It only happens occasionally but some car makers are trying to figure out what caused their electric vehicles to burn out – sometimes when the cars were recharging their batteries.

The most striking example was eight months ago in San Ramon, where a fire broke out in the garage of Jorgen and Caroline Vindum, the wife of Tesla. Their 2013 model S 85 is near the 2017 model S 75 when the couple gets out of bed.

“I saw a flame coming out of a common rage,” recalls Jorgen Vindum. After he and his wife left safely, Vindum called 911 at 5:39 a.m. and recorded the fire in his bare feet and pajamas on his smartphone.

“You can hear the explosion of cars and you can hear the horn on the second car,” he said. The cars continued to burn again.

Vindu said the blast, along with metal, blew the metal shutter doors.

As reported earlier in the Washington Post, the fire inspection report listed problems with the temperature management system and possible defects in the car’s electrical system.

In a telephone interview with the Union Tribune, Vindu said firefighters arrived within eight minutes and took 20 to 30 minutes to put out the blaze. Most of the house was damaged, and both Teslas were badly burned. Vindu also believes that if anyone slept directly above the common rage, they would die.

San Ramon fires are one of the many cases involving electric vehicles or EVs, lithium-ion batteries.

Last month, General Motors issued a second memo to nearly 69,000 Chevy Bolts after two previously repaired cars caught fire. GM Correspondent Dan Flores said in an email that the main cause of the fire was “two unusual manufacturing defects” in the battery cell of some Bolt EVs between 2017 and 2019.

In this January 9, 2017 file photo, Chevrolet Bolt is at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. In July, General Motors recalled some bolts for the second time to fix the persistent battery problems that could have caused electric motors.

(Associated Press)

Flores’ owners should stop their balls outdoors immediately after being charged with “excessive precautions,” and drivers should not leave their vehicles charged overnight. GM also wants drivers to limit the charge to 90 percent and, if possible, reduce battery life to less than 70 miles.

Hyundai, Ford, and BMW recall last year’s hazards when charging or overheating batteries.

Six weeks ago, suburban Philadelphia firefighters reported that a new high-performance Tesla Model S-Slide, owned by Elon Musk, had caught fire while its owner was driving. The driver told CNBC through his lawyers that he saw smoke coming from the back of the car and went out before the fire started.

Similar stories have been reported – a Tesla owner in November 2020 driving a Model S in Frisco, Texas and another in Los Angeles in 2018, his wife “He was moving around in traffic,” he said In his Model S by Santa Monica Bolevard.

Tesla did not respond to emails asking the driver if he had determined what had happened in San Ramon and suburban Philadelphia.

Tesla’s website includes a report on the safety of car manufacturer Evis, “designed to be the most reliable car in the world”. According to the report, between 2012 and 2020, “every one of the 205 million miles traveled by Tesla was on fire. In comparison, data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation show that there are car fires every 19 million miles in the United States.

The NFPA itself did not elaborate, stating that there was no clear indication that EVS had more, less, or similar exposure to internal combustion engines.

Emergence of NFPA Program Director Michael Goryin said: “The problem now is that there is no way for fire departments or any reporting company to identify a hybrid or electric vehicle from an internal combustion engine.” Issues group.

“Every three minutes there is a traditional fire engine on American roads,” Gorin said. And so far, no electric vehicle is safer than a traditional vehicle.

But firefighters face a variety of challenges when dealing with HIV fires, mostly because of their lithium-ion batteries. The power cells in an EV or hybrid vehicle are larger than those in your cell phone or laptop.

When a short circuit occurs in the AV battery – accidentally overheated or overheated – the cell membrane may explode. When a cell is ignited, it can be thrown into other cells, causing what is called heat escalation and fire.

That can take a long time and a lot of water to make a big fire.

For example, NBC News reported that two people were killed in an accident outside Houston in April that caught fire in the Tesla Model S. As the car gets bigger, it takes seven hours and 28,000 gallons of water to extinguish the fire – the department usually uses it in a month. NBC reports that an internal combustion engine, which includes a conventional fire, takes up to 300 liters of water.

Tesla’s own emergency response guideline states that it can take 3,000 to 8,000 gallons of water to completely extinguish and cool a battery.

Gorin said the amount of water depends largely on the ability of firefighters to reach the source of the fire.

“One of the challenges is that you have a large battery system in the vehicle to protect it in steel, and the engine is designed for obvious reasons to prevent miscarriage,” Gornin said. “With these batteries, (firefighters) can’t get that water into the battery itself, so they are cooling the cover around the battery. That’s why you can hear stories of different levels of water being burned because … water does not go directly into it.

According to Vindu, when workers arrived at his house in San Ramon, the heat was so intense that they could not walk. “My wife and I were sunburned the next day,” he says.

The San Diego area is one of the nation’s largest EV adoption standards, and in June the San Diego Fire Department’s training and education department sent online training on “fire-related challenges” in mixed and electric vehicles. . All employees are required to log in and read the document. According to a fire rescue spokesperson, the site captains also regularly discuss training sessions with their training staff.

The two-page memo states: “Fires that do not include batteries can be combated like any other vehicle fire, but should not be connected to any high voltage components during the repair.” “If the battery catches fire, is exposed to high temperatures, be prepared to use more water than you would for other vehicle fires.

He also mentioned that towing services need advice on how to store vehicles from other vehicles or structures in their backyards.

A pair of Teslas standing in the garage of Jorgen and San Ramon Caroline Vindum.

A pair of Teslas standing in the garage of Jorgen and San Ramon Carolyn Vindum.

(Jorgen Vindum)

San Diego, a 76-year-old retired from San Diego, says he is “a thousand percent” in the fight against fires on naval ships and helicopters and the reduction of correctional facilities in Maryland. But he worries about eve fires in underground parking garages.

“There is a good chance that it will burn again,” said Lam. If you have an EV fire in an underground garage with a large number of alarms, the first concern is that firefighters fight fires, smoke and toxic fumes as they try. To keep other cars on fire.

As the lamb continues its adoption, Evi thinks security measures will move forward. “Fortunately, EVs are not usually caught on fire,” he said. “If you are burning in the wrong place, then I think you have the potential for serious consequences and not in a closed garage under a high-rise or high-rise apartment building. . ”

Coronado resident John Sinton received a note on the 2017 Chevy Bolt. According to GM, he and his wife do not charge the car overnight while he is asleep. But that means they have to pay for San Diego’s gas and electricity bills cheap, 9 cents per kilowatt hour per night, and 31 cents per kilowatt hour.

“The selling price is now zero and the performance has been drastically reduced due to the inability to fully charge and drive empty,” said Sinton Bolt. , ”He has some sympathy for the mechanic.

“They are the pioneers in electric vehicles and they are not 100% successful here,” said Cinton. “As a pioneer, you have problems.”

Eight months after the fire broke out in the garage, Vindum Tesla said he had no information to help them find out what really happened.

“It’s frustrating,” he said. “Who knows why this is but if they don’t know, they should investigate and if they do, I think they will tell us. Either remember them or correct them. ”

They paid for their car insurance, Vindum and his wife and bought a new vehicle: a gasoline-powered Audi A4.

Despite all this, Vindu said he would decide to buy another electric vehicle, even though he did not charge it in the garage.

“I think (EVs) are the future,” said the retired mechanical engineer. “I believe in renewable energy. In the 80’s and 90’s, I spent seven years designing some of the largest solar systems in the country.

Cinnamon feels the same way.

“We are guided,” he said. “We care about the environment. We live in a state of extreme fire and we are equally concerned about climate change. Also, since these events are rare in the number of electric vehicles, I think you should not be afraid of it at all.