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Fire service has ‘reason to believe’ that Bristol car dealership blaze was caused by an EV

  • Huge blaze at car dealership may have been started by an EV – fire service
  • Smoke was seen billowing from Drive Vauxhall Bristol North yesterday morning
  • Avon and Fire Rescue Service says an investigation is ongoing

Time 9:48 am, May 14, 2024

A huge blaze at a Bristol car dealership may have been caused by an electric vehicle, the fire service has said.

Yesterday (May 13) saw a mass of flames billowing from Drive Vauxhall Bristol North at around 10am with firefighters rushing to the scene.

Crews from Patchway, Southmead, Temple and Thornbury attended and eventually brought the fire under control but around 25 cars are said to have been damaged in the incident.


The dealership has confirmed nobody was injured and Avon and Fire Rescue Service say that the blaze is currently not being treated as suspicious.

However, Lee Alford, station manager at Avon and Fire Rescue Service, told the BBC that crews have ‘reason to believe’ it was caused by an EV.

He told the broadcaster: ‘The smoke plume was considerable and it looks quite dramatic, given the amount of cars involved in the fire,” he said.


‘We have got fire investigations ongoing at the moment.

‘Due to the capacity of how the cars are parked and the location of where they are, once a fire is fully engulfed on a car then the radiated heat tends to travel quite quickly.

‘Hence the full involvement, we believe more than 25 cars in the entirety were involved.”

He added: ‘We have reason to believe it may have been an electric car that started the fire at the moment.’


This is far from the first time that EVs have been blamed for setting cars ablaze in such a manner.

Last October, it was claimed that an electric or hybrid vehicle had started a huge blaze at Luton Airport’s car park, which destroyed 1,400 cars and much of the building structure.

However, an investigation later revealed that the fire was started accidentally by a diesel vehicle.

In relation to the latest incident, in Bristol, the fire service says it will re-inspect the cars in the next few days.

Car Dealer has contacted Drive Motor Retail for comment.


Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.



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