A fire is one of the biggest problems a driver can face. Fires in electric cars are rare to see, but they draw a lot of attention because of how spectacular the result is usually. Most of them start from overheating or an internal battery problem, and their spread is usually so fast that many times by the time firefighters want to get there, it’s already too late. Nevertheless, the problem seems to have its days numbered thanks to the patent that Audi has just presenteda fire-fighting system that acts quickly to prevent further damage.
Unfortunately, every time a car catches fire, it usually becomes a viral news all over the Internet, but the figures do not lie. Electric cars suffer less from this problem than combustion cars, where the risk is much higher. In both cases we are talking about a very dangerous situation that catches everyone by surprise and with little room to act. Some brands such as Mercedes propose the installation of a fire extinguisher in the passenger compartment as part of its optionalfew customers choose to install it.
In electric cars, this external fight against the flames is of little use because almost 100% of the time the fire stems from an internal battery problem where it is impossible to reach. That is why Audi engineers have just filed a patent for an internal extinguishing system. A complex solution but at the same time so logical that it is very difficult to understand how it has not been considered before. It consists of several elements, the main ones being a smoke detector and the extinguishing equipment itself, as well as various service pipes.
Currently, when an electric car is on fire, the extinguishing options are very complicated as it is an electrical fire. The best options are to use massive amounts of water to try to smother the flames or to use some fire retardant.. Eliminate oxygen from the air and gradually reduce the voracity of the fire until it is extinguished. No matter how fast the firefighters want to be, the result is almost always the complete destruction of the car. Hence, what Audi proposes is much more effective in alleviating the problem.
A smoke and temperature detector will be the first security barrier. When the sensors determine the presence of smoke and an excess in the temperature of the battery, they will issue an alert that will start the fire extinguisher. Audi chooses not to use water to put out the outbreak of fire, but a dry powder extinguisher that suffocates the flames as it does not find oxygen with which to continue its expansion. Fast and effective. The driver will receive a fire alert and the car will stop safely for the driver to call the authorities.
For the moment, only the patent has been filed, as our colleagues at Carbuzz have discovered, although it would not be surprising if it is finally introduced as an essential element in the next electric launches. Obviously the system requires that the battery pack be larger, although it does not seem that we are talking about a much larger volume. At the end of the day, the benefits that it can bring represent a considerable advantage over the risks that not including it entails.