Electric cars have begun to invade international roads, both in the United States and in Europe. The first accidents involving EVs also begin to occur, with some claims becoming more frequent than others. Such as the cases of fires involving electric cars, a phenomenon that scares motorists and is starting to raise several questions about the safety of battery-powered cars. The experts of the car manufacturers are already trying to reassure customers, such as the technicians of GM who wanted to emphasize that the safety of electric cars is the same as that of endothermic cars.
Yet electric fires do occur, with some causes being more frequent than others. The different triggers for EV fires for example they may concern any faults in the control software or some type of deficiency in the insulation of the battery compartment. The ambient temperature can also affect, or overheating when charging the vehicle. Finally, there is also another cause, which once again concerns the batteries and which at the moment is difficult to solve. These are short circuits caused by the presence of dendrites on the bumps of the accumulators, an element that makes the batteries unstable and more vulnerable to possible problems.
These are small lithium crystals that are created in the negative electrode and attract positive ions, when these come into contact it can cause a short circuit and the consequent fire. Wolfgang Schmickler and Elizabeth Santos, technicians from the University of Ulm, addressed the problem in a study on the topic: “With metals like copper or silver, the surface becomes positively charged during deposition. If there is a small bump on the surface, a positive charge builds up, which repels the positively charged metal ions, the cluster cannot grow any further and forms dendrites.“Car manufacturers are aware of this criticism and have been working for some time on alternative solutions that can avoid this problem, such as new generation batteries that contain neither lithium nor cobalt.