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Electric motorbikes and bicycles are popular in Vietnam, though rare, exploding batteries pose a serious fire risk.

What leads to the explosion of electric car batteries?

Electric motorbike fires and explosions can be attributed to a multitude of factors, encompassing both subjective and objective causes.


Specifically, subjective reasons for concern include the affordability of electric motorbikes and batteries, their questionable quality and failure to meet safety standards, as well as their unfamiliar brand and origin. These motorbikes pose numerous safety hazards, with the potential for fire or explosion in the event of any issues with the battery or electrical system.

Another subjective reason is that users enjoy “modifying” their vehicles and adding accessories such as LED lights and horns. However, these additions have the potential to overload the electrical system, compromising the safety of using the electric vehicle.

Improper use of the vehicle and incorrect battery charging practices can significantly raise the risk of the electric motorbike catching fire or exploding. Instances like using a charger that does not meet the manufacturer’s specifications, consistently overcharging by leaving the charger plugged in for extended periods, having charging cords damaged by rodents, or exposing charging sockets to moisture can all contribute to these hazards.

There are certain factors that can significantly raise the risk of a fire or explosion in electric vehicles. These include damaged or swollen batteries or accumulators due to prolonged usage, as well as collisions that can cause harm to the electrical system, battery, or accumulator.

Why is it challenging to put out an electric motorcycle battery fire?

Most electric motorbikes currently rely on lithium-ion batteries, which possess a significant risk of exploding when their outer shell is damaged. If a lithium-ion battery catches fire, it will generate intense heat, leading to a continuous increase in temperature and the potential for burning or explosion. Unlike traditional combustion processes, lithium-ion batteries can burn without the need for oxygen due to chemical reactions within the battery. Consequently, extinguishing fires caused by these batteries can be extremely challenging as they will continue to burn until completely consumed.

If a lithium-ion battery catches fire, it releases numerous noxious gases that pose significant risks to human health if breathed in.

Lithium-ion battery for electric bicycles.  (Photo: Internet).
Lithium-ion battery for electric bicycles. (Photo: Internet).

Electric vehicles can not only experience battery errors but also pose a risk of catching fire due to electrical system malfunctions. While these fires can be extinguished relatively easily, it is crucial to act swiftly before the flames reach the battery system. If the fire spreads to the battery, it becomes significantly more challenging to extinguish and could result in severe consequences.

What should you do if the electric motorbike battery explodes?

Electric motorcycles come equipped with high-capacity batteries, making it challenging to extinguish potential battery fires or explosions, which can result in severe consequences.

You are prohibited from using regular fire extinguishers and instead must utilize specialized fire extinguishers equipped with new molecular coating technology, specifically designed to rapidly lower temperatures and extinguish fires in motorcycle batteries and electrical equipment. Nonetheless, these particular extinguishers are significantly more costly compared to conventional ones.

Caution: When dealing with a lithium-ion battery fire, it is crucial to avoid using water as it can lead to a highly hazardous explosive reaction. At high temperatures, water converts into hydrogen, posing a severe safety risk.

In the event of a fire breaking out on an electric motorbike, it is essential to promptly contact the fire department at 114 and explicitly inform them that the fire originated from the electric motorbike battery. This will enable them to develop an appropriate firefighting strategy. If feasible, move the burning electric vehicle to a well-ventilated location, keeping it away from any flammable items to prevent the spread of fire.

Ensure safe charging of electric motorbike batteries following these guidelines for optimal battery performance and avoiding potential hazards.

Electric vehicle charging.  Illustration.
Electric vehicle charging. Illustration.

In order to minimize the risk of fire and explosion on electric motorcycles, it is important for users to focus on the following aspects:

  • Choose to buy electric motorbike products with clear origins, brands, and quality inspection stamps.
  • Regularly check electric motorbikes, especially the electrical system, charger and battery.
  • Only use quality batteries and charging cables of clear origin.
  • You should only charge your electric vehicle when there is supervision, do not charge it overnight.
  • Charge the electric vehicle battery in a dry place, away from sources of fire, heat and flammable objects.
  • Do not plug your electric motorbike charger into the same outlet as other electronic devices to avoid overload and fire.