Jalopnik reports that, 3 weeks after a Chevrolet Volt was whacked in a side-impact test by the NHTSA, it burst into flames.
I’ll chalk that up to the impact creating a an electrical short, which would allow the lithium-ion battery pack to heat up to ignition. Seems a high price to pay to get maybe 35 miles on electricity alone (which itself is a 12.5% reduction from the earlier claims).
– This was the 20-mph side-impact test, or something you would expect at your local neighborhood roundabout.
– The battery on the Ford Pint…er, Chevy Volt was punctured. The Bloomberg story on this (H/T – Dad29) notes that metal piercing a lithium-ion battery will do exactly what happened, right down to a small puncture resulting in a fire days or weeks later.
– The NHTSA didn’t follow the Government Motors-recommended procedure of fully-discharging the battery…because GM never told the NHTSA about it.
Unlike NBC’s smear of the 1973-1997 Chevrolet/GMC full-sized pickups and their “‘explode-on-contact’ saddlebag” gas tanks, nobody needs explosives to brew up a Volt. They could either take a car to its side at a relatively-low speed or simply charge it up to 110% (yes, there have been fires involving Volts being charged).