The Why Behind the Fire?

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It’s telling what the “media” – as the people who don’t report news like to style themselves – decline to cover. The latest for-instance being that container ship full of cars that caught fire off the coast of the Azores a few days ago. 

They did report it caught fire. Just not why. That being the most important part of the story. 

Otherwise, it’s just another fire. 

Did you come across any major “media” reporting that the fire was probably caused by an electric vehicle battery pack? And that it was without question made worse by burning EV battery packs?

The Felicity Ace was carrying 4,000 new cars out for delivery to U.S. dealerships, including electric VWs and Porsches. It is unclear exactly how this fire got started but it’s known that electric car battery packs have auto-immolated in the past as the result of thermal runaway – basically, a short circuit.

If it happened once – or several times, before – it is reasonable to infer it could happen again. Might bear looking into.

Maybe people ought to be made aware of the problem?

Thermal runaway can be caused by physical damage to the battery pack sufficient to compromise the structural integrity of any of the individual cells within the battery pack, a manufacturing defect that leads to the same or an overload while being charged. There have been several instances of EVs simply catching fire while just sitting. The latter being the reason why GM recalled the entire production run of Chevy Bolts after a number of them auto-immolated.

All batteries are vulnerable to catching fire but electric car battery packs compound the threat because the typical EV’s lithium-ion battery pack consists of thousands of individual cells (more than 6,800 individual cells in the case of a Tesla). If just one of them is damaged or otherwise compromised, thermal runaway can ensue. The resulting fire burns very fast and very hot. Much hotter than a gasoline fire. It is also much harder to put out, being a chemical fire. Special equipment – and diligence – are needed to snuff such a fire and keep it from spontaneously re-starting. 

This is hard to do on a container ship crowded with thousands of cars.

EV battery packs are also huge – they have to be, in order to be powerful enough to store (and receive) the electrical energy needed to power the electric car. The design problem this presents is – where to put the battery pack? It’s too big  – and heavy – to be mounted in one place, unlike a gas tank – which weighs about 120 pounds full (assuming about 15 gallons) vs. about 1,080 pounds for the battery pack in the VW ID.4 – one of the kinds of EVs within the hold of the Felicity.

This, incidentally, is why a compact-sized, two-row electric crossover like the ID.4 weighs more (4,517 pounds) than a full-sized, three-row non-electric crossover like VW’s Atlas (4,451 pounds). Weight, of course, correlates with inefficiency – but never mind that.

All that pack must be packaged cleverly, as by spreading it out over most of the width and length of the car’s floorpan. But this increases the vulnerability of the battery pack to physical damage (and catching fire) if there’s a crash because no matter which part of the car is hit – or which part of the car hits something else – the battery pack takes the hit. Gas tanks – being so much smaller – are typically tucked ahead of the rear axle, which protects it from rear-enders. There’s no gas up front to hit – and even if the tank is punctured, gasoline doesn’t short-circuit. It takes fire – a spark – to start a fire, to get gasoline burning – even if the tank is damaged and gas is spilling. This makes gasoline-powered cars inherently safer to drive than electric cars.

The “media” doesn’t report that, either.

The why – about that – is interesting to speculate about.

What could possibly be the reason for the “media’s” indifference to the story? It’s a pretty big story – you’d think – that electric cars are more prone to catch fire when parked, shipped – and driven – than non-electric cars. It is arguably a design defect, since the design presents inherent risks that cannot be eliminated without eliminating the thing which creates the risk – the electric car battery pack.

Actual cars are actually burning; actual people have actually been killed. But the “media” is as uninterested in looking into the cause – and covering it, so that people will know about it – as it has been disinterested in looking into the cause of the unprecedented number of young athletes who’ve mysteriously developed heart problems all-of-a-sudden (and coincident to something). Or the financial relationship between the “media” and the pharmaceutical companies. Is it possible – just maybe – that what the “media” doesn’t report – as well as what it does – could be influenced by that relationship?

Or by politics?

The “media” did a lot of coverage of the handful of kids who ended up with tire tracks on their backs – after someone backed-up without looking first. The result of this coverage was that all new cars were required to be fitted with countermeasures – back-up camera systems – to prevent that.

It exhaustively “covered” the “cheating” on government emissions tests by VW, which led to the pulling off the market of every diesel-powered VW, notwithstanding that not one of them burned or otherwise was shown to have harmed anyone.

But when it comes to cars catching fire – not accidentally, but because that’s just how they are – the “media” isn’t interested.

. . .

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48 COMMENTS

  1. March 4, 2022 The Truth About Electric Cars and Lithium Batteries

    They are far more environmentally damaging than normal cars. A cargo ship called the Felicity Ace, carrying 4,000 luxury cars collectively worth around $438million, caught fire last month. Thankfully, the crew members were not harmed and managed to quickly abandon ship. The fire, however, burned for a week. This was because the lithium-ion batteries inside the electric vehicles (EVs) in the consignment kept the fire alive. The fire only died once the supply of combustible material on board was exhausted.

    https://www.spiked-online.com/2022/03/03/the-truth-about-electric-cars/

  2. Updating my prior comment about sinking the ship to deep six the evidence – looks like i was spot on; just saw a news item saying that ship has sunk. Nothing to see here, how conveeeeeenient (church lady voice) 😆

    • You nailed it Mike, spot on man. Got any stock prognostications for the week?

      That ship seems kind of like a metaphor for the SSDollahBill.

  3. Shoot! I remember when there was a whole lot of hoopla over those damned “hoverboards” when they caught fire. So much so, that they were BANNED from nearly ALL passenger transport vehicles and public venues. So…why no hoopla over EV battery fires/explosions? After all, if the plan is to immobilize us, you’d think the elite would use these battery fires as yet another scare tactic. Well, there’s only two possible explanations that I can think of. 1) Either the MSM dildos are dumb as hell, OR…2), it’s actually part of a much more sinister plot to slowly kill us off. But of course, the only way the elite could pull off the latter (for now) is by giving the dildos their dopamine hits every waking moment, courtesy of anti-social media. Otherwise, they might *gasp* ask questions.

  4. In high school chemistry we added small amounts of lithium to water to watch the violent reaction which always resulted in fire and apparently the release of hydrogen gas.

    Just search on “lithium and water reaction” and you’ll see videos and details about it.

    I’ve never taken apart a Li battery but I wonder if the form of Li in them would have the same reaction? If so, then moisture of any kind would be a serious threat.

    • One thing I’ve learned (not the hard way, thankfully) is that you NEVER use water to try to put out a chemical fire. Best thing to do is to either use foam or maybe dirt if there happens to be a nice big pile nearby. Basically anything to starve it of oxygen.

    • Oh, and if you’re theory’s correct, then that means any moisture from the pavement after a rain shower may be yet another cause of those battery cells shorting out.

  5. Everytime I see an electric time-bomb car driving around, I look forward to the day when these are banned, and the people that make & buy them are put in jail for 20+ years each. Those people are so stupid — they must like humiliating themselves… showing the world that they are dumba–es with no understanding of basic science or common sense, showing everyone that they are a—holes and don’t care about the planet/pollution or the childrens’ future or our transportation infrastructure which BTW is SURVIVAL infrastructure, yet these a—holes just hate everyone else. What the heck is their problem anyways? Since they hate everyone in the world and the planet so much, then why don’t they just off themselves… or we will have to throw them all in jail someday. They’re so stupid… driving around in winter with their stupid fake cars that can’t even use the heat or they won’t make it home, using stupid crappy batteries that wear out fast and are mined from war-zones by slave labor, with a name that BLASPHEMES the great & honest Nikola Tesla. There is hell to pay for all of this. They’re all driving themselves to hell.

  6. Here near Pittsburgh, a lady was trapped in a Honda hybrid. She could not power down the windows, open the doors. Some guy used a socket wrench to bust out the driver side window, saving both the woman and her sister. The car burst into flames according to reports moments later. Eric, do hybrids also present a fire hazard?

  7. I didn’t see it mentioned but something to consider. It is highly probable the insurance industry will not stand for this and make the shipping industry prepare for this stuff. And the problem is I doubt they will only do EV-transport-only ships, etc… They will most likely mingle and make ALL ships prepare (huge costs) and spread the pain over the whole industry. God forbid they make just the EV’s pay for it.

  8. Even if gasoline were dangerous to the ship, they could put the bare minimum in the tank. Just enough to get the car on and off the ship. There would be nothing to burn with a mostly empty tank.

    You can’t do that with an electric car either. You could have it mostly discharged, but it would still be dangerous because the chemicals of the battery are always there. Car carriers could became pretty dangerous, with thousands of cars on board, there is bound to be one with defects.

    • Richb that’s exactly how they ship cars. The manufacturer puts in 2L of fuel so it can be driven to and from the transporter. Once the car lands at the dealership they put in a couple of gallons for running around the lot and a couple of test drives. and they dont fill it until they sell it.

    • Hi anon. This is probably due to the Russian sanctions. Russia is the primary gas supplier for Europe, and Ukraine siphons/tolls the natural gas that goes through their country. Some dipshits decertified the nordstream 2 gas pipeline, so they are going to need to overspin those windmills and shine some extra light on the solar panels to enough electric power to drive cars. The price increase will help pay for led arrays and fans to increase renewable output/reliability.

  9. From the Department of Transportation about lithium/ion batteries used in phones and other small electronic devices and shipping:
    The risks posed by lithium cells and batteries are generally a function of type, size, and chemistry. Lithium cells and batteries can present both chemical (e.g., corrosive or flammable electrolytes) and electrical hazards. Unlike standard alkaline batteries, most lithium batteries manufactured today contain a flammable electrolyte and have an incredibly high energy density. They can overheat and ignite under certain conditions, such as a short circuit or improper design or assembly. Once ignited, lithium cell and battery fires can be difficult to extinguish. Additional, although infrequent, events can result in lithium cells and batteries experiencing thermal runaway, a chain reaction leading to a violent release of stored energy and flammable gas. This thermal runaway can propagate to other batteries or conductive materials nearby, potentially resulting in large scale thermal events with severe consequences.

    https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/lithiumbatteries

  10. They should have electric fire engines- that way, they’d save energy by not having to go anywhere to put out the fire when they burst into flames.

  11. I have seen a mention or two that there were EV’s aboard that ship, but still the propaganda of “we don’t know what started the fire”. Be interesting to see what kind of BS story they come up with to explain it when they finally get the fire out….or the MSM will just memory hole it, nothing to see here. Actually I wouldn’t put it past the sociopaths to sink the ship, thus deep sixing the evidence.

  12. When you drive down the road in your EV don’t think about this……..don’t hit anything, don’t run over debris and don’t get hit, good luck with that, you will be hit by these moron drivers eventually, make sure you aren’t in an EV when you get hit.

    The biggest problem with EV’s is the batteries in EV’s are very dangerous, a fire hazard, how they ever got passed for safety standards is a huge mystery.

    Lithium-ion batteries have a tendency to overheat and can be damaged at high voltages leading to thermal runaway and combustion. like driving around sitting on top of a huge bomb, make sure you don’t hit anything or get hit while driving one of these abortions.

    EV fires are very hard to put out the only way is with the application of huge amounts of water.

    Tactically, this may mean using a master stream, 2½-inch or multiple 1¾-inch fire lines, to suppress and cool the fire. Vehicle fires don’t typically call for surround-and-drown tactics, but these are not typical vehicle fires. so you need multiple fire trucks to put out the fire, this is insanity, they should ban these things.

    One example: the flames on the Tesla were extinguished, it reignited again. Firefighters began hosing it down with copious amounts of water, up to 200 gallons per minute, but “that did not extinguish the flames,” according to the NTSB. At approximately 9:13 p.m., nearly three hours after the first alarm was received, firefighters had to pour out more than 600 gallons of water per minute. In the end the agency used 20,000 gallons of water. these should be banned from the road…..

    Then the fire still isn’t put out……..Batteries can be expected to reignite after being put out because they still have stored energy. 15 hours later it catches fire again…
    “Battery fires can take up to 24 hours to extinguish”….. the vehicle must be parked under “quarantine” for 48 hours, so that no new fire can break out.
    Batteries are difficult to extinguish, and they can burst into flames again several hours later –ATTENTION: in some cases, right up to a week later
    ……… and they allow people to buy these abortions.

    – these things are so dangerous they shouldn’t be sold…..remember the leftist government says 24/7 safe and effective, all lies.

    The greater the amount of energy the electric vehicle may contain, the greater the fire risk of electric vehicle fires.
    So they want to increase the range but that means bigger batteries which are far more dangerous, tesla is the worst they have up to 1800 lb of batteries, a huge fire on wheels going somewhere to happen.

    The big hidden problem:
    they can’t increase the range because the huge batteries are too dangerous, and get more dangerous with increased size, capacity, so EV’s will never have ice vehicle range, so they are too dangerous and useless.

    Tiny little electric vehicles with tiny batteries would have been safer, cheaper would have made more sense, these huge EV’s are exactly the wrong solution, but the government is stupid, corrupt, insane.

    Here is the biggest problem nobody talks about……
    31% of fire departments don’t train for electric vehicle fires. 50% of fire departments say they don’t have special protocols in place to handle electric vehicles after an accident. These EV’s shouldn’t be sold the fire departments can’t even put out the fires, these things endanger everyone.

    Remember this while driving your EV:
    Drive down the road in your EV, hit some debris, a high bump, a huge pothole (the cities don’t fix the roads anymore, so don’t buy an EV), a raised manhole cover or drive into the ditch, puncture the battery and the battery catches fire.
    In addition to crashes, some of the earlier fires involving Teslas were reportedly caused by debris in the roadway puncturing and gouging the undercarriage of the lithium-ion battery pack.

    The damaged battery pack exposed the lithium, causing an exothermal reaction and subsequent fire. This hazard was thought to have been solved with the installation of a titanium cover encasing the battery pack, giving the undercarriage more resistance to severe damage. looks like they don’t work too well, remember this while driving your EV.

    Most electric vehicle fires are caused by the thermal runaway of a damaged battery. Thermal runaway is the rapid and extreme rise in temperature and when it initiates the same reaction in adjacent cells it is known as ‘thermal runaway propagation. When thermal runaway happens, it can produce smoke, fire and even explosions.

    Fires while the electric vehicle is stationary (an EV can catch fire even while parked, don’t sleep in it), this can happen from:
    Extreme temperatures, both extreme heat and cold
    High humidity
    Flooding
    Internal cell failure
    ATTENTION: Overcharging or problems with the charging station (the EV can catch fire), don’t charge it in your garage, what if something goes wrong while charging?
    Is that why so many charging stations are out of order? the software shuts them down over any little issue because they can cause fires.

    why do they even allow these on the road? the leftist government is pushing these because they are morons and insane,

    Fires in gas powered vehicles is far easier to put out compared to an EV and doesn’t take 24 hours to put out. (it is very very difficult for a diesel powered vehicle to catch fire, they are by far the safest)
    they soon will ban far safer gas powered vehicles and the best and the safest by far diesel powered vehicles, throw a match in diesel, it won’t even catch fire……..

    After 10 years the battery in your EV is near dead, useless, the car is scrap now, no residual value: Lithium-ion batteries are subject to aging, losing capacity and fail frequently after a number of years.
    A bigger worry is being cremated in the thing.

    Electric car batteries are catching fire and that could be a big turnoff to buyers.

    BMW initiated a recall in the United States of 10 different BMW and Mini plug-in hybrid models because of a risk of fire caused by debris that may have gotten into battery cells during manufacturing.
    Then, in early October, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into reports of apparently spontaneous battery fires in Chevrolet Bolt EVs.
    A few days later, Hyundai announced that it was recalling 6,700 Kona Electric SUVs in the United States, among about 75,000 of that model to be recalled worldwide, after it had received numerous reports of vehicles catching fire while parked.
    Tesla faced problems this last year after multiple highly publicized battery fires.

    The leftist government is pushing these EV’s like crazy, all they say is safe and effective 24/7 like their mrna vaccine, same thing, pure lies. You are not allowed to know about the safety of vaccines or EV’s.

    Container puts out inextinguishable fires in electric cars

    https://cfpa-e.eu/container-puts-out-inextinguishable-fires-in-electric-cars/

    • Anonymous: We had a similar problem many years ago with magnesium wheels and engines in some foreign cars. I believe the term mag wheels comes from the metal alloy component of the wheels. Any how, the damn things were near impossible to put out when the car was on fire. Being a small town fire department, we would dump sand on the fire to cut off the oxygen and put out the fire.

        • I would try that before water. This is actually the best technique for metal fires.

          Have to apply gently though to avoid “splashing” burning metal.

          Pile up a ring around the outside to contain the fire in one area, then gently expand the ring towards the center, and do the top last.

          • Maybe we should put 1 sand trap per mile of road and program autopilots to drive into them any time there is an electrical problem. Could have a Sandy ground with a bag of sand suspended by a chain that automatically opens up when fire scorches it.

            Holy shit, I figured out how to solve the EV fire problem and it wouldn’t even be a multi year project. I guess parking garages also need a sand pit, and urban areas would need 2 of these on every block. Anyone want to form a company?

  13. Somebody call Ralph Nader right now, he’ll get those electric cars off the road.

    Ever see a railroad crew work with thermite to weld two lengths of ribbon rail?

    Thermite burns until it’s all gone.

    Quite a scorch on the side of the ship.

    Russia is de-nazifying Ukraine today, it’s on fire.

    And the Dow is nose-diving, another buying opportunity in the making.

    Putin must have been buying puts like crazy.

    • Funny how Ralph is quiet now that there are ACTUAL dangerous cars out there……. Corvairs at least were actually fixable to be more safe. There is no real way to make a battery car safer outside of removing the battery, making it identify as a paperweight instead of a car…….

      With today’s safety at all costs society, it’s total crickets when it comes to electric cars. If they weren’t part of the agenda they would likely be facing a ban from the roads.

  14. “to start a fire, to get gasoline burning – even if the tank is damaged and gas is spilling. This makes gasoline-powered cars inherently safer to drive than electric cars.”
    And diesels even more so, as the US military learned when its Sherman gas powered tanks encountered diesel powered German tanks 80+ years ago. The Shermans being renamed Ronsons, after the cigarette lighter, that always lit on the first try.
    Its hard to get diesel burning with a match unless its hot. When it does burn, under normal uncontained conditions, it doesn’t burn as hot as gasoline either. Never mind though, since the world temperature may go up a degree or two, which it might have done any way, if we use fuels that are actually efficient and relatively safe.

    • Wrong link, bad paste.

      Try this one

      It was supposed to go to the Garth Brooks song, “Standing Outside the Fire.”

      Which the title reminded me of. And it’s kind of ‘rona-appropriate, in a way.

  15. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mockingbird

    Operation Mockingbird is an alleged large-scale program of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that began in the early years of the Cold War and attempted to manipulate news media for propaganda purposes.

    According to author Deborah Davis, Operation Mockingbird recruited leading American journalists into a propaganda network and influenced the operations of front groups. CIA support of front groups was exposed when an April 1967 Ramparts magazine article reported that the National Student Association received funding from the CIA.[1] In 1975, Church Committee Congressional investigations revealed Agency connections with journalists and civic groups.

    Is the CIA still imbedded in international mainstream media outlets? If not, what about the Council on Foreign Relations? How about the Global Economic Forum? Pretty sure most of the mainstream media “journalists” are CFR members. If there’s a history of media infiltration by spies, who’s to say these other groups aren’t just using the same CIA tactics to achieve their agenda?

    (slight pause while I adjust my tinfoil hat)

    And what of the fire? Millions of tons of lithium based cells are shipped globally around the world daily without any problem. Many of them are built in sketchy Chinese and Vietnamese factories, with little protection other than bubble wrap and cardboard, and have been for about 20 years. Your phone has a LiPO battery, the most fragile chemistries of the bunch. About the only way to cause thermal runaway is to physically damage the cell or use an improper charging circuit. All that activity has taught shippers and manufacturers how to deal with them. First rule is never ship a fully charged cell. 30-40% or so is the limit (also good if you’re going to be storing batteries for more than a week). VW knows that (although who knows what with the woke takeover). This smells bad. Like Soros conspiracy bad. Short VW, just as they get some traction back, then pull the rug out by burning up a shipment. The senile psycopath hates “Nazis” and what’s more Nazi than Hitler’s Volkswagen? Maybe he had one of his minions sabotage a battery pack by sending it out with a full charge…

    • Dieselgate:

      VW was the biggest car manufacturer in the world, cripple them to help out domestic manufacturers, all the manufacturers were cheating with software, one of the worst was GM, but they were very good at hiding it. VW got crucified…….

  16. I’m not a EE so this stuff is over my head. If battery packs are deliberately discharged, does the risk of self-immolation go away or is the fire a product of the material makeup & chemistry of each cell?

    • Not completely. There are several ways lithium batteries will catch fire. First is when the lithium comes into contact with water. It doesn’t take much, just water in the air is enough to cause a slow reaction. That usually won’t induce a thermal runaway situation but it has happened. The more common problem is shorting of the anode and cathode or breakdown of the dialectric material separating the electrolyte. The lithium cell has effectly infinate current capability and lots of internal resistance. Resistance is heat and with no where to go it will quickly burn the dialectric material, causing a greater exposure of the electrolyte and it becomes self-sustaining.

      In new batteries this breakdown is likely due to an undiscovered manufacturing defect or physical damage. In older batteries the electrolyte will actually grow dendrites that can punch through the dialectric and short the cell. When this happens on a small cell, like what is in a phone, the battery will release gas and probably swell. I had this happen on a phone once and several cheap USB chargers. Usually nothing else happens but they can catch fire.

      Discharging the cell will greatly reduce the risk from shorting out cells but not the physical damage or defect problems. Again, even reaction with the water in the air is enough to cause a reaction, although not usually thermal runaway.

  17. My teenage kids look at me like I have two heads when I say that if somebody gave me a free Tesla I would immediately sell it and buy a car that wouldn’t randomly catch fire. Guess they want me to be able to drive them somewhere with ludicrous speed not my old minivan 🙂

      • Then my kids ask me what my “dream car” would be and I start talking about something like an old original tank-like Suburban or Bronco with real metal bumpers and minimal electronics or maybe another ‘89 Sentra 4 speed w no AC and roll down windows (my first car) and then I seem to have sprouted a third head!

        • Hi SJ,

          The cure for what ails your kids is to get them some seat time in a pre Safety Cult car. The youth have no idea what they missed. Let’s show them!

    • sell it and buy this 1980 Toyota Corolla, way quicker and way cooler plus you can feel, hear and smell it, way more fun…….

      1980 Toyota Corolla with one little 6 cyl engine runs a 4.8 sec. 1/8th mile,

      the Tesla Plaid with THREE motors runs a 6.02 sec. 1/8th mile,

      Hellcats run about 6.6 sec. 1/8th mile.

      gas engines are better

      https://www.roadandtrack.com/motorsports/videos/a33144/watch-this-1600-hp-2jz-toyota-corolla-hatch-run-48-seconds-in-the-1-4-mile/

    • Sj. Ive driven a caravan GT and it’s actually really fast. It’s limitation is the handling and size. The Tesla weighs as much and recharging takes a while, so a model X would probably be slower except for a 0-100 mph on ramp launch that somehow takes 50miles of range and causes timid slow lane driving so that I don’t have to waste an hour partially “fast” recharging it in the middle of the trip

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