A March 31 house fire in Damascus, Maryland caused by a charging EV resulted in $350,000 worth of damages. It also displaced four people and a few pets the individuals owned. One person in the house had to be rescued, but no injuries were reported.
Pete Piringer, spokesman for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS), said the fire started in the house’s garage near the front end of a Chevrolet Volt that was charging. The hybrid vehicle runs primarily on an electric battery that needs charging. When the battery uses up energy to a certain point, its gasoline-powered engine operates an electric generator to extend its range.
On April 5, another fire broke out at an apartment located in the city of Bethesda in Maryland. The blaze caused by a charging scooter displaced three people and resulted in about $150,000 worth of damages. One resident suffered minor burns.
According to Piringer, MCFRS firefighters responded to the scene after they saw smoke coming out of a unit on the third floor. They managed to extinguish the blaze almost half an hour later. Piringer added that a lithium battery inside an electric scooter that overheated caused the conflagration. (Related: Latest lithium-ion battery uses water-salt solution, reducing risk of fire and explosion in household electronics.)
Almost two weeks later, a garage at a home in Ashburn, Virginia caught fire on April 18. Firefighters from the Loudoun County Fire and Rescue responded to a 911 call for smoke visible from the garage. The owner and other individuals in the house managed to escape the blaze that caused $15,400 in damages.
The county’s fire marshal ruled the blaze accidental, adding that it originated from the electric vehicle charging in the garage. The vehicle’s charging system malfunctioned, which caused the garage fire.
EVs touted as the green transport solution despite their risks
Abby Liebing, an associate reporter for the Western Journal, wrote about the three home fires caused by the EVs being charged.
“These are not terribly remarkable events. The damages are unfortunate, but not catastrophic,” she noted. “As EVs become more common, the risk of fires associated with [them] cannot be overlooked or underplayed.”
A CNBC report that quoted a study by vehicle insurer AutoinsuranceEZ said hybrid EVs have a 3.4 percent chance of igniting. Conventional battery EVs only have a 0.03 chance of igniting, while internal combustion engines powered by fuel have a 1.5 percent chance of catching fire.
The same report added that EVs using lithium-ion batteries burn hotter and faster when they catch fire. Such fires require more water to extinguish, with Liebing citing an example of one such conflagration. A fire from a Tesla EV that crashed in Houston back in April 2022 took firefighters more than four hours and 30,000 gallons of water before they finally extinguished it.
Moreover, fires caused by lithium-ion batteries can reignite hours or even days after they were initially extinguished – putting salvage yards, car repair shops and other similar establishments at risk.
Eric Wachsman, the director of the Maryland Energy Innovation Institute, told CNBC that the qualities that make lithium-ion batteries powerful enough to move vehicles can also make them susceptible to catching fire – most especially if the battery cells inside them are damaged or defective.
According to Wachsman, the flammable liquid electrolyte, coupled with electrodes positioned closely together, increases the chance of a short circuit. “This flammable liquid could get into what’s called a thermal runaway situation where it just starts boiling, and that results in a fire,” he explained.
Liebing concluded: “Though many like to advertise EVs as flawless, the way of the future and the green energy solution, [they] still have problems just like any other vehicle. But somehow, since the political messaging around EVs has been all about how they are good for the environment and how they are the way for humans to move forward – there has been a real downplaying of the risks still involved. These facts of EVs have to be recognized [as] all vehicles have risks and can be deadly.”
Power.news has more stories about the risk of EVs and the lithium-ion batteries that power them.
Watch InfoWars founder Alex Jones investigating an EV charging station in Austin, Texas.
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