Paris suspends electric bus fleet after fires

Posted: April 29, 2022 by oldbrew in Batteries, Energy, flames, News, Travel

Image credit:

H/T JohnM
One bus…30 fire fighters. Best wear running shoes and travel light if boarding such a vehicle. This has happened before.
– – –
Dozens of electric buses will be taken off the streets of Paris temporarily “as a precaution” after two of the vehicles caught fire, public transport operator RATP said on Friday. The Local – France reporting.

Following a second blaze on Friday morning, in which no one was hurt, “RATP has taken the decision to suspend use of 149 electric buses” of manufacturer Bollore’s Bluebus 5SE model, the state-owned company said.

The number 71 bus that caught fire in southeast Paris early on Friday released thick clouds of black smoke and a strong smell of burning plastic, according to an AFP journalist on the scene.

“The bus driver immediately evacuated all the passengers. Nobody was hurt,” RATP said, while the city fire service said the blaze was put out by around 30 firefighters.

A first bus caught fire on the upscale Boulevard Saint-Germain in central Paris on April 4th, destroying the vehicle but again causing no injuries.
. . .
On its website, the company says the buses are “fitted with a new generation of batteries… with high energy density and optimal safety” spread around the roof and rear of the vehicle.

Full report here.

  1. oldbrew says:

    Each 12-meter Bluebus is equipped with six “solid-state” LMP (Lithium Metal Polymer) battery packs, a technology combining high energy density and optimal safety, providing up to 320 kilometers drive according to the producer.
    . . .
    “Developing environmentally friendly solutions will lead us to a mutual success in facing climate change and being key players in the energy transition”, declares Jean-Luc Monfort, Chairman of Bluebus.
    – – –
    Hmmm…’thick clouds of black smoke and a strong smell of burning plastic’.

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Lithium Polymer Batteries
    Also, because of the complicated and much sensitive chemistry involved, these batteries require special care and attention while storing, charging and discharging throughout their life span.

    To say the least, if good and proper care is not taken, then Lithium Polymer Battery can lead to explosions also. Also because of the safety issues, they have been classified as dangerous goods by the shipping companies making their shipping expensive and difficult. [bold added]

    Marvellous. All aboard!

  2. ilma630 says:

    30 firefighters to put out a fire in just 1 vehicle! Wow! Just shows how dangerous these electric vehicles can be.

  3. JB says:

    If it took 30 firefighters to put the blaze out, they all must have had some pretty full bladders….

  4. oldbrew says:

    Why do lithium batteries explode?

    Lithium batteries have been developed for more than tens of years since their birth. Most mobile phones currently on the market also have built-in lithium batteries. Despite decades of development, lithium batteries still cannot guarantee 100% safety. In the environment, an explosion may even occur.
    . . .
    As long as it is a lithium battery, there is a risk of explosion, but this is a small risk. But once it explodes, the power of a lithium battery with a larger capacity will be unimaginable.

    There are two fundamental causes of lithium battery explosion, one is a short circuit, and the other is an overcharge.
    – – –
    EV drivers and users – do you feel lucky today?

  5. oldbrew says:

    Same thing a year ago…

    Mercedes-Benz eCitaro Buses With Solid-State Batteries Recalled
    Mar 10, 2021

    According to the report, the problem is in the cell modules. The specific solid-state batteries [SSB] are supplied by Bolloré’s subsidiary Blue Solutions. Those are Lithium Metal Polymer (LMP) batteries (offered since 2012), which operate in temperatures between 50°C and 80°C.
    . . .
    The SSB has a higher energy density (at least compared to the specific NCM option), so the range can be slightly higher, but they are not set up for ultra-fast charging.

    Moreover, their operating temperatures between 50°C and 80°C are quite high. The industry is still searching for solid-state batteries that would work in “normal” temperatures, like 20°C. [bold added]

  6. Phil Salmon says:

    You can’t concentrate energy without risk.

  7. Your taking the piss aren’t you? Mustn’t do that, otherwise there will not be enough for the next fire onboard an electric bus!!

  8. tallbloke says:


  9. tallbloke says:

    “I know, lets put some of the batteries in the roof”.
    “But if it catches fire, it’ll shower molten lithium on evacuating passengers”.

  10. […] Paris suspends electric bus fleet after fires […]

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