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Companies say they have emerging tech solutions to EV fires

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As more electric vehicles (EVs) hit the road the risk of additional EV fires and thermal runaway will likely increase, and a handful of companies say they have solutions to prevent both.

Thermal runaway occurs when damaged lithium-ion battery cells enter an uncontrollable, self-heating state resulting in the release of toxic gas or smoke, explosion, or fire.

E-FireX, led by retired firefighter Jesse Corletto and former collision shop CEO Marc Sebastian, will begin selling a specialized fire extinguisher to combat lithium-ion battery fires May 1 for $59.99-$229.99, depending on size. Corletto told Repairer Driven News the extinguisher has an all-natural-based encapsulated agent designed for high-heat fires, including lithium battery and metal fires.

About five years ago, Corletto began working on the extinguisher as the EV industry began to grow.

“Being a firefighter, we came across a couple of lithium battery fires and really had no solutions,” he said.

Sebastian added that New York firefighters have told them they deal with EV fires daily with no resolution. The goal is not only to get the extinguishers in the hands of firefighters, but also shop owners, tow truck drivers, salvage yard owners, retail businesses that store lithium batteries, and households, Corletto said. Lithium batteries are in many products nowadays from e-bikes and e-scooters to laptops, cell phones, and power tools.

“Where these cars are the most vulnerable is right after the collision and they [firefighters] put the vehicle out, the vehicle then gets towed to either a body shop and/or a salvage yard or a tow yard,” Sebastian said. “The concern is that each one of those facilities now has in their hand the liability of thermal runaway.”

No regulatory or fire code language lays out the requirements for how lithium batteries should be classified and stored at businesses, meaning there also isn’t a suppression system to match, Corletto said. To address that, he worked with a Chicago-based to write language that will be taken to the Nevada legislature for approval, which he hopes the National Fire Protection and International Fire Code associations also adopt.

Extensive third-party testing has been completed on the E-FireX extinguisher as well as by firefighters in California, New York, and New Jersey.

“It’s a nanotechnology so if you could picture a little square and billions of these little squares inside the agent,” Corletto said. “Once they hit that heat source, being the battery cell or the battery pack itself, it creates an accordion-type action — one side of that square bonds with the heat source, the other one just expands. This accordion-type effect is sucking all that heat out of that battery cell and removing any thermal runaways.”

Sebastian said the longest he’s heard of an EV reigniting due to thermal runaway was nine months after a collision.

“The customer has received their vehicle back at that point after the repair [and] this vehicle could still catch fire if a battery was not properly looked at and properly dealt with,” he said. “The reality is that this is a real problem and it’s a scary problem.”

Several manufacturers require shops working on EVs to have fire blankets, also known as lithium blankets, in case of fire, Sebastian said, but they’re one-time use and cost $2,000-$4,000 each. The blankets are also designed for use by firefighters protected with gear, Corletto added.

“If you put it over top of the vehicle at the wrong time, it has the potential of being a combustible bomb because you’re trapping the off-gassing,” he said. “It also puts you, as the human, very close to that vehicle whereas the fire extinguisher still has you at a distance.”

There are some preventative measures to take to avoid thermal runaway, but they aren’t always foolproof. Those include not letting the battery drop below 20% power and not charging them overnight.

“An EV fire increases from zero to 3,200 degrees once it ignites,” Sebastian said. “There is no what’s called an incipient phase whereas a standard wood fire burns 30, 400, 500 [degrees] — it climbs as the fire gets hotter. An EV fire goes from zero to 3200 degrees in seconds.”

If an EV fire begins, Corletto said the first thing to do is call 911 then begin getting people away from it, use the E-FireX extinguisher on the vehicle, and get to safety. Let the fire department handle it from there, Corletto said.

Two other companies, Packaging And Crating Technologies (PACT) and BS Technics, have also joined together to provide a solution for thermal runaway fires.

PACT is a CT-based manufacturer of a proprietary, fire-suppressant paper wrap. BS Technics is a thermal interface material company located in Korea. Their partnership allows for the expansion of PACT’s Thermo ShieldTM and TR SleeveTM into Korea for multi-national companies such as Samsung, Hyundai, LG Electronics, and other popular brands to use.

“Although electric vehicle technology dates back to the 1800s, the first drivable EV only hit the market in 1997,” said Rodger Mort, PACT chief operating officer, in a news release. “These days, there are hundreds of battery-operated cars available for consumers.”

Mort noted that thermal runaway is becoming a household word due to the vast amount of lithium-ion battery fires, which caused 611 injuries and 115 fatalities across the U.S. in 2023, according to UL Solutions, a global safety science company.

In 2019, Mort led his company to invent the PACT Thermo ShieldTM — a lightweight, pleated paper with a non-toxic moisture vapor application that the company says prevents thermal runaway by immediately cooling the internal environment of the package while limiting oxygen around the payload.

If a fire starts, PACT Thermo ShieldTM contains temperatures upwards of 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit while restricting the temperature
outside of the wrap to 140 degrees, shielding the surrounding environment from major damage, PACT said.

PACT then developed a product specifically for EV batteries — the TR SleeveTM. The material is wrapped around each battery cell to mitigate thermal runaway propagation between the individual battery cells to serve as a heat and flame barrier.

“We prevent the ‘domino effect’ that happens when an individual lithium-ion battery cell becomes unstable and ignites by shutting it down immediately and preventing a larger catastrophe,” said Mort.

Both products have undergone rigorous tests at an internationally recognized facility run by Transport Canada, he added, and is the only product to pass the proposed testing standards of SAE International’s G-27 for safety in shipping lithium-ion batteries via land, sea, and air.

According to the release, the latter is what caught the eye of BS Technics, which works with OEM, ODM, and contract manufacturing companies around the world to provide customized products and materials for the EV battery industry. Some of its products include molded interconnect devices, mold direct mounting, chemically tempered glass, touch screen modules, PU foam, and optical film, according to the release.

“In the dynamic field of electromobility and battery manufacturing, rapid evolution is the norm,” said Jennifer Kim, BS Technics director of sales and marketing, in the release. “Our sophisticated solutions, combined with PACT’s practical and affordable paper-based applications, are a perfect complement to each other in reconciling highly diverse EV battery manufacturing processes and creating consistency in safety standards on a global scale.

“We’re excited to introduce, recommend, and sell the PACT Thermo ShieldTM product line to our current clients and prospective customers as a unified effort to eliminate EV battery fires.”

For more information about PACT and its product line, visit For more information about BS Technics, visit


Featured image: Varying sizes of E-FireX’s lithium-ion battery fire extinguisher are shown. (Credit: E-FireX)

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