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Firefighters in the Netherlands used a unique method to extinguish a BMW i8 on fire this week. After dousing most of the large flames, they dropped the car into a large container of water, completely submerging it in the water, thereby putting the flames out.
The additional step involving submerging the car completely was taken as a precaution. Sports cars are generally known to be temperamental and susceptible to extreme temperatures and improper use.
There have been many cases of supercars and sports cars catching fire, and this list involves big names like Lamborghini and Ferrari too. These cars are built to perfection but are made to be used in a particular manner and particular environment.
When pushed above their limits, especially with high temperatures in the surrounding environment, it doesn't go too well with such cars. If one would think electric cars and hybrids are safer, it is true to an extent.
If an electric car catches fire for whatsoever reason, putting the fire out will be a problem if the fire has got to the Lithium-Ion battery pack. The chemicals and toxic substances in the battery pack will reignite the flames several times until all the substances are burned out.
What that means is that, even after the flames of the fire in other parts of the car have been extinguished, the battery pack can restart the fire. A similar incident happened in the Netherlands earlier this week when a BMW i8 hybrid caught fire.
The firefighters in Breda, Netherlands chose to first douse the major flames on the outside using fire extinguishers and then submerged the entire car under water. This way, they did not give room for the flame to re-ignite.
This method of dousing electric car fires worked pretty well, until the time came to dispose the water. The water had to be disposed safely as it was toxic after absorbing nickel, cobalt and various other chemicals used in the battery and hybrid system.
Adding to all these chemicals is the petrol from the fuel tank as the BMW i8 is a hybrid and comes with a lithium-ion battery complementing the 3-cylinder internal combustion engine. At this moment, it is worth paying attention to the fact that BMW had issued a recall for the i8 back in 2014.
The recall was to fix an issue with the bolt that holds the fuel tank in place that wasn't welded properly and BMW had said that it could potentially cause a fire. BMW claimed that 223 cars were affected by the recall.
Thoughts On BMW i8 Dropped Into Water Tank To Douse Fire
It has been five years since the recall for the BMW i8 was issued and the faulty part was replaced. Hence, we do not think that this fire can be attributed to that old problem with the model.
This fire occurred at a BMW dealership and the car was pushed out before the it was completely engulfed in flames. The exact cause for the fire is unknown at the moment, but this incident has proved that dumping the car into a container of water is the best way to put out an electric car's fire.