A probe is on after a Chevrolet Volt battery caught fire several weeks after a testing agency tested the car. Federal safety officials from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will investigate whether Chevrolet’s Volt plug-in hybrid sedan batteries are prone to fire.
Agency officials have concluded that the crash damaged the car’s batteries. As a result, they later caught fire. However, they don’t believe that electric cars are more prone to the risk of fire than gasoline-powered cars.
Nevertheless, NHTSA will conduct further tests to reduce the risk of fire in electric cars with automakers’ help.
The Chevrolet Volt runs on batteries for the first 40 miles. When the batteries run low, it switches over to a gasoline engine that powers an electric generator to extend its range.
There are several other electric cars in line for release, including the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Roadster. All cars are plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.