CT Electric Buses Still Out of Commission Following July Battery Blaze

Popova Valeriya / shutterstock.com

When the left started pushing the green energy bills back when Biden became President, the American people made it known in no uncertain terms that they weren’t ready to go green. Yet the left kept pushing the issue and they are slowly getting their way. Never mind the facts about how horrific it is for the environment from the start.

In July, we were given another reminder of how potentially dangerous electric vehicles can be when an electric bus burned to the ground in Hamden, Connecticut. While claiming no lives, two transit workers and two firefighters were hospitalized because of the blaze, and a federal investigation began. Both the National Transportation Safety Board and the Connecticut State Police are conducting investigations into the incident.

On July 20th, a 2021 New Flyer Xcelsior battery electric bus was taken to the garage for charging overnight. However, the next day it refused to fire up. It was then placed in an “out of order” status, and taken to a maintenance facility to await inspection. From all indications, it got no real look before going into storage, it was just taken there due to not charging.

The morning of July 23rd was a different story. Around 0339, the bus began pouring smoke from the rear compartment. Nobody had been touching it or working on it at that hour. According to the NTSB, it was parked inside the garage awaiting its lookover. The smoke sent a CT Transit worker to look, and hearing the cracking, they called for the Hamden Fire Department.

Hamden’s finest came and inspected the bus but saw no flames. Two CT Transit workers then pushed the bus into an empty and deserted parking lot isolating it away from other buses, structures, and chemicals. This was where the two CT Transit workers were injured and required hospitalization for smoke inhalation.

At approximately 0732 the very same day, just under four hours later, the Hamden Fire Department was called back out to address the electric bus. The bus was once again smoking, this time with clearly visible fire. Per the NTSB, “fire was observed coming from the rear of the vehicle. Firefighters reportedly had trouble extinguishing the fire and decided to let the bus burn in the controlled environment.”

These battery fires are widely considered some of the more difficult ones to battle. From the chemical makeup of the batteries to the tools fire departments have on hand, to the way they are stored, all of it adds up to make them incredibly difficult to extinguish. In this case, the fire remained active for several hours. At this time the entire vehicle was engulfed and destroyed.

Yet, two days after the blaze was over “smoke and an orange glow were observed emanating from the right rear wheel well of the burned bus.” This resulted in Hamden’s finest coming back out to inspect and extinguish what was deemed a “hot spot.”

In total, the fire cost CT Transit about $90,000 in destroyed equipment. Since that day the electric buses have remained parked, and they elected to replace them with diesel buses. While this mood saddened environmentalists, given the number of people injured from one bus fine, it was likely enough to convince even the most diehard of liberals in the area that these were a bad idea.

The electric vehicle has its applications. While some models and lines are perfectly fine, others are chock full of defects. When they go bad, they go VERY bad. Battery fires emit extremely noxious chemicals and cause extensive damage. There just isn’t the technology to make them applicable in a widespread or long-term application safely at this time.

The sooner the left accepts that these are great ideas but not the savior of the planet they hoped they would be, the better off we as a nation will be.