House hearing probes EV fires, danger to first responders

By Rebekah Alvey | 02/26/2024 06:23 AM EST

The hearing will focus on how fire departments are dealing with the growing threat of electric vehicle fires.

EV fire in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

A car dealership fire in San Juan, Puerto Rico, last year involving an electric vehicle. Bomberos_de_PR/X

A House Science, Space and Technology subcommittee will investigate the dangers posed to first responders by electric vehicle fires, as the number of electric models on U.S. roadways increases.

The Investigations and Oversight panel, led by Rep. Jay Obernolte (R-Calif.), will explore the differences between fires involving EVs and traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. Additionally, the hearing will focus on current methods to extinguish fires and how to improve those.

Last year, EVs made up 9 percent of total new U.S. car sales. Adoption is particularly strong in California, where Obernolte noted in a statement that a stray spark can lead to a wildfire.


Electric vehicle fires can be more difficult to extinguish and dangerous to first responders, Obernolte said.