Do crashed electric vehicles pose a fire or electrocution risk?

Zap! Sizzle! Lithium batteries can become dangerous if damaged.

12th June 2018
Do crashed electric vehicles pose a fire or electrocution risk? © Getty

Asked by: Alan Thomas, via email

Despite their green image, lithium batteries can turn pretty nasty if damaged. In electric vehicles, they are surrounded by coolant. If that leaks out, the batteries can heat up and catch fire.

They also contain electric charge, and emergency service personnel have to avoid touching or cutting into the high-voltage units as the consequences can be deadly. Vehicle designers have worked hard to reduce the fire and electrocution risks, but they’ve not eliminated them.

Read more:

 


SFQASubscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun facts.