by Becca London | RNN
An electric vehicle fire led to a temporary closure of a highway west of Vermillion, South Dakota, last week. The EV’s battery burst into fire, turning the car into an unrecognizable mess after the blaze was eventually put out.
KELOLAND News, and news media outlet based in Sioux Falls, SD, reported:
The Vermillion Fire EMS Department says it happened on Highway 50 near the Business Route exit just after 4 o’clock Tuesday afternoon. Crews arriving on scene found a small car on fire with flames spreading into the ditch.
Because flames had reached the cars high-voltage battery, firefighters secured the area to wait for the battery to cool. Highway 50 eastbound to the Business route was closed for around an hour and a half. The cause is under investigation.
The Vermillion Fire EMS Department responded with four apparatus, two support vehicles, and 12 personnel. The car in question is believed to have been a BMW i4.
RNN has reported on numerous electric vehicle fires over just the past few months, many having not been involved in collisions of any kind.
On September 16, in Stamford, CT, a Tesla caught fire while parked in a lot, and took an astonishing 25,000 gallons of water from multiple fire departments to get it under control (even though it was still hot and smoking thereafter):
And as RNN reported at the time, an electric municipal bus which caught fire while idling, causing the entire crew to have to flee for their lives:
“Two CT Transit workers were transported from exposure to the smoke, and one firefighter was transported for exhaustion,” authorities said.
First responders in Oklahoma recently underwent special training to handle electric vehicle (EV) crashes and fires following a growing number of incidents throughout the U.S. One training coordinate explained why special EV training is required, explaining: “They burn significantly hotter so they can throw a 2,000-degree flame out like a torch.”
Despite these concerns about lithium-battery vehicles, the state of California in August passed asweeping plan to prohibit the sale of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035.