An explosion and fire occurred very recently at the battery-testing lab of General Motors in Warren, Mich., according to reports. At least one individual was hospitalized due to injury. Engineers at GM were testing a prototype lithium ion battery when the accident happened.
As soon as the report was publicized, many people in media and the auto industry gave their opinions and considered the accident as another setback for the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid automobile. It has been 16 months since this vehicle was introduced in the market but it has yet to have a single battery exploding or catching fire in the course of normal driving scenario.
Dennis Virag, who is the president of Automotive Consulting Group in Ann Arbor, Mich., commented that the news regarding the accident can’t be seen as "not positive" for General Motors and lithium ion. He further stated that it prompts discussions regarding the dangers of batteries.
On the other hand, one should remember that a prototype is just a prototype, which means that it will not be in any production vehicle until it goes through testing and achieves certification. Also, the battery being tested that exploded at the GM lab was not manufactured by the supplier of the batteries for Volt, The Wall Street Journal reported. Korea-based LG Chem makes the lithium ion batteries for the vehicle.