GOP Defense Bill Aims To Make EV Batteries Less Likely To Burst Into Flames

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New GOP provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act for the fiscal year 2024 encourage the Department of Defense to develop technologies to prevent electric vehicle batteries from exploding.

The Republican-led House Armed Services Committee unveiled several sections of the NDAA Monday with new energy provisions, including one that aims to address electric vehicle batteries that catch fire and explode. The legislation asks Defense to conduct research and development related to decreasing “heat signatures” in lithium-ion batteries which are used to power EVs. (RELATED: It Will Be Years Before EVs Are As Affordable As Gas-Powered Vehicles, Auto Exec Says)

“The committee also encourages the Army, in coordination with industry, to continue research and development efforts for hybrid and electric VTOL power systems to ensure these battery sources have the necessary power output, decreased heat signatures, and stability to withstand the environmental conditions associated with vertical flight,” the bill from the Subcommittee On Cyber, Information Technologies, and Innovation read.

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EV batteries have previously made headlines for catching fire due to collisions and or defects. Although rare, fires caused by lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles burn faster and require more resources to extinguish, according to CNBC.

Other energy provisions in the bill include an increased focus on incorporating nuclear microreactors into military operations. Lawmakers say that microreactors can be used as cleaner alternative power sources.

Legislators say that microreactors are “a promising emerging technology to provide portable, safe, consistent, clean electric and thermal power, regardless of environmental or operational conditions,” according to the bill.

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