As electric vehicles (EVs) have become more prominent on the road, firefighting methods have had to adapt to this new problem on their own. But now it seems the HILOAD truck may be the innovation they’ve needed.
The British company Prospeed Motorsport Limited is developing a firetruck specifically designed to put out EV fires. It’s a modified form of a Toyota HiLux with an extended chassis and firefighting features.
However, EVs have been known to catch fire if they’re submerged for a period of time. In areas that flood, fires have become an issue. On the rare occasion an EV does combust, the lithium battery can be difficult to put out, sometimes requiring thousands of gallons of water.
The HILOAD truck may be the future of firefighting for many reasons. It puts out electric fires using the ColdCut Cobra system — a sort of industrial-grade pressure washer that can be easily installed into the vehicle. It’s strong enough to cut a hole into the lithium battery, thoroughly cooling the fuel cells and preventing reignition.
It does all of this with a ridiculously small amount of water — about the same amount used to fill a bathtub, as Autoweek reported. The same cutting method will be used to access fires in parking garages and other tight spaces. Aside from all those positives, it’s honestly fascinating to watch in action.
With the HILOAD truck, Prospeed is paving the way to encouraging more people to go electric with their next car. Alongside other companies with technologies that encourage EV use, Prospeed is bringing a fully eco-friendly future closer to reality.
The HILOAD is currently being tested on the streets of the Czech Republic, and an EV manufacturer has already purchased it, according to Autoweek.
If headlines about EV fires had anyone on the fence about making the switch, this should help put those fears to rest.
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