Lucid EV Crash Triggers Hazmat Response

Estimated read time 2 min read

A car crash involving a Lucid EV in Petaluma, California led to a hazmat response and what some might think an unusual resolution. This is what more cities have to look forward to as electric vehicles grow in numbers and that means more accidents involving them.

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As shown in a report on the incident by NBC Bay Area, many of the batteries once houses in the Lucid’s chassis spilled out and were subsequently piled up by firefighters. However, the car itself was covered by a fire retardant blanket while sitting in a retention pond by the scene of the crash.

That might seem weird, but firefighters are guarding against the vehicle catching fire spontaneously. Once the battery cells in the chassis are ruptured after a crash, they can reignite days later, even after fire crews have long put out the original blaze.

We’ve seen cases of EVs reigniting in wrecking yards days after they were crashed. Most yards now know to keep them well away from structures and even other vehicles, something which requires valuable real estate and is a bit of a pain.

What led to the crash was the driver of the Lucid, a man in his 20s, gunning it after a California Highway Patrol unit tried pulling him over for speeding. Considering Lucids start at almost $80,000 and can climb in price rapidly, we’re guessing the guy didn’t buy the car himself.

The CHP officer was going 100 mph in pursuit of the Lucid, which was outpacing him, so the suspect was traveling much faster. But the suspect couldn’t stick a transition ramp, hit a concrete wall, and rolled the EV.

That’s when flaming batteries spewed all over the road. Imagine having your car hit by flaming batteries because an electric vehicle nearby crashed. Sounds like fun.

Fortunately, the Lucid ended up in the water, helping to contain some of the fire. But firefighters had to deal with all those batteries which were on fire, some of them exploding. EV fires constitute quite the risk for crash victims and firefighters alike, and they’re going to become more common.

Image via NBC Bay Area

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Steven Symes

Steven Symes is an accomplished automotive journalist with a passion for all things related to cars. His extensive knowledge and love for the automotive world shine through in his writing, which covers a diverse range of topics.

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