Report Claims EV At Chrysler Plant Caught Fire

In recent months, two of Detroit’s Big Three automakers, known for their renowned gas vehicles, faced unexpected challenges with electric vehicles (EVs) and factory fires. While it’s crucial to recognize that EVs are generally less likely to catch fire than their gas-powered counterparts, these incidents highlight the importance of addressing potential safety concerns and finding practical solutions.

Last November, Stellantis, one of the leading automakers, reported a fire at its Chrysler Tech Center in Detroit. It was later revealed that the fire was related to an EV prototype. The incident occurred when a vehicle parked on a lift suddenly caught fire. Prompt action was taken as firefighters and employees swiftly removed the vehicle using a forklift, preventing any injuries or structural damage. The exact cause of the fire remains unknown, but initial speculation suggests a possible coolant issue.

In December, production at General Motors’ Factory Zero in Detroit-Hamtramck was temporarily paused due to a fire. This facility is responsible for producing the GMC Hummer EV and the Chevrolet Silverado EV. The investigation into the fire’s cause is ongoing, with preliminary findings suggesting a forklift may have accidentally pierced a container holding battery materials. General Motors is dedicated to implementing robust safety measures for their electric vehicles.

Ford experienced its setback with the F-150 Lightning, one of the most popular electric pickups on the market. In early 2023, production had to be temporarily suspended after a vehicle caught fire in a holding lot. Ford promptly collaborated with its battery supplier to revise cell production and address the issue, emphasizing their dedication to safety and continuous improvement.
It is important to note that while EV fires are less likely to occur than gas vehicle fires, they present unique challenges when extinguishing them. In an EV fire, battery cells can experience thermal runaway, a rapid and escalating reaction that intensifies the fire’s temperature and intensity. This makes extinguishing EV fires more challenging, often requiring significant amounts of water. Firefighters must adapt their strategies and equipment to combat such incidents effectively.

These incidents highlight the need for ongoing research and development in EV safety. Automakers must work closely with battery suppliers and fire safety experts to address potential risks, improve preventive measures, and enhance emergency response protocols. By doing so, they can further ensure the safety of EVs, providing consumers with a reliable and sustainable transportation option.