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Spinning Chevy Battery Explosion.

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Ken Fry · · 6 years ago

This morning a GM lab suffered damage, five workers were injured and one hospitalized, as a result of a battery explosion. Apparently the battery under test was a prototype pack from A123.

Hard to spin this positively. The test was apparently "extreme." Did GM not understand the potential for explosion? Hard to think of that in positive terms... are they clueless? Or did GM understand the potential, but failed to take adequate protection for their employees. Also hard to think of that in positive terms. One cannot make explosion containment structures without first understanding the potential energy to be released.
(I wonder if this will affect sales of the ICE Spark? The Fox article does not make the distinction clear between the Spark and the electric Spark.)


· · 6 years ago

I certainly hope that GM blows up and burns a lot of batteries. I certainly want to be sure they know at exactly what point it will blow up or catch fire - before one finds its way into a car that I'm driving.
That someone screwed up and got hurt is standard industrial risk while doing tests to blow things up and catch them on fire. Someone probably didn't follow some standard safety procedure or follow common sense.
To me, as a possible GM customer some day, this is good news. It means they continue to stress battery technologies. This suggests that they aren't quitting in their development of EVs!

· · 6 years ago

Hi Ex EV1,

I hope your take on it is shared by many.

Here's another article which was interpreted by one reader as GM "blaming" A123.

In this article, the explosion is attributed to off gassing accumulations. Obviously, A123 cannot be blamed for off gassing. Hopefully the press will die out, or if not, people will at least come to understand that the cell itself did not explode.

A123 stock took a tiny dip this morning, but popped back to (admittedly dismal) $.94. The last thing they need is more bad press.

I'd like to see the E Spark come out at a sub $30,000 price. GM certainly has some momentum going on with the Volt.

· · 6 years ago

@Ken Fry,
I, too, wish others would see thing my way. I wouldn't get paid as much to be the one who can get things done but I wouldn't always be working against those who don't know how to do things.
Unfortunately, our society is too risk-averse and blame-happy as well as being too history unaware to remember how we get new things.
Batteries won't get better unless people like GM test them to extremes and people will get hurt if they do extreme testing without taking the necessary safety precautions.

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