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Why I've just about had it with EVs and what's next

I've reached the tipping point and I'm about ready to jump ship from this blog. I was getting a bit teed off with the slow progress of electric car technology and sort of lost my enthusiasm for it over recent months. This story from the days of Hurricane Sandy had a lot to do with it.

Apparently a large number of brand new Fiskar Karmas were sitting in a car park in Port Newark, New Jersey when the flood waters rushed in and inundated them. So what do you think happened? A witness said they were "first submerged in a storm surge and then caught fire, exploded."

Damage to Fiskar Karmas at Port Newark

It took a while for the full story to come out, so here's the Fisker follow up.
Port Newark Incident – Fisker Automotive Follow-Up Statement

November 5, 2012

On October 30, following Superstorm Sandy, several electric hybrid and non-hybrid cars from a variety of manufacturers caught fire and were damaged in separate incidents after flood waters receded at Port Newark (NJ), including 16 award-wining Fisker Karmas. Port Newark is one of the largest vehicle handling facilities in the U.S., and many thousands of vehicles of many makes and models were severely damaged as a result of the unprecedented flooding.

After a thorough inspection witnessed by NHTSA representatives, Fisker engineers determined that the damage to the Karmas was the result of the cars being submerged under five to eight feet of seawater for several hours that left corrosive salt in a lowvoltage Vehicle Control Unit in one Karma. The Vehicle Control Unit is a standard component found in many types of vehicles and is powered by a typical 12V car battery. This residual salt damage caused a short circuit, which led to a fire that heavy winds then spread to other Karmas parked nearby. There were no explosions as had been inaccurately reported. The Karma’s lithium-ion batteries were ruled out as a cause or contributing factor.


But I'm sure this story put the spooks up a lot of people who are fearful about batteries going on fire. It certainly did that to me.


Just today I read that you'll be more likely to see a Fisker Karma masquerading as the Destino (price tag $180,000) with a 638-hp supercharged V8 engine than in its EV form. Auto industry legend Bob Lutz says, "I just heard so many people say, I love the Fisker Karma but I'm not going to buy it because I don't want that electric drivetrain with the four-cylinder engine." So to appeal to this audience he's removing the battery pack - very carefully - and running the driveshaft down the battery tunnel.
Before Fisker's woes appeared on my radar I was reading about the Nissan Leaf's battery range controversy which continues to rage and the impact on its sales. Right now EVs are falling so short of their own promises that even I wouldn't have an electric car. The whole package isn't coming together fast enough - cars, batteries, infrastructure. But I recently saw something that fired my imagination and prompted me to kick start this blog back into life >>> more So you may see a change in emphasis going forward.

Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 02:32PM by Registered CommenterChristine Gupta in , , , , , , , , | Comments5 Comments

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Reader Comments (5)

Don't be so down - it's all actually good news! Why - because you have to go through the Trough to get to mass acceptance, and finally we're getting through it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hype_cycle
January 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTrevor
Electric vehicles are far better than the fuel vehicles when comes to the safety of our environment and ecosystem. Now our science and technology so developed that we can get the better product with better services.

Electric cars are getting charges for running without charge it means to dead. It is friendly to environment than t5he fuel or gas car due less smoke.
September 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKeli Bruk
Electric vehicles are far better than the fuel vehicles when comes to the safety of our environment and ecosystem. Now our science and technology so developed that we can get the better product with better services.

Electric cars are getting charges for running without charge it means to dead. It is friendly to environment than t5he fuel or gas car due less smoke.
September 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKeli Bruk
This is really a very big damage that several electric hybrid and non hybrid cars get damaged because of the flood. Yes, we all know Port Newark is one of the best car residing place but in front of natural disaster we are help less. So, from this one thing is very clear that the security system must be developed to cope with such type of issues. The main problem arises because of the short circuit happened because of the salt water that gets in contact with the batteries of the cars. So, all the best to the team for their future so that they never face such type of issues.
October 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEric gill
Yes, as mentioned in the paragraph that the progress of electric cars is very much slow, its true. To control the environment pollution that happen only because of our vehicles ignition process its the idea of branded car makers to make electric cars that well suit our environment. So, it may come late but we only wish that it must be the solution of our old problem that is environment pollution because of cars. I have read the news that most of the electric and hybrid and non hybrid cars get affected in the flood. This really a sad news. I think the safety measure must be increased in to a higher bit then only such types of disaster will never happen. The disaster happen here only because of the short circuit happen due to the in contact of car battery and salt water from the sea.
October 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Anderson

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