UCF researchers work to help prevent electric vehicle fires

ORLANDO, Fla. — Videos show electric vehicles catching fire following flooding from our last hurricane season.


Florida Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis sent letters to over 30 electric vehicle car manufacturers calling on them to assess and identify methods to limit the risk of EV fires.

Now teams at the University of Central Florida say they may have the answers.

Officials said the batteries inside of the EV cars caught fire due to corrosion.

Watch: Brightline Basecamp: An inside look at Brightline’s $100M vehicle maintenance facility in Orlando

Not only did some burst info flames, but firefighters said battling the blazes can be daunting.

Officials said a normal car fire can be put out with 500 to 700 gallons of water.

However, EV car fires can take anywhere from 20,000, to 30,000, to 40,000 gallons of water.

Watch: Study shows surviving violent car crashes may depend on where you sit

It’s not only difficult for first responders, it’s also dangerous for everyone around.

Now researchers at UCF are making it their mission to find a solution.

UCF associate professor Yang Yang led the research that developed technology that he says could prevent electric vehicle fires.

“The safety issues has never been resolved so that has been long term challenging,” Yang said.

Watch: How UCF research could crack down on catalytic converter thefts

So, they created a battery that uses saltwater to help power it instead of the volatile and highly flammable solvents found in typical electric vehicle lithium-ion batteries.

Yang said his team has worked to create the battery in all sizes to be used in devices as small as a phone to as big as an electric vehicle.

“This is definitely a game changer,” Yang said.

See more in the video above.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Comments on this article