A series of fires involving electric buses is calling into question Germany’s reliance on these zero-emissions vehicles. “The risk of these fires,” safety regulator Heinrich Duepmann told RT, “is completely unaddressed.”
Europe is seeing a surge in green transportation. The sales of electric vehicles have increased by fourfold since 2018. One in ten vehicles on the continent are now entirely electric. This number rises to four out of ten when you consider hybrid vehicles. Germany saw a double-digit increase in electric buses last year, despite the Greens being involved in negotiations to form a coalition government.
It has been difficult to switch from diesel fuel to electric. This year, three bus depots were destroyed by fire. The most recent incident in Stuttgart saw 25 buses go up in flames and a cloud of smoke rise over Stuttgart.
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A massive fire broke out at Stuttgart’s bus depot and sent smoke towering above the city (VIDEOS).
The fires prompted the cities of Munich and Stuttgart to suspend use of these battery-powered buses, and Heinrich Duepmann of Germany’s Electricity Consumer Protection Association told RT that he shares their concerns – not just about buses, but electric vehicles in general.
“The risk of these fires, including in other locations such as bicycle basements or large apartment blocks, is completely unaddressed,”He said. “Also, insurance companies are not yet tackling the issue.”
If the lithium-ion battery that powers electric cars catch on fire, it can either be damaged or ignited during charging. These fires, once they are started, can burn extremely fast when lithium comes in contact with oxygen. The fluoride gas produced by lithium-ion battery has been proven to be toxic when they burn.
Aside from the fire risk, Deupmann is also concerned that as private electric vehicles become more popular, the country’s electricity infrastructure is “completely undeveloped”To facilitate fast and widespread charging
“People have been too naive about this,”He said that, and added: “naive is an understatement.”
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