The title “Electric Cars on Fire” has dual meanings. First, sales of electric cars continue to rise, as we noted earlier this year. But this title also refers to the heavily-reported fires involving electric vehicles. The subject of today’s post.


Emerging Battery Problems: Electric Cars on Fire

Electric car fires due to their faulty batteries are worrisome to the industry. And these fires receive a lot of media coverage and attention from government entities. For example watch this YouTube video from the NTSB.

The worst instances of electric car fires involve the Chevy Bolt. Resulting in many recalls, huge payments to owners, and devestating news for General Motors.

As Dennis Romero and Josh Lederman report for NBC News:

General Motors announced the voluntary recall of all 2019 and newer Chevrolet Bolts. That extended its recall of the electric vehicle back to its first model year, 2017. The latest recall covers 73,018 Bolts from 2019 to 2022. And extends a previous recall covering 2017-2019 cars. The battery-related recall covers roughly 142,018 Bolts built by the automaker since the model’s introduction.

GM said battery defects could lead to fires in the subcompact vehicles and urged drivers to limit their charging, avoid overnight charging, and park them outside. Customers “should not leave their vehicles charging indoors overnight,” GM said in a statement.

The auto giant blamed supplier LG for defects it described as “a torn anode tab and folded separator.” It said it would seek reimbursement from LG as it replaces defective modules. “After further investigation into the manufacturing processes at LG and disassembling battery packs, GM discovered manufacturing defects in certain battery cells produced at LG manufacturing facilities beyond the Ochang, Korea, plant. GM and LG are working to rectify the cause of these defects,” GM said.

The recall comes as GM is gearing up, including a $2 billion commitment for one EV plant alone, to go all electric by 2035.


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