Print 20 comment(s) - last by FITCamaro.. on Dec 11 at 5:09 PM

GM Spark less likely to burn  (Source: GM)
Lithium Phosphate batteries less prone to fire

GM announced the Spark EV back in October with little fanfare and few hard details. With the recent fires in the testing of the Volt, some car buyers and the government are looking at GM and specifically the batteries used in its vehicles.
The Volt is currently under investigation by the NHTSA and GM engineers to determine the cause of the fire and what should be done to prevent the fire from happening again. The battery packs in the Volt are made by LG Chem and use lithium-ion technology. That battery tech is more prone to fire than some other battery technology. 
Business Week reports that GM has chosen another company and different battery tech for the Spark. The Spark will use batteries built by A123. The A123 batteries are less fire prone as they use lithium phosphate chemistry. When GM took bids years ago for the battery packs for the Volt, the technology to mass-produce lithium phosphate batteries was not available.
James Hall from consulting company 2953 Analytics stated, "Lithium phosphate chemistry looks like it could be more friendly in terms of heat management. But it stores less energy. There is a tremendous amount of new discovery. This is new territory for lithium batteries."
Robert Kanode is the CEO of battery maker Valence Technology Inc. in Austin, Texas. Kanode said that if his firm used phosphate batteries to build a pack for the Volt it would be about 10% larger than the existing Volt battery pack. This is another reason phosphate technology isn't common in EVs today. 
Fisker will also be using lithium phosphate batteries in Karma EV.

Source: Business Week

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3249734 Inc.
By Namey on 12/9/2011 1:51:00 PM , Rating: 3
When I start a company, I'll also use a random alphanumeric string as the name.

RE: 3249734 Inc.
By Shadowsite on 12/9/2011 2:49:03 PM , Rating: 3
It isn't random. It is based on the chemistry used to create their modules.

RE: 3249734 Inc.
By corduroygt on 12/9/2011 2:55:49 PM , Rating: 4
I thought it was based on the owner's combination in his luggage.

RE: 3249734 Inc.
By JediJeb on 12/9/2011 3:09:27 PM , Rating: 5
Maybe they wanted to be listed in the Phone Book ahead of AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Auto Parts.

RE: 3249734 Inc.
By Smartless on 12/9/2011 3:16:41 PM , Rating: 5
Megamaid has gone from suck to blow!

Hey as naming conventions go it could be worse. They could name a non-electric car the Spark hoping to sell it on the great GM name before the EV or even hybrid comes out later.

RE: 3249734 Inc.
By Shadowmaster625 on 12/9/2011 3:17:53 PM , Rating: 2
2953 Analytics? Sounds pretty random...

RE: 3249734 Inc.
By FITCamaro on 12/11/2011 5:09:46 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe the founders birthday is 2-9-1953

By JediJeb on 12/9/2011 4:39:37 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if you drive through a flooded area on the highway would these batteries in the Volt be sealed good enough to keep the water out, or do they come with a special warning to avoid any high water at all cost?

By Jedi2155 on 12/9/2011 6:47:19 PM , Rating: 2
LiPo is not the same chemistry as the one's used in the Volt. The Volt uses a variation of LMO (Lithium Manganese Oxide), while most RC Lipo's are LCO (Lithium Cobalt Oxide). LMO is a lot safer than LCO, although still not as safe as LFP (Lithium Iron Phosphate).

By Jedi2155 on 12/9/2011 6:48:50 PM , Rating: 2
LMO is more energy dense is considered reasonably safe, but unfortunately it is not safe enough when you're dealing with coolant as well.

Think this through
By YashBudini on 12/9/2011 8:37:14 PM , Rating: 3
Now that the Volt is having some flaming issues is it really a good idea to name this car the "Spark?"

RE: Think this through
By Zaranthos on 12/10/2011 12:56:57 AM , Rating: 3
Smoke and Fire were their first choice. ;-)

Whats the problem..
By drewsup on 12/10/2011 10:02:58 AM , Rating: 2
All the fires encountered were WEEKS after the initial collision. Standard salvage ops now should be to disconnect and quarantine the battery pack pending inspection. This is scare mongering at it worst.

RE: Whats the problem..
By topkill on 12/10/2011 11:31:31 AM , Rating: 2
And don't forget there are over 40,000 car fires in the US EVERY YEAR. And that is with today's gasoline and diesel based cars.

Yet, you don't see everyone running around freaking out about that do you?

When you put a LOT of energy (enough to make a 4,000 vehicle drive around for hundreds of miles) into a vehicle...bad things can happen. Get over it...or stop driving.

RE: Whats the problem..
By topkill on 12/10/2011 12:52:52 PM , Rating: 2
That was supposed to say: "enough to make a 4,000lb. vehicle drive around for hundreds of miles"

By toyotabedzrock on 12/9/2011 4:12:42 PM , Rating: 3
What am I missing? Is it not better that it doesn't set fire right away?

By JediJeb on 12/10/2011 11:53:32 PM , Rating: 2
Only if somehow you damaged your battery and didn't know it then parked it in your garage and it caught fire while you were asleep. Though that should be pretty rare.

It only takes a Spark
By JediJeb on 12/10/2011 11:56:32 PM , Rating: 2
to stop a fire!

or maybe

"You can't start a fire, you can't start a fire with a Spark"

"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs

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