While traditional gasoline or diesel-powered cars are simply crash-tested for safety, the electric motors in EVs are a lot more complex. While visiting Rimac to see his all-new hypercar, F1 ace Nico Rosberg discovered the dramatic way that manufacturers safety-check EV batteries.
If we said to you that testing EV batteries involved a lot of fire, many people wouldn’t believe us. Well, it’s true, as F1 star Nico Rosberg discovered while visiting the Rimac factory in Croatia, Europe.
Gasoline-powered cars are crash tested in a very conventional way. Cars are mocked-up, and put through a series of scenarios to test their structural integrity, including the safety of the gas tank.
With electric vehicles (EVs) having complex battery packs in place of gas tanks, the testing process is a lot more involving, and certainly just as dramatic to watch.
Nico Rosberg visits Rimac factory
While visiting the Rimac factory to see the progress of his all-new 1900hp C_TWO electric hypercar, Nico was treated to a tour by owner Mate Rimac. They discovered a number of fascinating insights into how the C_TWO is being built and tested, but the safety checks for the batteries seem like something out of this world.
To ensure the batteries are safe (homologated) for use in EVs, they are literally set on fire. Since the lithium-ion inside the batteries is so flammable, they have the potential to burn for days on end. Therefore, they need to be tested substantially before they are approved for use.
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The test process itself is wild. A fully-charged battery is placed above a vat of burning fuel, and passed through the flames a number of times on a mechanical rack. After 30-seconds in the flames, the battery is removed, and the flames must extinguish themselves within five seconds to pass the test.
As Mate Rimac says in the video, the extensive testing is partly due to people being “very cautious” of such new technology.
Thankfully, the batteries used inside the Rimac C_TWO passed the test with flying colors, but not every test goes so smoothly. With the recent legislation brought out in both the state of California and England to move forward the deadline of all new cars on sale being electric, we will likely see more and more EV hypercars in the years to come.