A lithium-ion car battery from a “luxury electric car” ignited and burned five cars in a parking lot at Sydney Airport.
Firefighters were called to the incident on Airport Drive, Mascot, at about 8.30pm on Monday night and quickly determined an electric car’s lithium-ion battery was to blame.
The battery had been detached from the unnamed “luxury” electric vehicle, which Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) declined to identify.
“We are not able to disclose this information due to legal considerations,” a spokesperson told Information Age.
Experts are still determining the exact circumstances of the fire, which spread to five cars.
The stored cars are believed to be owned by the same company.
FRNSW says the lithium-ion batteries in EVs “come with associated risks and hazards, including fire and explosion, radiation, heat, chemical, and electrical,” and recommends car owners have a smoke or heat alarm installed in garages where the EV is stored.
In NSW, EVs must have a blue triangle ‘EV’ sticker on the licence plate to immediately alert emergency services as having a high voltage battery.
Should an incident arise while driving an EV, FRNSW says to engage the parking brake, switch off the engine, exit the vehicle quickly, and stand at least 30 metres away from it.
Researchers from FRNSW's Safety of Alternative and Renewable Energy Technologies (SARET) team are inspecting the aftermath of Monday’s fire to assist in developing “best practice for emergency response to lithium-related fires, and informing industry on how to manage the risks associated with emerging technologies.”