All of us are currently driving around on top of a big plastic tank full of gasoline, an improvised rolling bomb as it were. You can crawl under your car and touch it with your hands, there's no exoskeleton fortress built around it. I know the volt is a threat to Big Oil, so once this issue is dealt with by Chevy the next "issue" will be created by the BO lobby. .
I was thinking the same thing about this article Lou. It is as if half of the facts are missing as to the real reson for all of the extra precautions while not saying one word about how they will contain the coolant or prevent another circuit board short. From the information provided, if the same tests were performed again, the results would more than likely be the same.
Intersting article. Although I am a bit puzzled by GM response. It was apparently proven that the cause of the fire was leaking coolant casing a short circuit on a circuit card. The changes were additional steel to protect the battery from being deformed in a side impact, a sensor on the coolant, and a bracket to prevent overfilling. None of those changes seem to address how the coolant leaked out, or the circuit card that shorted out because of the coolant leak.
This is a proactive solution where certainly puts GM in a stronger position, market wise. They're addressing the problem instead of burying it, Pinto-like. At the same time, there's the reality that batteries will always be subject to fires under certain conditions (heat, impact). Probably equaling important is wider education for emergency service personnel on how to handle cars which have high voltage electrics when they're in accidents. This is super critical, because one day a cop, fireman, or EMT is unfortunately going to be electrocuted when they're trying to free someone from an EV if this training doesn't become mandatory.
You're right, Jenn. Just ask Toyota about the accelerators). I was good corporate citizenship, but I would guess GM was also mighty concerned about making sure its EV didn't get a bad rap so soon out of the gate. A couple fires on the road could hurt the whole concept of EVs.
I agree Beth. It seems in this chase GM handled the situation well. Both the quick program to take back the vehciles and the fast moves to uncover the soruce of the problem. It's refreshing to see a company not jump to hide its flaws.
I don't know how others feel, but as a potential owner of the Chevy Volt (or any other vehicle, for that matter), I'm not that interested in what's to blame for the fire--the LiOn battery or a circuit board or whatever. I'm simply interested in ensuring that the vehicle I purchase is safe and not susceptible to sudden and explosive fires. That said, I applaud GM's efforts to shore up the battery safety structure and I do understand the PR effect of making sure the batteries (the heart and soul of the EV vehicle) don't take the hit for the mishap.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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