VIDEO: Electric cars are better for the environment but can pose a hazard for firefighters.
El Paso Fire Department Captain Manuel Maldonado said electric cars are not necessarily more dangerous, but require a different approach when trying to put out fires caused by a crash or any accident.
He said that the initial extinguishing of the fire is the same: the firefighters wear the same protective equipment to extinguish the flames, but they take one additional step after.
“Once the fire is extinguished, we’re going to locate the battery,” said Maldonado.
Each make and model of an electric or hybrid vehicle may have the battery positioned differently. Some vehicles can have the whole bottom part designated for a lithium battery.
Maldonado explained that because of the thermal runaway and stranded energy, the battery will keep heating up and potentially igniting over again until it is properly and promptly cooled down.