london public transportThank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Local inhabitants are battling to prevent plans to erect an electric bus terminal as part of a development of thousands of new apartments due to concerns that a battery inferno could create a “volcano”.
Barnet Council, which is under the administration of the Labour party, is in discussions with Transport for London (TfL) and the developer Ballymore regarding a joint £1.7 billion initiative to build 25 tall buildings on the site of a proposed underground electric bus depot in the town center of Edgware.
However, a community group called Save Our Edgware has cautioned that residents will be in “grave danger” in the event of an electric vehicle battery ignition, leading to explosive combustion and multiple vehicle blazes.
In May of last year, an entire fleet of electric buses was decimated by flames at a bus terminal in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire.
During that same month, a transport operator in Paris discontinued the use of 149 electric buses manufactured by the Bluebus division of Bolloré Group after two buses caught fire on separate occasions.
Impaired EV batteries represent a risk of “thermal runaway”, during which the energy stored within the battery is rapidly released, generating temperatures of up to 400C.
While electric vehicle fires statistically occur less frequently than fires in petrol or diesel cars, extinguishing them is significantly more challenging.
Last May, an entire fleet of electric buses was eradicated following a fire in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire
Firefighters are still experimenting with the most effective methods to extinguish fires involving lithium-ion batteries found in numerous battery-powered vehicles, including drenching the vehicles with water or covering them with foam or large fire-resistant blankets.
There is a potential hazard of fire spread due to the proximity of other electric vehicles. Government guidelines recommend that electric cars with damaged batteries should be “quarantined” from other vehicles due to the risk of battery fires.
The six-hectare site, where the Edgware Shopping Center presently stands, is intended to house around 7,000 people and a renovated shopping complex.
The proposal also entails replacing the above-ground bus terminal with an underground depot capable of housing at least 190 electric buses beneath 3,828 high-rise dwellings, in coordination with TfL.
The buses will connect to the same power source that supplies the aforementioned buildings and will recharge overnight.
However, a Freedom of Information request made to the London Fire Brigade revealed that no specific fire safety guidelines have been established for underground terminals that charge electric buses.
Anuta Jack, a spokesperson for Save Our Edgware, cautioned that the battery inferno at the bus terminal could be a “Grenfell on steroids” and that residents are in “grave danger”.
The proposed site is situated next to Premier House, a 13-storey apartment block that is still covered in the same cladding that triggered the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, resulting in the deaths of 72 residents.
Ms. Zack described the planned terminal as a “volcano” lurking beneath the residences of thousands of inhabitants.
“I’m frightened,” she added. “Fire safety protocols haven’t been adequately developed, and people’s lives are being jeopardized. No one is providing us with any information or clarification.”
A petition with over 5,500 signatures opposing the Ballymore development will be presented to Barnet Council at its upcoming meeting on October 17, following an initial rejection.
Ballymore has been working in conjunction with TTL Properties, the property subsidiary of Transport for London, and has been engaging in consultations with local communities regarding the project since March.
The developer is anticipated to submit a formal application for the project in the forthcoming weeks.
A spokesperson for the joint venture stated, “The safety of our residents and all users of our developments is of the utmost importance to us, and we are working closely with the relevant authorities to ensure that the proposal is designed to the highest fire safety standards. And has been created.
“Only electric buses will be housed in the terminal following approval from all appropriate bodies, including the London Fire Brigade, Barnet Council, Health and Safety Executive, and Building Control.”
Attempts have been made to contact Barnet Council for comment.
Why you might never need to purchase an electric automobile