Probably, new patents will find their way to life in the nearest future.
Statisctically, electric cars catch fires not so often as gasoline ones. However, there are certain dangers about battery packs fires.
Tesla works on solving those issues, releasing new technologies of preventing and fighting with battery packs fires. A few days ago the company registered two new patents.
When one or several battery cells catch fire, they release a huge amount of energy affecting cells nearby and causing a chain reaction. This may last for hours with thousands of cells in a pack.
The way to stop the reaction is to vent internally generated gases from a cell – this is how the fire may be stopped from affecting other cells. This is exactly what one of Tesla’s new patents suggests. Batteries are expected to be designed with special weak points that break in case of cell’s fails and release the gas thus preventing the spread of fire.
Another major obstacle exists when the battery pack still catches fire. Firefighters have to apply a great amount of water and time to address it, and it is necessary to watch the battery state even after the fire seems to be stopped. Moreover, Tesla batteries are designed not to let any fluids inside being completely waterproof. In order to overcome such difficulties Tesla patents a new way to inject a thermal-control fluid right inside the battery pack body via a special vent. This should allow to dramatically reduce the time of preventing fire.
The full text of a new Tesla patent is available here: https://scribd.com/document/385379905/Tesla-patent-battery-module