Auto Tech

EV started fire at Chrysler Tech Center in November, report says

Ev Started Fire At Chrysler Tech Center In November Report Says

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No matter what you’ve heard, EVs are less likely to catch fire than gas vehicles. That said, two of Detroit’s Big Three automakers have had EV-related factory fires in recent months, and the third had to pause production of a popular model to figure out a battery fire issue.

Stellantis reported a fire at its Chrysler Tech Center in the Detroit area in November last year, but we’ve just now learned that it was related to an EV prototype. Automotive News reported that the November 19 fire came from a vehicle parked on a lift. “Crews made their way to the vehicle and found it with active fire underneath the vehicle and under the hood,” a fire report noted.

Firefighters and employees removed the vehicle with a forklift, and no injuries or structural damage were reported. Officials still don’t know the exact cause of the fire, but the report stated that workers believed it could have been related to a coolant issue.

Crosstown rival General Motors halted production at its Factory Zero in Detroit-Hamtramck in December due to a fire. The facility produces both forms of the GMC Hummer EV and the Chevrolet Silverado EV. That fire is still under investigation, but early reports lean toward a forklift puncturing a battery materials container as the cause. Early in 2023, Ford had to shutter production of the F-150 Lightning after the electric pickup caught fire in a holding lot. The Blue Oval worked with its battery supplier to revise cell production and fix the issue.

While less likely to occur, EV fires can be much more difficult to extinguish than gas vehicle fires. Battery cells can experience thermal runaway, an accelerating reaction that can cause a rapid increase in fire temperature and intensity. EV fires have been known to take thousands of gallons of water to extinguish, making the job harder for firefighters.




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