Cars catching fire in enclosed car parks is nothing new. However, the risks associated with electric vehicles (EVs) are unprecedented. Indoor car parks are at a comparatively higher risk than any other open spaces related to the charging process and the fire safety issues associated with the use of lithium-ion batteries. Unfortunately, building codes and regulations do not yet consider EV fire fires, according to studies conducted in Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Austria. The EU-funded EVRISK project will develop a pioneering risk assessment model that quantitatively measures the risk of EVs catching fire in indoor car parks and proposes prevention and mitigation measures in a selected architectural design of car parks.
The sales share of electric vehicles (EV) in Europe rose to 10% in 2020 as compared to 3.2% in 2019. This trend is projected to increase to 19% in 2025 and 35% in 2030. This positive trend comes with the safety risk and hazards associated with EVs. The current immediate need of research must be concentrated for indoor car parks due to its comparatively higher risk than any other open spaces. To date, there is no specific study on EV fire safety in car parks which is concerning given that the number of EV fleets are growing at a rapid pace in Europe. With past incidents of burning EV vehicles related to the charging process as well as with the ongoing battery fire safety issues, there is an urgent need to explore in detail within the topic of EV fire safety in car parks. Recent searches from building codes from Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Austria have concluded that there are no specific fire safety design regulations for EVs in car parks. Responding to this research and policy gap, this inter-disciplinary project aims to develop a state-of-the-art risk assessment model that can be used to quantitatively measure the risk of EV fire in indoor car parks. To achieve the aim, two main objectives have to be fulfilled. O1 - To establish a qualitative and quantitative fire risk assessment model that can be used to measure risk level of specific car park design. O2 - To propose prevention and mitigation measures in a selected architectural design of car parks. To accomplish the objectives, activities such engagements, assessments, and simulation work are planned within the 5 work packages proposed in the project. The output from the assessment can be used to develop specific prevention and mitigation measures for specific car park design that can lead to minimization of the impact of EV fire. The model can also be used as a baseline to develop a policy or regulation for authorities having jurisdiction.