fordfocuselectric
Posts: 113
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 7:50 am

Concerns about battery safety in the Ford Focus Electric

Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:03 am

News has been spreading like wildfire about a Chevy Volt that caught fire at a National Highway Transportation and Safety Authority garage in Wisconsin.

The Chevy Volt was in a garage since May when it was used in a side impact crash test. Alan Adler from GM reminds us that they have done extensive testing and the Volt is extremely safe.

GM is saying that NHTSA did not properly depower the Volt's battery, as they recommend after the battery is compromised in a crash or water damage. The side impact test on the Volt punctured the battery pack, and there's rumors the Volt even sat outside in the elements for a time.

Adler added that GM has done over 70 crash tests and tested more than 600 battery packs.

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What does this mean for the electric vehicle industry? Following such an incident, Federal Safety regulators are not just targeting GM, but all automakers that are or are planning to sell an electric vehicle with a lithium-ion battery pack. This includes the 2012 Ford Focus Electric.

Nissan stated the Nissan Leaf battery pack has been designed with more than one safety system in place. With more than 8,000 Nissan Leafs on US roads, there hasn't been a single incident.

NHTSA stated they don't believe electric vehicles are at a greater risk of fire than normal gasoline vehicles, but electric vehicles will obviously require different safety precautions and standards.

As it stands, Ford can continue there plans with the Ford Focus Electric unfettered - but perhaps someday soon regulations will add specific safety measures necessary in every electric vehicle.

venmarvel
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:36 am

Re: Concerns about battery safety in the Ford Focus Electric

Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:39 am

This issue is not just for GM but for Nissan also. Two Nissan Leaf vehicles have been bought back from their owners by the car maker, under the Arizona Lemon Law. The shift follows boasts of accelerated battery capacity degradation in the hot state. Still, Nissan claims no failing.

WetEV
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 7:04 am
Location: Near Seattle

Re: Concerns about battery safety in the Ford Focus Electric

Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:07 am

venmarvel wrote:This issue is not just for GM but for Nissan also. Two Nissan Leaf vehicles have been bought back from their owners by the car maker, under the Arizona Lemon Law. The shift follows boasts of accelerated battery capacity degradation in the hot state. Still, Nissan claims no failing.
This isn't a safety issue, it is a loss of battery capacity issue. There are at least three parts to this:

1) Real capacity loss. Batteries lose capacity with time and use, especially at higher temperatures. Arizona is hot, and unlike the Focus BEV, (the Leaf) has no active battery cooling.

2) Instrumentation. The gauges indicate rather more capacity loss than was really lost. So while a given car might have lost 10%, it looks like more loss, perhaps 20%.

3) Sales and marketing. Nissan was selling something that hasn't been sold in large numbers since the 1920's. Overstating range that the car can do on a regular basis wasn't wise. Not disclosing that battery life wouldn't be that good in hot climates also not wise. To say the least.
Last edited by WetEV on Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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