Reignition occurred several times
Along with new technologies comes new challenges, and electric vehicles are no exception. This lesson was reinforced recently when battery cells from the a fiery Tesla Model X crash reignited days after the original incident.
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Fire-damaged battery cells from Model X crash
According to Mountain View Fire Chief Juan Diaz, the battery from this particular deadly crash reignited after six days. Some of the cells that weren't completely destroyed in the pack still had energy, and over time the damaged cylinders experienced heat elevation that eventually turned into a combustion event.
Though it is, thankfully, a rare occurance, it is one that first responders and others need to be aware of. To that end the Chief Diaz issued a 13-page document that discusses the dangers the firemen had experienced during the response to the Model X accident. Among the main issues is how to deal with an energized battery when the mechanism for neutralizing it — the "cut loop" — is destroyed.
With electric vehicles increasing in number by the day, the risk of a secondary fires and other challenges goes up. One potential tool for responders under development and being eyed by fire departments is the DC hot stick. It can tell the user whether a vehicle has current flowing through the body structure.