Electric cars will waste lots and lots of water if they catch fire

Discussion in 'Environment & Conservation' started by kazenatsu, Jun 20, 2021.

  1. Jack Hays

    Jack Hays Well-Known Member Donor

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    If that's your taste, and you don't mind the added expense.
     
  2. Bowerbird

    Bowerbird Well-Known Member

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    Not yet but they are working on it and those solar cars are leading the way. To state “it will never happen is to deny the revolution happening today.
     
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  3. Jack Hays

    Jack Hays Well-Known Member Donor

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    As I posted, when they achieve the performance standard of a modern ICE vehicle, I'll reconsider. Until then, they remain a step backward.
     
  4. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    It's pretty difficult to smother a large fire like when it is an entire car on fire.

    When it is a large fire, firefighters usually have few other practical options than to spray large volumes of water on it, because water is available in large quantities.

    Yes, there do exist special types of extinguishers for putting out special fires, but they are more expensive, make a lot of mess, and it would take very large tanks of it to be able to put out a car fire if the whole car was billowing in flames. Firetrucks are not designed to carry huge tanks of special extinguishers. Yes, it may be easy to put out small fires with that, but much more difficult to put out a fire the size of a car.

    Just to maybe give you some better idea, the size of that extinguisher tank would be much too big for people to be able to carry, and probably cost several thousand dollars.

    An electric car battery, especially an electric car that is capable of going long distances, is going to have a lot more lithium in it than your tiny batteries used in laptops.

    You're either being incredibly ignorant or extremely disingenuous here.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2021
  5. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    You'd need a pretty big blanket to put out an entire car billowing in flames. And the blanket would have to stretch out much wider than the car, because lithium fires are a lot like a sparkler, those fires will not go out easily. Unlike with a regular fire you would need to block off ALL of the air to get the fire to stop. That means the blanket is going to have to go down completely to the ground and then a little bit further, running along the ground for about 2 meters to make sure there's a good seal.

    It could theoretically work, but I think that's going to be a lot more difficult than you are imagining. It would probably have to be a 7 meter (23 feet) diameter blanket, probably even wider than that.

    Imagine a situation where the location of the car is in some sort of corner and billowing out huge clouds of smoke, so firefighters simply cannot get access to two opposite sides to be able to pull a blanket over it. (Maybe the car is burning right next to the side of a steep cliff and there is also a large crashed truck)
    They would probably need a special truck with a crane and huge extension arm to come to be able to drop that huge blanket on the car from above.

    Of course you just ignore how much that would cost. There could also be some long wait times before such a special truck equipped with the proper equipment would be able to reach the area, because I don't think every fire station could afford to have such a truck on premises.

    There may be many situations when the car is on fire in garage where firefighters are not able to access both sides of the vehicle to be able to put a blanket over it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2021
  6. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Derideo Te, on second thought I think your idea would be pretty hopeless. I consulted with an expert on another forum and lithium is an unusual material in that it can burn with both nitrogen and carbon dioxide (not only just oxygen like a regular fire). And the product of combustion is also a solid (unlike a gas in a regular fire). That means even if you were to put a blanket over it, and try to make it a fairly good seal so that air can't easily get in, as the lithium burned it would simply react with the air and create a vacuum that would pull more air in.

    That means a blanket is not going to be able to put out.

    Not by itself. You'd probably have to also pump some Argon gas under that blanket, and that could be expensive and troublesome, and maybe also a little bit dangerous because gases like that can displace oxygen and possibly cause suffocation and death.

    Maybe the owners of electric cars should have special additional insurance to be able to pay for the risk of all of this. That's probably not going to happen so the expense will just fall on the taxpayer.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2021
  7. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I took a look at that link and it seems like the blanket only slows down the fire until firefighters arrive. I don't think the blanket actually puts out the battery fire by itself. That lithium will just keep burning, only more slowly, and the blanket will (temporarily) prevent the rest of the car from burning.

    It's a little bit more complicated and difficult than you think.

    Would your idea be to just leave a burning car under one of these blankets for 7 hours until the electric battery completely finishes burning?
    If not, firefighters are going to have to do something to stop that battery fire, so they can take off the blanket without the rest of the car going into flames too.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2021
  8. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Not so simple.
    That is going to be a big adaptation. I don't even think they practicably can adapt a regular firetruck to handle this. They'll probably have to have a special truck on duty that carries a large tank. It would probably need to be a 500 liter tank (130 gallons).

    Many fire stations may not have the money or garage space for such an additional truck.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2021
  9. pitbull

    pitbull Banned Donor

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    That's the point. Enemies of innovations often use exceptions to discredit the matter.

    But the advantages of electric cars still outweigh their disadvantages. Especially when it comes to environmental protection. :)
     
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  10. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    28,000 gallons of water. How many electric cars on the road does it take to justify that?
     
  11. FreshAir

    FreshAir Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    this is why we need to get solid state batteries as soon as possible
     
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  12. pitbull

    pitbull Banned Donor

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    You mean how many burnings electric cars ...
     
  13. Melb_muser

    Melb_muser Well-Known Member Donor

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    Exactly. Lithium-ion is just a stage we are going through. Better stuff is yet to come!
     
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  14. Derideo_Te

    Derideo_Te Well-Known Member

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    We already WASTE 2+ BILLION gallons of water on GOLF courses for the exclusive benefit of a mere handful of the wealthy elite to PLAY with their small white balls.

    Where is your OUTRAGE about that MASSIVE waste of water?

    Can you JUSTIFY that WASTE of water?
     
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  15. Bowerbird

    Bowerbird Well-Known Member

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    Won’t be long mate

    At least one of those solar teams is working on a family car. Consider does the average family really need two vehicles capable of long range travelling or would it be better and cheaper to have a city car that is dirt cheap to run
     
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  16. Polydectes

    Polydectes Well-Known Member

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    Yeah but I've never been driving around on one. I doubt if I accumulated to every object I've ever owned with a Lithium-Ion battery it wouldn't make up a 10th of an electric cars lithium ion battery.

    But the battery is really secondary electrical fires tend to happen away from the power source. Most accidental fires are caused by electrical issues.

    The problem with the lithium-ion battery is how toxic it is. It has a lifespan and it's typically shorter than a well made regular car.

    Hybrids have a certain use they are not better than normal cars in any driving condition but they excel in certain driving conditions.

    If you do a lot of stop and go traffic that's where you're going to get the best fuel efficiency out of a hybrid if you do a lot of highway driving you're probably better off with a regular non-hybrid fuel burning car.
     
  17. Polydectes

    Polydectes Well-Known Member

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    I'm betting it's going to be a while. I'm starting to hear a lot of complaints about electric cars that don't exist for regular ones.

    These aren't minor bugs that will be fixed in the next update they're fundamental problems that have been with the electric car since the 19th century
    I've seen electric buses the technology to build these sort of things have the existed for decades just they never are brought to market because people generally don't want them. Solar power is a dead end. You can't make the sun shine any longer or with more intensity so you only get the power that you can collect through solar cells. Maybe do trickle charge your battery but that's about it.

    That would really be the only way we would see electric cars gain in a wide range of popularity is if they were dirt cheap. Keep in mind I can buy a used Honda or Toyota for $5,000 and have a pretty good car. That's pretty dirt cheap the insurance will be low and the cost of upkeep will be low. This would be a wiser buy because it would have all the capabilities I could ever want versus just some of them. It is a Greener car to buy as well, because nobody had to produce anything it already existed and you're reusing something.

    If an electric car can be just as roomy just as reliable able to go a thousand miles on a charge able to charge up in 15 minutes completely with all the creature comforts and safety components that I want at all times then it can compete.
     
  18. Polydectes

    Polydectes Well-Known Member

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    Delete
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2021
  19. Polydectes

    Polydectes Well-Known Member

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    Yes golf courses employee many people many people use them any people that don't use them or aren't employed by the benefit from them and they purchase their water so that benefits the water plants.
     
  20. Polydectes

    Polydectes Well-Known Member

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    If this is true then more people would own them the disadvantages outweigh the advantages nobody cares about the environment.
     
  21. Jack Hays

    Jack Hays Well-Known Member Donor

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    Every family needs at least one car capable of long range driving. Second car can be whatever suits you. In our house we have a Lexus RX350 and a Mazda Miata.
     
  22. Jack Hays

    Jack Hays Well-Known Member Donor

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  23. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    You're not being logical now.
    We don't force people to have golf courses to try to save the environment.

    Hmm, are you saying you care much more about reducing fossil fuel consumption than you do about trying to ration use of fresh water?
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2021
  24. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Theoretically yes, but unfortunately not every individual has space for two cars. Not every individual can afford two cars.
     
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  25. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Question: How many electric cars on the road does it take to compensate for one of these electric car fires?

    This does seem like a significant disadvantage, from an environmental calculation point of view.
     

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