A vehicle at EV startup Canoo burned on August twenty fourth after lithium-ion batteries left contained in the automobile began a fireplace. The native fireplace division was capable of extinguish the blaze and nobody was injured, in accordance with an incident report obtained by The Verge.
The fireplace occurred within the car parking zone exterior Canoo’s Torrance, California company workplace, which was as soon as the startup’s headquarters — earlier than it began calling Bentonville, Arkansas residence in November.
Canoo’s VP of communications Agnes Gomes-Koizumi confirmed the hearth occurred after The Verge requested remark. “A small fire occurred several hours after the intentionally destructive testing of a battery module,” Gomes mentioned in an e-mailed assertion, noting the module handed the test and didn’t ignite. The fireplace occurred as a result of “someone inappropriately placed the module in a sealed container,” she wrote. “The box the module was placed in became pressurized and resulted in the incident.”
The automobile wasn’t one in every of Canoo’s prototypes, Gomes mentioned, however a third-party cargo vehicle the corporate had rented or bought. The incident report lists it as a Ford. Canoo introduced a deal to make use of batteries from Panasonic subsidiary Sanyo in October. It’s unclear who made the batteries concerned within the fireplace.
Canoo is working in direction of a objective of beginning manufacturing on its electrical vans in late 2022, although it has additionally been turning over executives alongside the best way — together with, this month, dropping its chief know-how officer and two of the 5 remaining co-founders.
The firm joins another EV startups in coping with battery fires. One of Faraday Future’s preproduction automobiles caught fireplace in 2018. More lately, a prototype of Lordstown Motors’ electrical pickup truck caught fireplace in February 2021 throughout a street test.
Those different fires originated from battery packs that had been powering the respective prototype automobiles. Canoo’s fireplace began within the cabin of the third-party vehicle, in accordance with the report, the place lithium-ion batteries had been “being transported.”
After the hearth was extinguished, an officer from Los Angeles County’s Health Hazmat workforce was known as to the scene to assist examine the battery explosion. The stays of the batteries had been positioned in a “trash can filled with water,” per Health Hazmat’s directions. The Torrance Fire Department’s report says the hearth did an estimated $45,000 value of harm, together with $10,000 in property harm.
The fireplace division was on the scene for 3 and a half hours, although the report doesn’t say how lengthy it took to extinguish the blaze. “The facility was opened the next day and has been functioning normally,” Gomes mentioned.
The report lists “improper container or storage procedure” and “[u]nattended or unsupervised person” as elements that contributed to the hearth. Torrance Fire Department didn’t reply to a number of emailed requests for remark, and LA County’s Health Hazmat workforce declined to make somebody out there for an interview.