Friday, November 25, 2011

Chevy Volt Not Ready for Prime Time as Investigations Of Battery Fires Begin

Driving into Woodridge a couple weeks ago, saw a Chevy Volt on display, and was thinking to myself, "WOW, I should go have a look at the new electric car." Keep in mind that I have written articles on the EV industry, even had one of them appear in Electrifying Times, have always had a bit of a love affair with the concept of a car that runs on batteries. So, all the new hybrids, the dream of a electric car leaping forward in a big way with the Tesla Roadster, the past few years have been heady times with the Volt and Leaf seeming to be at the top of the heap.

But not so fast...maybe we would all be advised to look at some of these cars like first generation gadgets...unless you want one just as a status symbol, might be a good idea to hold off purchasing one until the second or third generation is out on the market for sale. Seems the Lithium-ion batteries have a bit of a problem...THEY CATCH FIRE. There have been enough of these fires that the National Highway Traffic Safety Association has decided to conduct an investigation.

All is not bleak for those desperately wanting to own a Volt today...these battery fires occur only AFTER a serious accident...that is reassuring perhaps for the "Little Old Lady from Pasadena" but for those with a need for speed, or perhaps driving in bad weather, the towering inferno lithium-ion battery fires do give pause for cause.

If GM happens to be reading this article, would love to say test drive one of your cars for say five years, provide anecdotal evidence to support your claim that the cars are safe under normal operating conditions. I promise I'll do my best to avoid any deliberate crashes during the test drive period...unlike the NHTSA who is crashing some of these beautiful cars deliberately.