De-risking the Carriage of Lithium-ion Batteries

Credits: Tom Fisk/ Pexels

At the heart of efforts to draw attention to the hazards inherent in transporting lithium-ion batteries, specialist freight insurer TT Club now urges debate leading to a balanced, yet realistic awareness of the dangers, and a united approach to enhancing their safe carriage. Improved regulatory clarity is required and auto manufacturers need to address transport safety issues more thoroughly.

Uncertainties of battery technology

Rapid development of battery technology and the uncertainties created by these developments, particularly concerning safety when the energy packs are being transported require the logistics industry to have a clear understanding of the dangers which can include fire, explosions and toxic gas emissions. Moreover, there needs to be increased efforts to minimise the risks, and if necessary, make sure there is an effective response to any catastrophic event.

Alarmist reports in the media can overstate the number of incidents involving electric vehicles. Indeed Peregrine Storrs-Fox, Risk Management Director at insurance mutual TT Club points out that “Lithium-ion (li-ion) battery fires are not an everyday occurrence. But when thermal runaway does happen, the result is release of toxic gases such as carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide, a very high temperature fire and can spread very fast.”

The release of toxic fumes may be the first alert, but fire with temperatures higher than 1,000degs centigrade can be reached in a matter of seconds and, as the mix of chemicals and metals ignites, devastation can ensue.

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Source: TT Club 


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