E1 EV Submersion Q&A
Emergency One (UK) Ltd are delighted to present our new “E1 – EV Submersion Unit”. The increasing problem of how to deal with Electric Vehicle (EV) fires is something that all Fire and Rescue Services need to consider.
Given that the battery element of an EV vehicle needs to remain submerged for a period of time post-ignition to ensure that it remains stable, our new containers are designed specifically for this purpose.
Our containers are compatible with existing hook lift prime movers, and allow for the containment of contaminated run-off. The front door of the container folds down as a ramp to allow easy vehicle entry (with the aid of an integrated winch system). The door is sealed, and the sprinkler system is activated and driven by a petrol powered pump (optional) once the water source has been attached. A hydraulic powered roof can be added for security and complete containment. The majority of these actions are carried out at a distance by remote control, with the container being specified around the customers’ requirements.
The container can then be moved to a secure and safe location if required.
All reflective markings and Fire Service related branding are available as standard.
Q1 – How does it work?
- You would extinguish the car fire as you would do under normal circumstances, dealing with the initial risk in line with your own standard operating procedures. Once extinguished the vehicle can then be winched inside (using the optional integrated winch system) and secured for transport. The batteries can then be kept cool either using the integrated sprinkler system or filled and submerged to battery level. Always refer to vehicle manufacturers emergency response instructions for best method.
Q2 – What do you do with the contaminated water?
- Each Fire Service has its own procedure for dealing with car fires and indeed the runoff water produced. In the UK this is based upon the NFCC (National Fire Chiefs Council) through various MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding) that are in place with the respective UK Fire and Rescue services in England, Wales, NI and Scotland and their respective Environmental protection bodies. The key aims of the agreements are to:
Minimise the hazard to the environment from fire and rescue service activities, including firefighting and training, and from incidents involving environmentally harmful substances caused by a third party, without compromising the fire and rescue service’s duty to protect people.
The EV container allows you to enhance your response by containing the water. In some instances, the water contained will have little or no contamination. The individual services can deal with this on a case-by-case basis and through advice on disposal with EA or local Water Agencies.
Q3- How do you get the container to the scene?
- The container requires transport on a Prime Mover or Hook lift. In the UK this would be like the vehicles provided through National Resilience. We would be delighted to offer a suitable vehicle specification to accompany the container as required.
Q4 – How to store the electric vehicle?
- The main priority of the Fire Service is to make the vehicle or the area safe. With EV cars after the basic fire is extinguished there is still an element of risk in the battery cells for re ignition / thermal runaway. Our EV container will allow firefighters to relocate the EV for safe storage until the required time has elapsed, keep the battery cells cool through the sprinkler or submersion. This could be at Fire Service premises or simply used as a method of transport to pass over to your local recovery service. Each service will have a best practice in place for vehicle removal and existing relationships with recovery agencies.
Q4 – Water vs. Foam
- From our research and knowledge there are currently no suitable or effective media agents used to extinguish an electric vehicle fire other than a lot of water! The recommendation is to keep the battery cooled for an extended period using water, through various application methods. Each vehicle manufacturer has a best practice which should be followed, but our EV container allows you to do both main recommendations, whether its cooling spray or submerged this can be achieved with minimal resource for protracted periods as required.
As the risk of EV fires develops, we understand there is not a ‘one solution for all’ events. We have worked closely with our customer base to develop a solution. The EV container provides the best solution on the market to deal with this evolving challenge. This is supported with our full range of EV solutions such as the latest Vetter EIS system and Leader Fire Blankets which can support any services response to the increasing risk. Contact us for more details or information at [email protected]