich Lambert
Reply to  griff
June 12, 2021 10:23 am

Many of the fossil fuel vehicle fires are caused by the electrical system. Several years ago I helped a lady whose car caught on fire. I used a fire extinguisher, but the fire kept reigniting until I was able to disconnect the battery. Additionally I’ve investigated quite a few fires caused by the electrical system.

Forrest Gardener
Reply to  griff
June 12, 2021 6:10 pm

May I make a humble suggestion. Don’t respond to trolls. Don’t down vote them. Just ignore and move on. Now where is the blocking function on this web site to remove the clutter?

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  griff
June 13, 2021 4:43 am

Most vehicle fires are caused by friction from moving parts rubbing together when they shouldn’t, due to poor maintenance. They have nothing to do with the fuel or engine type.

David Dibbell
June 12, 2021 7:39 am

Yikes! There is a push to electrify short-haul commercial air travel too. Sketchy proposition.

Mark Kaiser
Reply to  David Dibbell
June 12, 2021 5:18 pm

David, not a problem if all the passengers and crew are required to where a parachute while in flight.

TEWS_Pilot
June 12, 2021 7:39 am

comment image

Earthling2
Reply to  TEWS_Pilot
June 12, 2021 11:37 am

It’s even being admitted on the Bloomberg Business channel that EV’s have no advantage on saving CO2 (carbon) as compared to ICE vehicles for the entire life cycle of the car(s), and may even be worse if the electricity is created with coal for EV’s. And that’s before accounting of recycling the battery. The only advantage that EV’s may have is reducing local air pollution/ozone in the dense city core of a large city. Although new cars are pretty clean for their exhaust in the West.

Asia/Africa is a different story with all the 2 stroke motorized ‘rickshaws’ of one variety or another or even old poorly maintained 4 cycle engines in everything from motorbike trikes to Jeepney’s, such as in Philippines. Can’t even breath there from the carbon monoxide and pollutants from 50 year old diesels puffing like black smokers.

Doc Chuck
Reply to  Earthling2
June 12, 2021 3:04 pm

Our southern Calif. county has converted from diesel to natural gas (compressed in tankage atop the bus) internal combustion in municipal bus engines, avoiding the former visible diesel particulate exhaust stream upon acceleration.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  TEWS_Pilot
June 12, 2021 7:55 pm

That’s a great image and very true.

Redge
Reply to  TEWS_Pilot
June 12, 2021 10:36 pm

I would have had the EV towing a mine full of bedraggled children

Bob Hoye
June 12, 2021 7:43 am

Crazy to have battery powered buses.
When city buses have been powered by overhead wires since around 1945..
Why batteries?
Can anyone explain this?

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Bob Hoye
June 12, 2021 8:17 am

Virtue signalling of course

Drake
Reply to  Bob Hoye
June 12, 2021 8:28 am

No money to be made by the politically connected crony capitalists by continuing to use proven (old) efficient technology.

This is a rare case where, IMHO, “capitalism” is acceptable since “crony capitalism” IS NOT Free Enterprise.

MarkW
Reply to  Drake
June 12, 2021 9:45 am

Crony capitalism is where government takes money from those who work and uses it to promote projects that end up enriching politicians and their friends and relatives

Where’s the capitalism in that?
Sounds more like socialism to me.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Drake
June 12, 2021 12:42 pm

It really isn’t “capitalism” vs. socialism. It’s socialism vs. the free market. If the government is directing it, it likely isn’t capitalism. State Capitalism … is another flavour of socialism that doesn’t work.

John Endicott
Reply to  Rory Forbes
June 14, 2021 3:10 am

There really isn’t any flavor of socialism that works over the long-term. But hey, this time will be different (which is what they said last time, and the time before that and so on)

Stephen Goldstein
Reply to  Bob Hoye
June 12, 2021 6:27 pm

We called them trolley buses. Great! Quiet. No exhaust small.

But not without their problems . . . . Remember, the bus can only travel where the overhead wires have previously been installed. Want to change the route? You’re going to have to relocate the overhead wires.

Street closed due to any problem — no bus service. Car hits a pole and takes down the overhead wire — no bus service.

HTH

Redge
Reply to  Stephen Goldstein
June 12, 2021 10:38 pm

Probably better than an EV bus catching fire and destroying whole neighbourhoods

Malcolm Chapman
Reply to  Stephen Goldstein
June 13, 2021 4:14 am

Trolley buses, that’s right; they made splendid noises and sparks on a winter night – the meeting of electricity and some kind of frozen water up on the wires, perhaps? Very atmospheric, for a child.

Owen
June 12, 2021 7:54 am

“ Belit Onay” definitely not a heritage German name.

Reply to  Owen
June 12, 2021 8:35 am

He has also the Turkish nationality, born in Germany
Early Social Democrat Party member, changed later to the Christ Democrats and endet than as a Green politician.

Last edited 1 month ago by Krishna Gans
Rory Forbes
Reply to  Krishna Gans
June 12, 2021 12:44 pm

Basically just a watermelon … a modern variety of Marxist.

MarkW
Reply to  Owen
June 12, 2021 9:46 am

Day in, day out, I’m constantly hearing names that are not English in origin.
We’re all still Americans.

Komerade Cube
Reply to  MarkW
June 12, 2021 12:44 pm

Well, in this case German

2hotel9
June 12, 2021 8:44 am

Well, look on the bright side, bubby, when it is all said and done they will have a nice, new bus garage! And when it burns down in less than a year they will get yet another new bus garage,,and so on and so forth till someone wakes the f**k up and stops this moronic crap.

John Endicott
Reply to  2hotel9
June 14, 2021 3:13 am

Listen, lad. I built this kingdom up from nothing. When I started here, all there was was swamp. Other kings said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built it all the same, just to show ’em. It sank into the swamp. So, I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So, I built a third one. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp, but the fourth one… stayed up! And that’s what you’re gonna get, lad: the strongest castle in these islands.

Gary Remington
Reply to  John Endicott
June 14, 2021 8:56 pm

But Father, I don’t want any of that. I’d rather sing!

markl
June 12, 2021 8:47 am

There’s available chemicals for LiIon fire suppression and the sooner fire departments and public fire extinguishers start carrying it the better.

ThinkingScientist
Reply to  markl
June 12, 2021 9:17 am

The sooner we stop the lunacy of switching to battery vehicles the better (and cheaper) it will be.

Ed MacAulay
Reply to  markl
June 12, 2021 9:30 am

And what might be the cost to equip and use these alternate chemicals? Are they sustainable?
What is their shelf life?

markl
Reply to  Ed MacAulay
June 12, 2021 1:37 pm

Cheaper than letting it destroy everything. 15 years. Sustainable? Are you joking?

MarkW
Reply to  markl
June 12, 2021 9:48 am

Yet another cost that is being foisted on the rest of the world because a bunch of people want to show off how woke they are.

Disputin
Reply to  markl
June 12, 2021 9:49 am

So, Mark, you say there are available chemicals for LiIon fire suppression, but you don’t say anything about which or what. Do us a favour and give more details.

markl
Reply to  Disputin
June 12, 2021 1:33 pm

F500 Encapsulator Agent Already in use. Look it up.

MarkW
Reply to  markl
June 12, 2021 7:23 pm

Not only the cost of the material, but you’ve also got to buy the equipment to deploy it.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Disputin
June 12, 2021 6:14 pm

http://f500ea.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/SDS-F500-XXX-INT-ENG-Rev-A.pdf

Not the scariest SDS/MSDS I have ever read, but I would stand downwind of the stuff.

Of interest is that you need to dilute it to 0.25% in order to dispose of the product, which if my fingers and toes don’t deceive me, is 400 to 1.

Seems like a LOT of water.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  markl
June 12, 2021 11:34 am

Only problem is you’d need a trainload of it to actually put out an EV fire, and even that basically won’t do it because you can’t keep the fire fighting chemicals from dissipating in an open space, which will therefore keep allowing the fire to reignite.

markl
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
June 12, 2021 1:34 pm

You sure say a lot about it for not knowing what it is, how it’s applied, nor how it works.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  markl
June 12, 2021 6:18 pm

From the SDS:

Product is a firefighting extinguishing agent. Product is a nonflammable liquid; however, exposure of concentrate to high heat for extended period could cause combustion.

Draw own conclusions.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  markl
June 12, 2021 12:48 pm

There is a much better way … stop putting lipstick on a pig and continue using the technology that actually works every time. When they’ve finally sorted out the “full package” needed for EV, then they can make the switch.

markl
Reply to  Rory Forbes
June 12, 2021 1:35 pm

So do away with cell phones, laptops, or anything that uses LiIon batteries?

Rory Forbes
Reply to  markl
June 12, 2021 2:45 pm

You’re throwing the baby out with the bathwater … an irrational response. The applications you mentioned are what such batteries are good for. The point is; cars, buses and trucks are not one of the appropriate uses for Lithium ion batteries. Converting to fully electric is a pointless fad that only the rich can afford, usually to virtue signal.

Doc Chuck
Reply to  Rory Forbes
June 12, 2021 9:53 pm

Many of those semaphores signaling virtue that elites are madly waving about are either the present diversion of your taxes and fees or the inflationary results of printing the money to chase new goods with, becoming the ever greater unfunded indebtedness that falls into the laps of our progeny to fondly remember us by when in due time the urgent driving meme collapses for all to see.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Doc Chuck
June 12, 2021 10:37 pm

If you add their mounting education debt to the massive federal and state debts, our children’s generation will be the most debt ridden humans ever to walk on the planet. They’re going to get stuck with Weimar type hyperinflation at the rate the Democrats are printing money.

MarkW
Reply to  markl
June 12, 2021 7:25 pm

If cell phone batteries weighed as much as car batteries, you would have a point. Otherwise you are just throwing out random arguments in hopes that something sticks.

Redge
Reply to  markl
June 12, 2021 10:44 pm

If there really was a climate emergency shouldn’t the advocates have done away with anything that uses or is manufactured using fossil fuels?

It’s the same with population, if there is a population crisis, don’t have kids.

Lead by example.

Wally
Reply to  markl
June 12, 2021 6:24 pm

Hello Markl

Yes there are chemical suppression agents for lithium battery fires. They work on small batteries, and the suppression agent is horrifically expensive. I’m well aware of this as we have done some lithium battery work in my business. A single use dispenser for a battery around 4x the size used in laptops had a cost of well over US$2000.

I think when it comes to the larger batteries used in cars and buses, the practicality and expense make this material rather impractical.

See later comment as well.

markl
Reply to  Wally
June 13, 2021 10:20 am

Hi Wally – I would prefer the batteries not combust at all but reality sets in with the quantities we’re looking at. Anyone thinking the answer is to just stop making/selling them is naive. Many fire trucks already have the equipment to add chemicals to the hose. It’s not new as with some fires foam works better. There’s also a small and simple end of hose attachment for delivery that works well with car fires. Not sure where you’re getting your cost information but single use dispensers aren’t what I’m talking about, although in certain situations (airports, planes) would be preferable. No, I’m not shilling for them, I’m just tired of all the whining about LiIon fires when there’s an available solution 🙂

John Endicott
Reply to  markl
June 15, 2021 2:38 am

Yes there is a solution – not switching to them. There’s no need, we already have a viable transportation vehicle design that doesn’t have that particular problem (of spontaneously combust fires that are impossible to put out by normal means). That’s not naivety, it’s a simple matter of physics and reality. When you can invent an alternative that doesn’t cause more problems than the current one and doesn’t require subsidies or mandates to sell, then and only then should switching be a consideration. Build a better car and people will *want* to buy it without being bribed (subsidies) or forced (mandates) to do so.

Alan
June 12, 2021 8:56 am

At least those buses weren’t full of people. Nine vehicles destroyed. I wonder how much pollution those fires put out, as compared to how much pollution gas buses would put out over their normal lifetime?

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Alan
June 13, 2021 2:53 am

Modern gas (petrol) buses put out pollution? Really? You put out more pollution by spilling fuel when filling up.

John Bell
June 12, 2021 9:05 am

Maybe green leftists think that batteries produce infinite free clean energy. I moved from Ohio to Michigan 17 years ago to work 5 years on a hydraulic hybrid UPS delivery truck, it never took off, not did hydraulic hybrid refuse trucks (Parker runwise) I know of none in use today, too expensive.

YallaYPoora Kid
Reply to  John Bell
June 12, 2021 10:51 pm

Hydraulic as drive mechanism is a danger via leakage/spillage as a pollutant to the environment although of course it has its uses in specialist areas as well.

Smart Rock
June 12, 2021 9:22 am

Battery operated city buses seem like an expensive solution to a non-problem. What ever happened to trolleybuses and trams? Any vehicle operating on a fixed route can be powered by electricity from overhead wires.

Using batteries to get power from the electric grid to the wheels of a vehicle is wasteful of resources to make the batteries, and wasteful of energy due to losses in the charging-discharging cycle, plus the extra energy needed to carry the weight of the battery. Fully battery-electric vehicles only make “sense” if they need to go anywhere, e.g. private cars, taxis etc.

The argument is maybe even stronger for trains, which is why logical thought seems to have gone totally “off the rails” in my former home:

https://www.scotsman.com/news/transport/battery-train-make-debut-scotland-568654

MarkW
Reply to  Smart Rock
June 12, 2021 9:50 am

I have read about trolleys that include a small battery, to power the vehicle while it is switching from one set of wires to another.

Alba
Reply to  Smart Rock
June 12, 2021 1:56 pm

That battery-powered train came up to Scotland in October 2018. That’s more than two years ago. If it had been any good we surely would have seen its use on Scotland’s rail network by now. So I did an internet search and all I could find were articles saying that it could do this and it could do that.

Will-i Love
June 12, 2021 10:11 am

Install fire suppression equipment in the electric buggies

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Will-i Love
June 12, 2021 12:52 pm

Why go to all that expense when a perfectly good ICE vehicle will do the job? Let’s wait until EVs are actually needed and the technology is available for the complete package.

willem post
June 12, 2021 10:33 am

ELECTRIC SCHOOL BUS SYSTEMS NOT COST-EFFECTIVE IN NEW ENGLAND AND CANADA
https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/electric-bus-systems-likely-not-cost-effective-in-vermont-at

EXCERPT

Charging Electric Buses
 
Normal Operation at 32F and below: On cold/freezing days, an electric bus battery would use its own energy to heat itself, as needed, during parking and driving.
 
Charging at 32F and below: No charging of Li-ion batteries is permitted, unless at an extremely low current
 
Power Failure at 32F and below
On cold/freezing days, a multi-hour power failure could occur
Partially full batteries, connected to dead chargers, could empty themselves to prevent freezing.
Batteries would be irreversibly damaged, if power were restored, and charging would occur at -32F and below, unless at an extremely low current
As an alternative, buses could be towed to a warm garage, then charged.
Emergency diesel power facilities may be required, if a prolonged power outage.
See URLs.

https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/263036/why-charging-li-ion-batteries-in-cold-temperatures-would-harm-them
https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/charging_at_high_and_low_temperatures
 
NOTE:
– Batteries have miscellaneous losses to provide electricity to operate various systems, similar to Tesla and other EVs  
– On cold/freezing days, an electric bus should be ready for service as soon as the driver enters the bus; cold children are waiting at pick up points
– On cold/freezing days, the driver would need at least 70% charge for his morning round, because travel would require more energy per mile; no one should risk having an electric bus run out of juice, with a busload of children, on cold/freezing days.

NOTE
If the battery temperature is less than 40F or more than 115F, it will use more kWh/mile
The higher efficiency range, charging and discharging, is 60F to 80F. 
Batteries have greater internal resistance at lower temperatures. 
Pro-bus folks often point to California regarding electric buses, but in New England, using electric buses to transport children would be a whole new ballgame, especially on colder days. See URLs
 
NOTE: Where would the electricity come from to charge and protect from cold, expensive batteries during extended electricity outages, due to multi-day, hot and cold weather events, with minimal wind and sun, as occur in California, Texas and New England?
Emergency standby diesel-generators? Emergency standby batteries?
 
https://www.wired.com/story/electric-cars-cold-weather-tips/
https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1127610_keep-your-parked-electric-car-and-its-battery-healthy-with-these-simple-tips
 

Rich Lentz
Reply to  willem post
June 12, 2021 5:22 pm

Which basically means these busses would need to be parked in a Heated AND Air Conditions building, OR, the batteries/battery compartment be heated cooled. The bus yard for our school district is about half the size of the typical College Football Stadium parking lot. Exercise: how much would that building cost. Extra points, How much would heating and cooling it cost? Seems to me that even in the southern areas you would be strapped with massive cooling costs.

I also know, from personal experience, that these temperature limits must be followed. While locked down from COVID I had forgotten that one of my LiIon powered hand drills was in my car, in the garage that had at least two dozen days with temperatures well below -20 degrees F. When needing a drill for a home repair I found it there in the car. Needless to say it was dead. Not a single charge status light lit up. Plugging it in the charger gave me the “Defective” battery warning.

willem post
June 12, 2021 10:41 am

It is highly likely the bus batteries were charged at 32F or less during winter, which is an absolute no, no for LI-ion batteries.

That means IRREVERSIBLE damage was done to the batteries.
That damage includes growth of dendrites that can short circuit cells.
A fire can break out at any time.

If below 32F, tow the buses to a warm garage, THEN charge them AFTER they are warmed up.

All you EV folks out there, please take note, so you will not be surprised.

MarkW
Reply to  willem post
June 12, 2021 11:06 am

Could you build an electric heater for the batteries, and have the charging circuit first power the heater until the battery is warm enough, then start to switch some of the energy from the heater to battery charging?

Of course that’s extra cost and weight, but what the heck, it’s not like they are spending their own money.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  MarkW
June 12, 2021 1:00 pm

That’s what we had, in the bush, for diesel yarders, years ago. This was so we could get the things started in the winter.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Rory Forbes
June 13, 2021 5:02 am

I worked at a truck terminal on weekends long before the “energy crisis”. The diesel engines were left running (very low RPM) over the weekend so they didn’t have to wheel out the battery cart to start each one, which was especially bad in the winter.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Trying to Play Nice
June 13, 2021 10:09 am

There was no way we could safely leave the yarders running 10 miles out in the bush. It was a good thing the BC coast doesn’t get very cold.

Earthling2
Reply to  MarkW
June 12, 2021 1:18 pm

This is how my 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Plug In Hybrid works. It has both A/C and heating elements (liquid cooled/heat) built into the battery compartment under the back seat and in the underbody of the vehicle where the batteries are. It works best if plugged in from shore power, but also works off the main traction battery stand alone until the battery voltages drops and then the hybrid 2.5 L Atkinson cycle ICE kicks in automatically and supplies both charging for the main battery and thermal heat from the gas engine if heating required in cold weather. Have to enable the auto engine start in case you park inside an attached garage to your house, so as the CO doesn’t do everyone in. I see a lawsuit coming for some of the auto features such as auto engine start, and gases everyone in the house.

Willem Post
Reply to  MarkW
June 12, 2021 2:33 pm

EV batteries do have heating and cooling systems, usually heat pump driven. The electricity would be from the charge in the battery, when on the road, under normal circumstances.

However, if you parked it at an airport, etc., on a freezing day, and need to charge, you may drive to a charger, but DO NOT PLUG IT IN.

First you have the heat up the battery with whatever heat is available.

Call a Tesla road repair van. It will have a heater, etc.

It likely would take at least an hour to heat the battery above freezing, say 35F, THEN you could plug for charging.

NEVER, NEVER CHARGE AN EV AT 32F or below.

If you do, you will irreversibly damage the battery, because the lithium ions plated on the anode will be there forever. Your range will be mostly gone.

Rich Lentz
Reply to  Willem Post
June 12, 2021 5:07 pm

Similar warnings are on every LiIon hand tool battery.

Tom Foley
Reply to  willem post
June 12, 2021 1:45 pm

That might be the case for the buses in Hanover, where winters do get cold, but it’s not an explanation for the bus fire in Guanxi. Guanxi is subtropical at 25 degrees latitude, the same as Miami, Florida, and winter temperatures rarely hit freezing point or even near that. The risk of EV battery fires may be worse in colder regions, but it is an inherent risk everywhere.

Last edited 1 month ago by Tom Foley
willem post
June 12, 2021 10:51 am

The cost of electric buses is OFF-THE-CHARTS more expensive than IC buses.

$750,000 – $1,000,000 per mass-transit bus, plus high-speed charging systems.
standard diesel mass-transit bus costs $380,000 – $420,000

$330,000 – $375,000, per school bus, plus high-speed charging systems.
A standard diesel/gasoline school bus costs about $100,000
https://atlaspolicy.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Electric-Buses-a

Jit
Reply to  willem post
June 12, 2021 11:35 am

A recent example from the UK:

First Bus currently operates 337 buses out of its largest depot with another four sites across Glasgow.

The new buses will be built by Alexander Dennis at its manufacturing sites in Falkirk and Scarborough.

The transition requires a £35.6m investment by First with electric buses costing almost double the £225,000 bill for a single decker running on diesel.

Their sums don’t seem to add up! https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-57352972
Mind you, I don’t think they will be Li-ion so perhaps the fire risk will be lower.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Jit
June 12, 2021 1:10 pm

The entire equation doesn’t work. In order to reduce the CO2 from diesel engines, they must produce more electricity from either fossil fuels or “renewables” which require even more wasted materials and energy. It’s a whole daisy chain of waste just to reduce CO2 in the end user. Overall, it increases CO2 output.

Only a socialist green moron could conceive of such madness. It is rather like China’s “great leap forward” producing “the people’s (low grade) steel” in village retorts out of “scrap” high grade steel. The steel wasn’t good for anything and they had scrapped otherwise useful steel equipment, in their zeal. Central planning rarely works.

ResourceGuy
Reply to  Rory Forbes
June 13, 2021 6:18 am

And the greater economy will have to work overtime with emissions to pay for it or get poorer in response.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Jit
June 13, 2021 7:26 am

The crazy thing, given the topic of this blog, is that they plan to install 160 charging points at their Glasgow depot and the Scottish Government has given a commitment to electrify half of Scotland’s bus fleet in the next two years. That’s 2000 buses!

ResourceGuy
June 12, 2021 11:07 am

Just what we needed, rolling superfund hazard sites pushed by EPA, CARB, and paid for by Uncle Joe.

Tom in Florida
June 12, 2021 11:12 am

Ironic, the battery powered vehicles idea is going up in smoke right before our eyes.

ResourceGuy
June 12, 2021 12:31 pm

In upside down world that means many thousands if EV bus orders for cities and school districts with borrowed money. Go for it.

June 12, 2021 12:41 pm

Here’s the more scary Guangxi fire with people making a panicked exit

https://youtu.be/-5aNdqZWphY

Notice that fire extinguishers are ineffective.

Kit P
Reply to  Hatter Eggburn
June 12, 2021 3:00 pm

What kind of idiots drive by a burning vehicle?

B Clarke
Reply to  Hatter Eggburn
June 12, 2021 3:38 pm

That was sardines on toast, just how many people can they get on a bus.

June 12, 2021 1:01 pm

I never heard about this one from Beijing 2017

Beijing EV Bus Charging Station Fire Part 1 – YouTube

June 12, 2021 1:01 pm

What’s wrong with trolleybusses?

They’ve run reliably and much more cheaply for a century.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolleybus

I rode on them many times in Russia and Belarus without any problems at all (except once being caught without a ticket).

Steve Richards
June 12, 2021 2:08 pm

You have to stand up wind of these types of toxic fires. Very nasty fumes.

Kit P
June 12, 2021 3:16 pm

There is an important lesson here. If something is on fire get away from it.

The mantra for those of us that have recreational vehicles nis that you have less than 2 minutes to get out and safely away.

It is just property, let it burn.

There are many causes of vehicle fires, unless you know the root cause all you are contributing is your p

Kit P
Reply to  Kit P
June 12, 2021 3:41 pm

(from above) is your political agenda.

My first motorhome has a gas engine in front and my current is a diesel pusher. With engine in back, an engine fire would not be noticed until there was sufficient smoke to be seen in the rearview mirrors. Same with overheating brakes catching tires on fire.

I have 4 large golf cart batteries powering a 12v dc system and an inverter for a 120vac. Lots of opportunity for a small fire to become a large one .

I have watched videos of RV fires. Fully engulfed in two minutes. Relief valve on the 30 gallon propane tank popping off at 4 minutes.

The point here it does not matter how the fire started or how you store energy.

Some claim fire suppression systems are cheap insurance. Since those systems are more expensive, than the cheap insurance I have; I am skeptical

Eric Stevens
June 12, 2021 4:52 pm

What I found particularly scary was how fast the fire spread. I hate to think of what would have happened onboard if this had been a fully loaded bus trundling down the road at speed. There would have been many deaths.

Rich Lentz
June 12, 2021 4:59 pm

Federal regulations in the US still require a hazard warning on any package that contains lithium ion batteries to have a warning large warning label and advising that they can not be shipped by air.
I personally know a hot air balloonist (who has a PE in EE) whose hobby was to set Height and Distance records that nearly lost his life.
He was concerned about the stories of laptops and Cellphone catching on fire so he purposely purchased LiIon batteries that were built for government use to very stringent government specifications on operable temperature range, amperage, use at high elevations, etc. for use with hi communications and GPS equipment. Even after taking all of these precautions, the second time he used it it caught on fire at about 10,000 feet. IMHO, These batterers are still not ready for prime time.

jtom
June 12, 2021 5:02 pm

Just a little OT, but part of the overall fire hazard of the Green New World:
https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2021/06/09/accidental-roof-fire-solar-panel-system/

Wonder if Amazon will have a fire sale?

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  jtom
June 14, 2021 5:55 am

PV system fires can be caused by improper grounding; the fires are very different from AC power systems because the DC current does not fall to zero twice per cycle. I have seen pictures where the burning propagates along the string wiring.

tmatsi
June 12, 2021 7:01 pm

Might be a lot cheaper and reliable to install trolley buses because these do not need batteries. But I hear you cry “These need electricity generated from fossil fuels” and I reply “Where does the energy to recharge batteries come from?”

Wally
June 12, 2021 7:04 pm

A little technical information for you.

ALL (re)chargeable batteries use / have a chemical reaction in order to store power: the electricity used to charge is converted into chemical energy, and that conversion is never going to be 100% efficient. The energy going in that can’t be converted to chemical storage is turned into heat (this according to physics: the conversation of energy: what goes in must all go somewhere, and what’s not used for the intended process goes into something else and in almost everything, that is heat).

ALL (re)chargeable batteries also use / have a chemical reaction to extract the power. The chemical energy is converted back to electricity, and this process is also not 100% efficient. Therefore when discharging to extra power, some of the stored chemical energy is converted to heat.

These phenomena are easily measured, for example using a thermal camera, on batteries of any kind when they are being charged or discharged.

What matters with batteries is to ensure that the heating is kept within acceptable limits, because ALL (re)chargeable batteries have this thing called thermal runaway.

NOW, given the physics is understood due to the universe and materials being imperfect, the next thing to understand about all batteries is:

  • They store energy
  • That energy wants to go somewhere (this again, being entropy: laws of physics, which you can’t legislate out of existence)
  • Thermal runaway is a part of how batteries are.

Thermal runaway is what makes all batteries dangerous. This includes your old fashioned NiCd as well as the more modern Lithium.

To quality that: Some battery types are so robust that in practice you will never see this be an issue (for example, Lithium Ferro Phosphate); however they are not used in vehicle applications because their energy storage density is low.

High energy density = more storage in a given physical size, compared to a battery of a lower density. Nobody wants massive batteries, with their volume and weight, when smaller does the job more effectively.

The trade off is that high density is more prone to thermal runaway as well as other things like physical fragility.

The effect of thermal runaway is like a chain reaction:

  • Something happens to make a cell get hot (a battery being a collection of many cells) – this might be physical damage, charging too fast, environmental effects, manufacturing defect, or something else.
  • Discharging a battery too fast can equally cause a cell to get hot (recall from above: extracting energy is not 100% efficient, so cells get hot during discharge).
  • When the cell gets hot, and provided the fault condition is not removed, it continues getting hotter.
  • Once a threshold is reached, the cell suffers internal structure damage, and at that point the situation can’t be reversed: the cell continues to get hotter, the energy in the cell is being turned into heat. Eventually that heat causes case rupture, and so on.
  • A hot cell heats up the cells next to it.
  • The cells next to the one with the heating problem also begin heating, and once they reach that critical temperature they too have the same problem: even if they don’t have a fault inside of themselves and even if they are not being charged or discharged.
  • The cells next to the one that began the trouble go the same way, and the problem spreads, and as every cell has many cells nearby, this is not a linear speed in the spread, it’s exponential (1 causes many, and many cause many many more).
  • Once started the process can’t be stopped.

An energetic battery fire, once started, is pretty much all over in a matter of minutes.

The danger temperature is one deep inside the cell, not on the outside, and once exceeded it is like a tipping point: there is no return.

The reason these fires are so hard to put out is: you need to do 2 things to stop these kinds of fires:

  • Remove the fuel source; and
  • Remove the source of heat.

And the trouble is – the cells of the battery are BOTH the fuel source, and the source of heat. Removing both is very very difficult.

The modern suppression agents help a little, for small fires involving few cells.

For large fires, with hundreds or thousands of cells, in a battery bank under vehicle seats or floors, the difficulties associated with using any suppression system or modern material is the amount of suppression agent needed (and its prohibitive cost), and access in a timely manner to the place where the cells are located .

This all fits into the category of vexing problems. To some degree the issues can be managed using a lot of very good monitoring circuitry and having fail-safe systems shut off charge / discharge if temperatures get too high. Fundamentally, rechargable batteries are dangerous things and wishful thinking does not make them less dangerous.

I would never have a Lithium battery power wall or similar storage product mounted on my house, and never ever ever on an interior wall, not even in a garage. It’s only a matter of time before houses are destroyed by these things going up in flames.

As far as transport vehicles go – it would seem to be very early days. Perhaps one day the technology will improve.

Recall those photos of things like the Tesla giant battery farm built in South Australia? Now you know why there are many small huts, separate from each other.

Patrick MJD
June 12, 2021 7:48 pm

I think Wellington in New Zealand replaced their fleet of electric trolley busses, which were great BTW, with e-busses and were a complete failure IIRC.

Clyde
June 12, 2021 9:46 pm

Heh… I’ve been perturbing to no end a climate kook over on CFACT who was bragging about his Tesla… claimed it was “over 90% efficient!”.

Except Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and DOE show that the efficiency of the US grid system is 34.83%:
comment image

… the Tesla charger is rated at 92% efficiency at 240 V / 24 A and 94% efficiency at 240 V / 40A or 80A, the Tesla battery has a maximum efficiency (energy in:energy out) of 90% and minimum of 80% (dependent upon age and use), and the Tesla vehicle has an overall drivetrain efficiency of 93%.

That gives a ‘fuel to wheels’ efficiency of:
100 * .3483 * 0.94 * 0.9 * 0.93 = 27.1088856% “fuel to wheels” efficiency, which is comparable to an ICE-powered vehicle.

So when charging his 100 kWh battery, assuming charging from 50%, he’s burning 184.4414 kWh worth of fuel, assuming maximum efficiency all along the line.

Now, he lives in Illinois, where 27.3% of electricity is generated by coal-fired plants, meaning that 50.3525 kWh worth of his energy is coming from coal… he’s essentially driving a 100% coal-powered car, and burning an additional 134.0889 kWh worth of fuel from other sources just for the fun of it.

He hates it. LOL

That, combined with my warning him not to park his vehicle in the garage or charge it in the garage, while showing him story after story after story of vehicles that have burst into violent flames in a matter of seconds (just as we saw for those buses), burning the structure as well… well, it’s got him feeling blue and more than a little paranoid about his coal-powered fire trap vehicle. LOL

Last edited 1 month ago by Clyde
Willem Post
Reply to  Clyde
June 13, 2021 7:07 am

Nice analysis

On the same A-to-Z basis, IC vehicles are about 20% efficient

You have to go from oil well to wheel, or from coal mine to wheel, or from forest to wheel, etc

Regarding EVs, for moderate climates, about 17 to 18 percent is lost due to charging the batteries, and running various ON BOARD systems at the same time.

For cold climates, charging is slower, less efficient and ON BOARD uses more.

If you want long battery life with minimal degradation, operate between 20% charge and 80% charge at all times; it is most efficient. Use a regular IC car for long trips.

Vincent Causey
June 13, 2021 12:19 am

How do we know an e-bus can’t catch fire when in use?

Stephen Skinner
June 13, 2021 2:07 am

Electric trains work because they are fed electricity and don’t have batteries. Battery powered airliners opens up a bigger can of worms (imagine).

Last edited 1 month ago by Stephen Skinner
Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Stephen Skinner
June 14, 2021 6:10 am

No sane airline is going to pay the costs for hauling the dead mass of a huge battery from city-to-city.

Chaswarnertoo
June 13, 2021 2:43 am

E buses are not a good idea. FTFY.

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