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A123 is the battery for the Chevy Volt. We live blogged that news for you. One of the selling points of the battery is safety. How safe is it? Ric Fulop and David Vieau of A123 systems gave us their answers, but look for yourself. This video purports to be the A123 battery getting a nail drilled through it. Nothing really happens. The same is done to other batters and they burst in flames and almost explode. If a demo like this was done for GM, I can understand why A123 is the Volt's battery.

Commenter to the video, Allamericom, wonders "if this was another ploy to discourage and frighten others from electric cars?" Ianbruce says they are using them in the Ventureone, an electric vehicle. He also says in a comment ""Don't get in an accident in your battery-electric car, unless you're using something designed for the purpose." ;)" The video has over 4,000 views since March 2007.

[Source: Youtube]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ping Wang, that would depend if there was a spark caused when the nail went throught the tank.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Love it! Makes me feel even better about A123's claims.

      Found this link on:
      http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/
      • 8 Years Ago
      Good point Ping but who needs a nail? A spark could set off a fire while you refuel. There are dangers with charging but they are much easier to control. Once there are enough electric cars, I am sure we will start hearing about EV EMF...

      http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/com/393447977.html
      • 8 Years Ago
      "A123 is the battery for the Chevy Volt"

      No....GM said that they are co-developing with A123 to create a battery pack, not that they are only going to use A123.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow, you put a drill through a battery and we have some flames, yet if you have an accident and get a leak in a fuel tank and there is a spark, what happens? All the same, I'd rather have batteries with a small amount of energy relative to a tank of gas burn up, no wait but these A123 batteries don't seem to burn like that. hmmmm

      Switch to electric cars people, they are going to be safer, better for your health, better for our economy and better for our environment.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This reminds me of a similar test video for the Valence LiIon battery that also uses iron phosphate electrodes. In both cases, some smoke and heat, and the battery is damaged beyond repair, but the important thing is no catastrophic fire or explosion.

      Tesla Motors knows all about catastrophic failure of standard LiIon batteries, which is why they went to such extraordinary lengths to protect them from damage and overheating in their battery pack. They also made sure that a catastrophic failure of one cell would not be able to damage any ajacent cells.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Joseph, By co-develop I am guessing all GM is doing is making sure it fits in the car and maybe some shielding or something. I don't think they are screwing with the underlying chemistry at all. I could be wrong but if you know more, I would be interested.
      • 8 Years Ago
      A nail into a gasoline tank will not do anything exciting. Even several bullets will not cause a Hollywood style explosion. See
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MythBusters_(season_3)#Car_Capers_-_Exploding_Gas_Tank

      A nail gun or a bullet will turn a standard Li-Ion pack into a bomb. I wander how much destruction a 900lb standard Li-Ion pack on wheels could cause.
      • 7 Years Ago
      A gasoline fire can be extinguished with standard firefighting equipement. A li-ion fire is an extremely high energy runaway reaction, like thermite. Except thermite is't self igniting.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I wonder, what would happen if a nail were driven through a tank of gasoline like that?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Jimmy, The Wiki entry says "partly confirmed." It says you could start a fire with a certain type of bullet and it "might explode" if certain conditions were right.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Reading the comments on that video, I had to laugh at the guy who said lead/acid batteries don't support combustion... Ahhhh... if you have one that you can add water to (yes they are still out there), ironically, has a very interesting by-product. Even if you don't add water, the stuff in most car batteries is 35% sulfuric acid and 65% water. Water + Sulfuric Acid + an insurge of electricity (usually from jumper cables or a battery charger) = Hydrogen gas... which has been known to explode. http://espn.go.com/photo/2006/1211/pg2_hindenberg_275.jpg. What did you say you wanted me to out in my fuel cell?