Another battery problem for the Volt 0

General Motors have had a battery explode during the development of the Chevrolet Volt Plug-in hybrid sedan vehicle.  The explosion occurred at General Motors’ technical centre in Warren, Michigan which is located near the company’s Detroit Headquarters.

The explosion of the lithium – ion battery in question led to two people being treated in hospital.  Some reports claim that only one employee needed medical treatment at a hospital. It caused a lot of smoke around the premises but not a lot of fire it was previously reported.  The fire was eventually extinguished with all General Motors employees being accounted for.

Negative headlines

This will surely not go down well with the media as they attempt to seek assurances regarding the safety of the car. There was a previous recall of vehicles after an investigation by the authorities, following concerns that the battery within could be set on fire.

The battery explosion comes as GM seeks to reassure consumers about the safety of the $39,000 Volt, which uses lithium-ion batteries. Volt sales were hurt after a U.S. investigation into battery fires was announced in November. The U.S. closed the probe in January, saying the Volt and other electric vehicles pose no more fire risk than other cars. The headlines are sure to damage the Chevrolet Volt’s reputation even further after previously attempting to rebuild it.

Very ambitious sales target

Chevrolet are aiming to sell 3,000 vehicles per month. Today’s news certainly won’t help the company achieve that. So far in 2012, the Volt has sold just 2,289 which is clearly nowhere the figure they need.  Can Chevrolet hit their target of selling 45,000 per year?

Daniel Akerson, the General Motors Chief Executive said “It seems like we’ve sustained ourselves through this difficult period. We hope to get up to 3,000- plus in the coming months and are certainly positioning it.”

Production set to resume

The production of the Chevrolet Volt was halted due to the saga surrounding their previous battery fire fears. After being closed for the holiday period, production of the car is set to resume in the month of April.

Expected

A statement from General Motors read “Chemical gases from the battery cells were released and ignited in the enclosed chamber. The battery itself was intact. The battery tested and the incident has no connection with the Chevrolet Volt or any other GM production vehicle,”

This type of danger was expected by experts due to the high energy density throughout the production of the batteries.

Can Chevrolet ensure that the Volt avoids further fires and explosions?