When new types of vehicles come onto the market, they usually represent some sort of advance in technology or in design. The increase in electric cars on the streets represents a welcome advance in vehicle technology that could turn out to be a big help to the U.S. economy. The White House hopes to see one million electric cars on U.S. roads by 2015.
Another aspect of new types of vehicles, however, is new safety issues. For instance, a recent car fire highlighted a potential danger in electric cars because of the common use in those cars of powerful lithium-ion batteries. The batteries could be prone to catching fire after serious car accidents.
We have noted from news reports that the recent fire in a Chevrolet Volt happened under circumstances that would not be expected with a gas-powered car. The electrically-powered Volt in question had been used in a crash test. Three weeks after the test, the car was sitting unoccupied. A fire began in the battery that ended up burning the vehicle.
Experts say that lithium is a highly flammable substance that burns very hot. For this reason, lithium-ion batteries are constructed to withstand serious car accidents. However, if a battery is pierced by steel or another ferrous metal, and the metal pierces the cells that store electricity, a serious fire could result. The fire would not necessarily start right away. It could take days or weeks for the lithium to reach a flammable temperature.
The danger from fire in electric vehicles is not a great one. Neither General Motors nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration were able to duplicate the crash test Volt fire. However, if there is a fire danger connected to electric cars, more car accident victims might be bringing claims against carmakers and battery manufacturers in the future.
If you have been hurt by any malfunction of an electrical vehicle, you may have a case. Contact the Florida Injury Lawyers, Abramowitz, Pomerantz & Coffey at 800-909-5529 to learn more.