A automobile at EV startup Canoo burned on August twenty fourth after lithium-ion batteries left contained in the automobile began a fireplace. The native hearth division was in a position to extinguish the blaze and nobody was injured, in response to an incident report obtained by The TechMac.
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 dwelling in November.
Canoo’s VP of communications Agnes Gomes-Koizumi confirmed the fireplace occurred after The TechMac requested remark. “A small hearth occurred a number of hours after the deliberately harmful testing of a battery module,” Gomes stated in an e-mailed assertion, noting the module handed the check and didn’t ignite. The fireplace occurred as a result of “somebody inappropriately positioned the module in a sealed container,” she wrote. “The field the module was positioned in turned pressurized and resulted within the incident.”
The automobile wasn’t one in every of Canoo’s prototypes, Gomes stated, however a third-party cargo automobile 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 hearth.
Canoo is working in the direction of a aim 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, shedding its chief know-how officer and two of the 5 remaining co-founders.
The corporate joins another EV startups in coping with battery fires. One among Faraday Future’s preproduction autos caught hearth in 2018. Extra just lately, a prototype of Lordstown Motors’ electrical pickup truck caught hearth in February 2021 throughout a highway check.
These different fires originated from battery packs that have been powering the respective prototype autos. Canoo’s hearth began within the cabin of the third-party automobile, in response to the report, the place lithium-ion batteries have been “being transported.”
After the fireplace was extinguished, an officer from Los Angeles County’s Well being Hazmat staff was known as to the scene to assist examine the battery explosion. The stays of the batteries have been positioned in a “trash can stuffed with water,” per Well being Hazmat’s directions. The Torrance Hearth Division’s report says the fireplace did an estimated $45,000 value of harm, together with $10,000 in property injury.
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 power was opened the subsequent day and has been functioning usually,” Gomes stated.
The report lists “improper container or storage process” and “[u]nattended or unsupervised individual” as elements that contributed to the fireplace. Torrance Hearth Division didn’t reply to a number of emailed requests for remark, and LA County’s Well being Hazmat staff declined to make somebody obtainable for an interview.