There were no reports of any injuries and the cause of the fire is under investigation

The rear of an electric double-decker bus was destroyed after catching fire in south-west London this morning (11 January 2024).

The incident occurred amid insurers raising concerns about lithium-ion batteries and the fire risks they could present.

The blaze broke out as the bus was travelling along Wimbledon Hill Road in Wimbledon at 7.21am.

A 25-metre cordon was put in place as a precaution as three fire engines and around 15 firefighters from Wimbledon, New Malden and Wandsworth stations attended the scene.

There were no reports of any injuries and the cause of the fire is under investigation.


According to Octopus EV, electric vehicles pack thousands of individual rechargeable lithium-ion cells that work together to power the motor.

During Insurance Times’ Fraud Charter on 19 September 2023, Mark Allen, the ABI’s head of fraud and financial, said fire risks that lithium-ion batteries presented were causing “real concern”.


Credit: Daniel Bellenger

“There is a particular issue with the lithium-ion batteries at the moment,” he continued.

Meanwhile, John Lewis Financial Services announced on 2 October 2023 that it had temporarily stopped offering insurance to drivers of electric vehicles following a decision made by its underwriter Covéa.

John Lewis said at the time that Covéa wanted to analyse the risks and costs entailed with EVs.

And on 18 August 2022, Axa UK revealed that two large claims associated with lithium-ion batteries in an e-scooter and bike resulted in a loss of almost half a million pounds.

As a result, the insurer warned the insurance industry and consumers that there was a significant fire risk caused by these batteries being damaged, over-charged or exposed to extreme temperatures.