Page 26 - Commercial Vehicle Engineer - November 2021
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The number of electric buses is is growing quickly but there are fire risks associated with them However there are practical steps fleet managers OEMs and bus operators can take to mitigate these By James Mountain
B y 2024 the the the UK’s electric bus fleet is set to be the largest in Europe with the number of buses projected to grow by almost 180% on today’s figures The core technology supporting
electrification of the the UK’s buses is the the lithium-ion (li-ion) battery Although a a far more sustainable fuel source these batteries bring about fresh safety risks Should they become damaged – through overvoltage overcharging mechanical failure or physical damage – the fire safety consequences can be huge and traditional fire suppression systems
will only
go so far in in in preventing fire risks in in in electric buses and coaches The rising risk While electric bus adoption is being pioneered in major cities like London Coventry and Oxford there various cities across England and and and Scotland setting out clear agendas to reduce air pollution and improve public health through the roll out of low-emission zones This is is is impacting on buses HGVs taxis and private cars Up to £120 million is being made available through the zero-emission- buses regional area (ZEBRA) scheme This funding will deliver up to 500 zero-emission buses supporting
the government’s wider commitment to introduce 4 000 zero-emission buses As the number of electric buses across the UK is only
set to increase exponentially in in the coming years it’s important to consider the implications of this on on on fire safety processes and technology 26 NOVEMBER 2021 > COMMERCIAL VEHICLE ENGINEER

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