June 20, 2013 | 03:08 PM (BD Time)
20 June, 2013 Thursday
No polls until doomsday if caretaker comes: PM ; SC appoints 2 amici curiae for Quader Mollah appeal hearing ; 3 robbers killed in Sunderbans ; India floods strand thousands: more than 100 dead ; 8 killed in lightning strikes in C'nawabganj ; RMG factory catches fire in city ; Obama in berlin calls for US-Russia nuclear weapons cuts; 18-party to stage demo countrywide on June 22
Regulators probe EV batteries after Chevy Volt fire
Reuters, Washington :
Regulators are investigating the safety of batteries used to power electric vehicles after a General Motors Co Volt caught fire following a crash test.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it does not believe the Volt and other electric vehicles are at greater risk for fire than those with gasoline-powered engines, but said it has asked automakers for information on lithium-ion batteries and recommendations for minimizing fire risk.
GM and other automakers said they were confident in the technology, which is being rolled out in current electric cars and the next wave of hybrid vehicles. Toyota Motor Corp's Prius, which dominates the hybrid market, is powered by older nickel metal hydride battery technology. The crash test for the Volt, which carries a 400-pound lithium ion battery pack, was conducted last May at a facility in Wisconsin, NHTSA said. The fire did not break out until more than three weeks after the side-impact crash test, and the reason for the fire has not been determined, the agency said.
GM said it was not aware of any other Volt fires. A senior NHTSA official said the agency has received no consumer complaints about fires involving GM or other electric cars.
Both GM and NHTSA conducted follow-up tests and could not repeat the fire. The agency plans additional electric car battery tests with Energy Department experts in coming weeks.
"I want to make this very clear: The Volt is a safe car," Jim Federico, GM chief engineer for electric vehicles, said in a statement.
South Korean battery maker LG Chem Ltd, which supplies the Volt battery cells, said in a statement that is "fully aware of the situation and is working closely with GM and NHTSA on the investigation."
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