Sunday, February 5, 2023
News An Underground Parking Lot In Germany Bans Electrified Cars

An Underground Parking Lot In Germany Bans Electrified Cars

Banning electrified cars from parking in underground or stacked lots could be an issue in major urban areas

  • Reasons cited include battery fires which are difficult to extinguish.

  • These fires can cause extensive damages to the surrounding structure.

This story raises a flag on an issue that is not entirely new however could grow once consumers begin buying EVs en masse. EV battery fires are not commonplace however they are far from unheard of. A fire broke out in a German underground lot last year which shined a light on a potential and serious problem.

In this case, as reported by inFranken, the car that burned was only an old Volkswagen Golf however had it been an electrified car, the aftermath of the fire could have been dire. With the repairs finally completed, the car park has reopened its doors but not all are welcomed:

“In the future, electric and hybrid cars will no longer be allowed to park in the underground car park,” said Michael Kuhnlein from the civil engineering department. The reason: “The fire brigade cannot extinguish such vehicles, they have to let them burn out. The underground car park is also not high enough to pull out burning cars with heavy equipment.”

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The principal issue is that lithium batteries can only be cooled with water, as it’s a chemical fire, and can continue to burn for several days. The administrators of the facility have decided to ban all electrified cars, from hybrids, PHEV, to full-EVs, even those with nickel-metal hydride battery (NiMH) batteries.

Both the US and Canada have countless underground parking lots in large cities, many of which have low ceilings. Might this become an issue for insurance companies in the future? This may become a long-running developing story.

Toyota Prius Prime
2020 Toyota Prius Prime | Photo: Toyota

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Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai


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