Since its launch the EVCU has obviously raised quite a few questions as it is the first unit specifically designed to deal with the problem of quickly removing EV vehicles from the roadway after being involved in fire or serious collisions.

To help we have provided a few of the most common questions relating to the EVCU’s design below.

Is the EVCU designed to submerge vehicles in water?

No – The EVCU has not been designed to submerge Electric vehicles for 2 very good reasons. Firstly, submerging a burning Lithium-Ion battery does not extinguish thermal runaway and will create very large amounts of contaminated water which will then need to be safely disposed of. Secondly, major vehicle manufacturers have stated that their vehicles should not be submerged as this can initiate or accelerate thermal runaway.

How does the EVCU work?

The EVCU works on the principle of utilising steam being generated under and around the vehicle to suppress fire development outside the Lithium-Ion battery compartment. The steam produced inhibits the full development of fire growth to the rest of the vehicle from flames exiting the EV’s battery compartment from the floor level sprinklers. Should fire develop inside the vehicle passenger compartment internally then the high-level sprinklers will cool the vehicle body. Should the passenger compartment fire develop to the extent of the vehicle windows failing then the water sprays will again develop steam to suppress internal fire conditions within the vehicles passenger compartment.

How much water does the EVCU carry?

The EVCU has 3 inbuilt water tanks carrying 1800 litres of water in total. The 2 main tanks are built into the floor area of the unit to keep the weight at the bottom of the unit to increase stability whilst in transit. There is also a 500-litre header tank on the outside of the unit which allows water to be returned from the internal sump within the unit which then redirects to the main under floor tanks. This external tank also allows for additional water to be added safely should it be required for firefighting purposes.

What vehicles can the EVCU carry?

The EVCU can carry all cars, Light vans, medium vans and large vans. The EVCU can also be used to recover any non-EV vehicles also.

Can the EVCU detect a fire?

Yes – The EVCU has a inbuilt fire detection system which detects both heat and smoke and will automatically activate the fire suppression systems once activated. Once activated it will also sound an audible alarm to inform persons in the vicinity of the unit. We also have the ability to include telemetry to send a message of activation to remote devices.

Why does the EVCU not have a roof?

The reason the EVCU does not have a roof is to prevent the build up of flammable gases within the unit. When lithium-ion battery fires enter thermal runaway they produce very high volumes of toxic and flammable gases. Should these gases be contained within a container with the thermal runaway being an ignition source then there is a very high probability of a catastrophic gas explosion when the atmosphere meeting its ideal mix for combustion.

Can a burning vehicle be put into the EVCU?

Yes – The EVCU has been designed so that even if a vehicle is still smouldering following initial attack from fire crews the vehicle can be winched into the EVCU and the onboard suppression systems can be used to continually cool the vehicle whilst the vehicle is transported to a secure location. This therefore allows all rescue services to leave the scene quickly and the roadway to be reopened much quicker than currently incidents allow.

Can the EVCU be used to store EV vehicles?

Yes – The EVCU can also be utilised as a storage or quarantine unit if it has been decided that a vehicle has electrical problems or is at risk of entering into thermal runaway. As the EVCU has its own water, fire detection and 24v batteries it will detect any fire development 24/7 and initiate water suppression if required.

What happens to any contaminated water?

The EVCU as we know carries 1800 litres of onboard water. If the water is used for firefighting involving a Lithium battery, then this water can become contaminated. The EVCU can be taken to a local wastewater disposal site or the water can easily be decanted into two 1000 litre ISO containers for transportation for disposal.

Can the EVCU be used to store flammable substances or Lithium-Ion batteries?

The EVCU’s patented design can be easily fitted with shelving units and additional sprinkler bars to become a fully monitored flammable storage unit for a safe storage solution of any flammable products or safe storage for Lithium-Ion batteries.

Can the EVCU be used to control fires at Waste sites?

Yes – Due to the onboard water supplies and open top design the EVCU can be used as a fire extinguishment unit at waste recycling centres. Burning material can be quickly transferred into the EVCU with plant machinery and onboard sprinklers will extinguish the fire effectively whilst containing any wastewater.

Can the EVCU only be carried on a flatbed vehicle?

No – The EVCU can be manufactured to be carried on a hook lift body (Prime Mover) as some organisations will already have these vehicles at their disposal.

Does the EVCU need an external power supply?

No – The EVCU works on a onboard 24v battery system to power all electrical systems. Connection via an Anderson lead to the carrying vehicle is also available to trickle charge the onboard batteries.

Which agencies can run an EVCU?

Any agencies including Vehicle Recovery Operators, Fire Services, Highways departments or Police can benefit from running an EVCU to be able to quickly and safely remove Electric Vehicles following fire or collisions on the roadway.

What are some of the toxic and flammable gases produced in the vapour cloud during early stages of thermal runaway?

In the white vapour cloud produced there will be the following:

Hydrogen, Carbon Monoxide, Carbon Dioxide, Hydrogen Fluoride, Hydrogen Chloride, Hydrogen Cyanide, Ethane, Methane, Organic solvents, Sulphur and Nitrogen oxides.

In the dark vapour cloud there will be:

Heavy metal particles, Cobalt, Manganese, Nickel, Nitrogen dioxides, sulphur dioxides and Polycyclic Organic matter (POMS)

The above lists are not exhaustive.

We hope this FAQ section has answered some of your questions in relation to the EVCU, please do contact us should you have any more.

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Designed & Developed

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Fire Containers Ltd. are proud to have designed and developed the Electric Vehicle Containment Unit - EVCU (patent protected). The first mobile solution for cooling and firefighting whilst on the move with its unique onboard water supply and suppression system.

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