Bosch will use tiny explosions to make EVs safer in a crash

The explosions would help isolate the battery in the event of an accident.

Electric vehicles have obvious benefits, but they also pose new risks. In the event of a crash, there's a chance that damaged wiring could allow current to leak from the EV's battery into the metal frame, posing a risk to occupants, rescue workers and first responders. Electric vehicles automatically turn off when a crash is detected, but to go a step further, Bosch has created an explosive device that automatically cuts off the high-voltage battery.

The pyrotechnical safety switch system, or pyrofuse, sets off a series of small explosions. Those drive a wedge into the high-voltage cable linking the battery and the power electronics, theoretically eliminating the flow of current and risk of electric shock or fire. The use of explosions may sound dramatic, but these pyrotechnics are so small they'd likely go unnoticed. Similar explosions are often used to trigger airbags.

Of course, if the battery itself is damaged that opens up new risks, but the Bosch system could help address the specific concerns of voltage leaking into the rest of the vehicle.