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An electric vehicle on fire serves as a lesson to the daunting industry

A battery-electric vehicle caught fire in Glencore’s Craig Mine last year. This unfortunate accident shed some light on the unprecedented eventualities that companies developing them should prepare themselves to tackle. Steve Holmik stated this, adding that no one was ready for such an event. Holmes serves as the mobile equipment expert at Glencore Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations (SINO). He pointed out that this incident was the first in the entire world. Initially, diesel equipment would catch fire, but no incident had been recorded with purely electric vehicles. Nevertheless, the reality has hammered a theoretical view and explained the possibility of BEVs catching fire.

The fire incident happened when two technicians were trying to restart a battery electric vehicle at Craig Mine while fulfilling the Onaping Depth Project. A sudden twitch in the electrical system put the vehicle on fire, trapping the technicians behind the wreck. Miraculously, nobody was victimized in the incident since the two technicians used a compressed air line and a developed breathing apparatus to ingest clean air. After some time, Mine Rescuers came to their aid, quenching the fire and retrieving the two from beneath the wrecked car. Holmes expressed a certain relief that nobody was injured whatsoever, establishing that the car’s system was faulty.

Holmes explained that this event is a lesson that they hope never to repeat since they will be installing the appropriate mechanisms to ensure neither engineers nor customers fall into a similar trap. Holmik added that they decided to publicize the incident to teach other companies in this production line to prepare for such incidents. Holmes and his associate Craig Harris narrated this event in the Battery-Electric Vehicle Safety in Mines symposium conducted by Workplace Safety North. Stakeholders in the electric vehicle industry and those championing for the uptake of these models and opportunity to learn how they can prevent such events in the future felt that this event was very important.

A previous approach to the traction inverter performed by Craig completely damaged the equipment. The company has been conducting these intense tests to ensure that they can come up with the appropriate mitigation procedures that would accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles. The chief electrical engineer for Glencore’s Onaping Depth Project, Harris, stated that they associate with other developers to identify suitable methods to suppress such incidents or completely eradicate them in the future. He explained that engineers and assemblers of battery electric vehicles must dwell on the vehicle’s chemical aspects and the overcurrent protection mechanism.