With the rise of electric vehicles on the streets, EV fires are getting a lot of attention in the news. High-profile fires such as damaged battery packs spontaneously igniting in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian and an entire EV cargo ship burning have prompted a British company to design a vehicle specifically designed to combat EV fires. Now create a fire engine that has been redesigned.
York-based Prospeed Motorsport have built a fire engine out of Toyota’s Hilux pickup, a world favorite due to its compact size. EV fires often occur in hard-to-reach locations for traditional fire engines, such as underground parking garages and parking garages. They named it the Hiload and gave it a height of 1,850mm (72.8 inches) so it could clear height restrictions in urban parking lots.
Additionally, EV fires usually start with an internally damaged battery pack. The problem is that they are usually in hard-to-reach places inside the car. The Hiload is equipped with a ColdCut Cobra fire extinguishing system that uses an “ultra-high pressure lance” to fire abrasives that float in the water at 4,350 psi. A liquid spear can pierce the battery casing and spray the module directly with water.
In theory, this limits “thermal runaway”. This is the phenomenon where damaged lithium-ion batteries heat up very quickly in a chemical chain reaction to high temperatures that are very difficult to extinguish. In some cases, firefighters had to keep the EVs underwater for days. The ColdCut Cobra system is said to put out a fire with just 60 gallons of water.
The Hi-Road started with the usual 4-wheel drive Hilux, but changed the ladder frame chassis to Prospeed’s own 6-wheel drive. With a payload he increased to 6,600 pounds and can be configured in a number of ways. Prospeed builds his other six-wheeled vehicles as personnel carriers, 120 mm mortars, or tactical infiltration vehicles. As a fire truck, he weighs 5,600 kg (12,346 lbs) but maintains a lower center of gravity than larger fire trucks.
Hiload is currently being tested in the Czech Republic, as Prospeed works on a smaller version with only four wheels.