Science Focus - the home of BBC Science Focus Magazine
Do crashed electric vehicles pose a fire or electrocution risk? © Getty Images

Do crashed electric vehicles pose a fire or electrocution risk?

Subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine and get 6 issues for just £9.99

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

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.


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


luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.


Sponsored content