Many people wonder what can happen to the battery of an electric car in the event of a major impact and accident. In consideration of the fact, that we are talking about potentially explosive chemicals, it is good to make a complete clarification in this regard.
- SECURING AN ELECTRIC CAR AFTER AN ACCIDENT
- WHEN WHO AID AN ELECTRIC CAR IS NOT A PROFESSIONAL
- THE AUTOMATIC BATTERY DISCONNECTOR ON AN ELECTRIC CAR
- THE "Thermal Runaway" PHENOMENON
The recent electric cars have developed the whole safety system, very important, for the rescuers. The primary goal is to prevent shocks or fires. The name of this important function is "Battery Switch".
The first step that must be overcome is that of the shock after an accident. We always remember that all those who work on an electric or hybrid car must be trained and prepared. There are specific refresher courses and qualifications, in order to make them fully aware of the actions to be taken. Clearly, as time passes, more and more firefighters and law enforcement agencies are aware of the right actions to take.
Obviously, however, it could happen that a simple citizen finds himself in the situation of having to intervene as soon as he sees a road accident. Not everyone can participate in these refresher courses, and not everyone clearly knows what needs to be done. In order to avoid further problems, recent car manufacturers have inserted a sort of automatic battery detachment.
SECURING AN ELECTRIC CAR AFTER AN ACCIDENT
As soon as the fire brigade or the police arrive at the scene of the accident, they must secure the high voltage system. This aspect is fundamental, and it is mandatory, before being able to rescue any injured or remove the car from the road.
Obviously, the car manufacturers make their own cars, according to specific individual projects, and it is difficult to create a database where all the firefighters in the world know how to intervene on every single model.
We also remember that the models can change over the years, and therefore it would be an immense job, that of training and updating the Fire Brigade. That is why, as soon as they arrive on site, they cut the high and low voltage cables or disconnect the main connector.
WHEN WHO AID AN ELECTRIC CAR IS NOT A PROFESSIONAL
As we said before, however, not all of those who intervene after the accident are professionals. Some car manufacturers have inserted sensors that allow you to automatically disconnect the battery in the event of an accident. We are talking about microchips with small explosive charges, which separate the electrical system from the battery. In this way, there is no longer the connection between the battery and the other components of the car.
The international convention requires high voltage cables to be marked with an orange color, but identifying them immediately may not be easy. Let us always remember that we are in the middle of an accident, and therefore there may be injured people who complain of immediate intervention, or we can also be panicked, wanting to help people as soon as possible. In this case, however, there is a very strong risk that electric shocks could be created through the bodywork.
THE AUTOMATIC BATTERY DISCONNECTOR ON AN ELECTRIC CAR
This is how the automatic “Battery Switch” is fundamental, as it is activated with small micro explosions and clearly separates the battery from the car. In this way, a kind of safety and optimal situation is created.
THE "Thermal Runaway" PHENOMENON
The problem that generates everything is the "fire risk". Specifically, a lithium-ion battery produces a thermal imbalance of the system in the event of an impact.
The uncontrolled and unstoppable increase in the temperature of the battery produces a chain reaction that leads to combustion in the first place and then has an eventual explosion.
We would like to point out immediately that these are completely exceptional events, but which cannot be excluded from the current situation. Here is how the emphasis on safety must absolutely be placed. Unfortunately, it is currently little debated.
Over the years, few cars have been seen that have caught fire when powered by electric traction. These events have had an important media coverage, and the authorities of the various geographical areas around the world are working on how to reduce this possible problematic situation.
In the first instance, clearly, the emphasis is on poor manufacturing materials that can lead to a short circuit or an overload. The thermal problems, in fact, can be due to a not excellent quality of the materials, but also to the breakage of the separator between the anode and the cathode due to the excessive heating of the battery.
This is why car manufacturers try to keep the batteries as protected as possible inside the car frame, in order to protect them from major impacts.
Of course, we are still in the early stages of the ecological transition and much still needs to be done. Let us always remember that, until a few years ago, very few electric cars were in circulation . Currently the world of sustainable mobility is becoming more and more important. Every day is a new challenge for Automotive companies, in order to reach a total safety situation as soon as possible.
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