Email of the day on combustion risk from EVs
Comment of the Day

April 26 2023

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Email of the day on combustion risk from EVs

Will they be a conflagration risk?

Eoin Treacy's view

Thank you for this question, which was in reference to the announcement CATL is prototyping a battery capable of powering airplanes. The fire risk from lithium batteries comes from the liquid catalyst. Since solid state batteries do not have a liquid electrolyte they are inherently safer. The new CATL battery is not exactly a solid state battery so it is impossible to know at this stage what the fire risk is.

As more EVs hit the roads there are some specific changes that are becoming apparent. The first is they are much heavier so very old parking structures will no longer be permitted for use. That also suggests greater wear and tear on road surfaces so more upkeep. The second is when EVs are in accidents they are very often totalled rather than repaired. That increases insurance costs. The last is recharging infrastructure continues to be built out and utilities are in a decade long upgrade of transmission equipment. That means higher electricity costs regardless of what happens to commodity prices. 

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