There are now over 2,000 charging stations across Australia. By comparison, in the UK, that number is over 42,000 in more than 15,500 locations. Our figures are only set to grow as the Government and private sector invest in growing this charging infrastructure to cope with increased demand for electric vehicles.

Charging stations are used all year round, day and night, by multiple electric vehicles at any time. Located in a variety of places, including service stations, shopping centres and office car parks, charging stations will end up everywhere.

There is a greater risk of fire when an electric vehicle is being charged, so any location that offers charging facilities should have equipment to deal with an electric vehicle fire. EV-rated fire blankets are fast becoming the best solution.

Collateral damage at a charging station
If an electric vehicle does catch fire at a charging station, the potential for collateral damage to the immediate surroundings is high. The majority of electric vehicle fires occur when the battery and any of its cells have been damaged or are faulty, or a failure occurs in the vehicle’s thermal management systems. A damaged cell can heat up very quickly and start a fire. Once this happens, adjoining cells are also compromised and the fire spreads throughout the whole battery and causes thermal runaway.

Thermal runaway in electric vehicle fires
It’s almost impossible to stop thermal runaway and its volatility often results in the fire spreading to surrounding vehicles or property. What’s more, due to the chemical content of an EV battery, an electric vehicle fire will result in harmful fumes and smoke.

If every electric vehicle charging point had an electric vehicle fire blanket, collateral damage in the event of an EV fire could be dramatically reduced. If a fire is suspected, the EV fire blanket can be deployed alongside contacting the fire brigade. Reducing the oxygen available to the fire, the electric vehicle fire blanket will also prevent the fire reaching any other vehicles as well as bringing down the overall temperature of the fire.

A must-have piece of kit for charging stations
Time will tell if charging stations are mandated to have an EV Fire Blanket in Australia. Malaysia has just passed legislation that all EV charge points must have an EV Fire Blanket. Will other countries follow? For now, having at least one EV rated Fire Blanket to deal with a potential vehicle fire is a starting point.