Four times longer operations: This is how the Berlin fire brigade is prepared for electric car fires

A burnt-out Tesla (symbolic image): If the battery catches fire, there is often no choice but to let the e-car burn out. (Source:

Due to the long cooling that may be necessary, the measurements and checks of the battery, a firefighting operation is ongoing a damaged e-car often takes two to four times as long as with conventionally powered vehicles.

Fire department disagrees “Media hysteria” about burning e-cars

But the Berlin fire brigade is still able to act when half a dozen e-cars are on fire all over the city at the same time? After all, the comrades have been fighting for a long time with a lack of personnel in the fire brigade. “Yes, in principle we are able to do this,” says press spokesman Pretz. And adds: “Training and further education on alternative drives has been part of the program of the Berlin Fire and Rescue Service Academy for years.” There are also special training courses and regular exchanges with other experts.

The fact that fire departments will be confronted with e-car volumes more and more in the future is not due to the fact that they burst into flames faster than vehicles with combustion engines, emphasizes Pretz. This is simply due to the increasing number of registrations of electric cars. According to him, the first statistics from property insurers even showed that e-cars burn relatively less frequently than combustion engines. So the dangers are not greater, but different.

Dr. Rolf-Dieter Erbe, a specialist in electric drives at the Berlin fire brigade, contradicts a “certain media hysteria about the ‘electric car hellfire'”. The real danger comes less from electric cars, but rather from e-bikes and e-scooters stored in the apartment or in the house, he says in an interview with t-online.

Do not charge e-bikes and scooters unattended

Every one or two The fire brigade is alerted to fires caused by e-scooters and bikes in apartments or residential buildings for weeks, explains Erbe. There are many reasons for this: outdated batteries, overcharging or a short circuit are just a few of them. “On YouTube you can see videos of batteries like this literally exploding,” warns the expert.

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Erbe therefore recommends citizens to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and not to charge the e-bike or electric scooter unattended.

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