Good comment @rosekgiz. The public needs to be aware that any fuel used to propel their vehicle can become unsafe. Gasoline or batteries, you need to make sure that after an incident, it is checked. It's obvious when there is a fuel leak, but batteries need to be inspected for damage.
Wow, some of you guys really take the cake! I've worked on/around high voltage, large-cell Li+ batteries for the past 10 years (these are the very energetic kind - no special materials) and we had 2 incidents. Both of those incidents were caused by human error which was caused by a cumbersome installation procedure. In both cases the reacation(s) were highly localized to a few cells and quickly extinguished.
GM is exactly correct that the batteries that were part of the crash test were not 'safed', i.e. - discharging the pack. What some of you gentelmen are missing is that you are working to a double-standard; gasoline=good/safe while batteries=bad/dangerous. Such inanity! Any energy-dense source has imbedded hazards that must be managed.
And I guess having large quantities of pure hydrogen + gasoline/diesel in a vehicle is nothing to be too worried about, eh? Please!
Gasoline and/or diesel hybrids are an excellent choice to bridge the time span required to full electric vehicles that don't have the range anxiety that seems to scare most people.
I don't believe they are that big and certainly safer than driving on the road with people using their cell phones.
Please put problems in perspective. EVERY DAY I have major problems with people's unsafe driving.
True. Any super fast charge battery will require super high current from the power grid. Which is not all good, because it drives up the peak loads required of generating plants. Never mind how to get this huge current to homes.
Secondly, the fast charge batteries don't hold more charge, so the range issue is still with us. Obviously, on a road trip, a 10 minute "gas station" visit every 60 miles (or less) is better than a 4 hour "fuel stop." But I don't think a lot of drivers would welcome that way of traveling.
Need something much better. Fuel cells in a "hybrid" fuel cell plus mild(ish) hybrid size battery. To give the short power spurts needed. And extract H2 from hydrocarbon fuel, on board.
Whether that story is true or not, it highlights an interesting issue with patents. I reckon patent law should change to automatically remove the protection if the patent isn't used within a couple of years.
Ford Motor company in the late 80's decided to make fuel tanks out of plastic. They didn't make them conductive so static electricity was a big issue and caused a few tank explosions. Everything has its problems, it's how we deal with them that matters
I am going to agree with BicycleBill and say that this story is garbage. If you take any high energy battery that is fully charged and then damage it there is a good chance you can generate a fire, so what. If you crash a battery powered car such that the batteries are damaged then you need to make sure that the battery gets discharged in a controlled manner. If there are no good tools for this then someone needs to get busy and make them. The analogy I like is, what would you do if the gas tank of a standard car been damaged such that it had a small leak in it, would you then put it in your garage and wait to see what happened?