New Rapid Intervention Vehicle Tackles Electric Vehicle Fires in Car Parks

What’s Happening: A new rapid intervention vehicle, the HILOAD 6×6, has been developed to address concerns regarding electric vehicle (EV) fires in car parks. Traditional firefighting methods have struggled to combat EV fires, especially in enclosed spaces like multi-storey car parks where larger fire engines cannot access. The British-built HILOAD 6×6, engineered by Prospeed Motorsport in York, England, has a lower height profile than standard fire engines, allowing it to enter parking structures with height restrictions.

Why It Matters: As the number of electric vehicles on the road continues to grow, so does the need for effective firefighting methods for lithium-ion battery fires. Incidents at Kings Dock car park in Liverpool and Stavanger Airport in Norway demonstrate the limitations of current firefighting equipment in enclosed spaces. The development of the HILOAD 6×6 aims to prevent such large fires from escalating and causing widespread damage.

Key Points:

  • The HILOAD 6×6 is based on a Toyota Hilux, fitted with a new chassis and a torque splitter system, providing a 5,600kg Gross Vehicle Weight and 3,000kg payload capacity, nearly triple the standard 4×4 Hilux’s capacity.
  • The vehicle’s height is just 1,850mm, low enough to allow access to most parking structures.
  • The HILOAD can be fitted with the Coldcut Cobra system for extinguishing EV battery fires. The Cobra Ultra High Pressure Lance (UHPL) system uses an abrasive suspended in water to pierce a hole through floor pans and inject water at 300bar, cooling the battery directly and preventing thermal runaway.
  • Independent tests from the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency showed the Coldcut Cobra system could prevent cell propagation within 10 minutes, using just 240 liters of water.

Bottom Line: The HILOAD 6×6 rapid intervention vehicle offers a practical solution for tackling electric vehicle fires in enclosed spaces like car parks, where traditional firefighting equipment may be insufficient. With its lower height and specialized firefighting equipment, the HILOAD 6×6 has the potential to save lives and prevent property damage in the rapidly expanding EV market.


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