[image] Prototype EV Battery Explodes at GM Michigan Research Lab
by Tiffany Kaiser Apr 11 2012
[image] Fire Department at the Warren, Michigan GM Technical Center
GM says the battery had nothing to do with the Chevrolet Volt
A prototype electric vehicle (EV) battery exploded at a General Motors plant
in Michigan this morning, seriously injuring one auto worker.
The explosion occurred at a General Motors Technical Center battery research
lab in Warren, Michigan at approximately 8:45 a.m. The Warren Fire
Department and authorities were called immediately to investigate.
The building was safely evacuated, with only one employee requiring
treatment. Four other employees were evaluated at the scene and did not
require further treatment, according to GM.
It was discovered that a small fire had started due to "extreme testing of a
"We are aware of an incident this morning at about 8:45 a.m. in one of the
laboratories at the Alternative Energy Center at the General Motors
emergency authorities were called to the scene. The building was evacuated.
All employees have been accounted for. We are aware of five employees being
evaluated on scene by medical personnel and only one employee is being
The one employee that required further treatment is expected to make a full
recovery, with some chemical burns and a possible concussion.
Warren Mayor James Fouts visited the GM site after the explosion for a
"I just want to say how very fortunate we are that only one person was
only one person received a possible concussion and some chemical burns, from
what I've been told.
"It was significant structural damage. Three very large windows were blown
out and thick, fortified doors were forced open by the blast. Our fire
lithium batteries. The building was stuffed with personnel and equipment,
but it was designed very well."
GM wouldn't say exactly what kind of battery exploded, but mentioned that it
was built by A123 Systems and was going through tests that were meant to
stress the battery. GM made sure to note that the battery was not Chevrolet
"The incident was unrelated to the Chevy Volt or any other production
testing on a prototype battery."
GM is likely making sure to protect its Volt against any more bad publicity
than it has already received in the past year. Back in May 2011, a Chevrolet
Volt caught fire after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA) conducted a side-impact crash test on the vehicle. It caught fire
while parked in the Wisconsin testing facility.
This incident prompted an investigation of the safety of lithium batteries
used for EVs. In November 2011, three more Volts were tested by the NHTSA,
and two out of three either sparked or caught fire while the third remained
"We're not yet able to confirm that it was a battery per se, but it was in
Warren fire commissioner. "There's water damage to the building and OSHA
will have to be called in because a person was injured."
McAdams is referring to the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health
Administration, which is currently inspecting the situation.
© 2012 DailyTech]
[image] Test Explodes Electric-Car Battery, Injuring General Motors Lab
A123 Systems' Lithium-Ion Battery Explodes During Car Maker's 'Extreme' Test
By SHARON TERLEP â€”Matthew Dolan contributed to this article.
Warren, Mich., research center exploded, sending an employee to the
The lithium-ion battery exploded at about 9 a.m. Wednesday at GM's Technical
Center, where the auto maker designs and develops new vehicles, a spokesman
said. Emergency personnel examined five employees on the scene and
The explosion is the latest glitch in the auto industry's efforts to bring
electric vehicles to market. GM's battery-powered Volt and Nissan Motor
Co.'s 7201.TO -1.32% Leaf had disappointing sales in their first year, and
several start-up companies producing batteries for electric cars have
of the building's exterior windows and an eight-inch-thick door. The
[image] GMBATTERY Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
A123 Systems, which made the battery that exploded during 'extreme' testing,
will make batteries for the Chevrolet Spark, pictured, in January.
ignited inside a closed chamber. Damage was confined to the lab, which has
the city's fire department are investigating.
The GM employee taken to the hospital was listed in stable condition with a
suspected concussion and chemical burns, according to a city official.
The experimental battery involved in Wednesday's incident was being
developed for all-electric cars, including a coming line of Spark
subcompacts, and is made by A123 Systems Inc., AONE +5.96% people familiar
auto makers that were produced at its Livonia, Mich., plant. A flaw in the
manufacturing process led to defective packs that could cause them to fail,
A123, which is owned in part by General Electric Co., GE +1.44% is one of
several battery companies that built production facilities with aid from the
U.S. government. A123 received $249 million in federal grants to build
Fisker Automotive Inc., the maker of a $100,000 plug-in hybrid sports car,
and Smith Electric Vehicles, of Kansas City, Mo., are among A123's
electric-vehicle battery customers.
A different type of lithium-ion battery, made by South Korea's LG Chem Ltd.,
was at the center of a fire safety investigation into GM's Volt last year.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration cleared Volt,
which uses a gasoline engine as well as a battery, in January, saying the
car is no more dangerous than traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. But the
incident led to months of adverse publicity, which GM executives say hurt
the Volt's sales.
Batteries in that lab undergo testing in which they are damaged, exposed to
extreme heat and cold, shaken, and doused with water in an effort to ensure
they are safe.
In 4 p.m. trading, A123's shares were up five cents to 94 cents a share on
the Nasdaq Stock Market. GM shares were up 32 cents at $24.03 on the New
York Stock Exchange.
© 2012 Dow Jones & Company All Rights Reserved]
The media will no doubt make plenty of hay with this. Do you suppose
they'll make as big a deal of all the explosions involving gasoline?
More than 60 people died Monday in a densely populated Nairobi slum after an
explosion and fire caused by gasoline from a leaking pipe.
after someone reportedly poured gasoline on a fire in a wood-burning stove
in the garage.
On Thursday afternoon, June 10, 1999, a 16-inch fuel line owned by the
Olympic Pipe Line Company rupture[d] in Bellingham, spilling 277,200 gallons
of gasoline into Hanna and Whatcom creeks. The volatile fuel explode[d],
killing three youths ...
A Lynden man dumped gasoline on a beehive that was in a tree and then
ignited it Sunday night, Aug. 28, causing an explosion in the suburban
neighborhood that could be seen from a few hundred feet away.
A Florida Rock & Tank Lines delivery driver was refilling an above-ground
gasoline storage tank that had a broken gauge. The tank overflowed, and the
combination of vapors and heat from the running delivery truck caused an
A recently divorced, suicidal man is believed to have died in a massive
bathroom and master bedroom closet were doused with gasoline, that filled
the spaces with combustible vapor, and the vapor was ignited by the
discharge of a firearm.
This glowing fireball is ... the aftermath of a collision between a tanker
carrying 8,500 gallons of gas and a minivan, which took place on the New
Jersey Turnpike last night.
And on and on and on. And yet people continue to buy and use vehicles
fueled by this murderous compound. Can you imagine?
David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
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Note: mail sent to "evpost" and "etpost" addresses will not
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Here's one that made the news in a big way over here, a couple of weeks ago..
Two very different takes. One says:
It was significant structural damage. Three very large windows were blown
out and thick, fortified doors were forced open by the blast. Our fire
Damage was confined to the lab, which has windows and doors designed to give
way in a blast...
And those are just fires that make the news. The NFPA gives statistics that
show that highway vehicle fires happen many times per hour and several
deaths per week.
In 2000, over 300,000 vehicles caught fire in the US, causing 450 deaths.
In 2010, over 180,000 vehicles caught fire, causing 285 deaths.
And yet a single Volt fire is huge news.
I wonder how many prototype gas tanks that the auto manufacturers blew up
before they came up with the ones you see on the road today?
Can you say Pinto?
Remember, it is not that the glass is half empty, in reality, the glass is
merely twice the size that it needs to be! -TNT'82
Did you expect to find objective facts in anything in the media? The
spin doctors will have a party with this.
Joe and Jane had a race. Joe lost. His dad asked him about the race. Joe
said, "I did great! I came in second and Jane was next to last!"
Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart at earthlink.net
Friend of mine did vacation work at the Dupont
Chemical factory in town.
That is one employer who takes safety serious and it proves
by how even vacation workers and interns are drilled in
The lab they worked in had one of its walls along the entire
length constructed in a way that it would give (open) at low
pressure so that in case of an explosion or similar incident
the building would protect the workers by having one wall
blow out early and not subject the humans to high pressure
or a failing structure (the structural integrity of the
building was guaranteed without that wall).
So the second report makes perfect sense to me,
the first is more likely to catch the attention because
it is more sensational...
Cor van de Water
Proxim Wireless Corporation http://www.proxim.com
Skype: cor_van_de_water XoIP: +31877841130
Tel: +1 408 383 7626 Tel: +91 (040)23117400 x203
I worked at one of the Dupont plants in the '80's.
Total safety indoctrination and very strict rules for everybody allowed
on site, yet one of the safety wardens managed to do himself in while
ignoring the rules during one graveyard shift.
I don't know what they'll find when they investigate this, but human
factors often outweigh the safety factors in place.
*Paul Wujek* <pdw*******>