While the crashed battery issue remains under investigation, the "Chevy Volt fire" that happened in North Carolina recently looks more and more like it was not caused by the car or the EVSE "charger." Representatives of Duke Energy and Progress Energy, which is helping run a test fleet of Volts that the burnt car was a part of, say it is once again safe to plug in. After the fire, the utilities recommended Volt owners not use their chargers while the cause was investigated. Now, a Duke Energy spokesperson told the Charlotte Observer, "We've notified customers they can continue using the charging stations if they want to. We don't believe the charging station caused the fire." In fact, the Siemens charger that was connected to the Volt at the time of the fire, "was charging normally even as the fire was going on. It was sending a warning: It's getting warmer, it's getting warmer," said a Progress Energy spokesman. A final report is due in early January.

What is real is the damage the fire caused – $800,000 to a $1.5-million house – and its effect on the ongoing discussion about the safety of plug-in vehicles. Got something to contribute?

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