Hubby is always making sure various pieces of equipment are unplugged and/or turned off at the mains if ever we got out. This includes kettles, transformers and laptops.
It got a bit tedious, though I do it as matter of course now anyway, but having watched a series of Youtube articles on fires resulting from lithium batteries which are used for electric cars and hybrid vehicles, I see things in a different, and not so tedious, light.
I am glad that Hubby insisted our digital camera did not have a lithium battery, and is run by 2 AAs instead. We have discovered rechargeables don’t work in it, but when the camera is not in use, the battery compartment flap is left open so that there is no connection. If the camera is to be packed away, the batteries are removed completely.
Our laptops both have lithium batteries.
One clip showed what happens when lithium batteries get damaged, and the results were really spectacular, in a horrific sort of way.
Over charging, over heating, or damage to the casing, can result in these batteries exploding and taking off like a rocket.
Imagine this happening to your E cigarette in your pocket, which has actually been captured on film
Anyway, back to vehicles.
According to the internet, lithium batteries in vehicles consist of something like 7000 cells in the Tesla S, BYD has 96, and Nissan Leaf has 140. (source)
Fire departments are training their crews how to put out fires in electric vehicles, and the volumes of water required are staggering. Even when the fire is out, there is a possibility of re-ignition.
Already there are three million electric/hybrid cars on the roads (source), and technology is moving towards this number increasing to a guesstimate of 220M by the year 2030, if they can maintain the supply of nickel, lithium and cobalt.
The problem is not with the cars, but the batteries, especially when alternatives can be sub standard as costs are trying to be reduced.
It just makes me think that there is enough to worry about with bad drivers, but when the car you are driving has a battery that is a potential fire risk, it gives a whole new meaning to death on the road.
This is my personal opinion and thoughts on video clips seen. I am not techno savvy, just concerned with the way the motor industry is going as they try to find alternatives to petrol and diesel driven vehicles. (We loved our Peugeot diesels!)
Note two: update 18.57 3rd March
Hubby has found this which might be of interest.
Yes, a friend was just telling us this the other night and as I worry about accidents of all sorts at home and on the road I was horrified. My cousin in Australia who had a stroke a few years back, was killed late last year when his mobility scooter caught fire. We haven’t ever heard more details, but now I’m wondering if it was the battery.
I am so sorry for your loss.
FYI from Hubby:
MIL and Hubby’s mobiity scooter had a gel battery fitted, which poses a low fire risk. The next one up is what is known as an AGM battery which has a fibreglass mesh inside which helps to contain the acid.
Maintenance free batteries are not necessarily AGM or gel filled. Our current car battery is maintenance free, but is a sealed lead acid unit (we’ve just had to replace it).
He has read though that modern mobility scooters are being fitteed with lithium ion batteries (li-on)
Needless to say, he doesn’t trust them.
Thanks, how many people understand anything about batteries?
Hubby knows how a lot of things work (electronics engineer down to component level)
As long as I can I’m sticking with good old fashioned petrol.
ps. as ‘young people’ never seem to switch off or unplug anything it worries me!
One friend has a TV in every room of her house (save the bathroom) and each is left on standby. We made the mistake once of not turning our printer off at the wall, and although it as switched off, the damn thing updated itself!!!! Now the plug is pulled on everything except lights and the fridge/freezer.
I’m not a fan of electric cars, to begin with. And now, many of our states have legalized marijuana, so there will be more potheads driving those electric vehicles, and trust me, those drivers will be totally unaware of whether or not the cars are on fire, never mind being totally oblivious of where the vehicle is on the road. Not looking forward to it.
Can’t say I blame you.
Blimey! I had better ask hubby exactly what batteries are in our stuff! Thanks for this great post Di
Hubby says don’t panic.
Although the incidents of failure is being reported, the four main dangers are:
not maintaining your vehicle correctly,
not following manufacturers charging procedures
letting the battery run completely flat and not recharging it,
any catastrophic physical damage to the battery itself (ie. dropping, crushing, puncturing the battery etc)
Hope this helps
The thing is Lithium is a filthy polluting substance when mined, where on earth are they going to put all the charging points if they keep pushing for us all to drive one. You don’t get rid of pollution by driving electric, the electricity has to be generated somehow and we are struggling to generate sufficient electricity for our needs at the moment. I much prefer my petrol cars for when I’m running out of energy I stop at a petrol station fill up with petrol and drive away three minutes later!
Who wants to hang around for hours waiting for a vacant recharge point even if it does only take about 30 mintes to’juice up’!
Our little I10 is petrol but we miss our diesel vehicles.
Bleh. I wish driving could be completely eliminated. And all vehicles. Such a dangerous messy waste. Then no more wars for oil either.