Much of what ails us has been abstract for a long time. A new law is passed that we don’t like but the effects are . . . abstract and so easier to ignore. This is changing – has changed. We increasingly feel the effect of what’s being to us, even if it hasn’t actually directly affected us, yet.
But the closer it gets, the more we feel it coming for us.
Many of us, for instance, know someone who has been “adversely affected” by the drugs lately forced upon them. And yes, it is force when one is under duress. People were told they’d lose their jobs – which for many meant they stood to lose almost everything – if they refused to take the drugs. They were not “free to choose,” as some moral imbeciles have suggested.
I now know of someone who has been “adversely affected” by lithium-ion batteries, the power storage devices forced on all of us, including those of us who do not want and do not own an EV. And yes, all of us. Because all of us are paying for it in one way or another. Whether via fewer alternatives to EVs being available or via higher electricity costs as well as a number of other ways.
This happened to a guy I know from my old neighborhood earlier this week. A friend – from the same neighborhood – called to let me know his house, which was very close to my old house, caught fire after a lithium-ion battery started a fire. The house was destroyed and the guy who was asleep inside never woke up. Rescued by paramedics, he died yesterday of burns and smoke inhalation.
This sort of thing is going to become more common as electric vehicles with fire-prone lithium-ion battery packs become more common. Some will say the risk is “slight.” I refer them to the fact that – already – more EVs have caught fire than Ford Pintos, of which millions were produced. Proportionately far fewer Pintos ever caught fire than EVs so far – yet Pintos were recalled.
They had a design defect.
The difference is really important – if you would rather not go up in smoke.
Early Pintos might catch fire if rear-ended because the impact could shear off the fuel filler neck (attached to the tank) and that might result in a fire, if there was a spark to ignite the gasoline – which generally won’t burn in the absence of one.
Note all the italics.
Gas is volatile but stable. It does not spontaneously combust. This is why a gas leak (as from a pinhole in the tank) is more a nuisance than a danger. Once Ford fixed the fuel-filler issue, the Pinto was much less likely to go up in smoke if it was rear ended.
If the Pinto – even with the as-it-was-designed filler neck – wasn’t rear-ended (and rear-ended hard) there was almost no chance it would go up in smoke, even with the defective fuel filler neck because it is almost impossible for a gas-engine car to spontaneously combust.
Lithium-ion batteries, on the other hand, do that – as a function of their design. It is an inherent problem rather than a manufacturing problem. Thousands of individual cells and all it takes is one of them to thermally run-away – or short-circuit – and trigger a chemical cascade that manifest as a very fast starting, very hot-burning and very hard-to-douse fire, once it starts.
This can happen when the device – whether it’s a cell phone or an electric car – isn’t being used (or driven) and is just sitting. It can also happen when the device is charging, especially using high voltage chargers but also standard 120V household current (the latter is the trigger for most house fires, when a circuit is overloaded or a wire is frayed).
The risk of spontaneous combustion in the context of lithium-ion EV batteries is both higher and greater because EVs are mobile fire traps and bigger fire traps. When 1,000-plus pounds of lithium-ion EV battery pack lights off, the conflagration the ensues is huge. If it happens in someone’s garage, it – and the house attached – are likely to go up in smoke, along with anyone inside. And if your house is next to that house, yours (and you) are, too.
Recall that bit mentioned earlier about all of us being put at risk by lithium-ion batteries.
It’s a fascinating thing, juxtaposed with the supposed concern for Our Safety the government is always prattling about.
But it’s also something else, in that the effects of these things are hitting closer and closer to home. This makes them a lot less abstract than they used to be and – awful as that is – it is also salutary in that we find ourselves, at last, in the position of being directly affected in ways that we dare not ignore.
In ways that cannot be ignored, anymore.
. . .
If you like what you’ve found here please consider supporting EPautos.
PS: Get an EPautos magnet or sticker or coaster in return for a $20 or more one-time donation or a $10 or more monthly recurring donation. (Please be sure to tell us you want a magnet or sticker or coaster – and also, provide an address, so we know where to mail the thing!)
My eBook about car buying (new and used) is also available for your favorite price – free! Click here. If that fails, email me at EPeters952@yahoo.com and I will send you a copy directly!