01 November 2023
The recent fire at Luton Airport car park is now believed to have been started by a diesel Range Rover. But many continue to believe it must have been an EV.
Everyone seems to be an expert on fires and electrical engineering these days, but there also seems to be a culture of disliking EVs (often ‘sparked’ by a few LRM columnists dare I say)… And this story is prime example. On 10 October there was a huge fire in London’s Luton Airport. It resulted in the partial structural collapse of a car park, and an estimated 1500 vehicles were damaged, thankfully no one was killed.
But here’s the thing. There was a conspiracy theory that the car which started the fire was really an electric vehicle, despite the fact Andrew Hopkinson, chief fire officer for Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “It’s believed to be diesel-powered.” Furthermore there was actual footage of the car first alight, which, based on the registration plate, was a 2014 Range Rover Sport TDV6 SE.
Yet a surprising number of people online seem absolutely unwilling to accept this and are questioning the motives of the press, fire department and government, who are not blaming an EV. While it is true diesel is an unlikely fuel to start a fire, an electrical fault with an ICE car’s 12 volt battery system can, not to mention other part of a car – fabrics, plastics, seat foam, and so on – can go up in flames if motivated.
We’re not denying that EV fires are a problem and they can be much more challenging to extinguish, but it’s not like combustion cars don’t catch on fire! It’s just another example of hyperbolic, unfounded thinking when it comes to EVs – we’ve seen reluctance to reject new technologies, but the level of distrust and hostility to electric vehicles is really quite strange!