5 electric/hybrid cars catch fire, closing Route 295 in NJ
🔥 The carrier driver called in the fire on Route 295 around 6:15 a.m.
🔥 Five electric or hybrid vehicle on the carrier caught fire
🔥 All lanes were closed at Exit 73 for Scotch Road for about two hours
EWING — A fire on a car carrier on Route 295 closed the highway during the Monday morning commute.
Five electric or hybrid vehicles on the carrier caught fire at 6:15 a.m. in the southbound lanes between Exit 75 (West Trenton) and Exit 73 (Scotch Road), Ewing police Lt. Glenn R. Tettemer told New Jersey 101.5.
The lanes were closed until 8:30 a.m., creating a backup to the bridge. Traffic in the northbound lanes headed toward the bridge was unaffected.
Electric car batteries burn longer
Batteries in hybrid vehicles can be difficult to extinguish because a lithium-ion battery can burn hotter and for a longer period of time than a gasoline engine.
In March, firefighters used several thousand gallons of water to put out a fire in a Tesla that slid off the Palisades Interstate Parkway. The driver, Jyung Hahn, 46, of Cresskill, was killed in the crash.
The impact of the crash caused the battery to rupture, putting it into thermal runaway, according to the Nanuet Fire Department. It is a condition that develops when the heat generated inside a battery is higher than the amount of heat being dissipated, making the fire very difficult to extinguish.
It took two hours for that fire to be declared under control.
According to the Nanuet Fire Department, the Tesla S's sole source of power is its 375-volt lithium ion battery, which spans the entire length and width of the floor of the car.