Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Lord Lilley: To ask His Majesty’s Government what measures (1) train operators, and (2) ferry operators, have to deal with fires caused by batteries in electric vehicles while in transit.

    Lord Davies of Gower: There is no evidence to suggest that electric vehicle fires are more likely to occur than petrol or diesel vehicle fires.

    Electric vehicles are currently only transported by rail via the Eurotunnel. As the infrastructure manager of the Channel Tunnel and operator of its shuttle services, Eurotunnel is responsible for the safety of passengers and has to maintain risk assessments for its operations, including developing procedures specifically for the carriage of EVs. These are regularly assessed and challenged by the Channel Tunnel Safety Authority and their inspectors. The safety authorities also facilitate regular dialogue between Eurotunnel and the UK and French emergency services to review operating procedures.

    Fire prevention, fire detection, and fire fighting in electric vehicles is a developing area and the Government continually reviews its guidance and regulations in step with the development of best practice.