Electric vehicle post-crash Recovery—Stranded energy issues and mitigation strategy

Bo Zhang, Randy L. Bewley, Tanvir R. Tanim, Lee K. Walker

October 2022 - In post-crash situations, passengers, bystanders, and first responders are exposed to the immediate safety risks of stranded energy in electric vehicle (EV) batteries. Stranded energy is the energy remaining inside any undamaged or damaged battery following an accident. A potentially damaged battery with an unknown state of safety might go into thermal runaway in the absence of proper monitoring, diagnostics, controls, and handling—thereby leading to potential loss of life and property damage. Therefore, it is imperative to develop standard guidelines, diagnostic methods, and tools to handle stranded energy appropriately and minimize safety risks from immediately after an EV accident to final disposal or re-entry to the road. This perspective paper identifies the challenges associated with handling stranded energy and proposes some potential solution pathways. We hope to draw attention of the research and development community, original equipment manufacturers, and policymakers for motivating new insights and research needs in mitigating safety implications associated with stranded energy.

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