The model has been donated for jaws-of-life practice.
Volvo is doing its part to shore up the massive knowledge gap our nations firefighters are experiencing with electric vehicles. The company is donating a Volvo XC40 Recharge EV to the New York Fire Department for training purposes. These electric vehicles require a careful extrication process when saving a passenger due to the high voltage wires running throughout the vehicle.
"With the number of electric vehicles on the road growing each day, it's critical that FDNY members have the ability to train on extrications, fires, and other potential incidents involving them," said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. "Thanks to the FDNY Foundation's support and this generous donation from Volvo Cars, our members will be even better trained and more prepared to respond to these incidents and continue to bravely protect New Yorkers"
When an accident occurs, the first thing firefighters do is rescue the passengers. In the case of a bad accident, sometimes cars need to be opened with a hydraulic spreader or sheared with the jaws of life. Not only does the XC40 feature high-voltage wires, it also has a lot of ultra-high-strength steel. That means the cuts need to be planned ahead of time.
Over the past few months, we've seen several hard-to-extinguish EV fires ranging from Tesla to the Chevy Bolt. The problems come from the chemical makeup of the lithium ion batteries. One of the most widely used chemicals (lithium hexafluorophosphate) has poor thermal stability at reasonable temperatures. Once it gets going, it creates a self-propelling chain reaction of heat, oxygen and fire.
That means passengers need to get out quicker than ever. Manufacturers like GM, Nissan, and Tesla all have published guides for first responders on how to correctly handle, extricate and extinguish vehicle fires. Each Leaf EV has its own file, as do about 20 hybrid and EV entries from Chevy. Now Volvo can say it has joined the party.
"As the automotive industry and Volvo Cars in particular speed toward an electric future, our world will see changes that reach far beyond how drivers power their cars. This includes the experience first responders will have with these vehicles," said Eric Miller, vice president of the northeast region for Volvo Cars USA. "The XC40 Recharge we have donated will help ready the FDNY for this future."