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This six-wheeled Toyota Hilux fire truck is built especially for electric car fires

The Hiload 6x6 ‘rapid intervention vehicle’ is designed to fight EV fires in multi-storeys

Published: 24 Apr 2023

If you’re familiar with EVs, you’ll know two things about their relationship with fire: one, that they’re far less likely than petrol cars to catch fire; and two, they’re also much harder to put out once ablaze. Hmm.

This poses a problem for underground and multi-storey car parks: how do you stop the electric car acting like a match in a hay barn when a fire engine can’t get to it?

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Well, a British company thinks it has the answer. Enter Prospeed Motorsport, which has built the (count ‘em) six-wheeled Hiload ‘rapid intervention vehicle’ you see above.

It’s based on the indestructible Toyota Hilux pick-up, only the chassis has been replaced to avoid the ‘cut and shut’ of the donor car and a torque splitter system added for good measure.

The gross vehicle weight (GVW) climbs to 5,600kg and results in a payload just shy of three tonnes, but crucially the height stands at 1,850mm; low enough to access height-restricted car parks that normal trucks would simply shrug at.

The Hiload 6x6 can also be fitted with a ColdCut Cobra system, which uses ‘an abrasive suspended in water’ to pierce through a car’s floor at 300bar and get right at an EV's battery. This way it can quell a fire in under 10 minutes using less than a bathtub’s worth of water.

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The company claims this is more effective (and less wasteful) than previous ways of preventing what’s called ‘thermal runaway’ of the cells, included the tried-but-tiresome method of leaving a burning BEV submerged in water for several days.

And by getting crew and water to EV fires as quickly as possible, Prospeed Motorsport reckons the Hiload could prevent major fires that’ve seen thousands of vehicles and entire buildings torched by a single electric car.

So come on multi-storeys, buy the 6WD Hilux immediately. You know it makes sense.

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