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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 23:34 
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Daily Mail here
Daily Mail Reporter wrote:
GM to investigate after Chevy Volt hybrid catches fire for SECOND time in a week - even though it was unplugged
By Daily Mail Reporter - Last updated at 5:47 PM on 19th April 2011

When his garage burned down last week, Storm Connors defended his beloved hybrid cars charging inside and said they couldn't have caused the fire
But the environmentally-friendly credentials of his Chevy Volt - and the green driver's carbon footprint - took another hit today when its battery caught fire again, even though the car was unplugged.

Now General Motors is sending a team of investigators to examine the electric car at Mr Connors's home in Barkhamsted, Connecticut.
Mystery: Mr Connors's Chevy Volt was gutted in last week's blaze - but this morning its battery reignited in a second fire

Mystery: Mr Connors's Chevy Volt was gutted in last week's blaze - but this morning its battery reignited in a second fire
Mr Connors's two hybrid cars, the nearly-new Volt and an older Suzuki which he had converted himself, were recharging overnight on Thursday when a fire ripped through his garage, leaving just the beams standing.
The adjoining house, which the Connors built themselves 40 years ago, only survived because a firewall between the two stopped the blaze spreading.
Firefighters said last week they believed one of the cars - which were both left as burnt- out shells - could have triggered the blaze.
But they were still investigating what caused the blaze this morning when a second fire ignited in the battery of the Volt, which Mr Connors had left unplugged.
Wrecked: Storm Connors's two hybrid cars, a Suzuki and a Chevy Volt, were left burnt out after a fire ripped through a garage at his home in Connecticut
Responsible? Storm Connors had just bought a Chevy Volt hybrid electric car like this one which was charging in the garage when the fire broke out (file photo)

Barkhamsted Fire Marshal Bill Baldwin told the Hartford Courant: 'The rekindle this morning really adds to the mystery.'
General Motors, which makes the vehicle, is due to send a team of investigators to look at the car this evening.

It took nearly 50 firefighters to put out last week's blaze, which started at around 4am on Thursday morning, when Mr Connors and his wife Dee were woken by the fire alarm.
Lucky escape: Storm and Dee Connors were saved from the fierce blaze because of a strong firewall between the garage and their house

Mr Connors, a volunteer firefighter, told Channel 8 News: 'I walked outside and looked in the garage door and it was flaming, so I decided to go back inside, put my pants on and come back and called 911.
Investigation: General Motors is sending a team to examine the Chevy Volt this evening
'And they were here pretty quick. There were a lot of firemen here. Around 50, I think.'

His wife was so frightened she didn't even give herself enough time to put on a pair of shoes.
She told Channel 3: 'I walked outside and looked in the garage door and it was flaming.
'I grabbed a pocketbook so I'd have a cellphone and a driver's licence and a jacket and a pair of slacks. I had no shoes, my feet were freezing.'

Mr Connor has long been an advocate of electric cars and converted the Suzuki himself several years ago. He had only just bought the Chevy Volt, which had 2,000 miles on the clock.
He refused to blame the fire on his beloved vehicles, telling Channel 8: 'I don't have any reason to suspect that it was any part of the cause of the fire.'

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 15:02 
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OK...so...

He's got two leccy vehicles, one of which was a DIY job, and the headline talks about the Chevy Volt...

Right...


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 09:35 
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Just to update this thread.I have read recently that a Chevy Volt in storage which was used in federal crash checks earlier this year had ignited.It happened several weeks after getting used in the tests. A security exploration is currently underway into fire hazards possibly presented by the Volt. The problem likely concerns the batteries and other electric vehicles are being looked at as well.This goes to show how electric cars can be hazardous despite it's eco-friendliness. :roll: I've read the article here: Safety investigation into Chevy Volt fire under way


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 19:49 
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I was at a trade fair yesterday where I found myself looking at the "Guts" of a Prius. The batterys are really quite small, Alarmingly so infact. (Not much bigger than an attache case)

I asked the demonstrator what the electrical capacity was, he reckoned 30Kwhr! :shock: (I understood that they were "Only" about 12Kwhr )

My responce at this stage was something along the lines of "Bloody hell, Its a bomb!" at which he looked a little shifty before agreeing with me.

Its all terribly clever though. The battery pack is made up of individual cells each of which is individualy monitored by the self diagnostics. Faulty cells can be thus identified and replaced individually. Long life is ensured by operating the battery withn a fairly narrow charge/discharge cycle.

It only cycles between 50% and 70% charge. Interestingly not "Fully" charging it gives extended life. Everyone knows that fully discharging a battery can damage it, But I must admit, the idea that fully charging it might also reduce lifetime is a new one for me. I guess its a LiOn thing, memory effect and all that.

Of course, In a Hybrid the battery is only there to "Average" out power demand. How Lithium batteries might actually perform in the real world of "Pure" Ev's where much wider charge/discharge cycles will be required remains to be seen

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 23:14 
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I agree. There are several types of Li-ion battery, but a 50kWh Li-iron phosphate one weighs over half a ton! I'm pretty certain the Prius battery is only a couple of kWh - maybe less. I also thought they were NiMh, rather than Li-ion. Some battery types (like NiCd) like being deeply discharged. Li-ion seem to last best if kept between 20 and 80% charge. Don't know about NiMH.


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