Charging electric bus could have triggered a major fire in Stuttgart bus depot

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The major fire in a Stuttgart bus depot at the end of September could have been triggered by a charging electric bus. The Baden-Württemberg State Criminal Police Office (LKA) determined this on the basis of the fire alarm system and the associated temperature sensors. The investigators are currently assuming a technical defect, the LKA announced. Appraisers should investigate the burned-out bus further, the investigation is ongoing.

On September 30, 2021, the Stuttgart fire brigade was alerted to a fire on the premises of the Stuttgarter Straßenbahn AG (SSB). A total of around 15 buses were in full fire at the time, one said at the time Notification of the fire brigade, ultimately 25 buses were destroyed. 210 emergency services could have gotten the fire under control by 10 p.m., because of the heavy smoke development, the Stuttgart population was warned. The investigating LKA has assumed so farthat the charging process of an electric bus could have triggered the fire.

At the beginning of this year, Daimler delivered two E-Citaro buses to the Stuttgarter Straßenbahnen AG (SSB), which are equipped with solid-state batteries, reported the SWR. An SSB employee discovered flames on the roof of a bus; Diesel hybrid and electric buses have their batteries on the roof.

Solid-state batteries are characterized by a high energy density and a particularly long service life, explains Daimler. They are optionally available for the eCitaro. Chemically, they are lithium polymer batteries; Since the usually liquid electrolyte here is in a solid form, they are referred to as solid-state batteries. The eCitaro G has a total capacity of 441 kWh. However, solid-state batteries are only suitable for rapid charging to a very limited extent, notes Daimler.

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Fires had already broken out in bus depots in Hanover and Düsseldorf. No clear cause has yet been found for these fires. Hamburg’s CDU parliamentary group called for more fire protection for e-bus depots in June. It was also about the fact that fires in electric vehicles cannot be extinguished in the same way as conventional vehicles. In March of this year, insurance companies did not see an increased risk of fire from electric cars in underground garages.


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