E-car crash leads to battery blaze

Impact test prompts safety probe

GM Ampera

A GM Volt e-car has burst into flames following a crash.

To be fair, the crash was intentional. It was a side-impact test performed by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in May, but has now prompted a probe into e-car battery safety, Reuters reports.

And the fire broke out more than three weeks after the prang. The NHTSA said it doesn't know why the fire started.

No other Volts have every caught fire, GM said, stressing the the vehicle is "a safe car". The Volt is set to be sold over here in 2012 as the Vauxhall Ampera.

The NHTSA told the newsagency that it doesn't believe e-cars pose any greater fire risk than petrol-powered vehicles do, but it has approached e-car and battery makers with a view to consulting on battery safety policy.

The Volt contains a 181kg Lithium ion battery pack made by South Korea's LG Chem. It said it was working with the NHTSA and GM on the matter. ®

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