Will my electric vehicle catch fire?

The demand for low-emission vehicles is increasing, as a solution to climate change.

Over 30,000 electrified vehicles are already on Australian roads and charging infrastructure has been installed in shopping centres, carparks, and in private homes.

While energy dense lithium-ion batteries powering electric vehicles (EVs) are typically very safe, when an EV battery fire does occur, it presents dangerous new fire behaviour and the risk of explosion.

Such fires are headline news, giving the impression that electric vehicles present an unacceptably high risk to safety.

But are they a risk?

And what do we know – and what do we need to learn – about EV battery fires to keep the public and emergency responders safe?

In this session, EV FireSafe Project Director Emma Sutcliffe will share data-driven findings on what is known, what needs to be tested, and emerging suppression and management techniques that may keep emergency responders safer in a world of electrified transport.

Emma Sutcliffe

Emma Sutcliffe

Project Director, EV Fire Safe

Emma Sutcliffe is an EV early adopter, charging her transport & life from an off-grid home in Little River since 2012. Emma co-founded an EV charging company in 2018, then went on to establish several other electric vehicle sector businesses focused on charging software, EV safety education & the conversion of classic cars to electric.

Now funded by the Department of Defence, Emma & an all-female team have built EV FireSafe, a world- leading research database & knowledge hub for emergency responders attending electric vehicle battery fires, that aims to enhance safety at emergency incidents involving electrified transport.