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.
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.