New energy carriers are pushing into the transportation market with battery electric vehicles (BEV) being the current front runners – a fact leading to questions about potential new safety risks emerging from new energy carriers systems: What kind of impact do theses new risks have on our safety systems? What is the meaning and consequences of all these developments for road tunnel managers, fire brigades, administrative authorities, other stakeholders and – last but not least – the users?
How dangerous are these new vehicles when they get involved in a tunnel fire, eventually combined with other energy carrier systems or conventional fuel driven cars that are still in operation? What are the challenges for the fire brigades to suppress a fire with a battery-powered electric car or a hydrogen fuel cell car? Without any doubt, additional research – and also policy making – is required to answer such lingering questions in order to ensure availability and safety of our road network and corresponding underground facilities. The workshop will end with a round table discussion summarizing the main issues for tunnel operation managers, safety officers, emergency services, administrative authorities and insurance. A list of urgent research needs identified during the expert meeting the day before will be presented. Further, ITA-COSUF is working on a whitepaper on the topic of new risks and corresponding research needs emerging from new energy carrier vehicles in underground transportation facilities.