Why are electric vehicle fires so hard to put out

Credit: American Chemical Society.

Electric vehicles don’t catch fire often, but when they do, things get spicy.

How do these fires start?

And why are they so hard to put out?

There are scientists trying to answer these questions, but there are also scientists still trying to figure out what actually happens (chemically) when a lithium-ion battery catches fire.

Can we solve this problem without fully understanding what’s going on?

Reactions is a video series produced by the American Chemical Society and PBS Digital Studios.

The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress.

ACS’ mission is to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and all its people.

As a leader in scientific information solutions, its CAS division partners with global innovators to accelerate breakthroughs by curating, connecting and analyzing the world’s scientific knowledge.

ACS’ main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.